Mark Bryan, from Dallas, Texas, has been wearing skirt suits and heels to his job as a robotics engineer for the last five years. Although the 63-year-old has only recently started to flaunt his toned legs, he said he had always been interested in womenswear since he was in college.
Mark said the only time he’s not wearing heels is “on the football pitch”. Happily married with three children, the American added that his wife “doesn’t mind” his sartorial choices.
Despite receiving stares from strangers when out in public, Mark explained that he thinks clothes are “genderless”.
He said: “I’ve received a bit of backlash from the LGBTQ+ community, accusing me of not standing with them. But how I dress is not about gender or sexuality.”
When he was younger, Mark was influenced by men who wore platform heels, such as the 1970s band Kiss.
“The band were really popular and I loved their look with heels,” the 63-year-old recalled.
“I never experimented with heels until college but I’ve always taken pride in my appearance. I’d wear a lot of polo shirts and I made sure that my jeans were always freshly starched.”
Mark continued: “I’ve always been fascinated by stilettos and high heels. I’d wear them in college with my girlfriend at the time who also loved heels.
“I’d never wear them out in public – we’d mainly both wear them and dance around in our rooms.
Mark now lives in Crailsheim, Baden-Württemberg in Germany, with his wife of 11 years and their three children.
Mark’s wife, who didn’t want to be named, is very supportive of her husband and even picks out clothes for him when they go shopping together.
“I first started exploring with my style when shopping with my wife and she suggested, ‘why don’t we look at dresses and skirts?’,” Mark explained. “After 20 years of wearing a suit and tie, I’d gotten bored. June 2015, I started wearing high heels with pant suits into the office.”
Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo are some of Mark’s favourite designers, and he cites Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw as his style inspiration.
“I like a clean look of a shirt and blazer up top and then skirt and heels on the bottom,” the six-foot-tall engineer said. “I tried on a dress once but I didn’t like it because it was too feminine.
“When I’m going for a more relaxed look, I’ll wear a denim skirt and three-inch heels. When I go into the city, I’ll wear a block heel because of the cobble streets. The only time I’m not wearing heels is when I’m on the football pitch as I’m a keen player and coach.”
Mark went on to say that he thinks “life is too short not to experiment with a personal style – even though it took me a few years, I’m so happy that I went for it”.
“I’m the most comfortable I’ve been in myself and I think everyone deserves that,” he said.
His wife added: “Do I support Mark? Yes, of course. I think Mark would look amazing in anything, but he is my husband after all. He wears much higher heel than I do, but his legs look much better also.”