Social Question

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Men wearing skirts: Does it bother you? Why or why not?

Asked by JeanPaulSartre (5774 points ) May 5th, 2010

It’s interesting to me that self identified men either don’t wear skirts, or they are “funny” or otherwise marginalized if they do. Do you understand why it’s such a problem? I understand the current social trend, but certainly this wasn’t always the case – what is it that cause the decline of this as an available menswear option? Does it bother you, personally? Why or why not?

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112 Answers

KatawaGrey's avatar

Personally, I don’t care. I think people should wear they are comfortable with and if that means someone who identifies with the masculine gender wants to wear a skirt, well, that’s his prerogative. Personally, I find skirts very uncomfortable but that’s just because I’m knock-kneed and my thighs chafe when I wear a skirt.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

If it is not part of traditional attire, I cannot say I am thrilled about it. but if he feels comfortable in one, who am I to judge? Personally, I consider them uncomfortable and movement-restraining.

ubersiren's avatar

It doesn’t bother me at all. It’s a little surprising to see because it’s not very common, but I don’t really care. People are categorized and judged because it’s not traditional and that scares people… which is stupid.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

“The decline of this as an option?” When was it ever an option?

I’ve got the legs to carry it off. You go first.

wilma's avatar

If a guy wants to wear a skirt, I don’t care. I would probably think he was kind of weird, but who am I to judge?

Now a man in a kilt, if he has the right build and personality, that I like.

Pandora's avatar

I guess it would depend on their legs. If they look too girly or skinny, I wouldn’t care for it. It also depends on the skirt. It will have to be knee length. Any shorter than that may show more than I want to see in public and the skirt would have to be plain, like in Roman days. Actually would prefer a robe that goes halfway to the calves.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It doesn’t bother me – wish other people would feel the same way. Apparently, equality doesn’t go both ways.

Ponderer983's avatar

I always wondered why it was Ok for women to wear pants but not men to wear skirts. It was not that long ago that it was forbidden for women to wear pants, as it was attire only for men. Maybe one day it will swing in that direction that men can feel socially accepted for wearing a skirt, but who knows. But if I saw one now, I would look twice. But as many others have said, who am I to judge them?

faye's avatar

Men were testing skirt wearing back in the 70’s. They discovered what women knew, life is easier in pants. If a man wants to though, that’s his business.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Wouldn’t bother me at all. And I agree with @Ponderer983 – pants were made for men, so why was should it be acceptable for women to wear clothes “for” men, but not the other way around? It’s completely hypocritical.

poofandmook's avatar

as long as the bits and bobbles are covered, I could care less.

Draconess25's avatar

If they have nice legs & the right bum, I’m all for it! Neither of my girlfriends will wear skirts, though….

Sarcasm's avatar

It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I’d be jealous of the guy for having the cajones to pull it off.

thriftymaid's avatar

I kind of like the whole kilt thing. My daughter went to a college where the fraternities wore kilts to the ballgames and other school functions. It was a very Scottish traditional school. It’s hard to imagine men wearing skirts as an everyday thing in America.

tinyfaery's avatar

I think it’s kinda hot.

Vunessuh's avatar

It would only bother me if his legs looked more fabulous in that skirt than mine did. :D

ETpro's avatar

Just custom, I guess. Back when flowing robes or “skirts” were traditional garb, they would have thought a man in pants was a loon for wearing such odd attire. I abide by present convention, but the thought has corssed my mind that on a hot summer day, it might feel nice to have air flowing “up there”.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

I started thinking about this because of Star Trek, actually. In the pilot episode of the 80’s incarnation of the series (The Next Generation), some men were shown in dress-like uniforms similar to some of the women. Apparently public outcry put an end to this (so they did away with the dresses for everyone.) I just wondered what causes this to change over time, and at what point we’d accept something like that again. I personally have no problem with it.

Storybooklover's avatar

I’ve seen guys in HOT TOPIC dressed in long black skirts and gay guys in drag in skirts. No it didn’t bother me. I guess it would depend on the person and/or occasion.

poofandmook's avatar

My good friend played a drag queen on Broadway for several months and he wore short black dress and 4 inch heels for his first song. He definitely had better legs than all the girls in the cast, and they all knew it.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’m not bothered by it. Now if it were, say, a 30-something Dave Foley, then I’d have to smack him for having such a better figure than me (never mind the make up and drag. I simply wouldn’t look that good in a wedding dress).

mcbealer's avatar

guys in kilts=hot… a mental image of Sting when he got married comes to mind, although I couldn’t find a pic online.

here are some other examples

roundsquare's avatar

@Ponderer983 I’ve always thought this was a symbol of women’s movement for equality. I.e. as women moved to get equality with men, one of the things they did was adopt traditionally male attire. This was probably more symbolic than anything else, but it was a strong symbol. There has been no similar movement for men to gain the rights women have, and hence no symmetric movement towards wearing skirts.

bob_'s avatar

It wouldn’t bother me, but I’d think he’s just trying to be “different”.

