I didn’t imagine what a burning question this is when starting to browse the web for some material for this blog: I have come across skirt wearing men’s forums and discussion groups; exhibitions in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and New York’s Metropolitan Museum that have explored this topic; and a variety of designers who have dedicated themselves to design men skirts and similar attire. Yet, apparently to little avail. Regression in male’s freedom to dress came with the early Victorian period. Bright colours and luxurious fabrics were replaced by sober dark coloured suits and plain shirts, which dominate most male wardrobes ever since. It seems, much to the anger and frustration of many men who would like to enjoy the same comfort, versatility and variety as their female counterparts others like to redefine established gender roles or simply end what they call “trouser tyranny.”
The answer of Star Trek Next Generation Designers was the “Skant” a short sleeved top with attached skirt which establishes “the total equality of the sexes presumed to exist in the 24th century.” Mind you, in many parts of the world outside the west, it is common to see men in skirt or dress like clothes such as caftans, djellabahs, or sarongs; most famous in Europe, are kilt-wearing Scots. Yet, efforts by various fashion designers such as Jean-Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani, John Galliano, Kenzo, Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto, in the 20th and 21st century to make the men’s skirt street fashion seem not to have made an impact neither has it become more fashionable, nor have we become more tolerant: Male skirts reappearing on New York’s cat walks this July and photos posted by the Sartorialist (excellent fashion blog) received comments such as "it’s just not right…unless, of course, it’s a kilt….. " or “we can’t get past the fact that they’re men wearing skirts, and something about that trend just doesn’t look or feel right.” Yet, some “absolutely love men in skirts.”
whether caftans, sarongs, your own skirts or the Start Trek skant serve as inspiration I challenge you to brighten up and diversify the wardrobes of your male partners and friends! You could start off by sewing a modern kilt using instead of the traditional Scottish Tartan patterns, other materials such as leather, or denim.