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When Butches Talk About Men Wearing Skirts …

January 14, 2010

… they’ve got my attention.

I’ll admit right up front that I don’t know what the takeaway from this is, but I feel like I have to comment on it. Sinclair Sexsmith is an excellent writer, and his thoughts on masculinity, coming from his (it’s a noun not an adjective) butch perspective, have got my attention. Sinclair’s piece When Men Wear Skirts is over at Carnal Nation, and it’s not brand new, but I’m just getting to it. He’s got other pieces on the topic, like the “Manifesto for Radical Masculinity” and “How To Make Masculinity Stop Hurting“.

Since I don’t know what to say, I’ll use some blockquotes, tell a few anecdotes, and probably conclude by pretending I have something to add. Here goes:

men still cannot wear skirts by choice. Sure, there are hakama, the Japanese wide-legged pants that samurai wore, and there are kilts (and the cultural assumptions around Scottish masculinity also say that Scotsmen are strong, capable, and prone to violence, so we dare not insult a man wearing a kilt)—but we can’t even call these garments a “skirt”, that word is too femininely gendered. Could we even entertain the idea of a man’s dress? Ha! A man in a dress—that is pretty much the (untasteful, probably) punchline to a joke, not an acceptable garment possibility for men.

There are even some particularly manly skirts out there: like Utilikilts, which are made in Seattle, where I went to college. I remember my college roommate, any time we saw a man wearing one, saying, “Awww. He needs a hug,” because it was obvious to her that his masculinity was compromised, and he now is sensitive, soft, and caring. Not manly, not studly, not just some guy in a skirt, but emasculated, because of his garment, because of his gender presentation.

Sure, perhaps not all men or masculine folks want to wear skirts—I sure don’t. I don’t really want to pursue baking, scrapbooking, or sewing as one of my hobbies, either. But feeling as though I cannot pursue any of these hobbies because of the social consequences makes me want to partake just to be a thorn in someone’s side. Everybody should have the choice to pursue whatever hobby, interest, activity, or presentation that catches their particular fancy.

[Emphasis supplied.]

The meat of the thing is that end bit about the constaints of the binary. If all this stuff that people do is coded, and our gender performance is policed for whether we’re doing it right, we’re all limited as people. That’s a losing proposition for everyone. Critically, it’s not an equally losing proposition, and some people end up relatively better even if absolutely worse, which is why we’re stuck with this shitty mess.

But Sinclair already said that. So instead I’ll add an anecdote about kilt-wearing. I’m a Scot. I was born in the United States, so I’m a diaspora Scot. My dad’s an immigrant, I’m in touch with the family back in Scotland and in Canada (where Scots as an ethnic group are much more prominent and cohesive, and where much of the post-WWII immigration from Scotland went). I sometimes wear a kilt, and not just to Scottish events. I wear a kilt, for example, to formal-dress lawyer events.

The attention it draws is jaw-dropping, by the way. Some of my colleagues have been amazed at the way folks flock to me, want to tell me that they have some Scottish ancestry, or that they know what that little knife is called, or that they don’t know what that little knife is called.

But I do get gender-policed. Lots of my colleagues almost seem to feel compelled to refer to my kilt as a “skirt.” Perhaps they want to see if they can get a rise out of me, but they mostly know they can do that by making a sexist joke. So it must be that they need to defuse some tension. There’s an ethnic aspect to that, which is beyond the scope of this post, but it’s mostly a gender issue. They literally understand that I’m from an ethnic group where men wear a particular skirt, but at some level they can’t process it, and feel they have to comment on the dissonance. It’s like they’re saying, “doesn’t your culture’s clothing have a meaning in ours that makes you uncomfortable?” The answer is that it doesn’t make me uncomfortable, but it obviously does them.

Sinclair goes on:

These things are not required by any particularly formal process—it isn’t as though they revoke your driver’s license when you reach a certain number of manly demerits. But the consequences are hard, and they are done through social policing—friends, family, lovers, strangers, coworkers. Most of us are way too eager to step in and make us feel bad about our choice when we’ve stepped outside of our appropriate gender identity.

My boss at a previous job had one single pink button-down that he wore rarely. Once, in the hallway by the elevator, I complimented him on it: “That’s a good color on you,” I said. “Great shirt.” “Thanks,” he said, and sighed. “Every once in a while, I see it in my closet and think, ‘Why don’t I wear that more often?’ Then I wear it to work and take crap all day, and I remember why, and it goes to the back of the closet.”

It wasn’t even a girl’s shirt, it was a men’s dress shirt! Really? That happens? To you, a successful, good-looking, conventional, rather conservative, well-respected boss? So strongly that you won’t wear the shirt again?

I was surprised, then I was surprised that I was surprised. Of course that happens. It happens to me too: even when I wear my pink polo, I occasionally hear people say, “What, going femme on us now?” and “Nice shirt! Ha, ha.” Hello, people: a pink polo is hardly an indication that I am “going femme.” I have been known to quip back: “I am confident enough in my masculinity to wear pink. Ya gotta problem with that?” Even still, it hurts. It’s not overt, but it’s a little pinprick to my gender presentation, and a little pinprick of social shaming for my tiny, tiny range of gender expression.

[Emphasis supplied.]

I have two pink shirts. I never used to buy pink shirts. But then one day my son said that boys don’t wear pink. I went right out and bought two pinks shirts. I like my pink shirts. I don’t put them in the back of the closet. I wear them in the regular rotation. But this? “I am confident enough in my masculinity to wear pink. Ya gotta problem with that?” Yeah, I do that.

There’s a particular way that some of us cissexual het guys challenge gender norms. Not quite ostentatiously, but … confrontationally. The “ya gotta problem widdat?!” approach; there’s swagger and attitude about it which is kind of defensive, like when we do it, we’re spoiling for a fight, which … is itself masculinizing, as if it’s a carbon-offset for the unmasculine thing we’re also doing to challenge the norm. We can push the boundaries, as long as we don’t exceed our overall average man-credibility doing it. There is an aspect to that that is about how power structures change, and there’s an aspect of personal comfort and cowardice to that. Only someone far smarter than me could disaggregate those dynamics.

Sinclair asks, “Can a butch order a vanilla vodka and cranberry without getting sneered at?” I don’t know. I know when I’m at a bar, I order Shirley Temples. In part, I come by it honestly: I’m a teetotaler, and I have a sweet tooth. Sure, some folks call them “Roy Rodgers” or some other boy name, but then nobody knows what the hell you’re talking about, and I want what I ordered. But then, too, I’m not exactly trying to do it quietly. “You heard me.” Because that’s the way lot of cis het men do feminine things, carefully counterbalanced with a chip on the shoulder. Just sayin’.

Sinclair never says what masculinity is. Not a lot of people do. But Sinclair is asking the best questions.

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106 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2010 6:52 pm

    Eddie Izzard.

    • January 15, 2010 9:32 am

      I love Izzard. I’ve seen him live several times and at one point I could recite Dressed to Kill end-to-end — there’s a story there. But Izzard’s wearing of skirts is part of an entire package of gender activism. He refers to himself as a transvestite and explicitly locates himself as part of the transgender community — without commenting on how other folks receive that identification, that is how he self-identifies.

      So … that’s quite a different thing from butches ordering sweet, fruity drinks and men wearing pink shirts, or from men claiming the right to wear a skirt without cross-dressing.

      • January 15, 2010 1:46 pm

        Wow, totally different take on Izzard. I’ve read him in interviews saying he’d wear the skits regardless of whether they were for men or women, that he’s only a transvestite because of the situation you describe. Without that gender policing, he’d just be a guy in a mini skirt and killer spike heeled boots.

        Anyway, didn’t want to hijack your thread, but at least I did it about Eddie Izzard than, well, about something not Eddie Izzard.

      • January 19, 2010 12:47 am

        Izzard’s also said, though, “they’re not women’s clothes, they’re my clothes.” Similar to what Yvonne said.

        (<3 Izzard!)

  2. chrematisai permalink
    January 15, 2010 8:31 pm

    Thanks for drawing my attention to Sinclair. I’m exploring some gender identity questions of my own at the moment, and I always love to see/hear different takes on female masculinity. Having just recently read S Bear Bergman’s book Butch is a Noun, I can’t recommend hir higly enough.

    Also, at one point, I, too, could recite Dressed to Kill in its entirety. Eddie Izzard is my hero 😀

  3. January 16, 2010 10:44 am

    Thomas, i’m not sure if i understand what’s your point in second-last paragraph (the one about confrontational challenge of cissexuality). I found it interesting and quite timed what with me using rather flashy make-up lately, and the psychical discomfort it brings sometimes. Not that i know what to say about it, but it’s weird.

  4. January 18, 2010 9:34 pm

    I have a lot of problems with conventional masculinity – above all, I’m not particularly good at it. I find it a very difficult performance to carry out – especially the parts of conventional masculinity related to dating and sexuality.

    The bottom line is, I respect women too much to not violate their boundaries – but if you don’t violate women’s boundaries, basically you don’t get to be sexually active – at least not in the circles I move in, because the women in those circles EXPECT men to be aggressive towards them in ways that I’m really not that comfortable with, unfortunately.

    And the whole repressing all of your emotions except lust and rage is not something I’m a big fan of either.

