Men's Skirts, Skirts for Men, Kilts, men's kilts, men's mini-kilts, help, service, Men's Skirts, Skirts for Men, Kilts, men's kilts, men's mini-kilts, men's a-line skirts, men's tennis skirts, Boy's Skirts, Skirts for Boys, teens skirts, skirts for teens, girls miniskirts, women's miniskirts, men's school skirts, men's pleated skirts, men's knife pleated skirts, men's box pleated skirts, men's cheerleader skirts for men, party kilt, schoolgirl skirts, men's short-skirts, men's skirts, micro-miniskirts. Providing tailor made garments for men and women., kilt, rumba panties, Kilts, Casual Kilts, kilt-maker, Neo-Traditional, Zipper Fly, progressive men’s fashion, attire, apparel, accessories, man, male, Men's clothing, alternative fashions, Un-bifurcated garments, MUG’s, workman's kilt, male skirts, man skirt, highland games, highland dress, Scottish, Scotland, Irish, Ireland, heritage, neo-traditional kilt, burning man, Sarong, Galabaya, Tunic, Celtic, Clan, Warrior, Zen, Surf-kilt, Man-skirt, America, American Made, made in Orlando Florida, USA, cloth sculpture, fabric art, artistic design, hand-made clothesMen's Skirts. This is an era of gender equality. In some households, it's the women who wear the pants. Why, then, aren't more men showing off their legs in skirts? The problem is that in recent history there has been a feminine connotation linked to the skirt, even though men had worn them for centuries, according to Andrew Bolton, associate curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Men feel if they wear it (a skirt), their masculinity will be called into question. But if you've even seen a man in a skirt, the first thing you think of is male genitalia," he said. Roman gladiators, for example, proudly displayed their legs for all to see in short, skirted suits of armor as a sign of their virility. Bolton organized the newest exhibit at the Costume Institute, Bravehearts: Men in Skirts, which opens Tuesday and runs through Feb. 8, 2004. French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, who has been known to send a men's skirt or two down the runway, is the sponsor. "Historically, men had the panache when it came to getting dressed. They had the lace, they had the makeup. They dressed exuberantly, it wasn't considered either masculine or feminine. Look at Louis XIV or the Greeks in togas," Mr.Gaultier said, "I'm not trying to put all men in skirts. I just want to give them the freedom to wear a skirt if they want to. Women fought for years to wear trousers. "The Met was to have a gala in Mr.Gaultier's honor Monday night. He planned to wear a long, pleated black skirt with a classic white shirt, a black tie and a tuxedo jacket. "Really, it's very conservative," he said. Skirts on display in the exhibit include modern kaftans from Miguel Adrover and Roberto Cavalli leather punk-rock outfits by Vivienne Westwood; androgynous coats and "mini-shirts" inspired by David Bowie and Mick Jagger from the 1970s; and Courtney Love's baby doll dress, worn by her late husband, Kurt Cobain, on stage in the early 1990s."These definitely were skirts worn to provoke a response," said Bolton with a laugh during a tour of the exhibit. Historical pieces, such as tribal grass skirts, Greek and Hungarian folk costumes and traditional Scottish "belted plaids," large pieces of fabric slung over the shoulder and then wrapped around the waist as kilts, are featured as well. Bolton included three skirts he ordered on the web as part of an Internet campaign called Men Against Trouser Tyranny, which argues that skirts are more comfortable and practical, he explained. John Galliano's version of a papal outfit, for the Christian Dior Haute Couture collection, also is showcased. The text accompanying the glittery gold coat dress explains that ecclesiastical garments often feature skirt bottoms because they distinguish religious leaders from ordinary men, and "deny and deflect" the wearers' sexual presence. That's basically the same argument made for the traditional christening gowns that even little 21st-century boys wear. "Children are supposed to be asexual. By wearing the same clothes, it reduces children's sexual awareness," Bolton said. The shift in attitude toward men in skirts began as early as the 14th century, which is when men and women's clothes really began to look different, according to Bolton; the effeminate stigma really is something fairly new, developed over the last 150 years as strict dress codes and gender rules were adopted with industrialization. The hippies of the 1960s started to erase the branding, with help from unisex outfits by Rudi Gernreich. Today's hip-hoppers also helped change stereotypes. Men in pareros and sarongs, at least on the beach, also are becoming more common and accepted. Bolton said he hopes the exhibit at least provokes questions - if not a change in wardrobe for the average man. "Men's clothing has become so standardized that there's no fun in it anymore. Let's put some fun back in fashion. "I'm tired of this question of questioning a man's motives because he wants to wear a skirt, and panty-hose. In the early days of women wearing pants, was there ever a question if they got a thrill out of trying to be a man? We have our own individual reasons for wanting to do what we do. It really doesn't matter what they are. Just do it if you enjoy it. You're not hurting anyone and it's not illegal, .By Charlie Porter By Charlie Porter
They're breezy, they're sexy and they're easy to wear. So why, asks an exhibition in New York, don't men wear skirts? Imagine the next man you see wearing a skirt. Not a kilt, sarong or kaften but a pencil skirt to just above the knee. Everything else he is wearing will be from his regular wardrobe, maybe a sweatshirt and some bashed-up trainers, or a shirt, tie and brogues. It doesn't work, does it?
