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Skirts For Men

Skirts for Men!

Skirts are not seen as mainstream fashion in many western countries: well in the USA anyway. Well this is my hub to prove that it is in fact pretty common in many cultures for men to wear skirts or long-flowing robes.

In fact trousers weren't even invented until quite late in history. The modern Pantaloon dates from mid-Victorian times developing from the earlier baggy trousers. For most of history wore skirts or robes, similar to those that women did. Usually shorter and less ornate but they certainly still exist. I come from New Zealand and its not at all unusual to see men walking the streets in skirts - in fact back in the 1970s we had a Police Commissioner, Rod Moody who wore skirts and caftans to court - and the won the right to do so. He borrowed his wife's skirts for a while but she got over sharing her wardrobe and made him get his own. There was no huge out cry - though initially it caused a stir. He did it for several years and the media basically got used to it and quit running stories on it.

Here's a quick run down on skirts I see normal men wearing on a regular basis

Scottish Kilts Photo: Erasums, flickr

Scottish Kilts Photo: Erasums, flickr

Scottish Kilts

The Scots of course have been wearing Kilts for centuries. Kilts are made of yards of finely pleated tartan fabric. The patterns are generally traditional but more recently more modern fabrics have been used. The sporran is the large purse worn at the front and a kilt pin is required as the kilt is simply wrapped around the body - there is no side seam. For day dress the kilt is worn with a country jacket, or for evening wear a black velvet jacket and white silk shirt are added. Knee high socks are always worn.

Variations of kilts are also worn across the sea in Ireland and also in Greece: where they tend to be lighter weight cotton and shorter

Sarongs from India but common in Polynesia too Photo: esherman via flickr

Sarongs from India but common in Polynesia too Photo: esherman via flickr

Traditional Lava Lavas

Many Pacific Islands including Tonga, Samoa and Fiji the traditional male dress is a lava-lava or pareo similar to the Asian sarong. This is simply a piece of material wrapped around the waist. These useful garments are very common all across the Pacific and also in cities with large Polynesian populations such as Auckland, New Zealand. The traditional Fijian police uniform is a formalised version of the lava-lava, a white wrap around skirt to the knee.

All across the Indian sub-continent sarongs are very common. Any culture where people often sit cross-legged or squat on the floor its much more comfortable and modest for a man to wear a wrap

Caftans or Kaftans

Kaftans are traditional male attire across much of Africa and the Middle East. The version worn by Muslim men is called a Kufi but they are all similar. Long and flowing - often, though not always with matching trousers underneath. The kaftans adopted by the swing 1960s were variations of this common traditional dress.

And did you know that the women's outfit the Kamwaar Shamiz from Pakistan and northern India which looks similar with trousers underneath was the first time that the Victorian explorers saw women wearing trousers - shocking!

African men wearing kaftans Photo: rogiro via flickr

African men wearing kaftans Photo: rogiro via flickr

Western Men Wearing Women's Clothes

I find it quite funny that western men have such a hard time wearing "women's" clothing unless its the kinky or pervy version! I wear men's clothing all the time. I wear men's shoes often (they fit better) and often buy men's shorts or shirts because they have better and more functional pockets! Getting a Western man to lose his shorts and adopt the far more comfortable lava-lava is incredibly difficult - even on a tropical island beach, when they are really suffering from heat rash in the worst place.

I often wear men's clothing but I always dance in a skirt: I love the feel of the skirt moving around my legs as I move. I remember dancing with a guy who was wearing a kilt for the first time at a Highland Dance. He was an experienced dancer and could not get over the feeling of movement he got from the skirt flying. (Note to the guys if you try this just make sure you wear the sporan - you don't want it flying too high!).

The biggest irony of all is the vague homophobic cringe that most western men react to when asked if they would wear a skirt: I guess that makes all this guys suspect ?

Roman Catholic Priests Photo: Catholic Westminster flickr

Roman Catholic Priests Photo: Catholic Westminster flickr


Zondragora on October 16, 2013:

There is no such thing as female clothing, it is just a label in your head or on the packaging but nothing substancial. The reason why it exists is totally subjective.

"As to the history, it used to be men's attire, only after 1820's it became womens wear. "

Women started wearing it and men rejected it, that's all. Don't fool yourself and live for the ghosts of others. No matter how many cowards don't dare to wear a skirt and go out and about, it is not you.

Scroll to Continue

Hemitom on March 26, 2013:

Well my wife of 12 years left me for other reasons but used my in her words cross dressing. not going to get into details but she was ok with it for the most part. but when she thought it was too much she wasn't.

For years Ive enjoyed wearing tights and pantyhose under my clothes. after we got married she accepted it. then i started to wear them out under my shorts. she wasn't too happy with that but she accepted it. then after a while i tried wearing a skirt which basically looks like shorts. well she wasn't too happy with that..

she also had an issue with me wearing a Kilt that she bought me for Christmas...go figure.

Her and I had a long talk about it and she didn't want me to go out in public wearing them. my argument was its OK for her to wear a skirt but if i did its a problem....even know the skirt looks very similar to the shorts that i own. the only person that knew was her and I.

her problem was she has/had self image issues. she was afraid that others were staring at her and I.

