Married dad-of-three proudly wears skirts and heels to challenge gender stereotypes

A 63-year-old married father of three, Mark Bryan, is smashing gender stereotypes through his fashion choices and his followers can't get enough of it.
Bryan, who is from America but resides in Germany, has become an Instagram sensation by regularly posting outfit of the day (OOTD) photos. His signature style? Conventional men's attire from the waist up, and chic skirts and high heels from the waist down.

Breaking away from traditional fashion norms, Bryan employs his unique style to question the idea that clothing should be gender-specific.

His Instagram bio describes himself to his 609,000 followers as: "Straight, cis male, Porsche fan, loves wearing skirts & heels daily!"

The robotics engineer told What’s Underneath: Masculinity starring Mark Bryan that "90%" of people who see his style choices think he is "gay" due to what he is wearing.

Recalling an incident where he was speaking to a woman at a convention, who then introduced him to her husband who posed the same question, Bryan responded: "I said, 'Well, you don't have to be gay to wear a skirt and high heels.'"

When the man doubled down that Bryan must be gay, to which he replied again that he wasn't, the man was left speechless, as Bryan added: "You could see the wheels turning in his head like 'how is this possible?'"

Bryan's fully committed to his way of dressing, rocking skirts and heels to work, around town, and within the comfort of his home.

"I dress like this because I can. Just to be different. I have always admired the women that wore tight skirts and heels. Not sexually, but the power they presented," Bryan explained to Bored Panda.

"To me, clothes have no gender. I prefer skirts to dresses. Dresses don't allow me to mix the genders."

The style icon, who also coaches American football, delved into why he finds skirts and heels so appealing: "[It's] all the fashion options. With men’s pants, you have just a few color options: black, gray, navy, and brown, and no pants with prints. With skirts, you can add reds, green, brighter blues, floral prints, animal prints, etc. Same with shoes."

While some may mistakenly link his sartorial choices to his sexual orientation, Bryan is on a mission to de-sexualize clothing altogether. "I feel no different as to me, it’s just clothes. Naturally, on a cold or windy day, it physically feels different. When wearing heels, I feel taller, but also empowered for some reason," he said, emphasizing that his wardrobe has in fact boosted his confidence both in daily life and in handling workplace pressures.

And what does his family think? They're all in. His wife often recommends styles, and his daughter is somewhat envious of his designer shoe collection.

When it comes to footwear, Bryan prefers a "five-inch stiletto," although he admits navigating cobblestone streets or sidewalks with large gaps can be a challenge. He also revealed that he opts for skirts over dresses to maintain his style of mixing male and female clothing elements in one outfit.

In an interview with PurpleHaze, Bryan revealed the impact he's had on others: "It became more and more evident that what I was doing on Instagram was helping so many that wanted to wear non-gender conforming clothing but were afraid to have their sexuality questioned.

"I get over 100 direct messages a day on my Instagram account and a large number of them are followers that have thanked me for the courage to go out wearing something regardless of what others may think. Others still have this fear, however.

"This needs to change and thus has become one of my goals to de-sexualize clothing. But then I’m also helping everyone (regardless of sexual orientation or gender) that we all should feel comfortable wearing what we want."

In a world where gender norms are increasingly being questioned, Mark Bryan is not just a dad of three, or a robotics engineer, or a football coach — he's a fashion-forward icon showing that it's more than okay to be yourself, no matter what you're wearing.

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