    I’d like to see some serious changes in the masculinity rules (especially as those rules pertain to my community – working class African American men)

    With that said, I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater – and I’m not at all interested in being in any way feminine. There’s no way in hell I’d ever wear any kind of skirt under any circumstances (even if you called it a “kilt” or whatever), because I like being a masculine man.

    I just wish it was easier to be a masculine man and a nice guy at the same time.

  5. January 18, 2010 9:34 pm

    I meant “I respect women too much to violate their boundaries” – I garbled that sentence!

  6. David permalink
    January 20, 2010 8:07 pm

    Those who make fun of men wearing kilts/skirts do not deserve any respect and should be shunned from society.

  7. January 23, 2010 4:47 pm

    My brother, at least once, wore his kilt (in the clan tartan, and I know the idea of clan tartans is a modernism, but y’know, thing) to an American public high school. It is a sign of the awesomeness of my brother that he was, despite doing subversive things like that and never playing football, elected Prom King and the like.

    My favorite photo of him as a teenager is him slouched up against the institutional-green tiled wall, completely grumpy-teenager-who-communicates-in-grunts, talking on the phone, and wearing sneakers, knee-high socks, kilt, and a sports jacket.

    I suppose he comes by some of it naturally; my father, during one of the OMG Gay People Might Be In The Military dustups a while back, made a point of wearing a pink suit jacket to a meeting in the Pentagon.

  8. mara permalink
    January 30, 2010 11:49 pm

    There is nothing wrong with men in skirts. I do not see a skirt as a typical garment because I know that it was a male’s garment only in past. But we wore it constantly, men didn’t.
    I know several men wearing skirts and they looking awesome in it, some for sure better than in pants.
    Men’s wardrobe is very limited in choices and skirts are a good extension. To make skirts as a boudary in gender-roles is totally absurd, because the roles not anymore existent. And homosexual men will wear maybe skirts as homosexual women wear for sure pants. So get over this stupid double standards. Men deserving the same attention like we women!

  9. Wendell permalink
    February 2, 2010 6:39 pm

    “The meat of the thing is that end bit about the constaints of the binary. If all this stuff that people do is coded, and our gender performance is policed for whether we’re doing it right, we’re all limited as people. That’s a losing proposition for everyone. Critically, it’s not an equally losing proposition, and some people end up relatively better even if absolutely worse, which is why we’re stuck with this shitty mess.”

    I loved reading this. And the paragraph you were referring to.

    An anecdote, where I can admit some degree of culpability in one regard as much as my conversant in another regard: I described a male friend–not known to the male friend I was speaking to–as a sweetheart. He replied bemused, saying that’s not something you say to describe a man. I, not able to think of something to say to question his notion of what men can be, explained (apologized?) it away by citing the fact the friend spoken of is gay. As if the association of more “feminine” traits with gay males made it okay. Dumb dumb dumb on my part, falling back on such a construct, and thus dropping the word into another restricted area. The guy I was talking to might need a remedial class on gender policing. I need to assert that this word–among many–is fine for men, regardless.

    As far as a response to someone making fun of a man wearing a pink shirt–and other gender policing, possibly–I think wit and humor can be an effective way of turning it back on them without cis-style posturing. So far I’ve thought of, “Oops, your gender insecurity is showing!” either spoken in a low tone as if to not embarrass the person, or in a playful way which can diffuse things. Borrows the old-fashioned gender policing of telling a woman her slip is showing, and turns it on its head. Please feel free to modify as needed.
    “Insecurity” might be construed as stand-offish by some, though. Substitute “your outmoded notions of gender,” maybe?

  10. David permalink
    February 4, 2010 4:40 pm

    Those who think that the idea of men wearing skirts is ridiculous have a mental illness and need to see a psychologist.

    • Wendell permalink
      February 7, 2010 11:07 pm

      I’m on board with your sentiment, David, though not the content. (However, I realize you could have meant it facetiously!) I agree that it would be the ideal to have a society where the idea of men wearing skirts is accepted, and where the mindset against it is the exception (if not completely disappeared)–that this sort of gender policing should be gone, along with all the rest of gender policing which affects all sexes. However, categorizing this mindset as a pathology does a disservice to those who truly suffer from mental illness. It also isolates the anti-men-in-skirts attitude to the individual, when I’d argue this is a societal, systemic thing, woven into the kyriarchy.

      To borrow and transpose a little from the “Predator Redux” post, while we may not be able to change those who gender police these ridiculous rules, when more of us who are against this policing speak up when necessary, a more widespread (systemic) change in mindset can happen.

  11. bess permalink
    February 8, 2010 8:37 pm

    When do you make the first step? I want to see men in skirts!
    Everyday I see the same picture, men covering their calves, pants which are not fitting their body: uniformity par excellence. Guys, do you like to eat every day the same – life=long. It is like wearing the same stuff, oh sorry, same pants.

    • February 8, 2010 10:41 pm

      I always felt that simplicity in wardrobe was one of the gender advantages of being male – I’m not really into clothes, so I like it that I don’t have to do that much thinking when I get up in the morning… unlike women, who have to make a hell of a lot of decisions about what they are going to wear each day (that’s way too much work)

      • Butterfly permalink
        February 13, 2010 6:18 am

        Lol, speaking as a woman, I’m with you. I always kind of wished we could just “get up and go”, like guys can.

        That being said – I also wish it was more acceptable for guys to put more thought into their wardrobe and be into fashion, IF they wanted to be. People who make fun of guys in skirts are the worst kind of sophomoric.

      • February 13, 2010 10:16 am

        It depends where you live.

        In New York City, there are a LOT of guys who are really into fashion – from all classes and all sexual orientations.

        After all, this city is the heart of America’s fashion industry and the place where the concept of the “Metrosexual” was invented.

        I know truck drivers and construction workers who get manicures, pedicures, facials, pluck their eyebrows and (in the case of the White guys) go to the tanning parlor. And these guys are seriously into clothes and dressing up as well.

        Other areas of the country haven’t caught up with us on that – YET – but I’m sure that will change.

      • Wendell permalink
        February 13, 2010 4:00 pm

        It’s interesting that the label ‘metrosexual’ had to be invented, as if to make sure we knew that the men who engaged in ‘metrosexual’-like grooming habits were of a different ilk than those men who didn’t and are still considered the norm.

        I don’t mean to put you on the spot, MOVIE, REVIEWED–just to point out ideas behind some phrasings, like “women who have to make… decisions about what they are going to wear each day.” The reasons why the women ‘have to’ are interesting!

        I have to admit that while I really dislike wearing suits and ties, when I find clothes I like, in colors I like, and that have a flattering fit on me, it’s a damned good feeling. It really does impart some confidence. And the reasons why this is true are interesting as well! 🙂

      • Avy permalink
        November 27, 2010 4:32 am

        Replying to “I’ve always wished we could “get up and go” like guys can””

        I do. Yeah, some days I worry about matching and I do notice colour combinations (hm, maybe not the red undershirt with the green overshirt), but most days it’s select pants (I only have two pairs because I’m broke), select shirt (one of the clean ones), comb hair, get on with it. And I refuse on principle to start wearing makeup on a daily basis. Do that long enough and people start expecting it.

        I like dressing pretty, but only when I want to. Plus when your normal level of presentation is “Clean, clothes fit properly, hair is combed,” then it doesn’t take much to feel dolled up. Set the bar low, that’s my strategy ^^

  12. Robert permalink
    February 9, 2010 12:35 pm

    To answer your question, WHEN IS THE FIRST STEP GOING TO BE TAKEN, I can tell you that it has been taken. H & M Fashions, who manufacture a Utilikilt, have reached an agreement with several sporting goods stores (names not disclosed) to offer for sale men’s Utilikilts and a limited amount of skirts or skorts. This was in a fashion article published in Jan. 2010 and in a business magazine I saw when I was at the doctors office. I don’t know why the names were not disclosed, probably to set the final agreements as to price, lots and other minor details. I do know that sometime this Spring (April or May) these items are suppose to be fully available. The news blurbs also stated that other designers, with manufacturers, are also negoitiating with their skirts and other apparel to be offered for sale, but no dates have been set.
    Does this mean we will be seeing Skirts and Skorts being offered in the men and boys departments in stores like Walmart or Target, I don’t know. I do know that if it comes to past I will check them out. Of course if they are offered at Walmart or Target they will probably be knock offs of the original designs.

  13. Robert permalink
    February 13, 2010 4:22 pm

    People in our society are intriqued with placing labels on others who are unlike themselves. That is why they call people lesbians, gays, transgendered or wharever. The preceding labels are of course towards sexual labels, but they go further as you know, ie smart people = geeks or nerds, appalacians = red necks or hillbillies, etc, etc,. So naturally they had tyo come up with a LABEL for those individuals who were in touch with both sides of their nature, to wit METROSEXUAL.
    I am sure that more labels will be made in the near future as clothing and attitudes change. You see I support the right of men to wear skirts, kilts or skorts. Before the change over to trousers (pants) a skort was used by different cultures and were worn by men on horseback. If you look at some of the drawings or paintings in museums where it looks like the male is in a skirt you will see on some an undergarment that looks like shorts, that is a skort. Of course as you know skirts were and always have been a male garment throughout history, the romans, the greeks and others worn primarily by the soldiers at the time.
    As far as labels people need to stop this, especially in todays society where there is a greater diversity of individuals. I personally tell people who attempt to label me if THEY WANT TO PLACE LABELS ON SOMETHING OPEN A CANNING FACTORY.