@Vunessuh That’s impossible ;)

MacBean's avatar

Gotta love a dude in a dress. Gotta love ‘im even more if he’s a straight dude in a dress.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I have no problem concerning men in skirts.
What I really miss is the sight of women in dresses and skirts. Yes jeans are more convenient and allows for more freedom but it is such a treat to see women dressed up in dresses or skirts, It’s so classy and attractive. Yes, it’s hot too!

ucme's avatar

I’d be all for wearing a nice figure hugging pencil skirt.Only one issue I can see would be the fact I go commando, a slight chill around my gentlemans vegetables would possibly spoill it for me.

casheroo's avatar

No it doesn’t bother me. I don’t know why it would.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

If men wanted to wear skirts, then they would. What’s hard to understand about that?

roundsquare's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Seriously? Thats not true at all. They would probably still not do it for fear of being socially outcast.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@roundsquare you may suppose all you want on which came first here, the “not wanting to wear a skirt (because I’m afraid of people’s reactions)” or “feeling like if I wear a skirt I will be a social outcast (and therefore ‘not wanting’ to)”, but if you look at some of the things men do wear (and do) in public, then you might realize that they don’t give two hoots for “society’s approval”:

baseball caps worn at all angles, in all company, and in any place, no matter how stupid-looking
pants worn so low as to make a mockery of ‘modesty’
wife-beater t-shirts with nothing covering
facial hair that defies all convention (and sometimes physics and biology)
ponytails, and shaved heads
earrings, necklaces, bracelets, piercings of all styles (the only jewelry that women wear that I haven’t seen duplicated on men is “brooches”—maybe that’s just because I haven’t looked hard enough)

And as commonplace as some of those things are, if you’re as old as I am you realize that these things were NEVER seen (at least in the USA) at one point. Imagine the Michael J. Fox character going back to 1950s USA and replicating any of the ‘looks’ above.

I still say that if men want to do it, then they will. Personally, I like pants.

noodlehead710's avatar

Hah, when I played Ultimate in college, at least half our players would wear skirts on the field. In addition to looking sick-nasty, you could get many more “leg blocks” when a disc couldn’t be thrown between your legs.

@CyanoticWasp Brooches! now that’s a trend worth starting!

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@CyanoticWasp but the things you mention there are socially accepted – maybe not by “mainstream,” but certainly you could easily find a community where people wouldn’t think twice about any of that. (and what’s wrong with a shaved head!? This baldy wants to know!) I can totally see a “man’s skirt” becoming mainstream – but it would have to be “manly” in some other way (eg kilts which, I agree, are wicked). I totally see what you’re saying of course, that those styles, if done 60 years ago, would look insane, but to an equal degree, women wearing short skirts would as well.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre how do you suppose things move from where they were 60 years ago when they were ‘not done’ to now, when they seem to have become somewhat acceptable. (At least by others. I still refuse to accept most of the things on my list.)

The way those things become acceptable is “some dude does it” and endures the ridicule, and other men adopt the fashion. That’s all it is, after all: “fashion”. There was a time when a zippered fly wasn’t “accepted”, nor denim jeans, come to think of it.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Oh no argument there at all. I just wonder why the skirt has been moved exclusively into “womenswear.” It seems like the reaction is more extreme than if a man wore a bearskin coat, or a toilet on his head.

gemiwing's avatar

Nope I don’t care a whit. I would more care that the guy chose a skirt that went with his body shape, coloring and season (not be too outdated) because that’s how I evaluate everyone’s clothing choices. If it was a really hot day I would wonder why he’s torturing himself- breeze or no it gets sweaty up there!

Hubbs has a sarong and he looks great in it. He doesn’t wear it out but if he did I wouldn’t be bothered. If he wore one of my fluffy Spring skirts I would tell him I don’t think it’s a good idea. Just because he’s a shorter fellow and flouncy wouldn’t go with his body type. Better to have a long cylinder than a cone.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre you’re asking a foolish question: “Why has the skirt been moved exclusively into ‘womenswear’?” ... because only women wear them!

