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Dawning

What do you think is the most masculine t-shirt color?

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Dawning

Note: I want to CHANGE my t-shirt choices to look MORE MASCULINE. If I wear what I like, what I want, what I look good in, what I'm confident or comfortable in, I will NOT be changing, and so will NOT look more masculine. I greatly appreciate people encouraging me to just do whatever I want, but what I want is to look a little more masculine in a t-shirt, and that's what I'm hoping for advice with. Thanks! :-)

 

This isn't just idle speculation; I'm contemplating subtle and understated ways to suggest some maleness, and this is one of them. Imagine that someone told you they spotted a person with an X-colored T-shirt; what colors could you put in for X such that you'd assume that they'd seen a man? (Imagine just a plain solid-color shirt with no pattern, text, or design.)

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Here's MY analysis so far: Olive drab suggests military, which is still over 80% male in America, but I don't want to disrespect the Armed Forces by co-opting their color, so... Black, white and gray T-shirts are ubiquitous; there's no hint of gender to those colors. Same thing with navy and other darker blues; lighter blues might skew a little more female. A pink or lavender T-shirt would overwhelming suggest a female. Almost no one wears orange or yellow T-shirts, unless there's a sports team logo involved; they're probably worn a little bit more by men, since some men have a passion for obnoxious colors, but no one considers colors that bright to be "masculine." Guys don't wear that much red, purple, or green, so those colors are a little feminine too. And then there's the color that started me thinking about this, because I had a dream where my gender fluctuated, and I was wearing a BROWN t-shirt. I've never seen a woman in a brown T-shirt. I did a search, and every person shown wearing a brown T-shirt except I think ONE was male. It's not uncommon for a woman to wear brown leather stuff, brown leopard print, khaki pants, or beige if she's a sophisticated type… but rarely brown, and specifically not brown T-shirts.

 

I don't LIKE brown, and I don't know how flattering it would be, I fear not very but… It would have a male "feel" to it without my wearing what anyone would think of as masculine clothing, that might raise questions for example at a church event… and a t-shirt would be cool and comfortable during the warmer months, unlike most other "male" outfits.

 

I'd be interested in any input anyone had about gender and color, especially as it pertains to their own style and presentation. For inspiration, here's a shirt that has a color very close to the shirt I wore in that dream:

 

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elizabeth17

clothes and colors don't have genders :) as far as what shirt can help you pass as more masc i guess just wear what makes you feel confident. if you think olive would make you feel masc and confident go for it! if you have a chest that you're trying to conceal it's less about color of a shirt and more about layering. idk if this was helpful

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elizabeth17

also my partner is a guy and his favorite color is purple and he wears a lot of red, green, and blue so yeah there are no rules just go for whatever colors you like!

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Kelly

Pink. The boys' color is good for men, too.

 

As an article in the Ladies' Home Journal stated in June 1918, "The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl."

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Saphoune

I like Men in Black 👽 but black is not a colour .

 

You could just choose a colour that looks good on you, depending on your skin tone.

Don't feel sorry for the military and marine forces. Marine blue is also used in business suits/ties. Camouflage is common in streetwear even for females. Brown has many shades. Post women wear camel and dark chestnut brown can be used for sexy women clothing.

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fragglerock2

Interesting point about brown t-shirts, hadn't thought about that but yeah seems more common on guys. For another idea, although you mentioned it briefly, I feel like red t-shirts are more common on guys. Similar with brown, I feel like women commonly wear red but not usually red t-shirts. But this is going off a rough memory.

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Skycaptain

Hawaiian t-shirts. I genuinely don't think I've ever seen someone who identifies as female wearing one. 

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Alejandrogynous

 

1 hour ago, Dawning said:

Imagine that someone told you they spotted a person with an X-colored T-shirt; what colors could you put in for X such that you'd assume that they'd seen a man?

I can't think of any color that would make me assume someone's gender just by having a shirt described to me. I see people of all genders wearing all sorts of colors. 

 

I think fit and design/pattern have much a bigger impact on appearing more masculine. If a shirt is a "mens cut" and you're wearing it in a masculine way (as in not in a 'wearing your boyfriend's clothes' kind of vibe), it's going to read more masculine regardless of color. Maybe if we're being heavy-handed here, avoid pink?

 

55 minutes ago, elizabeth17 said:

clothes and colors don't have genders :) as far as what shirt can help you pass as more masc i guess just wear what makes you feel confident. if you think olive would make you feel masc and confident go for it!

All that said, I second this. If you feel more confident in brown or olive, go with that.