    • Wendell permalink
      February 19, 2010 3:43 pm

      No question, Robert. I was implying how ‘metrosexual’ could be yet another act of othering via labels. It fits into typical hegemonic masculinity/-ities defining it-/themselves as whatever is *not* feminine, *not* ‘gay’, *not* of color, *not* disabled…

      To nitpick, I’d say that there are plenty of metrosexuals who are not in touch with ‘both sides of their nature.’ In fact, many may still define themselves against an “other.”

      Further nitpicking (nothing personal!), instead of ‘both sides of their nature,’ or even metrosexual, I’d say the goal for everyone is understanding and accepting all aspects of their humanity.

      Specific labels–or when chosen by the individual, identities–are dynamic through time, social contexts, and immediate situations. Picture a cloud of identities constantly shifting, with some coming to the fore and others receding, depending on what is going on at the moment, and what the person wishes to come forth.

  14. bess permalink
    March 27, 2010 4:35 pm

    Robert, yes, I know that men are changing in their style of dressing. And it is ovedue, because more than 180 years in the same style might be really boring.
    But think that most men do not spend much attention to that what we call fashion, all what others doing must be okay…. and it’s easy.
    Expressing an own personality in a special way takes time, money and creativity.
    I have in my mind a man, wears whatever he likes and has to get dressed for an evening, not too causual.
    He’ll put out a skirt, dark colored, has to think about a shirt (maybe with a tie), has to chose a jacket or blazer, to wear dark tights, and light shoes. If the skirt doesn’t have pockets he needs a ‘murse’. He would look adorable, maybe just “HOT”, but how many men would do that?

    I would like to see this men, every day, and every time.

    • skirted_in_SF permalink
      April 1, 2010 11:01 pm

      Bess, if that is what you would really like to see, then look me up if you are ever in San Francisco. I wore almost exactly the outfit you described to an evening performance by the San Francisco Symphony in February. Didn’t need one of my purses, (I don’t have any problem with that word) because my male blazer has plenty of pockets for what I needed to carry.

      I’ve been carrying a purse on my weekend day walks around town for the last couple of years. Only recently have I been out and about skirted on weekends. Not always sunny and warm enough for skirts yet, but summer is coming.

  15. Robert permalink
    April 2, 2010 7:28 am

    Believe it or not it was not 180 years ago that skirts and dresses for males disappeared from the clothing stores or in mail order. If you look at Robert Moores site on picasweb you will see that you could buy BOYS DRESSES up until 1941, that was only 79 years ago. There are even pictures on the web of former president Gerald Ford at age 3 wearing a dress, also photos of the Roosevelts. The dresses and skirts were available for boys up to age 15. You also don’t have to go to San Francisco, look at New York, Chicago, Miami or even Milwaukee. I was a Police Officer for 15 yrs. Police are taught to observe their surroundings.
    I have seen a number of men in Skirts and dresses, also boys out playing in them. When you are out and about, get the whole picture. It takes a while to learn, but you will see there are a lot more things happening around you then you could imagine.

  16. April 19, 2010 8:04 pm

    This blog is written with brilliance of analysis and tactical use of words. What I just read is rarely approached. Most of the comments were good. Not the faulty comments! A high percent of society actually believes that biological determinism accounts for clothing behavior (“men wear pants because normal male brain chemistry determines it” or other such toxic mental health cult blather!) They have no historical perspective of how social forces cause clothing behavior—that there is a mass hypnosis principle at work in society incessantly telling us “do this because it’s the thing to do”—and confuse their own INTOLERANCE of individuality with a mythical “disorder” on the part of the intellectually advanced person who is able to transcend the programming and dare to do something differently. Briefly, pants are a HORSEBACK costume and women started wearing pants due to factory work in two World Wars. Men gave up skirts slowly over the ages except in isolated regions like Albania & Greece—whereas when women added trousers they wisely did not renounce skirts. But these forms are “human” not sex specific. They cannot be sex specific due to absence of difference of anatomical interface. They are merely alternate means of lower body covering. Religious fanatics have taken clothing prohibitions to extremes of intolerance, but are quite diluted offenders contrasted to the “mental health” cult which tragically equates mere social conformity with biological health. See extensively documented “Myths Destroyed” pdf free access at link.

  17. mara permalink
    May 21, 2010 8:33 pm

    Maybe some of you have read the book “The New Male” which describes the tragedy to be a male in our time. Whatever you want to try to tell about skirts …. skirts originally a typical male garment and women only wore long dresses. But that’s history.
    We have been sexualized clothes even it is just a garment, in the “main” background was and is business. What men should try is simple: Wear what you like, what you want.
    Back to the beginning: We are facing a new time for men, the old cliche of gender roles are gone, and we have to think critically how we can face our future. A future with men which know now that they are not just “tools”, they are humans with the same right to dress and feel comfortble like women.
    We can’t measure anymore in double standards, we have to be honest. “Time is canging, and we have to change, too, and modify our point of view” (St. Madeline Sophie, 1831, Detroit).It seems to me that people 160 years ago were ahed their time.

  18. Herby permalink
    September 23, 2010 9:37 am

    Skirts are for everyone! Only people in so called “western” societies changing and sexualize this garment. Finally there are some men in this societies are standing up and show up with pride against mis-interpretations of garments.
    There is nothing wrong with men and even dresses except by those which make it wrong – try mobbing other people with their limited knowledge and understanding.

  19. martinus permalink
    October 4, 2010 9:26 pm

    I wish that your comment should be read by many people. It is true and I know that many of us can’t see a difference between mental-health and biological health.
    both are going together – at the end we are looking for health, and one of the healthiest kind of dress for men are skirted garments.

  20. Breanna permalink
    October 6, 2010 1:56 pm

    Actually there is no question that men can wear skirted garments becaus they can, no they should or must do it.
    It is not just for their health, it is also about equality.
    We are struggling with the question what the matter with the men, especially American men, we can read a lot of articles, and all found that the time and role for men changed since 1945. But compare to women which changed their role multiple, men did not and they are still in the imagination that they have to play a role but didn’t see the reality because they are more puppets on a string.
    When I am saying that men should, actually must wear skirted garments, I men that is just one signe to adapt to the reality, on the other hand getting out of the old “society pictured man’s role” into a self expressed role, showing up with own personality. A suit, pants are a work-force garment, created in England during the Victorian period. For a lot of people pants are a sign of power (who wears the pants?) but correctly it is the old sign of lower class people and soldiers in the past (until French Revolution -which changed this role). NEWSWEEK wrote in an article in September 27th 2010 edition about the misere of men in our society and gave a clear sign to the men of today: “Men have a choice: Feel inadequate or get a lot more creative”.
    Other authors already talk about “The End of Men” is upon us, men are decling. All articles’s have one thing in common: We have to re-think masculinity, we have to help men finding their own personality, and that means in all cases of a every day life. It isn’t just about how to dress – which can change so many things – it is about how to treat men and women equal. We have to learn that, again.

    • October 7, 2010 12:10 pm


      You can not be serious!

      Comments like yours are why most people (including most women) think feminists are unrealistic out of touch extremists.

      It’s one thing to say that it’s OK for a man to wear a skirt IF HE WANTS TO.

      It’s a whole other ballgame to tell ALL men that we MUST wear skirts.

      I am sorry, but I am a masculine-identified cisgendered heterosexual man, I am most certainly not a crossdresser and,to be quite frank about it, I have no desire to have to deal with the homophobic/transphobic/crossdreserphobic harassment that any man who wears a skirt in public.

      So no way in hell will I ever wear a skirt or any kind of female-identified clothing, and I’m speaking as a pro feminist man who believes in women’s equality.

      I’m quite sure 99% of American men feel the same way I do (including the vast majority of gay and bisexual men).

      So calling for men to wear skirts as a way to fight sexism is asinine and totally out of touch with reality.


      • breanna permalink
        October 13, 2010 1:58 pm

        Yes, I am serious. Just learn a little bit from the past, read what was happen with men in 19th century. Research what men had to face on since wearing pants – of course not easy to find, but very true. Well known facts (since 1898) we can’t put away that men’s typically diseases are directly relatet to wearing pants (I can tell because I lost a close relative through that) but we did ignore the truth it the whole time. And it is no secret that men losing more and more “man-power” (guess why)and have to enhance it through pills and some other additional stuff.

        In case of you…. nobody has to wear skirts or better to say skirted garments, you are old enough to decide what you want to do. What I am saying is, we should just open the eyes a little bit more and learn from past, change our education and de-sexualize clothes, then everybody can decide what to do.
        As I said, you are responsible for yourself, and I am for myself, but I am a little bit “insider” and studied this matter.

      • ginmar permalink
        October 15, 2010 3:36 pm

        Greg’s about as much a pro-feminist man as I am an MRA.

  21. October 13, 2010 2:34 pm


    You really are an extremist, aren’t you?

    So, tha panacea that will solve all of the problems of American men (medical, sexual, political, social ect) and will make life better and less sexist for American women is for American men to start wearing womens clothing?

    Seriously, breanna?

    Like I said above, no wonder most Americans (including most American women) think feminists are out of touch political zealots!

