Only In America . . . TM

Copyright 2002 Frank G. Van Atta. All rights reserved.


Men's clothes will be more effeminate this year, if fashion newcomer Ulysses has his way. The neophyte designer has burst on the fashion scene with a line of clothes that blurs some of the classic distinctions between the sexes.

"I have been watching a male-to-female fashion trend develop all by itself for years," Ulysses told the audience at a showing of his new line in Loma Linda, California, yesterday. "All I want to do is help it along a little bit."

If his line of effeminate clothes for men - what he calls the Machito look - is successful, that trend will get a rocket assist.

The mainstay of the Machito look is men's pants with a removable skirt attached at the belt loops. The skirts come in varying lengths, from mini-skirts to granny-skirts. Some of them come with removable skirts attached with Velcro strips for a Macho look during the work day and a Machito look when you step out at night.

There is also a line of "high heels" for men to complement the new look. The current offerings are only 2 inches high, but the plan is to slowly make them higher and higher as men get used to them and learn to walk on them.

The new fashion is Ulysses' answer to skorts, those weird-looking shorts designed to look like skirts that used to be fashionable for women. Which is exactly how he came up with the name for his new creation - SKANTS - a combination of SKirts and pANTS.

"By wearing SKANTS, men are able to wear skirts and keep their pants on at the same time," Ulysses says. "This gives both the men and the general public time to get used to the concept so that nobody will be shocked when my future designs become bolder and bolder."

What does Ulysses mean by 'bolder and bolder?'

"The next fashion we plan to introduce is men's shorts with skirts attached," the designer said. "This will allow them to show more leg without being too effeminate. Then the next year we will start removing the pants so that we can gradually move toward a truly unisex garment - which is my ultimate goal."

Meanwhile, Ulysses plans to bring men's fashions more into the female image by introducing paisley belts, cowboy hats with veils, and a new tie that is part traditional necktie and part bow tie - with a little edging of lace on the sides. "This is for the more 'traditional' man who would like to be more in fashion but can't quite bring himself to go all the way to SKANTS right away," according to Ulysses.

Some consider the new fashions controversial and ahead of their time, but Ulysses disagrees. "Men's and women's fashions have been moving closer together for years," he said. "For years professional women have been wearing masculine suits, vests, and ties to work and cutting their hair shorter and shorter while men have taken up wearing ear rings and longer hair. This is just the next logical step," he explained. "In fact, once SKANTS have caught on, I don't think makeup, nail polish and other cosmetics for men will be far behind."

Copyright 2002 Frank G. Van Atta. All rights reserved.