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Homer

Male here. I think that there is no such thing. Colours don't come with inherent messages attached to them.

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Moon Spirit ☽

While it may(?) be true that more men wear brown t-shirts than women, I don't think I've noticed very many people in general wearing them. I guess brown can look good on someone with the right coloring for it, but personally I don't think I'd wear it too often because it's sort of a mundane color. If you're trying to appear more masculine I don't think it will make any difference whether you wear brown or other colors because men wear a lot of other colors as well, so you don't need to limit yourself so much. I think with fashion that everyone just needs to learn to be in touch with what they really like, if you know what you like then you'll express yourself accurately.

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Purple Wanderer

Anything stained red in the blood of your enemies

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Acing It
3 hours ago, Dawning said:

but I don't want to disrespect the Armed Forces by co-opting their color

Apart from me not making sense of why you do this, why would you be disrespecting the armed forces by wearing green? Does that mean you would be disrespecting the air force or navy by wearing blue? Is this a US thing I don't understand?

Controversially and paradoxically I've heard people say a man wearing a pink shirt/t shirt is very masculine because it shows they are confident in who they are and their masculinity.

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daveb
3 hours ago, Dawning said:

Guys don't wear that much red, purple, or green, so those colors are a little feminine too.

Green is my first choice if it's an option. I never thought of it as being the least bit gendered. :P 

 

While I do think it's silly to gender colors we all know some colors are generally seen as belonging more to one gender than another. Public perception is definitely a factor. In that sense I'd say earth tones/neutral colors (various shades of brown, gray, black, and white), blues and greens and "military" colors would fall more on the male/masculine side; while bright "flowery" colors (reds, purples) and pastels (pinks, pale blues, etc.) would fall more on the female/feminine side. At this point in history in the US at least. So, to answer your question about choices you could make to take advantage of those perceptions, I think you and some of the other suggestions are on the right track. As others said, the right cut/style would help, too - like men's t-shirts that are close enough to the right size for you so they don't look like you're wearing the shirt of a male friend/relative.

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Starbogen

Honestly I don't think color is that big of a factor when it comes to the perceived gender of clothes.. the style of the shirt is a lot more important. But to answer your question I guess I tend to see dark, neutral, and/or somewhat muted colors as more masculine. I personally wear mostly a lot of dark greys and black. I have a couple of sweaters that are dark green, dark red, and light grey. Some of my button down shirts are a lot more colorful but those have patterns so yeah for sweaters it's mostly grey and black. 

A color I really like though is teal. I don't associate it with any gender though, just think it's a pretty color. 

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anisotrophic

 

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Starbogen
1 minute ago, anisotrophic said:

 

That is so specific but damn do I feel called out X'D

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Ms. Carolynne

I don't think color matters so much as design, although maybe tint / shade, and saturation might play a role. I think darker and more faded out clothing would be seen as masculine, while brighter and more saturated colors would be seen as feminine.

 

I'm just going off of passive observation and memory though.

 

Ultimately, however, colors don't really have any inherent gender and it's more of a social construct that can change pretty easily.

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Dawning
10 hours ago, elizabeth17 said:

clothes and colors don't have genders :) as far as what shirt can help you pass as more masc i guess just wear what makes you feel confident. if you think olive would make you feel masc and confident go for it! if you have a chest that you're trying to conceal it's less about color of a shirt and more about layering. idk if this was helpful

also my partner is a guy and his favorite color is purple and he wears a lot of red, green, and blue so yeah there are no rules just go for whatever colors you like!

Show a picture of a baby in a pink onesie to a million people (in Western culture); would even a single person not immediately assume that the baby was FEMALE? There IS a big association between gender and color, and we can use that to our advantage!

 

My primary idea for looking a little male IS a layered look, a retro or work shirt over a white T-shirt; you're right about that being helpful! But it's too warm much of the year where I live to do layers, so figuring out the t-shirt thing is a big help.

 

If I wear the colors I like, I'll be in shades of pink... and that wouldn't cause ANYONE to see me as anything other than super-feminine, LOL!! I need a t-shirt color that is overwhelmingly worn by men rather than women… and I think brown is it.

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Albine

not sure if color is a big issues with men's shirts just basic colors brown, black dark blue, mostly darker colors would work, men tend to wear their shirt baggier too. hope that helps 

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Starbogen
41 minutes ago, Dawning said:

Show a picture of a baby in a pink onesie to a million people (in Western culture); would even a single person not immediately assume that the baby was FEMALE? There IS a big association between gender and color, and we can use that to our advantage!

