Men in skirts has been one of the biggest taboo’s in western culture for as long as we can remember. Though almost everywhere else in the world besides North America and much of Europe skirts (of different types) are widely accepted and employed, our culture still holds some prejudice against skirts as a form of masculine dress.
However, history shows that the concept of men wearing skirted garments was all too common. Pants were originally an invention to make it easier to ride a horse. The idea stuck, and the two-legged garment became standard apparel for working men, a way to counter the cold and abrasion. The political rise of the working class in the 1800’s transformed the workman’s attire into a symbol of raw power against the pompous and flagrantly dressed gentile statesman at the polar ends of the political and fashion spectrum. Since then pants have appropriated the symbol of masculinity in menswear.
Certain designers, like Galliano, have always promoted and highlighted the skirt as a form of masculine dress, but it was not until last seasons fashion shows for Fall/Winter 2010 that we saw such an emphasis on “Men in Skirts”. Nearly half of the designers who presented had some form of a skirt in their runway collection. Designer Marc Jacobs has been drilling the kilted skirt into our heads for the past few seasons, wearing it almost as a uniform, which is quickly becoming a staple of his personal style. With all this fashion buzz it comes as no surprise that we see these images of fashion forward men around the world wearing skirts in The Sartorialists diary. Though all these group of men are most likely making a statement, and also the men beginning to rediscovering the comfort and practicality of the skirt.
“If one follows the cardinal rule of design; “form follows function”, then it is obvious that the idea of restricting men from wearing skirts today is largely a fashion argument.” – said Jay Dezelic in his essay on “Why Men Should Wear Skirts”.