    • ginmar permalink
      October 15, 2010 3:34 pm

      “You really are an extremist, aren’t you, Breana?” Says the dude who thinks that women don’t like sex anyway, so lousy sex for women isn’t that big a deal if Greggy boy here gets to come!

  22. October 14, 2010 1:34 am

    Freedom of dress is not a panacea for all problems but solves the problem of baseless restrictions on men. As always, associative reasoning causes men to reach erroneous conclusions (“skirts are female because only females wear skirts.”) Gee Greg, have a look at what members of the Greek army are wearing today. Pleated skirts, panty hose, blouses, embroidery, fancy shoes—and yet, no “female clothes.” How so? They don’t wear bras, Greg! Skirts/pants are sex neutral. You may review the 33,800 word PDF embedded in the site linked for the history of clothes. Extremists want a system in which the sexes are segregated into costumes as radically different in style as possible, when this is not necessary for differentiation (we’re trained to get rid of our REAL male garment, facial hair, every day). Also dictating to others what they can or cannot wear is a serious civil rights violation. INDIVIDUAL differences in clothes, NOT (artificial/concocted/arbitrary) “SEX” differences that are actually only STYLE differences, with no contradiction to anatomical variations regardless of who wears them (skirts/pants.) Greece, Egypt and Rome were all civilizations based on draped (skirted) clothing, whereas today, TAILORING suppresses the living HELL out of life by killing freedom, creativity and variety (for men.) And YES, Roman soldiers in SKIRTS were MORE MANLY than Marines in PANTS (Marines never faced “decimation” read about it!)

    • October 14, 2010 9:42 pm

      This isn’t modern Greece,or ancient Rome or ancient Egypt.

      In those societies, men wore skirts.

      Not in this one.

      Gregory A. Butler

      • October 14, 2010 11:25 pm

        Typical conformist claptrap statement. You live in a “we do it this way because we do it this way” world controlled by mass hypnosis. Since birth and to the present you’ve observed innumerable cues, suggestions that “this is how we do things, period.” Progress is never attributable to persons with inflexible outlooks. Skirts are NOT “women’s clothes,” they’re clothes stereotyped as female because the narrow conformist perspective reasons by association. Skirts in USA on men will continue to be seen in all Scottish events, in parades in which they participate, at Greek food festivals and international cultural events and in many dozens of Contra dances across the US. Skirts aren’t appropriate for you, but don’t suggest others have no right to be imaginative. We’re at the bizarre situation where women have largely abandoned skirts, and men are irrationally forbidden to wear them. So, a basic lower body garment falls into disuse and the entire horizon is stricken with visual pollution of everyone going about in a style they don’t even know is equestrian in its origin—pants, named after Pantalone, the top CLOWN in the medieval Italian Comedy of the Arts! Where I work a man wears a “utilikilt” most days, when he first started wearing it dozens of people were whooping, hollering, wise-cracking and expressing outrage. Now he’s a feature of the landscape. He’s considered not himself if he wears pants. Bras are female clothes because anatomy so dictates. Skirts are everyone’s clothes. Men have a right they’re unaware of–the right to wear a skirt, as they did for 1,000’s of years. There was the tribal chieftain in Africa who was denounced and beaten by his people for his new idea—that they should stop being naked. Anything not common to the social structure makes people balk, and they tend heavily towards repression rather than tolerance. Whatever the dominant ethic is, will strenuously suppress anything out of step with it. THAT’S WHY ROME EXILED MEN IN PANTS IN 393AD, GREG!!

      • October 14, 2010 11:29 pm


        If you want to wear a skirt, that’s your business.

        I won’t be joining you.

        Gregory A. Butler

  23. Breanna permalink
    October 14, 2010 9:18 pm

    I am surly not an extremist. I am a daily “cross-dresser” because I wear pants, jackets/blazers, vests, sometimes a tie, I have shorts (all those things you would put to gender-related) and skirts.

    But also I have my eyes open and I see what’s going on in the world. Everybody can see what was happen with the men past 50 years, I saw the changes for women and I did not see any changes or improvements on men. Living and understanding today like in mid 20th century.

    I am missing any individuality, expressing personality in our so wonderful created uniform and stereotyped world. Gregory, of you really want to understand me and the reality you should read the history of men, the social and psychological way men went in the past, the outcome that more young men commit suicide because they lost /can’t find their identity in this world. Start reading the last September edition Newsweek with the re-think of masculinity (Mr. Mom as example), things I already said in 2003, but nobody won’t believe it at this time. Some people awakening now, but for most it is still the time in the dark.
    And what has that to do with the way of dressing. It seems nothing, but it is wrong. Almost all goes back to the personality, showing up as an individual person, expressing themselves, and that is truly an important part out of the way to dress. Think about that all, and you’ll find your own solution.

    • October 14, 2010 9:40 pm


      Well, my own solution is to challenge gender stereotypes and sexist attitudes while wearing clothes that are identified as male. I’m really not into wearing skirts and yes, it is extremist in America to put forth the view that the solution to sexism is for men to wear women’s clothes.

      Gregory A. Butler

      • Jean permalink
        October 18, 2010 8:51 am

        The facts do show that men used to wear skirts not that long ago. Skirts are not a women garment although only women have been wearing skirts in the last 150 years in the western world. So now some men are starting to look back at the time when they used to wear this garment and see the advantage it has. Those men do not want to look like women, they want to be able to wear skirts that make them feel good about themselves and look like real men. They are in no way extremist like you said but instead define a new sense of fashion for men by going against the rigid man way of dressing

  24. Robert permalink
    October 18, 2010 10:09 am

    To Jean;
    You have the wrong information as to men or boys wearing dresses or skirts. Go to either one of these sites listed below and you will see that boys wore dresses and skirts here in America until 1941. Some even had ribbons in their hair.

    You can cut and paste these to your toolbar.

    • Jean permalink
      October 18, 2010 11:12 am

      You make my case even better…. Let me rephrase it like this:

      The facts do show that men used to wear skirts not that long ago. In addition skirts were only worn by men because they were short. Women would wear long dresses or robes. Indeed skirts are not a women garment but women have appropriated themselves this garment from men recently. So now some men are claiming what is theirs . They have started to look back at the time when they used to wear this garment and see the advantages it has over pants. Those men do not want to look like women, they want to be able to wear skirts that make them feel good about themselves and look like real men. They are in no way extremist like you said but instead define a new sense of fashion for men by going against the rigid way of dressing established and imposed during the last century.

      • October 18, 2010 11:38 am


        What is with this obsession with making men wear women’s clothing?

        And make no mistake – in America in 2010 a skirt is an article of women’s clothing.

        I have no problem with crossdressers wearing skirts, but why do you insist that the rest of us dress like that when we do not want to?

        Is it some kind of sexual fetish?

        Gregory A. Butler

  25. Robert permalink
    October 18, 2010 11:23 am

    to Jean;
    I am not a feminist, I support some of their causes but not all, I am a male.
    What I am saying here primarily is that these items of clothing, whether it be skirts or dresses should be made available to both genders is fashionable colors and styles befitting each gender.
    Naturally guys are not going to want to wear something that is all frilly and lacey, nor do guys want to be limited to plaid kilts.
    I own two custom made denim A-line skirts, plus a plaid one that looks similar to a kilt. The same can be said for boys clothing.
    Face it, there is not a lot of style to a pair of pants and a basic shirt.

    • October 18, 2010 11:35 am


      Not every man wants to be stylish.

      There is a lot to be said for just rolling out of bed, putting on a clean shirt and a clean pair of pants and being ready to go.

      And, again, on the dress thing – in America, only crossdressers and Irish and Scottish men who take their celtic origins WAY TOO SERIOUSLY wear skirts.

      Gregory A. Butler

    • Jean permalink
      October 18, 2010 11:39 am

      We agree…. By the way thanks for the link.

    • Jean permalink
      October 18, 2010 11:40 am

      We agree…. By the way thanks for the link.

  26. Robert permalink
    October 18, 2010 11:43 am

    While it is true most men don’t care what they look like. Whether it be someone well dressed or the beer-gutted guys you see everyday.
    There are guys who do care what they look like. Otherwise they’d be no use for GQ or the other mens fashion magazines. Just because YOU don’t care if you look like a slob doesn’t mean everyone else does.

  27. October 18, 2010 1:01 pm

    Gregory A. Butler remarked—“And, again, on the dress thing – in America, only crossdressers and Irish and Scottish men who take their celtic origins WAY TOO SERIOUSLY wear skirts.”

    This “man” Butler is a raving fiend! Halloween cannot arrive soon enough! He insists on using the term “crossdressers” after having been informed that many men want to ERADICATE usage of that term, as it is a STRATEGY—not a FACT—it’s a strategy to STOP men from having the same choices the other half of society enjoys! Or is it that Butler regards women in pants as hermaphrodites, therefore, they CANNOT “cross-dress?” Are both sexes still born naked? And neither is born in a trouser, nor in a skirt? And consequently, the sex typing of styles is simply arbitrary? As for the “men” who wear skirts as part of female impersonation—if some women were wearing pants as part of a male impersonation, would that invalidate wearing of slacks by other women, who are presenting themselves as women? No! He just wants to restrict men! However; were it possible for Butler to send women’s progress back a few generations, he’d have them stuck in skirts again! People like Butler cannot conceive that there are feminine women who naturally prefer slacks AND masculine men who naturally prefer skirts! And this is NOT a sex difference, merely a difference of individual taste! I also note Butler’s ridicule of Scots and their heritage. I wish he’d turn it into a short printed statement and pass it out as flyers at a Highland Games. I guarantee he’d be physically intimidated VERY FAST by some REAL MEN, like the sea of 7 footers I saw in Dallas from the British Caledonian Airways Pipe Band! He also failed to learn that Celts aren’t the only ethnics in USA wearing skirts—the Greeks are the next group to be observed! I also guarantee that had Butler lived in Roman times, he’d be arguing against men wearing pants based on “it’s barbarian attire!” NOW if someone says men should wear bras—they’ve have finally crossed the gender line; but skirts are SEX NEUTRAL—society just hasn’t widely recognized that fact, due to the presence of so many PAROCHIAL thinkers like Greg Butler!

