Friday, 8 May 2009

Picture Postcard: Men in skirts

Dearest EJ

We have been meaning to talk about the interplay between the social constructs of masculinity with men's fashion and style for some time now but however many posts we draft, we ultimately do not know where to begin...with this in mind why not start with a picture postcard?

To get the ball rolling, let's go straight for the jugular and start a little discussion on skirts. I read a funny piece in 10 Men by Dereck Blasberg talking about men in skirts and his own experiences showing off his calves. He opened the article by admitting that he idolises Marc Jacobs, so much so in fact that he would do anything he told him to, including standing in a chemist wearing a skirt. For him donning a skirt initially feels like waving a flag, declaring to the world that he is gay but Jacobs pushed him to try out this taboo garment. Of course, for Spring/Summer 09 there was a handful of designers who worked the skirt, including Comme des Garcons (seemingly a constant fixture each season), Number (N)ine, Gaultier, McQueen, Owens, and Yohji Yamamoto but he, like most men needed to see someone other than an eighteen year old pretty boy wearing one. I am reminded of Fantastic Man's recent Men in Skirts editorial which styled the skirt and presented it in a much more 'butch' way with 'real' men proudly display their legs. It certainly was refreshing to see a different type of chap wearing a skirt but I wonder if it led to any copy cat adventures? Are there any readers out there who dared to bare?

So how did the 10 chap fare, I hear you ask!? Well, after getting over the initial feelings of interpretation he grew to love the feeling of freedom afforded to him by the flowing fabric. The love affair was short lived the following day however, when he fell over. This embarrassment induced the realisation that initial liberation afforded to him by the skirt was short lived and actually made him feel like 'he did not want to go to the circus ever day.' In fact, as he was helped up he was told "Well, if you're not Scottish, you're just a guy in drag" and I know most people would agree with that.

Over the coming weeks I want to explore society's attitudes to various items of men's clothing and the role that hegemonic notions of masculinity play in shifting style over time but for now I am off to Kent for a weekend by the sea and old folk. Will I be wearing a skirt in the Spring sunshine? Not bloody likely, I'll be wearing my 'safest', most acceptable items of clothing to avoid name calling, finger pointing and even violence. Have I ever told you how a mini brawl erupted after a few hoodlums took offence at the colour of my striped jumper? If not, oh well, another time...

Have a great weekend

Steve

9 comments:

~ Faith said...

Personally, I think there's nothing hotter than a confident man in a kilt, but then again I'm part Scottish and seeing men in kilts doesn't really phase me. I wish it was more socially acceptable for men to wear what they want, geesh, stupid society.

~Faith

Brandy Shaloo said...

I recently saw a man in a skirt and his legs looked much greater than most women's do... but it's still too weird to see men in skirts unless they're scottish...

Martin said...

I wish skirts would happen over there, like short shorts right now. If it's not happening in Europe, what more in the Philippines haha. I'd give it 20 more years.

Robbie Delon said...

Haha, before actually rocking a skirt, I would recommend you wear it at home for a day and see how it goes, get confident in it and most importantly comfortable. Above Martin said 20 years, Ill say 10 years at the max for it to be completely acceptable because many men are already considering wearing skirts (much thanks to blogs like yours, editorials and even fashion shows) and many men already started wearing skirts too. Over the next few seasons it will only be pushed more and more.

naboonies said...

The skirt wearing phenomenon is likely in the fashion cities but definitely not happening in mine. I'd say Martin is correct, for small South East Asian countries like Malaysia this is extremely frowned upon! I'd say 15-20 more years (for small SEA countries)

Ian Brown said...

Personally I would have no problem rocking a skirt as I've worn enough bizarre items in public I no longer care what most people think about anything. Most people are so insecure about the most minor aspects of their wardrobe and they naturally like to impute their self-seriousness onto others.

P.S. I want to hear this story about the brawl soon.

Anonymous said...

Skirts are great, also for non-gay men, like most clothing it is the confidence and cockiness of the wearer that makes clothing great. The liberty a skirt gives to the crotch area is fantastic. For some reason I detest getting my legs wet and as Dutch weather is generally moist I have almost always felt uncomfortable in skirt, also as the wind irritates my genitals and thighs. Riding a bicycle with a skirt is worst.
To me a good skirt should be like a skort (sounds more straight forward and practical to me) without much draping and moving around. And most important a good waist, not creating round hips but celebrating the masculine no-nonsense power hip.
It will come around as it is a great piece, the possibilities are great and historically it is the beginning of men's fashion.

TheSundayBest said...

You first.

Ca said...

It still makes me sad how conservative and restricted some people within certain regions are. How they cling to old and suppressing values which affects others who simply just want to explore and express their personality, given any style sense.

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