Men in skirts

“The skirt makes the man” – with this slogan Sandra Kuratle, a stylist from Zurich, is promoting her new collection of men’s skirts AMOK. Surprisingly, her products are selling well in Switzerland, Germany or the Netherlands….

Men in skirts

The forerunner of this fashion trend is considered to be Jean-Paul Gaultier, who presented the first models of men’s skirt already in the mid-eighties during the show of his collection “Wardrobe for two”. His example was followed by many respected contemporary designers: Dolce&Gabana, Kenzo, Nikos and Karine Hamnet. Skirts and kilts made especially for men can now be purchased in the stores of renowned fashion brands such as H&M, Levis and C&A. Comfilon has even created tights with men in mind, so that the problem of leg shaving is no longer a problem. As the designers say, their aim is not to shock the public. They just want to resurrect the tradition of the male skirt in European culture, since only here have men so clearly shed the skirt by tying themselves to pants.

Against male nature?

Men who wear skirts or tunics in our culture look ridiculous or effeminate. Such clothing is only fit for a transvestite or a cabaret actor. Because in our culture, pants, although worn by the vast majority of women, are still an expression of dominance and masculinity. The woman who makes the final decisions at home is said to be the one who wears the pants in a relationship – to this same man we match the skirt and the label of a panto. We recognize that this “woman who wears the pants in the relationship” has stripped him of his masculinity.

Very masculine dresses

However, we forget that from the earliest times, men wore clothes resembling today’s skirt shape, and their position was stronger than today. Ba! On every continent we can still find a nation or ethnic group where the tradition of the male skirt has survived to this day! Interestingly, this happens mainly in patriarchal cultures, i.e. with a strong male position. For example, the traditional male attire in Muslim countries is called the galabiyah. And although this outer garment does indeed resemble a dress, Arab men cannot be regarded as effeminate panto men. What is more, they have a position in their homes that european men can only shyly and secretly dream about in front of their partners. Perhaps the argumentation of contemporary designers that a real man looks manly even in a skirt is applicable here?

As in the times of Braveheart

In Europe men’s skirts survived only in the form of the Scottish kilt or the Greek fustanella. While in Greece the tunic called fustanella is slowly becoming a thing of the past (worn only occasionally at weddings), the kilt is experiencing a true renaissance, becoming a Scottish trademark and a source of national pride. The kilt is a flared, pleated skirt made of tartan decorated with a Scottish check. The colors of the kilt used to signify membership of a particular clan but today remain a matter of taste and style. In the old days the kilt was reserved for men but nowadays it can be worn by all Scots. However, the sporran, a handbag hanging from a strap, remains the exclusive privilege of gentlemen. Legend has it that poor Scottish warriors, who could not afford professional armor, wore stiffened bags to protect their most precious body part. As an interesting fact, it is said that under this national skirt you do not put underwear.

In the land of Bollywood

Men on the Indian subcontinent wear a traditional outfit called a dhoti. Shiny, ornate silk or cotton in bright colors is pinned around the waist so that it resembles a wrinkled tunic. By exposing the legs almost to the knees, it is easy to recognize that this is a man’s outfit, that is, to distinguish a dhoti from a sari. Pants are not popular on other continents either. In Mexico, men prefer the traditional joubba dress. Many African tribes consider their national tunics more comfortable than pants. In Uganda, although pants can be worn every day, only a skirt can be considered festive attire.

Will Poles wear skirts?

The first designs of men’s skirts caused only mockery among Polish men. They swear that they will never wear a skirt. According to the sociological theory, such adulation is of little use, because every fashion goes through the same three phases. First comes the innovation (here the men’s skirt), which entails strong opposition and in time turns into adaptation. After all, men have already accepted flip flops, pink shirts or ties, shoulder bags…. Skirts are just a matter of time.

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