    • Jean permalink
      October 18, 2010 3:03 pm

      Charles. I don’t think I could have said it better!

  28. Tina permalink
    October 22, 2010 8:18 pm

    I do not agree that a skirt is feminine, it is the person who’s wearing it. Same counts on men. Correct, skirts originally a men’s garment, this is history and we can’t change that for America.
    We also know that we have a lot of very restricted thinkers -I don’t want to say narrow minded-
    if there are able to think with common sense then men MUST wear skirted garments only because of their body shape. It must be a torture wearing any kind of pants, isn’t it. Solution: men wearing skirts and dresses when they feel for it. In other words, wear whatever you like or feel comfortable in.

  29. Herby permalink
    November 22, 2010 10:04 am

    Nice Tina. But not all people open minded like you. Anyway, I already wear my skirted garments whenever I like, and always in public, at work.
    I made clear that I am responsible for my own person, that I have the right to think and I am be myself. I do not need anybody thinking for me (not yet, maybe in 40 years) and therefor I decide what I am wearing. I never met people which criticized me because wearing skirted garments. I am married, we have 4 wonderful kids, and My wife acts like me but she prefers wearing pants. Okay then, where is the problem?

  30. breanna permalink
    November 24, 2010 11:03 pm

    Skirted garments are for both sexes, just look around the world. Why are discussions about mens skirts? Just wear it whenever you like, it’s your choice, not the public’s. Be proud and confident and show up as a man!

  31. November 25, 2010 3:04 am

    But be prepared for negativity, as at UNITY CHURCH OF DALLAS they practice “unconditional love” UNTIL a man shows up wearing a skirt THEN the style selfish faction of females can’t stand it, the unreasoning traditionalists “worry for their young boys thinking” (indoctrination into trouser coercion) and the “clinically normative mental health professional” starts raving”mandatory compulsion—ah ha ha ha ha—clinical disorder—ah ha ha ha ha—forcible psychosis—ah ha ha ha ha—clinical mental illness–ah ha ha ha ha”

    It happened to me there in May 1991, people. See, the “sex differences in appearance” CULT is only interested in restricting MEN. At that time the LOUSE in charge was “Doctor” Donald Curtis, a C-minus actor from the 1950’s who passed away some years ago and I do trust now resides in the fabled place of torment. His wife Dorothy refused to shake hands with me—I was treated like a Black during Segregation in Selma Alabama in 1956.

  32. breanna permalink
    November 25, 2010 9:04 pm

    I never saw so many skirted men before in uSA but Texas. Okay, I never was in that named church, but your experience is 19 years old, in other words, almost a generation. Do you think they would act today like in 1991?

    • November 26, 2010 1:26 am

      I think they might act worse. They had guest speaker there in early 1991 a V.P. of National Medical Enterprises, a Mr. Banowsky. NME was later BUSTED by the FEDS for RACKETEERING, KIDNAPPING, and a long list of FELONIES they paid $300 million in fines they were a for profit psychiatric hospital chain IMO the Unity denomination could be a FRONT ORGANIZATION for the American Psychiatric Association, well, it’s that they act that way. Anything they want to suppress, they call it “mental illness,” see how easy that is? Just like in the old Holy Roman Catholic Inquisition. Gays can attend Unity but NOT straight men in skirts. Unity, care to deny this? Or fall back on psychiatry AGAIN? What were the circumstances of Donald Curtis leaving the area??? With speakers like Banowsky they may as well invite JOSEPH STALIN. It’s in North Dallas, where “men” are expected to wear dark suits, dark shoes with bright polish, and be good civic minded robots ready to gang up on any male nonconformist.

  33. Breanna permalink
    November 26, 2010 8:29 pm

    Are they still in the Victorian stone age? I did not know that. Unbelievable that in a modern USA people acting like puppets on a string.
    In my understanding a country and their people can survive when they are innovative, creative and mentally active. I learned that Japanese men already going off pants and more and more in skirts, even back to their traditional sarongs, in Germany companies dressing their (i.e. a brewery) male employee’s in kilted skirts, in Switzerland boys newly wearing jumpers and skirts to school. Where are we?

  34. Herby permalink
    November 28, 2010 12:48 pm

    I am sorry but I believe that the comment about Texas is not updated, secondly people have changed past 20 years, and at least Texans are more open minded than ever before.
    I do not count on business-guys which have to wear their business attire or call it uniform, but once out of business they are totally ‘normal’.
    I have seen more men in skirted garments in Texas than in other states except Washington state around Seattle.
    I know that men’s skirts are a movement, slowly but steadily and I think also Texans can see that.

  35. November 28, 2010 5:57 pm

    Herby suppose you contact Unity Church of Dallas. Tell them you prefer to wear a skirt to church every time and ask will that be a problem? Don’t comment on this matter again unless you follow through. Which skirted men did you see in Texas, specifically? Scots at a highland games, or female impersonators in a night club? What a difference in those two groups! Or was it at a Greek food festival? Graduation gowns don’t count.

    • Herby permalink
      November 29, 2010 8:42 pm

      Charles, I saw some skirted men in Houston, but for sure not Greek or Scotts. One was at a gas station another downtown shopping. When I have a little time left I am going to contact that church.
      Also, in Braunfels (San Antonio) my wife spotted a kilted man, it wasn’t a traditional Scottish one. I didn’t see it because I was driving.

  36. Pete permalink
    December 1, 2010 8:28 pm

    It doesn’t matter what a church will say. As I learned churches are ruled by the pastor/priest which are in charge. But I think that’s not the issue, even protestant churches are much more conservative than catholic churches, the only thing they could do is not give communion, but that would be a revolt.
    The only ‘problem’ ever I had in a church was that a lot of men ask me how to get more courage to act like me; At that day I was wearing a pleated skirt, black with black tights, white shirt and tie, grey blazer. That’s it, just try it but be prepared to get a lot of compliments.

  37. December 2, 2010 2:31 am

    At Contra dances in many areas of the USA, a minority of men wear skirts. However, in the Dallas area, the group was extremely cold to the suggestion. What they told me was, they didn’t want to restrict me, but they wanted me to restrict myself. It matters what part of the country you’re. So you are near where? I can show you a Fort Worth church that has had images of their females in blue jeans, if you ask about a man in a skirt they’d start raving “threat to the family unit, gay, cross dresser, transvestite, reprobate mind, sexual sin” and so on.

    • Pete permalink
      December 2, 2010 9:54 pm

      Yes, Charles, it is about the area you’re living in. But all that what you mentioned has nothing to do with wearing a skirt, it’s just their mind which runs carrousel. This people have a lack of communication or argumentation skills.
      Okay, I do not have much experience in case of Texas, but from east to west- coast nowhere I had problems and was always nicely greeted. Originally living in Seattle I spent a lot of time in Miami, FL and San Francisco. As already said, no problem at all showing up in skirts and kilts.

  38. Marap permalink
    December 3, 2010 9:23 pm

    There are a lot of excuses possible for men not to wear skirts. If you want to listen to voices out of churches you never will learn to be confident and independent.what is wrong? There are no laws that will forbid men wearing skirts.
    Dallas might be conservative in some kind, but it doesn’t say that they are frozen in their thinking. Wearing a skirt in this area could be a challenge, but then look just for some other men which would like to wear skirts, and go and work together. Pretty soon you’ll see results. It is always hard to be the first in this battle about the same dressing rights between the sexes.

  39. Martinus permalink
    December 4, 2010 9:52 am

    Back to the topic and theme of this blog. Men can not wearing skirts by choice, but I am saying they can. They just think they can’t but that is just wrong. But men must do it with confidence and their own will, everybody is strong enough to go with it.
    I remember my switch to skirts, first time putting on and go in public. Maybe I was a little bit aggressively and was seeking for confrontation, but nobody want to confront me in any case. Seeing a police car at a gas station I stopped and got a gas even my tank was almost filled up. What did they do to me? Smiling and thumbs up, that’s all. Maybe they think you are crazy, I thought by myself. Going shopping, yes an elderly women came and pointed on my skirt: I like your outfit, she said. One of the next days going into a concert, black skirt black tights, white shirt and tie, dark jacket. Nobody said a word regarding outfit when I stepped in, but during intermission a lot of interested people, men and women, asking me about my experience with the skirt. Just one lady mentioned it would be great to come in a long skirt instead knee- length.
    Looking back I have to say, I learned a lot, especially when you going with open mind to a new challenge. Today nobody ask me anymore about my skirted outfit, it is just NORMAL.

