Men's Fashion Debate - The Man Skirt

Once again fashion is causing a stir for people who have no intention in following it.

As the man skirt gets more and more popular, and we’re not talking traditional native kilts here, it is certainly causing a controversial debate not only among fashionistas but Liberal human rights organisations.

I am not yet sure if I am a fan of the Man Skirt from a fashion point of view, none-the-less I am a supporter of sexual liberation in clothing, and the man skirt seems to have taken this to a new level. It bemuses me that there seems to be an unseen rule book that states what a man or woman can/cannot wear.

An early example of someone rebelling to this “RULE BOOK” was Emma Snodgrass, who was arrested for wearing trousers in 1852. It wasn’t until 1914, 62 years later it was made legal (that’s right, legal) for women to wear trousers, however it was still considered controversial for a female to show a bit of ankle. In the 1920’s women finally took on the androgyny look by wearing tailored trouser suits with skinny ties. However 30 years later with the Stepford look of the 1950’s it was again frowned upon for women to dress in trousers (seems as though society took a few hops up the gender equality ladder, missed a step and slipped back down again).

In 2009, 67 Filipino men, attending a private party in Saudi Arabia were arrested for wearing “women’s clothing”. (I mean C’mon, hasn’t every man worn some sort of “women’s” clothing at some point in their lives)?

Surely us populace of the 21st century are more open minded than this?

While writing this article and back tracking through fashion history, I can’t help but wonder if this is what’s happening for the male of the species now. Are we following in the footsteps of the women when it comes to fashion liberation? Take a look at men in the 16th century with their flamboyant wigs and high heels. It’s even been said that one of the only differences between the appearance of men and women in that era was the moustache. Look at how much more decorative the male is in more or less every other species on the planet. Maybe as males it is just in our nature to be flamboyantly over the top!

The man skirt first hit the runways at spring / summer fashion weeks in 2009.

Men were paraded down the Catwalk in an array of dress ranging from long flowing skirts to black kilts and even coullottes. The daring designers who showed skirts on the runway included Alexander McQueen (Editor Note: R.I.P. – Tribute Article early next week), Rick Owens, Comme des Garcons, Jean-Paul Gaultier and of course Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton.

I think Marc Jacobs must be the main promoter of the man skirt whether he’s donning it with gladiators and a white silk shirt or with military boots and a plaid lumberjack shirt. I must admit (fan or not of the man skirt) he looks pretty amazing. Maybe this is an item that belongs solely on the waists of the burlier man or a tall guy, someone who can make it more “Grrrrr I am wearing a skirt,” rather than “La lalalala I am a pretty little skirt-wearer”!

Speaking to a Scottish friend of mine, I am aware that a skirt or (kilt in his case) is not one of the most practical things to wear, apparently using a urinal proves to be a bit of a tricky situation, but lets face it fashion never is painless.

I imagine this coming summer will NOT see an array of men lounging on the beach in a leopard print knee-length or handing in the tailored trousers to strut in to their office in a woollen A-line. But who knows, I’ve heard it’s taking quite a strong hold in America. I’m intrigued to see how a man will tackle the infamous Marilyn Monroe air vent scenario!

I’m intrigued to find out your opinions on this, so please get involved and join the debate.