If the man you're imagining in a skirt is your partner, you might think he'll look sweet, that the skirt will show off his best features. In the privacy of your bedroom, you could possibly persuade him to put one on for you. But don't ask him to then go and buy a litre of milk from the corner shop, fabric flapping about his legs. However radical you think yourself, whatever open-minded stances you take on sexuality and no-nconformism, you would more than likely laugh at him or, worse, feel ashamed. It is a curious by-product of the last century that while the Western world grew more liberal with each decade, men's clothes became more restricted in silhouette. We may think that jeans and T-shirts are modern and progressive but they are just versions of age-old work clothes and undergarments in technically advanced fabrics before 1900, European men wore skirted garments regularly. Around the world today, a huge number of men from different cultures wear clothes on their lower half that are not divided into two branches. At many of the major fashion houses, skirts for men turn up on the catwalk season after season. Yet off the catwalk, if it's not split it's an object of derision, An exhibition on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York, Bravehearts: Men In Skirts, looks at these clothes, both from the past and the present, some of which are incredibly beautiful and amazingly realized. The show - which is not at all about drag but, rather, about skirts in a masculine context - will probably be hard-pushed to convince men to wear them. Indeed, the exhibition may well tell us more about why men don't wear skirts than why they do. It may also reveal why we think men's wear is stuck in a rut and whether it is likely to escape it.
"If a man does wear a skirt, you're very much aware of him as a sexual presence," says Andrew Bolton, the joint Victoria and Albert/London College of Fashion research fellow and curator of the exhibition, which began at the V&A in 2002. "But the recent tradition of men's dress is to be as invisible as possible. It's about blending in and being anonymous, rather than standing out."
Men clearly don't want to be thought of as a sexual presence in the specific, blatant way a skirt projects. If a skirted garment is worn, there has to be some reason behind it - the kilt as a defiant symbol of Scottish national pride, the sarong as a fantasy garment to project an image of a life lived in luxury. Most men who wear such clothes will think about their meaning before putting them on, something they would never do with their regular office-bound trouser suit or weekend pair of khakis. In day-to-day life, the skirt is just not an option.
There must be deep-seated reasons for this, since Bolton says that the few men who do wear skirts consider them to be the natural choice. "A lot of men talk about how comfortable they are, how breezy they are," he says. "They talk about how masculine they feel when they wear a skirt. They're very much aware of their bodies, how they walk and how they sit. And it's in summer that skirts make the most obvious sense."
Bolton started to research the subject after he saw a man on the London Underground in a conservative, pin-striped skirted suit. "I was amazed by the variety of people's responses," he remembers, "which varied from laughter to actual verbal abuse - one man shouted, 'You queer bugger', as he left the Tube, which I thought was a bit odd, because the man wearing the skirt was kissing his girlfriend at the time."
According to Bolton, between the 17th and the late-19th century, "skirt" was a masculine word, the male version of "petticoat". "Skirt" referred to the lower portion of a man's coat, which, at various stages, fluctuated in width, sometimes billowing and dress-like, at others hanging straight from the waist.
However, as Bolton concedes, the contemporary skirt is in a "no way forward situation". After all, it can't just be a case of swapping trousers for skirts, since doing so shifts the entire emphasis of a man's style. What would men wear skirts with? Would they try to make their legs more attractive? Would they get paranoid about their knees? What underwear would best retain their modesty?
Rather than anguishing over the failure of men to grasp the various possibilities available to them clothes-wise, the reasons why they stick with what they know are much more revealing. "The show is questioning why there are so few forms acceptable for men's wardrobes, while with women's it seems endless," says Bolton.