  40. Alby permalink
    December 8, 2010 11:26 am

    Is there any reason that men in skirts always smiling, looking healthy and sexy? JUst read the following:
    I just can’t understand that men always find excuses for that what they want to do.
    In short: Tehy don’t have to find any excuse except for the reason staying healthy. A skirt for every men is recommended because:
    1. decrease the risk of prostate cancer
    2. decrease the risk of testicle cancer
    3. more air is flowing through the lower part of the body which helps:
    a. keep legs airy and the reproduction organs in cooler temperature, therefor men do not need any additional supplements for sexual life, and in fall/winter/spring time legs absorbe more sunlight giving the body more Vitamin A
    4. Skirted garments provide much more comfort for the male body than any kind of pants.
    Sorry, I couldn’t find any reason(s) against skirted garments in case of health for men except old thinking barriers. Do you can find any?

  41. Steve K. permalink
    December 8, 2010 11:44 pm

    I just wanted to say thanks guys for giving me the confidence to try a skirt in public. I have spent the last week reading about men in skirts and I am excited to find that other men want to wear skirts also. I just got my first cargo mini skirt and I can’t wait to go out in it. At least after all the posts I have some logical arguments to stand my ground if I am questioned. Thanks, Steve

  42. Robert permalink
    December 9, 2010 8:12 am

    To Steve K.,
    I glad to hear you are using your individuality in your approach to wearing skirts. I wear skirts that are custom made for me by David Steffen at I wear them year round. In the winter I do use tights for a little warmth. I have never been either physically accosted or verberally by anyone. In the stores i am treated just as any other customer. I do not carry a purse, but do wear a sort of fanny pack around my waist. It looks similar to the sporan the Scots wear with their kilts. They keep my credit cards, ID and money ready at hand. They zip closed and buckle around the waist like a belt. These are available at .
    The point I am making here is that you can wear a skirt without being rebuked by others.
    The only way to attract unfavorable comments or actions is the way you act in public. If you act as you would while wearing pants or shorts, then nothing will occur, period. I know because like I said I do wear skirts in public places.

  43. King Arthur permalink
    December 11, 2010 8:37 pm

    That’s it, Robert. I got same experience every day. Sometimes a compliment, that’s it.

  44. Robert permalink
    December 13, 2010 4:31 pm

    King Arthur,
    People are like sheep, there are very few Rams out there. By this I mean people are more compliant, they don’t want to make waves, to follow everyone else. The rams are the individualists who seek out the new paths rather then then follow the furrowed paths of others. We, the men who wear our skirts openly, are those rams. We cannot be dictated to follow the old ways. We seek to expand our horizons. Where would we be today if not for those whom became the rams.

  45. King Arthur permalink
    December 14, 2010 9:29 pm

    Very well described. I would love that a lot of people could read that. Thanks, again.

  46. Pete permalink
    January 5, 2011 8:48 pm

    Reading the comments I just wonder about the identification that a skirt is a women’s clothes. Nowhere it is written that skirts are women’s wardrobe, even not in dictionaries. You might find that skirts hanging down from the waist and mainly used by girls and women, but never that interpretation that is a women’s garment.
    Let’s sharpening our brain because we have the ability to reason and think. So we will learn that more than 50% of all male population on earth today wearing skirted garments. There is nothing wrong with it and as already written before in some comments, skirts are atypically males garment in it’s origin. So what we are doing is nothing else than turning around or say it different: back to the future.
    Skirts will be the garment of the future preventing some diseases which came with pants, and of course, the comfort for the male body.

  47. Breanna permalink
    January 13, 2011 8:21 pm

    I hope you are right, Pete and skirts for men catch on. Men just must become confident an d encouraged, that’s all. Trying something new is one of the greatest thing they can do, and starting with clothes are a good idea. Yes, men and even a small group can make a change in their dressing behavior. Just go skirted.

  48. Steve permalink
    January 21, 2011 11:52 pm

    Life is too short to wait till it’s fashionable for a male to wear a skirt or what ever piece of clothing. The older I get the more I just don’t care what others think. As a human… as a person… I have the right to self expression and clothing is one way of doing that. Teenagers have been doing it all my life and I admire their out of the box idealism.

    So I ask… why do we men allowed our choices to be restricted, backed into a corner of options left to us? So I believe the only thing holding us back from wearing skirts is ourselves. We must have courage and defend our right to our long ago surrendered skirt. Those who fail to learn from history will be doomed to repeat it.

    Women have and still fight for the right to wear pants. They bravely endured the ridicule from some who still cling to their own traditions or ideas of dress. Some still ridicule them even today. But a wise saying goes… “You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time.”

    Those of us males who wish to wear skirts must blaze a path forward. You’ll never please everyone so quit trying. Enjoy life. So what if you see someone smirk or gives you a weird look. I’ve gotten more smiles from women than I did before in pants. That’s got to be a plus. The key is to smile and hold your head up. Feel proud wearing your skirt or what ever piece of clothing. I’ve seen and heard more men who seem to be so inflexible and prejudge about a piece of clothing. I’m amazed at the narrow minded view and quick to judge. This will not be easy… but personally I believe that will change in time as we bravely create our own fashion look.

    Let’s remind others of history and encourage each other. Some just look at a small section in time and think that’s the way it has always been. Some forget that it was not that long ago that walking and horses were a main form of transportation. They are led like sheep and believe almost all they are told. It’s never been more important to use critical thinking as we live in these interesting times.

    Also I’m not gay. I’m heterosexual. I’m not interested in men. Let’s stop categorizing each other in our sexual orientation by a piece or pieces of clothing. They are only clothes.

  49. Martinus permalink
    January 27, 2011 9:55 am

    Steve, I support you and I am wearing skirts whenever I like and that’s very often. Like you I just got some nice comments, smiles, people are much friendlier to me as when I am in pants. That makes the difference when you show up that you are different and ready to change, to challenge and say hello to the future.

  50. Herbert permalink
    February 1, 2011 9:10 pm

    Steve, I agree. Talking about history of skirts or waiting for something happen that can improve that men can wear skirts is waste of time.
    We are living today and we are all a part of the society which makes the culture, so we have to show up in our skirts which are different from womens.
    The difference comes with the wearer, maybe a slightly different style, pattern and color combinations. That’s it.

  51. Sophia X permalink
    February 2, 2011 4:38 pm

    Something that I don’t think has been mentioned — a lot of men have very nice shapely legs. Anecdotally, I’d grossly generalize that the average man actually has “prettier” legs than the average woman. This is apparent when they wear skirts. It’s part of the reason I don’t mind *at all* when men wear skirts. But I think the presentation of male “beauty” is part of the reason people aren’t comfortable with men in skirts, because they’re not very good at appreciating beauty without objectifying the person.

  52. Libminded permalink
    February 14, 2011 11:24 am – That says all that I need to justifying wearing skirts.

  53. michaelR permalink
    February 16, 2011 4:37 pm

    YES means YES!! I agree.
    I do not cross-dress whatever people mean with that. But I wear skirted garments daily with shirt, tie and jacket, and even I did not like it first I am wearing it with pantyhose, stockings and nice panties because of my wife. She and our two daughters said if you want to wear skirts and dresses you must be aware of wind blows and people which want to know what I am wearing under as a man.
    And it should just look good under your skirt, and your legs should be covered and give a sense of tan because of my “cheese-colored”-legs, that would look ugly.
    So she went to different stores and shopped for me, came up with some pink and apricot panties out of women’s department and a garter belt with stockings. She smiled and said it’s better for your comfort – and for mine. Huh, I was shocked first time but after I tried it on it wasn’t bad but felt strange. Today, after 7 years, 27 more skirts and 5 dresses, and wearing it every day I feel that most men missing something good on their body.
    The interesting thing is that I never got one bad comment, men mostly say nothing, women usually more open and give some words to me like “great, neat, looking good on you, terrific, etc.” and only one time obiously women want to now what I am wearing under. I saw that three women out of a department store where waiting down at an escalator, talking and staring at me when I came downwards. I believe they couldn’t see anything so they gave up.
    Since I am wearing skirted garments more than pants I feel much more “free”, my family and my wife said I would look younger and happier, and I would joking much more.
    What shall I say more? This change turned to my best and everybody likes it, especially my wife. The best, I do not have to hide anything, I can express myself and really, I am very happy tpo have a wife like I do with so much support all the time. She has the ability to reason and think critical and in her understanding it is the minimum a wife can do for her husband: Supporting him as both promised at their wedding.

    • Robert permalink
      February 16, 2011 5:27 pm

      To Michael R,

      I agree with you, I own 27 skirts, some custom made and 10 dresses. When I was growing up in the 60s my mother said “boys are no different then girls, clothing is clothing. It only serves to maintain out modesty and to warm our bodies in cool weather. Boys can wear dresses as girls can wear pants” At age 11 I began wearing dresses, I still went out to play, I was a kid. I was accepted by the girls and the boys. I wasn’t teased except by the bullies, but then again they taunted whom ever they could. A couple of my friends mothers saw what I was wearing, contacted my mother and shortly there after their sons were wearing dresses, except for baseball practice. We all survived, we are not gay and our things didn’t fall off. Those clothes were extremely comfortable during the summer. So just because some narrow-minded individuals can’t see the light of day without complaining don’t change just to conform, Dare to be Different.

