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Man-Up Monday: Men In Skirts?


Recent designs.  From left, John Galliano, Comme des Garcons, and Etro. Photo: imaxtree

Two hundred years ago, if you were to mention the word “pants” to someone, they would think you were crazy (and ask what you were talking about.)  Most societies wore skirted garments (yes, even men!) until these skirts were “split” to make riding horses a bit easier.  The political working class of the 1800′s transformed the workman’s garments into a symbol of power, and it stayed that way.  Fast-forward a few years to 2010 and the thought of a man in a skirt may inspire laughter–though it may not be as crazy as you think!  I have spotted men in skirts and kilts on the streets lately and I also know that the handsome Marc Jacobs is a lover of the look.  This trend really exploded on the scene in Fall 2009, but has not gained mass popularity in America (though Europeans have begun to wear them.)  Maybe in 5 or 10 years men NOT wearing skirts will be a silly thought!  Personally, I believe you should wear what makes you feel good, but I must ask you men out there:  Would you wear a skirt or a kilt?  Do you think this trend will catch on in America?

Leave your thoughts in a comment and let me know what you think (ladies too!) 


p.s. Check back here tomorrow (Tuesday) for a post from our newest Guest Blogger!

**Have a look at the gallery and see for yourself how men are wearing skirts.  I think some of the looks are very chic.  See for yourself!**


As a kilt wearer, I have to say most if not all the guys except maybe three are very gay-looking. Strictly speaking I would call most of these garments skirts because most are not knee-length, do not have distinct apron on the front, and you definitely do not let under garments show like the spandex. Your examples and gallery are like Kilt What-Not-To-Wear 101.
I have some gay friends and they all hate my kind of kilt. A couple would like these dressy numbers on this blog, but I believe your story is on two fronts. You are making the assumption that modern kilts have to look trendy like what gay models would wear, but the real, not to mention growing in popularity, kilt front is either causal kilts, everything from Utility Kilts, SportKilts, NeoKilts, Alt.Kilts, Freedom Kilts, and many other afordable not-so-woolen tartan laden kilts or even the traditional woolen kilts steeped in Celtic tradition. If you visit SportKilt, check out their galleries, you will not find gay kilts like these on this blog, but sailers launching jet fighters off carriers to all kinds of activities you can do in a Kilt.
And I also have to say it takes a special kind of man to wear a kilt. I read recently where some teen choir boy was embarrassed at a concert where another student just walked up and pulled up his Kilt in front of the whole audience. The boy did nothing. This is not in good form, that if anyone does something like that to you and because you are wearing a Kilt means you stomp them into the ground, or die trying. This has to be the spirit of kilt wearers in America, otherwise we will all be a joke. And we have to practice what we preach, as I have a kilted friend who got jumped at the pub and he had to have a plate put in his hand after sending three to the ER, one to the ICU. If we get enough of that, the smiles and taunts will be a bit more careful.
It’s critically important that we kilt wearers get some acceptance for what we want to wear and have the right to wear it.
The other big loser was the letter carrier who had to drop his kilt after a few years on the job, his union thought it would be an occupational hazzard even those women letter carriers are able to wear their skirts, which is nothing more than discrimination. This is what we really have to fight.


A kilt is a skirt for instance, and I am calling myself a skirt- and kilt-wearer. Original kilt supposed to be a traditional garment for Scotts and Irish. Modern “kilts” are kilt styled skirts.
To the question: Yes I think it is possible that a lot of Americans will follow the new men’s fashion trend. I am an educator and I have to wear skirts/kilts because of my legs. Since I wear it my students liked it more and mostly female students stated that I would look much better in a skirt than in pants.
I think it is only in our head that we follow unwritten rules wearing just one kind of garment, pants. If some more brave men would come up with skirts/kilts and wear it as a man, they would win straight away. I believe that there is no “fight” necessary, just one thing: Men,wear skirt or kilt, DO IT. That is the only way.


I see men in kilts and skirts, in America, but not like these examples on this page, either on the front page or in the photo gallery for the most part. There are men, then there are gay men, then there are flaming gay men, and then there would be these carnies in skirts. Mainstream American men are not going to dig this kind of fashion as I have to agree with qdbrown, these kilts are way too gay in a time that many are up in arms about gay rights.
I also have to agree with qdbrown that the future is Causal Kilts. I read that UtiliKilt just got picked up by three major outdoor chain retailers including REI Sports. That’s the type of kilt or skirt is what Americans really want, that are made here in the U.S. These kilts tend to be offensive to the Scots as they take a lot of liberties, but we Kilt wearing American gents need to get out of our houses and get out in the streets because I also read that out of every four kilts made in the world, three of them are America bound. The Scottish wear theirs for special times like weddings, whereas Americans wear them to play which is the main difference in attitude and purposes for wearing the Kilt.
I also want to add that the gender divide is closing in. Many men are working relatively easier jobs that do not require them to crawl up and all over their jobs, so in the cubical world and standard employment and education are pretty much open to both genders, then to consider that many men are also dying their hair at times, wearing their hair longer and having overall qualities we would expect in most women, why not the skirt as well? I think the main reason this breech has not been broken is homophobia due to all the gay issues America is currently battling. The day that lessons, the day the Kilt or Man Skirt becomes really mainstream.
I also agree with martinus that I wear my kilts so much as a bagpiper that most of the people in my life do not like me in anything other than a kilt. They become apart of your image.

Barbara Glass

Thanks for your comments on our first Man-Up Monday: Men in Skirts for 2010. It is always interesting to hear another point of view. Thanks for taking the time to air your views.
Wishing you a very happy 2010.