 

My primary idea for looking a little male IS a layered look, a retro or work shirt over a white T-shirt; you're right about that being helpful! But it's too warm much of the year where I live to do layers, so figuring out the t-shirt thing is a big help.

 

If I wear the colors I like, I'll be in shades of pink... and that wouldn't cause ANYONE to see me as anything other than super-feminine, LOL!! I need a t-shirt color that is overwhelmingly worn by men rather than women… and I think brown is it.

Well it's different for a baby though. Babies have no gendered defining features, not even a hairstyle if they're super young. All you could judge a baby's gender on would be clothes so yeah, that association with color does exist in current western society but a little factor like that is going to matter more for tiny humans with zero gender defining features than for anyone else. And even in the case of a baby you could express the gender a lot more with the style of the clothes than with the color. A onesie is the simplest and most neutral thing but if you put a baby in a blue dress people would think it was a girl and if you put a baby in a pink outfit that looked like one of those grown up suits but for babies a lot of people would think it was a boy in a pink suit. Style will always matter more than color.

 

Similarly if you take a t-shirt for an adult, sure you could make some associations based on color but there are so many other things that will make or break your look more than just the color.

 

I mean... Here's how I'd think of it, if it was me choosing what to wear. Which it has been since I'm a trans guy and I've been there. I would always go for any dark colors first not primarily because it's seen as more masculine, though that too, but because it would be more effective at hiding my chest. I'd wear more sweaters than t-shirts because they're usually thicker, fit better (which makes it look like you're not wearing something too baggy, which would make you appear smaller, but it's also not tight so it doesn't show off your figure like some t-shirts could), and the sleeves can also hide my noodle arms. 

 

As for the brown color, tbh I'd avoid it because just a plain brown t-shirt sounds pretty boring but at the same time it looks unusual. I don't think I've ever seen anyone wear a brown shirt like that. A darker and more desaturated shade would work better imo, but then you could just wear darker desaturated versions of any other color as well. That sort of brown color might make me look at someone for a second longer than I normally would if anything, because it seems so rare to see someone in just plain midium brown. I think it's a choice that could stand out as just odd instead of blend in as masculine. 

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Alejandrogynous
8 hours ago, Dawning said:

Show a picture of a baby in a pink onesie to a million people (in Western culture); would even a single person not immediately assume that the baby was FEMALE? There IS a big association between gender and color, and we can use that to our advantage!

That's true for babies because you usually can't tell the gender of most babies just by looking at them so we (in Western culture) established a color code to help people figure it out. Meanwhile, if you see an adult female person in a blue T-shirt, most people aren't going to jump to the conclusion that she's really a man just because her shirt's blue.

 

If you feel like wearing brown will help you give off a more masculine vibe then that's awesome, but I have male friends and coworkers that wear clothes in all colors of the rainbow and no one to my knowledge has ever questioned their manhood for it. Especially when those varied-colored clothes are all clearly styled for men. It really comes down to your comfort, though. It's your style, so you should wear the clothes (color/fit/design/pattern/etc.) that you feel the most comfortable and confident in.

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Dawning
On 2/12/2020 at 9:51 AM, Saphoune said:

I like Men in Black 👽 but black is not a colour .

 

You could just choose a colour that looks good on you, depending on your skin tone.

Don't feel sorry for the military and marine forces. Marine blue is also used in business suits/ties. Camouflage is common in streetwear even for females. Brown has many shades. Post women wear camel and dark chestnut brown can be used for sexy women clothing.

I think that pretty much everyone looks good in black! I've always liked a black outfit on a man, too. 

 

Unfortunately, the colors that look good on me are pastels like pink and lavender, which would make me look more feminine, not more masculine, LOL!! 

 

I don't feel SORRY for people in the military, just respect and gratitude. Camouflage isn't common in streetwear in my military town! It's a moot point, though, because I'm looking for a solid t-shirt color, not a pattern.

 

I can't even imagine anything SEXY in chestnut brown, LOL! Do you have any photos? Light browns like camel and beige are reasonably common for women's business wear and coats... but the only item of clothing I'm focusing on right now is the t-shirt, since that's what I wear most of the time.

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DarkGloomSquid

Get any color you want. Color wont really define if your masculine or feminine as an adult. My brother wears pastels and is in no way feminine looking. Dont forget its your figure and face that will have the biggest impact as well as how the clothes fit you.