Sixty years ago pants / trousers were “exclusively menswear”. Fashion changes. (Maybe if the ‘climate change’ alarmists have the conviction of their concerns, they will be the early adapters to this particular fashion change. I’m not holding my breath.)

Sophief's avatar

It would bother me. I like men to be men.

poofandmook's avatar

Men are still men despite what they’re wearing. Are women not women unless they’re barefoot and pregnant standing at the stove in a dress? How archaic.

Sophief's avatar

@poofandmook My opinion. I like men to be men.

poofandmook's avatar

And my opinion is, there’s still a penis under the skirt. Making him a man.

casheroo's avatar

@poofandmook hey! I resemble that remark ~!

Sophief's avatar

@poofandmook That’s fine, it is a question and answer site, all opinions welcome.

poofandmook's avatar

@casheroo: Well… then put some socks on! ;)

bob_'s avatar

@Sophief Go make me a sandwich, please.

See, I’m a man, and I’m polite. I should get a bonus or something.

downtide's avatar

It wouldn’t bother me. I actually know a guy who does wear skirts, though he’s a goth, and the skirts he wears aren’t particularly feminine ones.
Also I wouldn’t want to tell these guys that they’re dressed like girls. They have guns.
http://comps.fotosearch.com/comp/STK/STK010/greek-military-guards_~NLF1032.jpg

faye's avatar

@downtide Whew, they look silly, tho!!

Sophief's avatar

@bob_ What would you like on your sandwich?

bob_'s avatar

@Sophief You’re the first person to ask! I think I just fell a little in love. I could go for some pastrami, if you got any XD

Sophief's avatar

@bob_ I haven’t actually, but if I had I would make you one.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

Kilts are hot and pretty much are the epitome of manliness to me. I even like the modified modern ones, like so.

downtide's avatar

@faye he looks weird but not silly. Then again he looks just as weird wearing trousers.

faye's avatar

@downtide I was talking about the guys marching in the short white skirts. That’s the picture I saw.

downtide's avatar

@faye apologies – I thought you were referring to my gothy friend. :)

liminal's avatar

It is funny to me names are changed to keep perceptions of masculine and feminine in place. Girls play with dolls, but boys play with action figures. Women wear skirts, but men where kilts.

This man’s relationship with skirts is quite practical: Men in Skirts

I have read that the trousers were commonly used by men in the working class for protection and cleanliness sake. Then the bourgeoisie began to wear them during the french revolution. Which led to the end of the stocking thing. (I think I even read somewhere that James Madison was the first person to wear trousers as we know them.)

Long Live Macabi!!!

Anywho, enough boring people with my predictability ;)

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Thanks @liminal! I can totally see myself in a Macabi!

Aster's avatar

Oh, not at all. I like a man -esp a plumber or carpenter – to show up wearing a skirt and blouse with heels. If he’s comfortable in them it’s so nice he can express himself. The last workman got a run in his pantyhose; boy, was he upset ! I was glad I had enough experience with them that I could help out.
When it came home it was really shocked at first that the workman was wearing my makeup. We all laughed about it, though. After all, it and myself share things regularly.

liminal's avatar

@Aster You haven’t used the tilde at the end of your statements to indicate sarcasm or joking, so I want to check with you first before assuming you are attempting to be funny: Are you attempting humor? Do you assume that all carpenters and plumbers are male? You started a statement with “When it came home…” are you ‘it’ or did you mean to say I? I don’t understand the connection between skirts, blouses, and heels in the context of this question, please help me understand? You also seem to be agitated over the idea of having to share makeup with your ‘it-self’, clarification on this would be helpful also.

Aster's avatar

I was kidding. I have Never seen a man in a skirt except J Edgar Hoover.

NormanL's avatar

I am not homophobic, but I do think it kind of weird to see a man in a skirt.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@NormanL: Why are the two connected?

NormanL's avatar

@KatawaGrey I don’t know. I always associated the two as going together.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@NormanL: I just found it interesting how you equated “not liking men wearing skirts” with “not liking homosexuality.” The way I see it, there are homosexuals and there are men that wear skirts. Sometimes, a homosexual man wears skirts. There is no need to put a caveat saying that you are not homophobic simply because you don’t like the idea of men wearing skirts.

Also, saying you’re not a homophobe makes it sound quite like you are.

NormanL's avatar

@KatawaGrey I have no problem with homosexuals, but I don’t like men wearing women’s clothing. I am sorry, that is just the way I am made.