Barbara Glass

Thanks for taking the time to give us your point of view on our first Man-Up Monday: Men in Skirts. We believe that fashion should be about providing options for both men & women. It’s all about finding the style that works best for you. Wising you a happy & stylish 2010.

Barbara Glass

Thanks for all the interesting information. Keep in mind it was only a few decades ago that women like Jackie Kennedy shocked the world wearing pants to church. Change is always a challenge.


Yes, qdbrown, you are right seeing a lot of men liking rough and tough, violent and ruthless. But I am in hope…. in hope that we can learn people using first brain and no fist.
Back to your comment about liberals: I think so that liberals always a kind of rebel. And I am not hiding because I’m a skirt rebel (smile).
My experiences are -living now in North- are very psoitive, even in church. Some men after service came and like to know more details, where to buy a skirt, etc. I couldn’t believe it, during time I talked with them an elderly lady with walk assistance came up so fast to me that everybody was wondering how she could move with this speed and want to shake my hands: “I am happy that I could live to see a man in a skirt… thanks you” (3 times).
In case of job: My employer told me if I want to wear a skirt it is fine (but I have to) but only some things I want to ad: Be confident with it and don’t show too much leg (not shorter than 17 inches). That’s all.
So, I am a daily skirt and kilt wearer, never I had a bad comment.
Thank you for your comment, too.

Barbara Glass

Thanks for your comments along with some excellent suggestions on wearing the skirt/kilt.
Nice to learn that people are very accepting of your choices.
Happy 2010!


Thank you, Kilted Hoosier; Well, I don’tknow too much about central Midwest but I can tell something about Midwest, and in our area people actually don’t care when men wearing skirts. As already written I had some very nice talks, nice comments & compliments. That might be in the history too, because until mid 1940′s boys wore skirts in different styles up to age of 13-15 years. It was also common to wear skirts with long stockings,(with garter belt) mostly in white color. (Girls wore until they could wear pants just dresses) Little boys usually wore dresses.
Even it is history now, the way shows that men always were connected to skirts. When men starting again using skirts as every day wardrobe it would be the right step forward.

Barbara Glass

Once again thanks for providing some history on men wearing skirts.
Every Monday is the day that Men Speak, so keep an eye out for this coming week. Look forward to suggestions from you.
Thanks & happy weekend.


While I like skirts, the skirts depicted in the photos here are not what the average male would wear. They are either to long or look silly at best. I wear skirts and skorts during the warmer months of the year here in Northeast Ohio and I would never wear any of those depicted. I am quite satisfied with pleated a-line skirts. They don’t have to be plaid either. Most of my skirts are at knee lenght or slightly above, as well as my skorts. The colors are what most men wear Navy blue, black or khaki. I have however looked at a couple of printed skirts, but they were toned down as compared to what some women wear. I am not gay, nor does my attention turn in that direction. I wear the skirts for comfort, NO other reason. If the designers want to introduce skirts for men, then they should look at what guys would really wear, not some abstract design. Currently I own 13 skirts and 6 skorts for warm weather wear, winters are to harsh here for skirts. The same thing could be said for dresses, but they would probably have to look more like old roman tunics to get them to be accepted into the male world of fashion. The reason for the last statement is because there are other groups that are seeking to promote dresses for men.


That’s why you wear 18 ounce wool during the winter. Unless it’s below zero, those kilts will keep you warm. In fact you have to hang them up once above 60 because you burn up in them.
The only part that gets cold is your knees, and maybe a few inches above, but you will be very warm to where a cool knee will feel not so bad.

Barbara Glass

Thanks for your interesting comments. In Chicago we are always looking for ways to keep warmer during the winter months.


Finally I saw that I am not alone with the idea wearing skirts. In the Metro-Detroit area in a shopping mall. Black A-lined skirt with black stockings, black shoes, black turtle-neck and leather jacket. No wonder that people were looking at him instead at me, in just a kilt.


I’ve always felt it unfair that women enjoy such a wide range of fashion choices while men have only a handful of options. Jeans in three colors, slacks in three colors, and polos, shirts and t-shirts in about seven muted “masculine” colors. Men wear a uniform in every single aspect of life, from the golf range to the workplace.
It was a little over a hundred years ago that a woman was brave enough to wear “pantaloons” in public, shocking everyone. My own mother- a baby boomer- bucked the school system by refusing to wear the required skirt/dress to school in the 1960′s. First Lady Kennedy was spoken of earlier. Women fought for and won their civil rights, as well as vast freedom of expression they enjoy. They don’t wear uniforms. No ties. No standard colors. They are much, much too creative and free for that.
Men should follow women’s lead, but if we did that, we’d be giving up our power wouldn’t we? We’d be giving up our precious (and limiting) masculinity. It was okay for women to move across the gender gap and assume masculine traits, fashions and responsibilities because masculinity is “good”. On the other hand, our reluctance to cross the gender divide in their direction must be an admission that femininity is “bad”.
Personally, I could use a skirt. I could use floral prints and bright colors. I could also use more emotional leverage, and more parental trust (if I should ever get divorced and find myself in a custody battle). I think it’s time men change, just as women did.


ShaunR, it is in hand of men today to make the change. There are no restrictions or laws that will forbid to wear something different. What we need is a lot of brave men to go forward skirted.
I already wear kilts and skirts, no problems at all, and as you can read in my past comment, I am not alone anymore.
What I have to do is just going on with showing up a lot in public with my skirts, and you should do it, too.