Indeed, in 2002 the catwalks provided a classic example of just this difference. For the first time Junya Watanabe, famed for his body-morphing women's wear, designed a collection for men. Instead of pushing the boundaries of shape and structure as he has done with women, he sent out a series of beautifully cut jeans and tops that didn't deviate from the silhouette of our perceived norm.
Watanabe explained the modern trouser is one of the most perfect examples of accomplished design and so he was interested only in creating the best version possible. In other words, he wasn't interested in designing a skirt for men and therefore attempting to shift the male into a new social context.
By following this train of thought, men are let off the hook - they don't have to consider wearing skirts, because the traditional male outfit still fascinates the designers who try to master it.
From this viewpoint, men's wear is not stuck in a rut, it is just obsessed with entirely separate intricacies of design necessitated by the difference in body shape between men and women. It means that rather than merge and adopt the sensibilities of the opposite sex, good men's wear doesn't need to have anything to do with the precocious flair and glamour of women's wear. So, although men's wear designers will include kilts, sarongs or skirts in their catwalk designs to gain extra coverage, for the foreseeable future the core of their business will not be switching from trouser to skirt suits.
I’m not much of a culture vulture; if there’s an exhibition on in the city I am living in I’ll put it down in my diary and sometimes I will actually drag myself over there and see what’s on offer. It’s a hit and miss policy that has allowed me to see and to miss some impressive shows and to witness some pretty tacky ones, among which I include the pathetic display four or five years ago at the London Millennium Dome.
Very rarely do I make the effort to see an exhibition in another city. The last time I did so was in 2002, when I Eurostarred to Paris to see Alair Gomes’ photos in some small gallery south of the Seine. I went partly because I had known him when I lived in Rio, partly because he had taken some photos of me and I was curious to know if I was up there for public display (I wasn’t), and partly to see the extent to which black and white photos of of be-speedoed and sometimes naked men can transcend the sexual to become art.
So I looked at the pictures and read the commentaries, by Gomes and others, and said to myself “yeah, yeah, intellectualise as much as you want, but you know and I know that the only reason why I’m and most of those around me are standing here is because we are seeing hunky young men in little or no clothing and we’re fantasising leaping into bed with them or at the very least pinning them up against the nearest wall or palm tree and letting nature take its course."
Moving on... The most recent exhibition that I have failed to see closed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York last month. “Bravehearts: Men in Skirts”. Sponsored by Jean-Paul Gaultier (who else? award that man several gold stars), it “look[ed] at designers and individuals who have appropriated the skirt as a means of injecting novelty into male fashion, as a means of transgressing moral and social codes, and as a means of redefining an ideal masculinity. In an unprecedented survey of "men in skirts" in historical and cross-cultural contexts, the exhibition feature[d] more than 100 items, balancing items drawn from The Costume Institute's permanent collection with loans from cultural institutions and fashion houses in Europe and America.” (text taken from the pitifully minimal information that languishes on the Met’s website like flotsam on the beach after an ebb tide.)
My first – in many ways irrational – quibble is the conflation of kilts and skirts. It’s not surprising that most people consider there is no difference between them, but as a Scot I grew up in a society where kilts are common enough to arouse no comment, but where they and skirts are as different as trousers and shorts. A skirt is everyday wear for women while the kilt is predominantly formal wear for men, equivalent to the tuxedo more than the suit. That doesn't mean I was enamoured of the kilt. As a child I was often made to wear one in situations where all others my age were in shorts or trousers (even in the Scottish capital), which almost put me off the kilt for life. Only now, in the unlikely case I were to settle in the land of my birth, do I suspect I might voluntarily wear one again. And if I were to do so, it would be not with the traditional formal jacket, sporran and sgian dhu (the dagger stuck into the long socks) but more likely with a t-shirt or sweater and boots. In other words, I would mutate the kilt into a skirt.
The fact is, it is only in the last couple of years that I have come to appreciate men in skirts (which explains why I missed the Met exhibition when it was on in London in 2002). I like to wear them and to see good-looking men in skirts. But I am seldom so attired. I do not wear one in Bangkok because when living abroad I tend to dress within locally acceptable parameters. In London I do not have that excuse but I do not have the courage to make a skirt daily wear and only put one on in situations where extremes of clothing are expected, including gay pride events and the more exotic nightclubs. Although here too I suspect that my attitude is changing and one day that courage may emerge…
Note that I am talking about a particular kind of skirt. My usual preference is for short, no longer than knee length and of lightweight fabric. On formal occasions I would go for an ankle-length sarong, the equivalent of a woman’s evening dress and worn properly it suggesting formality, wealth, intelligence and wit. (I lay claim to about 30% of these properties.)
