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trends & subculturesTuesday, 17 August 2021

Skirts for Men: Four Style Inspirations

For centuries, men of all demeanours wore skirts for reasons of comfort, flexibility and ease. But then came modernity, with its stinking sartorial gender norms, snapping away skirts from the menswear world à la Marvel’s Thanos. Suddenly, skirts were reserved for women, and it quickly became considered taboo for men to sport one – bar Scottish men wearing traditional kilts.

 

Thankfully, present-day designers have been designing skirts for all genders, and some of the world’s most admired gentlemen have been donning skirts in an effort to push them back into the menswear mainstream. Harry Styles wore a Wales Bonner skirt on the cover of Vogue; Odell Beckham wore a Thom Browne pleated skirt to the Met Gala; Jaden Smith wore a skirt for a Louis Vuitton press campaign. Slowly but surely, conventions have begun to break. 

 

Below, you can find a Q&A with four enlightened men who are breaking new ground – or should we say ancient ground – by incorporating skirts into their style. Discover how each skirt-wearing man styles his skirt, who or what originally inspired them to wear a skirt, why they enjoy wearing skirts and more.

 

Fabio Heydorn (@barbiedrugz) (He/Him)

Model and creative based in Berlin, Germany, wearing a Maison Margiela tulle overlay skirt

 

Talk us through your skirt look for today

I chose this skirt because I adore the fabric; I love how it drapes. I also adore the red colour of the skirt – my wardrobe is predominantly black, and I wanted to embrace the challenge of incorporating a pop of colour into my style.

 

Today, I’ve chosen to pair my skirt with a beautiful button-down shirt to add volume to my look, and I’ve finished the ensemble off with some heavy black and silver accessories – including my favourite bag and pair of boots – to neutralise the skirt’s femininity. 

 

Who is the skirt by?

This skirt is by Maison Margiela. I became acquainted with the Parisian brand when I came across their iconic Tabi boot a few years ago. Ever since that moment, I’ve been obsessed with their unorthodox designs.

 

What I especially love about Maison Margiela is its focus on tonal fashion. By eschewing prints and busy colour combinations, the brand allows the shape and design of its garments to shine. 

 

When did you first decide to rock a skirt?

To be honest, I’ve never decided not to wear a skirt. To me, fashion is not about gender roles and social standards; on the contrary, it's about freedom. The clothes I choose to wear are not a commentary on my gender identity, nor my sexual orientation – so, why would I choose to limit myself? 

 

Who or what inspired you to wear a skirt? 

I 'm hugely inspired by anyone who decides to wear whatever they want. One of my biggest style inspirations is Lady Gaga – she’s been someone I’ve looked up to ever since the age of 13. Gaga breaks boundaries, has fun with fashion and always experiments with her style. She continues to remind me to be my true self and not fear judgement or restrictions.

 

Do you think more men should experiment with styling skirts? 

Yes, definitely! I think wearing a skirt as a man allows you to feel both mentally and physically free. I hope that people like me wearing skirts inspire others to wear skirts and eventually get rid of toxic masculinity. 

 

Society would be a lot more fun if everyone felt confident enough to wear anything they want; being yourself brings so much joy and makes your life so much better.

 

Louis (@louisrubi)

Designer and brand founder based in Barcelona, Spain, wearing a Maison Margiela tailored layered skirt

 

Talk us through your skirt look for today

Layering is key to my style – I love when garms merge and it becomes hard to tell where one garb ends and the other begins. This skirt is essentially two skirts in one and I’ve added trousers underneath too. 

 

Who is the skirt by? Why do you like the brand?

This skirt is by Maison Margiela, a brand I relate to. To create this piece, the Parisian fashion house had to play with proportions and rethink the norms of contemporary fashion. 

 

How does wearing a skirt help you express yourself? 

Wearing a skirt symbolises my passion for playing with expectations and challenging gender norms.

 

When did you first decide to rock a skirt?

I bought my first skirt when I went to Tokyo. Over in Japan, skirts are viewed as a traditional piece of clothing worn by individuals of all genders. 

 

Do you think more men should experiment with styling skirts?

I think more should wear skirts because clothes should have no gender. If you decide to wear pieces that make you happy, you’re doing something right.

 

I've always found skirts to look very masculine – society may not be used to men wearing skirts but I believe they look just as natural on men as they do on women. 

 

If you're a man who wants to try wearing a skirt but you’re not completely comfortable with the idea of it, I propose you try wearing a skirt over a pair of trousers. As I mentioned, I love layering; thus, you can often find me wearing a skirt over a pair of trousers.