Aster's avatar

where can I find a man wearing a skirt. Is it commonplace? Can you see it at any mall?? I would take a camera

poofandmook's avatar

@Aster: Would you photograph a woman in a skirt at the mall? No? Then you shouldn’t photograph a man in a skirt either.

Aster's avatar

@poofandmook I would Not photograph a man in a skirt:
1. I’ve never seen one
2. it would be crass
3 . I was joking
4. Where ARE these men?????

ETpro's avatar

@Aster Fortunately, you don’t have to photograph men in skirts. Others have taken care of photographing men in skirts for you.

MacBean's avatar

@ETpro Well, thanks. There goes any hope I had for a productive evening!

Aster's avatar

Nice. I’d like to see them play a great round of golf dressed like that. maybe they don’t like golf? Do they carry purses too?

MacBean's avatar

@Aster: Are you still trying to be funny? Do you realize it’s not working and you sound like an ignorant asshole? If your intent isn’t to offend, I suggest you give it a rest.

tinyfaery's avatar

You can give it a rest even if your intent is to offend.

ETpro's avatar

@Aster Got a lot invested in enforcing sexual stereotypes? I presume that like women, guys wearing skirts would be mindful of the activities they have planned. Not a great choice of outfits for a tumbling act or doing handstands.

poofandmook's avatar

Yeah… wasn’t funny the first time, hence my comment.

poofandmook's avatar

@ETpro: How dare you post delicious links like that when I’m at work and really shouldn’t be drooling everywhere!!

ETpro's avatar

@poofandmook Ha! My bad. I should have put (NSFW) right before the link. Now, where was that URL for the upskirt men site?

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

I love that this thread went crazy while I wasn’t looking!

KatawaGrey's avatar

@JeanPaulSartre: Took you long enough to get back here.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@KatawaGrey Yeah, I’ve been on Fluther sabbatical. Unless something comes up that I just can not ignore.

Aster's avatar

@MacBean If you imagine you can discuss men in SKIRTS with a straight and somber face then why would I care what you think of my posts? Is it a religious thing with you, this skirt deal? Some people have Big Problems but I’m not accusing You of it, of course..

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Aster: I think it’s more of a respect thing. I mean, I certainly don’t point at someone and laugh if I think they look silly nor do I take pictures to amuse myself later.

Aster's avatar

@KatawaGrey I would never consider doing any of those things you describe. That doesn’t mean I don’t have the right to think that men in skirts isn’t crazy, funny, and the product of a sick, attention seeking culture.

MacBean's avatar

@Aster I just really fail to see what’s funny about a man in a skirt. Your “jokes” make you seem small-minded and/or insecure to me. That’s all. If you don’t mind sounding foolish, by all means carry on. The more enlightened will just brush you off into a category with other various -ists that they find not worth their time. Whatever. No skin off my back.

Been letting idiots around here get to me WAY TOO MUCH lately. I’m done with all of ‘em.

Aster's avatar

I am not small minded or insecure but at least I have a sense of humor. Enjoy your skirts and pantyhose. I’ll go smoke a cigar. goodbye.

MacBean's avatar

It’d be hotter if you smoked that cigar while wearing a skirt and pantyhose. Just sayin’.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Aster: You know, it’s funny because used to think the same thing about women wearing pants. But that’s different, right?

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@KatawaGrey WOMEN WEARING…. PANTS!!!????!!! EVIL EVIL EVIL! Kill the witch with holy water and fire! Ah, sorry… Someone might take me seriously.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

If it’s worn as a custom or for ceremonial purposes, like a kilt, then I have no problem with it. But for a man to wear a girly skirt——no! It’s the same thing with some of the “masculinized wear” of women’s clothing——like the big shoulder pads of women’s dresses in the 80s, or the mannish-looking boots or shoes that are deemed fashionable for girls. Yeech. Sorry, but it just doesn’t look right when one sex tries to emulate the other.

poofandmook's avatar

I’m a WOMAN who hates wearing skirts, and yet I’m offended by you, @Aster.

Aster's avatar

I’m a woman who hates wearing skirts and I am sorry I’ve offended you, poof.

xb12x's avatar

I was at the pub in Calgary; I was wearing my family tartan. I was asked by this bloke “why are you dressed like a woman?” My reply was “look around, all the women around here are wearing pants, why are you dressed like a woman?”