The comfort of short skirts should speak for itself. (Long skirts, like all formal clothes, are never intended for comfort.) Except when it is very cold and the thickness of a kilt or a longer skirt becomes preferable, short skirts allow the legs to breathe and allow more freedom of movement. It is not that you want to do a high kick or are even capable of doing so, but trousers or a long skirt prevent you from ever giving in to that urge, while short skirts allow perfect freedom to do so. The freedom that comes with a skirt may be subconscious, but it’s definitely there.
The sexual element to skirt-wearing is also obvious. Although underwear is appropriate in public – I prefer to sit in the underground without exposing my genitals to those sitting opposite – in private, lack of underwear under a skirt constantly reminds a man of the pleasure of his sexuality. (In comparison, lack of underwear under trousers can be just irritating.) This is not a subject that needs to be discussed with one’s mother or neighbour, but it is a significant factor in deciding what clothes one wears and when.
And sexuality is a major factor for the viewer. I always appreciate the sight of good masculine legs and, just as heterosexual men appreciate the view of women’s underwear, so too I get brief – in both sense of the word – pleasure from glimpses of the slip or jockeys worn by a man in a skirt. The other evening I was with the current squeeze, who had dressed in drag to celebrate his friend’s birthday. He made a very striking woman, but my response to his long hair and make-up was only aesthetic. On the other hand, the fact that his minidress stopped half-way down his thighs was a definite turn-on and my hand was more than once tempted to stray into what trousers would have made forbidden and / or difficult territory.
I am not the only pro-skirt man on the planet, nor are we all gay. The opening of the Met exhibition last year was celebrated by a small parade of New York men in skirts. And some, presumably heterosexual, women also appreciate men in skirts, if the comment on the Horsefeathers’ site (see next paragraph) is representative. Several websites are devoted to men in skirts, among them Kiltmen and Seattle-based Utilikilts. The former gives you an entertaining full-blown rant on why men should wear skirts and the latter is an interesting commercial site. (Please don’t laugh at the phrase “The Utility Kilt offers the Utility Patented Pleat System #6,282,723 which separates our product from any other Mens Unbifurcated Garment on the market today.” They may have a patent and be pentasyllabic, but they don't understand how to use your basic apostrophe…)
While writing this article, I googled “Men in skirts” and “exhibition” and came up with 600+ entries. The Met’s site came first and was followed by an entry for Horsefeathers, where a remarkably camp commentary berates the Museum for its promotion of bisexuality and androgyny. It’s actually quite a funny piece as it trips over its own observations in its attempt to see conspiracy where none probably exists.
For example HF argues that “in every culture each sex evolves its own conventional gender configurations enabling men and women to distinguish each other by length of garment, by color or pattern, or by accessories. There is no built-in ambiguity about gender in the traditional evolution of clothes no matter what the culture.” Such statement raises more questions than they answer; (a) is it true about gender differentiation? (b) if it is true, why do people think it matters? (c) if it does matter, why the concern over men in skirts but not women in trousers?
And, of course, note the assumption, shared by others whose fingers hit the keyboard before the brain is engaged, that a man in a skirt is somehow blurring gender boundaries. Just as women are indubitably women when they wear trousers, most men in skirts cannot be mistaken for anything but men. In fact, a man in a skirt that reveals muscular and / or hairy legs, combined with the flat chest of a t-shirt or regular shirt is presents a much more masculine figure than one in trousers.
Even if skirts did feminise men, clothing is only one of many gender markers. Body size and shape, facial appearance, voice, mannerisms all indicate for the observer one or other gender. Look at a hundred photos of people’s faces and you will be able to specify sex in all but a handful of cases. Despite Horsefeathers’ paranoia, ambiguous clothing does not destroy sexual distinctions.
And even if sexual distinctions are blurred, so what? Although they may be critical to those who are uncertain of their sexual identity or sexuality, there is no proof that gender distinctions in clothing contribute to society’s well-being. In fact, it can be easily demonstrated that that insistence on rigid divisions between the sexes harms rather than benefits society. (Look at the abuses that occur in ultra-conservative Christian communities in Utah and neighbouring states in the US or in strictly Muslim societies.)