 

Ross (@rossjahunter) (He/Him)

Creative based in London, UK, wearing a Polo Ralph Lauren pleated kilt style skirt

 

Talk us through your skirt look for today

Today, I’m wearing a cute pleated mini skirt made up of two different tartans. I was initially attracted to this skirt because I’m Scottish and I felt as though the patterned fabric represents my roots; plus, I love how short the skirt is because I enjoy having my legs out. 

 

I've styled this skirt with a bold screen-printed band T-shirt and white printed sleeves by Claire Barrow. On my feet, I’m wearing a pair of 90s New Rock high heeled boots adorned with white flames. Alike my feelings towards skirts, I believe men wearing heels should be normalised. Finally, I added accessories to the look – namely a traditional sporran, worn as a crossbody bag rather than across the waist, and a brass kilt pin.

 

Who is the skirt from? 

My skirt is from Polo Ralph Lauren – and although this isn’t a brand I regularly wear, I knew the quality of the tartan would be second to none. I love the idea that I’m taking a piece from a conservative American brand and taking it to unexpected places. I’m not the typical Ralph Lauren customer, but that’s something I’m using to my advantage.

 

When did you first decide to rock a skirt?

I grew up in Scotland wearing kilts from a young age. I would regularly wear kilts to formal occasions that led me to try different styles that I found at home inside the dressing up box and in my sister’s wardrobe.

 

 How does wearing a skirt help you express yourself?

As a queer individual who’s genuinely comfortable with their appearance, I do not feel pressure to conform to heteronormative society – after all, I don’t feel as if I fit in with others 100% of the time anyway. Some days I choose to look more feminine; some days I choose to look more masculine; some days, I choose to be neither feminine nor masculine. 

 

By granting access to myself to explore all facets of fashion, I find myself able to express myself exactly the way I want to. Aforesaid, I do not feel the pressure most do to look a certain way – I want to prove to others that you can choose to wear whatever you want. 

 

Who or what inspired you to wear a skirt?

I was initially inspired to wear a skirt when I began to develop an appreciation for fashion; at this point, I realised that the only criteria a garment had to satisfy were that it had to fit. 

 

As I previously mentioned, I, like most boys, wore kilts throughout my childhood, and as I got older, I started to question the norms surrounding kilt and skirt wearing. Scottish men are happy to wear a skirt because it’s part of their tradition and heritage, but they would never wear a skirt of any other kind. To me, this has never made sense. 

 

Do you think more men should experiment with styling skirts? 

I definitely think more men should wear skirts. Everyone on this planet should feel comfortable experimenting with wearing any piece of clothing if that’s what they want to wear. Sometimes, a skirt finishes off an ensemble much better than a pair of shorts or trousers. 

 

Women are allowed creative freedom; it is socially acceptable for them to wear any garment they like. Men embracing their femininity shouldn’t be a sign of weakness. To me, men wearing a skirt is a sign of strength. 

 

Mark Bryan (@markbryan911) (He/Him)

Robotic engineer, fashion model and influencer based in Crailsheim, Germany, wearing a Balmain monogram skirt

 

Talk us through your skirt look for today

Today, I'm wearing a logo skirt with a button-down dress shirt, a tie and a pair of pumps. 

 

What attracted you to this particular skirt? 

I love the colours and logo pattern of this skirt, and I love the fact that it’s a pencil skirt – a style of skirt that I really enjoy wearing. 

 

Who is the skirt by? 

As you should be able to tell, this logo skirt is made by Balmain. I’ve worn Balmain skirts in the past (mainly for magazine fashion shoots) and the quality and fit of the Parisian brand’s skirts have always impressed me. 

 

How does wearing a skirt help you express yourself? 

First and foremost, I like to express myself through the heels that I wear, but I’ve recently found that I enjoy wearing skirts just as much. My heels look better when paired with a skirt than they do with pants – to me, it completes the look.

 

When did you first decide to rock a skirt?

I tried wearing shorts with my heels, and after seeing the results I tried wearing them with a skirt instead. Besides, shorts are frowned upon in an office environment. 

 

Who or what inspired you to wear a skirt?  

My major style inspiration is Meghan Markle in the TV series Suits – she always wore a skirt and blouse whilst other women in the show wore dresses. I took her style and made it my own by pairing the skirts and heels with masculine tops. 

 

Do you think more men should experiment with styling skirts? 

Yes, I think skirts are a very comfortable alternative to trousers. Plus, you get a lot of choice in terms of colours, prints and fabrics. 

 

I don't think all men should wear a skirt, only those who want to! However, please note that if you do want to wear a skirt, there’s no shame in doing so!

 

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