KatawaGrey's avatar

@xb12x: Hell to the yeah! Just out of curiosity, what is your clan tartan. I’m a Wallace so i always want to know. :)

CyanoticWasp's avatar

The clothing people wear—or don’t wear—has never upset me yet. I can’t imagine the case where it will. Skirts on men? Who cares, really?

If it becomes fashionable, I might even do it myself. I have the gams for it.

jeanfor's avatar

I wear kilts and plaid pleated skirts and I do not see no issue in doing so. But no feminine skirts. I am not trying to look like a girl. I will wear black boots and black socks. I think skirts are better suited to men anatomy than pants. If we do not se more men in skirts is because men are just too afraid to make the first step. Once you try we will be addicted. But I do not like dresses on men

jeanfor's avatar

I wear kilts and plaid pleated skirts and I do not see any issue in doing so. But no feminine skirts. I am not trying to look like a girl. I will wear black boots and black socks. I think skirts are better suited to men anatomy than pants. If we do not see more men in skirts is because men are just too afraid to make the first step. Once you try you will be addicted. I do not like dresses on men unless it is a real tunic.

arturorapido's avatar

Only if I can see their haggis!

SavoirFaire's avatar

I had a friend in college who wore skirts all the time. I didn’t even notice it at first, but apparently it upset several female students. I have no idea why.

My answer, then, is that it doesn’t bother me because it doesn’t affect me (to the point where I don’t even notice all of the time).

NailsandEarrings's avatar

I’ve carefully read the above discussion. I would like to say that I have recently begun wearing nail polish on hands and toes of all colors. I thoroughly enjoy it. I just bought a pendant to wear with my earrings and I am very straight and religious and do not wish to look like a woman. I would like to say that if skirts became commonplace, I would wear them. The idea is very appealing. I even began to wear earrings, painted nails and pendant to work and I work in a very large retail bookstore in a large city and received nothing but positive comments. I feel that the same would happen if men started to wear skirts. One just has to feel good about himself and just do it. A lot of acceptance is how you carry yourself. To those who disagree…fine you are welcome to your opinion and I respect you for it…..but give me the same courtesy and respect my opinion as to the acceptability of skirts.

Nitram's avatar

It does not bother me at all! The reason might be because I am wearing skirts and kilts since I have to wear heavy support stockings. Under pants unbelievable because heat extends the son (tissue) and would make my problem worse. So what possibilities do I have? None, but go skirted.
Summary: I wore skirts (even I hated it first because I looked different) for healthy purposes first to stay alive, today I enjoy it and my essential support stockings doesn’t bother me anymore.

mcbealer's avatar

update and gasp I cannot believe several months later how long this thread has gotten!!

anyhow, here’s my update: I spent the majority of this past summer having happenstance encounters with my next door neighbor, who donned a kilt all summer long. Ugh. If only he weren’t such a weirdo. oh well. suffice it to say, he has pretty much corrupted my kilt fantasy.

Martinus's avatar

No, it does not bother me at all. I like to see innovative and creative ideas for men’s clothes, and skirts and dresses are exactly what was missing in past men’s wardrobe. I am going to consider skirts for me too. It makes sense reading that skirted garments are the most comfortable wardrobe for men’s bodies.
And, skirts are not a female garment. Looking in all dictionaries I found out that all saying that skirts are a garment hanging from the waist downward….. Mostly worn by women and girls. No word about that is only an garment for them, just they wore it because men in western societies didn’t. Checking the history I found out that more than 50%of all men today wearing regulating skirted garment in hundreds of different styles. So why not starting with comfortable dressing today….. With skirts.

KatawaGrey's avatar

It’s the one year anniversary of this question! Thank you for answering, @Martinus, so that we may both be enlightened by your answer and informed of this event. :)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I think I’d have to laugh if a man was wearing a skirt with lace or ruffles or something… but men in kilts are uber sexy.

ETpro's avatar

Looking at this Google search for men in skirts I am sure it will happen. Some look silly, but some are pretty hot.

Herba's avatar

No it doesn’t bother me at all. Why should it be? Is there anything wrong with it? Clothes are supposed to be cover the body and it should feel comfortable. So i think men should feel comfortable as women, i do not see any difference. On the other hand i domt want to sexualize clotjes as many people do because it is just silly to think pants for men and skirts for women. History told us that men only wore skirts in past, women wore long dresses because it followed the very natural way of dressing. Men’s clothes inspired women’s since thousand of years!
I would recommend to change this question because Sigmund Freud said it clear: “Anatomy is destiny…..” and clothes follow the function. That means men have to give up their pants right away because it is against their natural way of dressing.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)

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