… And the vest is history.


East, Tank Top, Sleeveless T-shirt, U-shirt, Gallet in French, and the occasional (formerly) ‘Wife Better’, with so many names it’s easy to understand why Hale Fisher – the weird biblical homosexual Is the author of Semiticism – had to be very clear. I meant talking to him.

A real M&S classic, that’s what you associate with the PE class. 1950s Underwear Advertising Helmet Lang and Herb Wrights; Channing Tatum’s Full Portfolio An oil-stained mechanic is wiping sweat from his forehead (or his, importantly, as in Michelle Rodriguez Fast & Furious). But from the sweaty forehead to the high brow, the AW22’s runway collection made a case for vests last season, with the Prada, the Botiga Veneta and the Chloe making a plethora of outfits.

/ Hall Fisher’s Gay Semiotics, 1977

The white vest is the basic wardrobe worn worldwide for comfort, convenience, reliability and functionality. Within the LGBTQ + community, it also serves the purpose of visibility, and has been serving as a vessel for strange identities for decades.

“The white vest has always been an important item in my wardrobe. As a garment for me, this vest is naturally and historically unique,” says Kai-Asia Jamal, poet, model and trans-viability campaigner. ‘A lot of people were found wrapped around the corpses, from the butchers and the roots to reclaiming and disrupting the authenticity of the clothes for which they were made, throwing their arms over their heads at the club. Even the children became hot and sweaty and free. .

But before being adopted by our queers, the white vest is buried in a dark background in its history. Unfortunately, the term ‘wife better’ exists for a reason, and in 1947 James Hartford Jr., a Detroit man, was arrested for “killing” his wife. When arrested, he was pictured wearing a white vest with baked bean stains.

In the same year that Hartford Jr. was arrested, Marlon Brando will play for the first time as Stanley Kowalski in a street car named Desire, a role that will take him to fame – even though he is physically and emotionally abusive. Was playing a role. It is no coincidence that Brando was styled wearing a white vest for this part.

If Brando was not already a sex symbol after the play, it was definitely after the release of the screen version in 1951 (no doubt with the help of the body under the vest). But from the sex symbol to the queer icon, he was known for having relationships with men as well as portraying gay characters on screen. ‘Homosexuality is very much in fashion, it no longer makes news. Like a large number of men, I have experienced homosexuality, and I am not ashamed, “he said in 1976.

“In American culture, the plain white vest does not carry with it the subtle glow of danger and violence,” says Fisher. ‘In the 1970s, members of the gay male “clone” culture adopted the traditionally stereotypically masculine clothing item, the’ Castro clone ‘(gay) of the late 1970s. Citing a San Francisco neighborhood name) that gained popularity. Levi’s, work shoes and construction attire as everyday wear – a look typically associated with The Village People.

Like Stanley Kowalski’s character, Castro Clooney was based on the ideal working-class man, each depicting hyper-masculinity in a way that could be classified as camp. Homosexuals, bizarre women, gendered fluid and non-binary people have, for centuries (as far as we know), commonly used clothing as a way to carve out identities and reject stereotypes expected from women. But they have been adopting masculine forms. Gentleman Jack – recently played by Soren Jones for the BBC series – is one of the earliest records we have of wearing a gay men’s wardrobe-specific outfit, but he’s the last to do so. Will be far from

Thankfully, fashion has grown significantly since the early 1800’s. Although the white vest became popular with men after the release of A Streetcar Named Desire, it will take another 30 years for women to wear cotton armor for themselves. The vest grew in popularity among bizarre women in the 1990’s, aided by the 1996 gay cult classic Bound, starring Gina Gershon Korki, who will fix your craze. And will steal your daughter.

Shortly after Bound appeared on our screens, Versace Jeans launched a campaign in 1998 to photograph model Milla Jovovich surrounded by male architects on a construction site. Her tool belt hangs from her waist (gay code: check), boxes are slung over her shoulders, with a white vest on her hips. In 2001, Tom Ford’s Gucci will draw a similar stunt, combining Eleonora Bose’s pixie-cut with a white vest. Ford later described his decision as a “personality in the air.”

It is important to note that for many trans, non-binary and gender fluid people, the vest is a garment that triggers feelings of gender dysphoria. For Kai-Asia Jamal, the vest did not always represent the freedom it now enjoys for them: ‘To me it is a metaphor for my identity, it is almost a coded language that is vague or non-verbal. But describes who I am. It took me a long time to get comfortable wearing one, my chest fluctuates without a binder. The waistcoat allowed me to express my feelings towards my chest, to sit comfortably and to be in pain.

Of course, not everyone who wears a white vest is unique. Straight people wear them too… LGBTQ + Twitter and Instagram out of frustration. That being said, for a lightweight top like this, when weird people wear it, it weighs more.

Being visible is not only visible to the general public, but more importantly to other LGBTQ + people. That’s why weird places are sacred and why we have such a rich history with nightlife – because knowing that we are not alone, meeting other people with similar experiences and seeing those who resemble us is self and social acceptance. Important for both.

Every June, shop windows display scary creations – a rainbow spread over everything – but arguably, another camping way to show support would be a window full of white vests.