Horsefeathers writes articulately*, but his essay is a typical example of conservative thinking – thinking which, as I have argued before, is ultimately rooted in fear. (click here) Not physical fear, but fear of change, of flexibility, of the unknown. His – I’m assuming HF is a he – whole outlook on life is based on a series of premises that create a social structure that provides him with security - men are men and dress as men, women are women etc. When changes are proposed that are incompatible with that social structure - eg sexual identity might not be that important - his worldview is threatened. Rather than accept the possibility that such changes may be innocuous or desirable he has to condemn them.
At least HF recognises that some change is inevitable and even uses that word that scares so many US conservatives almost as much as liberalism – evolution. But he does so in a way that suggests that for him change is only acceptable when it is very clear movement in one direction in very narrow parameters. Of course he justifies his argument by claiming that society as a whole is threatened, but assuming one’s own beliefs are valid for society as a whole is a common failure in many commentators.
All I can say to Horsefeathers is, lighten up; society is not going to fall apart because some or many men decide that skirts are more comfortable and / or erotic than trousers. if you really want to talk about how society is threatened, let’s look at George W Bush’s critical failure to offer an effective response to terrorism. That's a really scary topic.
* But without understanding the difference between “its” and “it’s”.
It's one of the last remaining taboos in American culture- men dressing like women. There are all sorts of theories on why this one has lasted while others have fadded away. What do you think the reason is?
No question about it. No question about it.
This has been answered a long time ago. We have known for a very long time what the reason is - at least back to the 1970's anyways.
Why it is "wrong", and why the "taboo" remains are 2 different questions.
As far as being wrong, it is biblically traditional to prohibit men from wearing mens clothes, and women from wearing mens clothes. However, since women now wear mens clothes, that arguement doesnt hold up.
One poster said it is ugly. The fact is, that womens bodies are beautiful, and beautiful clothes go with beautiful bodies. Of course, that doesnt explain ugly fat women, or men who are in fantastic shape.
The real reason, and the reason for the taboo in American society, is that our society considers men and women to be NOT equal. Dont forget, that the ERA never passed - women do not have equal rights. Women are not equal under our Constitution. No matter what people might "say", in fact, they dont consider men and women to be equal, legally, or socially.
Consiously, or subconsiously, most people consider women to be inferior.
Therefore, when women dress in pants, emulate men, look mannish, wear short hair, or wear mens clothes, it is a step up.
Parents are actually proud of their "tomboys" who emulate males, male behavior, and male appearance. This goes for both women and men. Both mothers and fathers brag about daughters/girls who are tomboys, who do boy things, and who dress and play like boys. Fathers proudly take their tomboy looking girls everywhere in the neighborhood, and show them off.
On the other hand, if men were to emulate women, become effeminite, wear skirts or dresses, or copy in any way feminine behavior, then it is considered "degrading", and a step down on the social scale. Those people consider men who take on mannerisms or appearance of females to be repulsive and shameful, because when men emulate women, they are stepping down in the social scale.
The same parents who brag about their daughters wearing pants, playing baseball, playing with toy trucks, climbing trees, and going fishing with their fathers, are worried and ashamed of their sons who wear dresses, wears nail polish and makeup, play with dolls, and wear ribbons in their hair. Both mothers and fathers feel this way subconsiously. Parents with sons who wear long curly hair with ribbons in it, red nail polish, patent leather shoes, and pretty dresses with crinoline pettycoats, are not taken all over the neighborhood and to stores and to church looking like that, and you wont see any photos on fathers desks of their sons in pretty pink dresses.
Tomboys are bragged about and showed off to everyone because they are emulating a higher (male) social standing.
Janeboys are shameful and hidden and scorned and make fun of because they are degrading themselves, lowering themselves, by emulating a lower social class (female).
Even into adulthood, many women today still brag about how they used to be tomboys in jeans when they were growing up. Not many men brag about how they were Janegirls in dresses growing up.
Lots of women also brag that they are not "girly girls. Not many men brag that they are not masculine.
Many husbands and boyfrinds actually like it when their women engage or participate in traditional "male" sports or activities, but very few/none wives or girlfriends like it when thier men engage in feminine behavior.
We will never have true equality until mothers and fathers brag equally, and gleefully show off to everyone about both their tomboy daughters in dungerees and their Janeboy sons in pretty crinolines. Until the same number of fathers buying their sons dresses is equal to the number of mothers who buy their daughters jeans, you wont see true equality, and the taboo will remain.
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