  54. MichaelR permalink
    February 22, 2011 10:04 pm

    Yes, Robert, clothes ( pieces of fabrics) have nothing to do with sexual orientation. But I also figured out that most people do not pay any attention when you wearing a skirt like normal, your behavior is unchanged.
    Some things I learned pretty fast, how to sit and bend down especially with shorter skirts, and when wearing a dress ( even it is a typically male model) it will moving up when stretching upwards, and some fabrics need an under kilt . That’s all, I just can recommend skirts for men.

  55. Monica permalink
    March 2, 2011 9:20 pm

    I don’t know if everybody told their opinion correctly but honestly, why non of the females wrote about how does a man look in a skirt?
    For sure, a man looks awesome in a skirt, even a male designed dress. I can tell that because I brought my husband to that point that he wears skirts and dresses now, but I had to work hard at him for two years.
    I believe that I do not have any prejudices, but I think a lot of men would look just great in skirts, and I prefer wearing pants. Yes, it is true, I think that pants are more designed for women.
    And when I see my husband on his skirts I feel that is a perfect wardrobe for him. He wears it with stockings and he has perfect legs which I don’t have.
    So what holds men back? Actually nothing but the brain which is programmed that men must wear pants – just a stupid programming. Press the reject button and go knack to that what is natural and best for men and women!
    Again be honest when you think seeing your husband/boyfriend in a skirted garment and think about how sexy he could look in it? Isn’t it that we made all this up with women’s clothes, mens clothes, etc. to deepen the border line between the sexes which causes more problems and often violence.
    And what would be the result when men wear alternative “so called feminine” clothes, using some of our make up, taking care of their body? I can tell you the answer, your MAN would feel much more comfortable, would laugh and love you more and he would look terrific.
    By the way, we are married since 20 years and have three wonderful children, although he wears nightgowns, pretty nighties and we love each other very very mich and sp we can accept each other fully.

    • Robert permalink
      March 3, 2011 10:08 am

      I applaud you in getting your husband out of the box that society has deemed as womend wear or mens wear. I have worn dresses since I was 11 years of age, I am a male, I am not gay. The question I have is you said you have three children and didn’t relate their ages or gender. The question: WHAT DO YOUR CHILDREN THINK OF DAD WEARING SKIRTS OR DRESSES? If they are accepting of this have the children also, if boys, also began to assimulate Dad by also wearing skirts and or dresses.
      If you see or read my prior comments I do advocate allowing boys to wear skirts and or dresses. It has nothing to do with sexual aspects, but could have in part to do with genetal health aspects. Clothing is an inanimate object, it neithers knows or whatever as to the body it covers. Clothing is for modesty, to cover our nakedness and for warmth on cooler days. It serves no other purpose. I personally cannot understand why such emphasis is put on clothing as to gender, with the exception of two garments. This is Bras for girls because they do develope breasts and Jock-straps for boys engaging in sports activities.
      Although some boys do develope breasts because of hormonal imbalances most do not.
      Again congratulations to you and your husband for daring to be different and to not be placed into such rigid archaic dress codes.

  56. aunt_zelda permalink
    March 5, 2011 12:59 am

    I like a man in a skirt, or a man who wears pink, because it means he’s comfortable with himself. Self-confidence is sexy.

  57. David permalink
    March 5, 2011 10:07 pm

    Pink shirts. In the early 1950’s, pink and charcoal gray were the “in” colors. One of my junior-high classmates wore a pink shirt.

  58. Monica permalink
    March 18, 2011 9:05 am

    Robert, our kids have no problem with seeing dad in a skirt. 2 boys, twins, 16 years old, juniors. We talked several times with them about that skirted issue, no problems even dad goes to watch football with them. A lovely girl of 12 which prefers to wear pants, but has to wear school uniform skirt. She is a little bit more reserved in case dad’s skirts but get more and more used to it.

    But this little darling takes some stuff out of dad’s closet, especially his shirts and some tie’s, she loves this oversized shirts. No problems at all.

    • Robert permalink
      March 18, 2011 9:45 am


      You said your boys and daughter have no problem with their father wearing these garments. Even to say he wears them to their sporting games. Have you asked the boys if they would consider wearing a skirt or the Utilikilt that is now available for boys and men.
      I realize not every boy or man will wear a skirt or a dress that is made for a man. however the option should be made available to them. It is rather obvious your daughter is probably like yourself since she “Borrows” Dad’s shirts and things. Since she is being allowed the option the same should be offered to the boys, even if they would require their own because of size differences. I think you should talk to the boys and get their feelings on this, as I don’t believe in forcing boys to do as dad does, just having the options available at their own choosing.

  59. Monica permalink
    March 18, 2011 8:45 pm

    Robert, thanks for your response. What I don’t want to do is forcing my kids to do/wear what they have to wear. Regarding the boys…. It is more difficult to stand for an idea, as an example wearing a kilt or another skirted garment. As far I know there are no other boys in skirts at school yet. I did not talk to the boys, but certainly I will before they turn in senior class.
    Skirts for men is a slow movement, most people do not even know that it is possible that men can wear skirts nor do they know that it is in fashion since several years. I had to answer so many questions regarding my husband, believe me that most people have a lack of information in case of men’s dressing options.

  60. Libminded permalink
    March 19, 2011 12:53 pm

    I agree with the recent comments above. If men were braver in this area, it would get far more publicity. It is not illegal, it does not hurt anyone and at the end of the day when women wanted to ditch the skirt they just did it and didn’t ask questions. I would be more public rather than just family and friends but unfortunately my wife is too nervous for public showing for fear of negative comments. I do have to say it is making me rather frustrated.

    I posted a comment on this forum on 14-02-11. I will not repeat myself here, but this note is just to apolgise for any one who has been having difficulty accessing my web site Men Can Wear Skirts over these last two weeks. I had terrible reliability issues, changed provider this week to to new web hosters, and I should now be trouble free – hopefully!

    My site has been streamlined from that originally posted and although in a temporay format, a new version under joomla 1.6 will appear shortly. I intend posting blogs on my site in due course.

    Apologoes for any inconvenience.

  61. Patagoniakidd permalink
    April 16, 2011 12:29 am

    Lets set the record straight:

    1. It makes more sense for a guy to wear a skirt than a woman due to anatomy alone! (No crotch binding seams)!!

    2. Men have worn skirts longer than women throughout history. (And many were the toughest men in recorded history).

    3. A skirt is cooler than shorts on a hot day sooo what’s the problem? (Skirts are often more PRACTICAL)!

    4. A Kilt IS a Skirt by DEFINITION! (Look it up). So call it what it really is… a SKIRT. (Kilts are just a particular type of skirt usually tartan, hot, heavy and costly).

    5. Gays don´t wear skirts! (Last I heard they are looking for guys in pants). Only on TV and in the movies.

    6. A Sexually secure guy will have no problem trying on a skirt. It is the homophobes out there that are the problem. These are the guys that say “no way”… talk about closed minds….

    7. Most women (not all) don´t have a problem with a guy in a skirt unless they also are homophobic or insecure or plain selfish wanting to keep skirt exclusively to themselves! (Imagine if men did that… women would not be wearing pants today). Women generally find guys in skirts “intriguing”! A skirt usually become a chick magnet yet guys sill don’t wear them… go figure…

    8. In 2011 if you want to look like a woman… wear pants!

    9. There is absolutely no need to design skirts for men when out of literally thousands of styles for women some work perfectly for the guys “as is” without “modifications”. Just get the skirt in Juniors Sizing so the hips are not too big! I suggest getting Cargo Mini Skirts because they are the same length as men’s regulation gym shorts (about 12-13″ long), they provide freedom of movement, are plain without girly designs, have many pockets (Practical again), belt loops and look better than shorts on most guys. (PS: A micro mini at about 10″ long is the same length as some men’s running shorts so “mini” doesn’t mean too short for anyone)!

    10. A guy wearing a skirt with guy clothes is NOT cross dressing trying to look like a woman. The word should be banned since women are incapable of “cross-dressing” because they already wear everything on the men’s side of the wardrobe!

    It´s sad most guys do not have the guts to even try on a short skirt on a hot summer day. If they did they would not give it up! (But again they would have to not be a homophobe and have a open mind… probably too much to ask for from most guys…).