I'm still wearing my tights and shorts..but still slowly wearing my skirts out. in time i will.

Paul on February 17, 2013:

Hi John,

Sorry to hear about your marriage ending over a piece of cloth. My wife left me not because of me wearing a skirt but because of other financial issues.

She obviously loved you for what you are NOT for who you are. Another words she loved you for you wearing pants rather than loving you. Conditional love.

JohnN on December 02, 2012:

Well a long blogg, compliments.

I tried a skirt and it ended my marriage. Still I learned to appreciate the comfort of the skirt and as indicated elewhere, especially when driving long distances. Most of the time I wear a kneelength skirt with tights. Sitting behind my desk that is the best. As when temperature drops, the combination mentioned is as effective as trousers, maybe even better.

As to the history, it used to be men's attire, only after 1820's it became womens wear. Women wearing trousers round about 1900 were considered nutcases, same as men who wear skirts now are considered at times. The basis therefor lies in the Bible, Deut 22:5, forthcoming from Roman law and became a norm for psychiatry due to Binet and Jung after they became more religious.

As to heels, there are indication that the Egyptian priest used to wear heels as expression of the office.

Rory on July 31, 2012:

There is no reason why a man cannot wear a skirt/kilt or whatever. A few simple suggestions.

1.Wear a skirt/kilt as a man.

2.Wear some hose/stocking with a masculine frame.

3.Suggest skirt at knee length.

A skirt/kilt is a very natural garment on a man. It is not a statement about sexuality or anything like that. All it is saying that I as a man like to wear a skirt because it is

1.Very comfortable

2.Very stylish.

3.Very masculine

I like kilts/skirts. Especially man's skirts. So there. Any man who wishes to wear a skirt ----go for it and enjoy it

Free bird on June 15, 2012:

In my country, India, men wear long skirt-type-dressing called "lungi" and once they fold the lungis and lift it above their thighs, especially on a hot and humid day, they look real hot.

Free bird on June 15, 2012:

earlier, men would do the jobs outside the house and women were indoors. so, men had to do some ruf-n-tuf jobs and wore pants and women were indoors. so, they wore skirts. Now, women also work outdoors. so, they wear pants. Now, if men find skirts comfortable, what is wrong in wearing a skirt. So, if a man does an office-job and sits in the office whole day, there is nothing wrong in wearing a skirt. I saw the same kind of opposition when women started wearing pants. But that does not mean men will start wearing skirts in the near future. It will take much more time to accept this as a common fashion trend than it took for women to wear pants, according to me.

summer luvn on June 08, 2012:

Levertis says "I think that many men are using this approach like a crutch to cross over because they do not have enough nerve to come out of the closet on their own."

Excuse me but, HUH?!?!? When did we ever say we were gay? Is that what you associate men wearing skirts with? Homophilia? Geez, i could quite easily make some assumptions based upon what your name is, or what hair style you have, or your occupation. I could do that with anyone. But that doesn't mean that just because they have a certain name that they're of a certain race, or that their occupation makes them a certain political party member, or what style garments they wear means they desire a specific gender. That's just total bull. You women want a real man...well a real man isn't what you want because a real man would slap you upside the face, screw you silly without asking for your permission, then kick you in the ass and tell you to get back in the kitchen and make supper.

Paul on June 01, 2012:

I would like to see more positive attitudes towards male fashion including skirts. Western society is so drawn into fictitious beliefs like "if a guy wears a skirt is he gay" or "men are not allowed to wear skirts". Well I have never understood why females aren't called lesbians if they wear pants nor be told women aren't allowed to wear pants. I believe western society is sexist and needs to look at themselves about what they say, and why they say these idiotic remarks to put down males who would like to have an alternative to wearing pants. That's all just wearing an alternate piece of clothing just like women do. What is the harm in that? Besides it's not going to change their male hormones, catch gay disease from a guy wearing a skirt, cause a major catastrophe in the ozone layer or let the sky fall. about democracy, or is it democrazy? What are the main principles of democracy? Freedom of Religion, speech guessed it! Want or choice. This western society teaches us about these freedoms but the only gender which doesn't have the total freedom are males. Females introduce ALL kinds of clothing to suit their own body, how they feel and show within themselves satisfaction. They have NO fear about what others will think, where they should go out to places as to avoid negative criticism or be threatened by their own gender. There is one gripe I have is when fashion "police" comment negatively on clothes whether on a female or male and spread through the media. As for schools there should be equality in uniform clothing. Students should be taught to be positive the same way teachers are told in Professional Development seminars about being positive in reports to parents rather than being negative. We as a society get wound up about firing at people who make their own choices rather than looking at accepting their choices whether they like it or not. Another words keep your comments to yourself. That would be the main reason males don't like wearing skirts publically because of what people will say to them. I wish that very soon the parents would teach their children positive thinking and therefore skirts would flourish amongst boys and men, the same way girls and women enjoy the choices of true democracy.