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Dawning
On 2/12/2020 at 10:04 AM, fragglerock said:

Interesting point about brown t-shirts, hadn't thought about that but yeah seems more common on guys. For another idea, although you mentioned it briefly, I feel like red t-shirts are more common on guys. Similar with brown, I feel like women commonly wear red but not usually red t-shirts. But this is going off a rough memory.

That's a useful point, thank you! I noticed in my searches that really dark or brownish reds were shown on male models more than female models, so that could be another option! A bright red, which might also be more common on men, has the association with women of trying to look sexy, and that's the signal a brighter shade might send when worn over my large breasts, which I do not intend to bind... which is too bad, because that would be an easier color to to find than dark red or brown, and work with more outfits… but then again, if it works with a lot of feminine outfits... getting the right gender feeling with something so simple is tougher than it looks, LOL!

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Dawning
On 2/12/2020 at 10:34 AM, Skycaptain said:

Hawaiian t-shirts. I genuinely don't think I've ever seen someone who identifies as female wearing one. 

That's a REALLY helpful idea, thank you! This is the kind of thing I'm trying to pin down, subtle aspects of male dressing that I could adopt to add a little bit of a male feeling without trying to go to the grocery store when it's 80° out in a suit with a tie!

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Starbogen
9 hours ago, Dawning said:

That's a REALLY helpful idea, thank you! This is the kind of thing I'm trying to pin down, subtle aspects of male dressing that I could adopt to add a little bit of a male feeling without trying to go to the grocery store when it's 80° out in a suit with a tie!

Hmm does this have to be limited to shirts? Because I think that shorts are great. They totally make your legs and figure look more masculine. I guess I've seen some butch women wear them on tv, but like the kind of women that look so butch that I would have assumed they were men if it hadn't been for their chest and if I just saw them at a glance in public. 

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Dawning
22 minutes ago, Starbogen said:

Hmm does this have to be limited to shirts? Because I think that shorts are great. They totally make your legs and figure look more masculine. I guess I've seen some butch women wear them on tv, but like the kind of women that look so butch that I would have assumed they were men if it hadn't been for their chest and if I just saw them at a glance in public. 

Shorts with hairy legs definitely sends a "gender=male" signal to the brain in the western world, you're right about that. I'm not male, though, and, decades past the point of showing my legs in public in any case! I want to maintain what is seen as my feminine beauty, but mix a little maleness into it to reflect what I have inside. The vast majority of days, I wear a standard t-shirt with nothing over it, so I'm trying to get some maleness from the t-shirt even with big boobs. A Hawaiian shirt, assuming it was 100% cotton, would be a little bit heavier, but still workable on many days, assuming I can find some in more muted colors so that I don't just look like a woman wearing a floral print shirt. Here's one that's close to ideal, darker blues, with a retro look to it… but way more than I want to pay, LOL… What do you think:

 

https://www.paradiseclothingco.com/Blue-Hawaii-Mens-Hawaiian-Aloha-Tropical-Shirt-in-Navy

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Starbogen
16 minutes ago, Dawning said:

Shorts with hairy legs definitely sends a "gender=male" signal to the brain in the western world, you're right about that. I'm not male, though, and, decades past the point of showing my legs in public in any case! I want to maintain what is seen as my feminine beauty, but mix a little maleness into it to reflect what I have inside. The vast majority of days, I wear a standard t-shirt with nothing over it, so I'm trying to get some maleness from the t-shirt even with big boobs. A Hawaiian shirt, assuming it was 100% cotton, would be a little bit heavier, but still workable on many days, assuming I can find some in more muted colors so that I don't just look like a woman wearing a floral print shirt. Here's one that's close to ideal, darker blues, with a retro look to it… but way more than I want to pay, LOL… What do you think:

 

https://www.paradiseclothingco.com/Blue-Hawaii-Mens-Hawaiian-Aloha-Tropical-Shirt-in-Navy

Ah sure I get that. Shorts do come across as more juvenile. 

I really like that shirt! Pretty sure my brother and I have shirts very very close to that one XD 

My favorite shirt is kinda like that but dark blue and teal and with leaf patterns instead of flowers. I have others with flower patterns though, one of them teal and with little pink flowers. 

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Acing It
39 minutes ago, Dawning said:

so I'm trying to get some maleness from the t-shirt even with big boobs. A Hawaiian shirt, assuming it was 100% cotton, would be a little bit heavier, but still workable on many days

I think that would work with bigger boobs. It would break up the profile, which a plain T shirt wouldn't do. It will depend on whether it has a masculine print of course.

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Starbogen

What about henley shirts? I feel like those have a pretty "male vibe". 

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