    Still not convinced? See these guys in skirts and notice how quickly you become bored! Goes to show a skirt on a guy is just clothing and nothing more:

  62. April 17, 2011 11:31 am

    I had to go to “history” to click out of that link, even “escape” wouldn’t back out of it. Not the right link to use, too many technophobes would close browser to break it off. Most of those styles are so plain, drab and boring, they’re little improvement over pants–but tastes vary. It can be noted that skirts/pants are “activity differences,” many activities naturally mandate trousers. The well of public opinion re men in skirts has long since been poisoned by the “mental health” movement, which is the modern day continuation of the Holy Roman Catholic Inquisition and the Protestant witch hunts (all three have committed countless brutal murders, ruined reputations, wiped out fortunes, and inflicted untold misery while enriching their leaders and giving them vastly unwarranted power). As soon as a man appears in a skirt in public, even presenting as a man, everyone instantly becomes a member of the gender police (who are ONLY interested in restricting men) and the defamatory remarks start flying—“Look—he’s cross-dressed” and “Did you see the transvestite?” Women are encouraged to be individuals in dress, men are collectivized, the regimentation is backed up by threats of being denounced with psychiatric terminology, which has largely taken the lead from religious zealotry in persecuting those who choose to peacefully differ. #8 is correct, it can be more correct by advising “wear a bra;” #9 is off about the hips thing, only place it has to fit is at the waist, skirts I buy almost always need letting out so as to fit—you don’t hear about a Dervish worrying there’s too much fullness around the hips, nor an Evzone—that may apply only to tight styles. And tight styles do defeat to real extent the purpose of a skirt—less restrictive movement. Try running in a pencil skirt, what a way to kill your speed. The female faction against men in skirts is motivated by a power exercise (“only WE can wear skirts; we can wear pants also!”) By having an exclusive on skirts, they correctly see it as power over men. The male faction against men in skirts is largely motivated by sexual impulse—they want assurance that whenever they see a skirt worn, there will be a structure under the fabric that could be penetrated—guaranteeing them in every case to be able to enjoy the initial stages of sexual excitement. When they see it’s a man in the skirt, it outrages the beer drinkers. An exhaustive research of the public record going back over 150 years demonstrates that everything—absolutely everything—negative that is said today about men in skirts, was said previously about women in pants. It’s all a matter of tolerance versus intolerance. Psychiatry panders to intolerance by providing terminology which slanders nonconformity, thereby accomplishing their goal—maintaining the status quo (NOT “promoting health.”)

    • Patagoniakid permalink
      December 21, 2012 9:44 am

      That link works perfectly! YOU have the problem not the link! Why do you dissuade people for seeing something that will help them? Your negative input appears designed to warn people away from seeing something positive. The intent of the link is for people to see there are lots of men in skirts now. sells several million dollars worth each year to regular guys in the U.S.
      There’s more images of guys in skirts here: Will add more as people send them in. Nothing gay here. The percent of the skirt wearing guys that are gay is about the same as the general population so that is hard to eliminate.

      Why so negative? Why not do what I am doing and that is to try to make a difference. Show men they CAN wear a skirt successfully.

      I still say any guy that tries on a “Cargo Mini Skirt” on a hot day will not give it up. He will be hooked …forever! So if you are one of those “sexually insecure” “Homophobic” guys don’t try one on in the first place or you will end up with psychological problems.

  63. Schala permalink
    April 19, 2011 11:43 am

    “Replying to “I’ve always wished we could “get up and go” like guys can””

    I do. Yeah, some days I worry about matching and I do notice colour combinations (hm, maybe not the red undershirt with the green overshirt), but most days it’s select pants (I only have two pairs because I’m broke), select shirt (one of the clean ones), comb hair, get on with it. And I refuse on principle to start wearing makeup on a daily basis. Do that long enough and people start expecting it.

    I like dressing pretty, but only when I want to. Plus when your normal level of presentation is “Clean, clothes fit properly, hair is combed,” then it doesn’t take much to feel dolled up. Set the bar low, that’s my strategy ^^”

    I do that most days too. Pick two things, and I’m ready. No make-up, no agonizing over what to wear. I do like dressing up sometimes too, but like you said – my choice when.

  64. maninfl permalink
    April 22, 2011 10:20 am

    I wear Kilts and the occasional skirt. GUYS – Believe me a Kilt/Skirt is a chic magnet ! Kilts are now not super expensive. Google ‘Sport Kilt’ and you will see what I mean. I love them for the freedom and coolness. Other guys will admire your ba**s to wear one. If you are not secure in your manhood, dont even attempt to wear one.

  65. Zorba permalink
    August 27, 2012 6:59 pm

    Joining this conversation a bit late…

    There are 2 things that really p!$$ me off:

    1) Suits and ties, and 2) No skirts on men.

    Therefore, I wear skirts daily. I’m just a guy in a skirt. I also will never, make that NEVER, wear a suit and/or necktie again. I consider them the badge of the male slave.

    I pretty much agree with “Charles”, above. Bras (Gynecomastia not withstanding) are for women as their anatomy requires them. Jockstraps are for men, because their anatomy requires them (for certain activities). Underpants are gendered because men and women are shaped differently down there. Everything else is gender neutral – SOMEONE MADE ALL THIS STUFF UP! It has NO basis whatsoever in ultimate reality.

    There is nothing stopping guys from wearing skirts: pull one out, put it on, and go about your business. If you’re a bit shy about it, try a denim skirt. They’re almost “invisible” as people see what they want/expect to see.

    I was one of Utilikilts very first customers, but I’ve stopped buying them because they’ve become way too expensive – pushing $200 last time I checked, whereas I can buy a “knock about” denim skirt for $20-$30 all day long. Plus Utilikilts discontinued their original style (pleated all around) in favor of a more Scots kilt like flat fronted wrap skirt. Just not my thing.

    I like to be pretty too – the world has long since forgotten the concept of “masculine beauty”.

    • August 28, 2012 10:03 am

      “Someone made all this stuff up,” not exactly. Social forces over long centuries caused the clothing division of the sexes. Social forces—not sex roles. 95% of the causation of trousers is horseback riding, 5% due to arctic areas. Women seldom rode, they retained skirts. Many clergy, judges etc., didn’t ride, they retained robes till the present. Isolated areas like Albania, retained skirts on men into modern times, also the South Seas. Women did NOT wear trousers until factory work in World War 2 sent 17 million USA women into pants for the FIRST time, cities like Chicago had to rescind ordinances forbidding women to wear pants, their first pants belonged to their husbands and brothers, because pants were NOT being made for women! Apart from horseback riding causing men to give up skirts, other forces caused men to give up fancy clothes in general—Puritanism (if it looks nice, it’s of the devil)—the French Revolution (common men could not afford fancy clothes nearly as well as nobility, afterwards, fancy clothes on men were held a symbol of political repression)—the Industrial Revolution, reinforcing the horseback trousers style, and loose fancy clothes were a risk around machinery and molten metals—these forces primarily combined to cause “The Great Masculine Renunciation” of skirts and fancy clothes (remembering that these were men presenting as men, in “petticoat breeches” from 1640 to 1680, pleated neck ruffs worn by men all over Europe and England, till later, pig tails and powdered wigs on the revolutionary Founding Fathers). Still, skirts, petticoats and dresses were worn by boys up to age six until just after the year 1900. They were dressed that way by CHRISTIAN families, who today would recoil in horror at the idea, though they have no qualms as to blue jeans and T shirts on their girls, because FEMALES are no longer the target of REGIMENTATION!!

      • Zorba permalink
        September 4, 2012 9:49 am

        Charles, I essentially agree with you. However, “Social Forces” are meaningless in an absolute sense – the result is still the same: “Someone made all this stuff up”. Men wore skirts on horseback for millennia.

        And if you never want to lack for nonsense, definitely bring up Christians and their thrice-accursed BOOK.

      • September 4, 2012 10:03 am

        Alexander is depicted in period works on horseback wearing a skirt. Likely they tossed a blanket atop the horse to shield the skin from horse hair. But as time passed the realization dawned that a specific garment could be adapted for riding—twin tubes for the legs. To be ever ready for battle, or flight, they started sleeping in these trousers. Adding to the influence was the peoples residing in arctic areas (no horses, but pants) and the seasonal effect of cold. It’s often enough been pointed out that “the” kilt is not a good equestrian garment. To top it all off, clothing is a “we do it this way because we do it this way, and because we do it this way, you also have to do it this way, or we’ll resort to calling you mentally ill” kind of thing. Probing analysis, reason, forgotten facts—none of these are of any concern to the conformist. He obtains all the causes necessary for his actions from mere current observation, which indeed is a matter of mass hypnosis controlling the actions of the majority. With social forces having moved most women into pants most of the time, society nevertheless continues to regard skirts as a parking space forbidden to use by men, even though the designated person for the parking space may use it only a few times per annum—or NEVER!

  66. Zorba permalink
    September 4, 2012 10:08 am


    To ‘ell with “social forces”!

    I’m 52 years old, I never paid “social forces” much heed, and sure as ‘ell am not going to start now!

  67. Jerry permalink
    December 19, 2013 1:44 am

    I think men began wearing pants when they began riding horses. Kilts or skirts would be more airy and comfortable for walking;ventilation, less friction. I would like a group to form to go hiking or walking or golfing while wearing kilts. I would join. I once participated in an Indian program where there were loin cloths and we had knives and bows and arrows. It was fun.

  68. raulf permalink
    September 13, 2014 9:10 pm

    Traditionally men were always dressed in skirts, just 300 years ago that forced to wear pants.
    The pants are the least suitable garment for a man; the tight underwear splint serves as the genitals, (promoting malfunctions and disabilities), the center seam of the pants abused, bruised and uncomfortable all the time the genitals; strap or belt serves as a tourniquet, and forces the heart to pump blood more effort (to overcome the contraction makes the tourniquet), and poor blood irrigation affects: the digestive system, urinary system, the apparatus player. In addition to the use of the trousers finished urinating man standing which is totally unnatural. Skirts and dresses with skirts for men are supreme mind-HEALTHY, COMFORTABLE AND COMFORTABLE. The pants, the tight underwear, the center seam of the pants, and the belt or belt, are promoting modern diseases of men: impotence, infertility, PROSTATE PROBLEMS AND POSSIBLE CANCER TESTIS.
    No part of the male body are abused more than the genitals.
    For better health and comfort wear SKIRTS OR DRESSES WITH SKIRT


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