On Striving for Gender Neutrality

I once experienced a freak Saharan heatwave with highs over 40° C while studying in Madrid. It was a dry heat, though, and very different from one recent 103° F July afternoon in south Georgia. I bounced to a thrift store in search of some well-worn (breathable) medical scrubs and that’s when I saw it: the plain, charred olive A-line mini. It struck me as the ultimate heatbuster and looked so sensible and professional that it triggered a brief flashback to my days in the corporate offices of a large regional bank and I wondered, as progressive as the bank was, if I would have been permitted to elect its female dress code. On second thought, I have no desire to cross-dress, but shouldn’t gender equality give men the option to wear skirts just as it gave women the option to wear pants many decades ago? As counterintuitive as it might be, I suspect the bank would have been much more cerebral than most universities in contemplating such questions. This being a summer break, I decided to test the waters and having donned various skirts for three weeks now, I reflect upon deeply disconcerting truths.Continue Reading

Why I Wear Skirts

Muscular man in masculine brown skirt and blue polo shirt

Why I wear skirts has everything to do with equality. It started one roastingly hot July day in 2016 and I haven’t looked back since. Sure, I see the curiosity in others’ eyes and on their faces, but it surprises me how few people are direct enough to ask about it. This is, after all, the deep south far from international megatropolises like Miami, Los Angeles, and New York where cultural anomalies might be more commonplace. Perhaps southerners just want to avoid the appearance of rudeness. Even so, a few days ago a local librarian lamented that I had not blogged my experience and this led me to think that just maybe the public at large might be interested in my personal reasons and my social message.Continue Reading

A Guy’s Guide to Getting Skirted

Words do not adequately describe a skirted man’s enhanced comfort in the sweltering summer months. While comfort is an enormous justification for donning a work-appropriate skirt, comfort is neither the sole benefit nor the sole justification, as I have pointed out in “Why I Wear Skirts” and other posts about men and skirts. Skirts need not be frilly, froufrou, or feminine, and skirts can indeed be very masculine if a person first understands the basic design characteristics and uses this knowledge to make some sensible selections.Continue Reading

Another Man’s Skirt Conversion

Travis MartinTravis Martin’s revealing introspective titled “How (and why) to Wear a Skirt (as a man).” Right now I’m on a train headed to Toronto, and I will be on another train coming back, late tomorrow evening. I’ll be participating in a photoshoot at Ryerson University as part of a research project on men’s fashion. The focus of the study is men of my generation who are using fashion to express themselves, and changing what ‘masculinity’ means in the process….

Why Men Still Don’t Casually Wear . . .

In the not too distant past, European aristocratic males wore both skirt-like garments as well as high heels. (In fact, women adopted high heels from European men and made them daintily and femininely narrower.) Over time, though, the European and American industrial revolutions made bifurcated pants and flat shoes more utilitarian for daily life. Women, however, who were relegated to lives of domesticity continued with the less practical fashion. But there has always been a double standardContinue Reading

Double Standards

I was just recalling an incident from several months ago at a local club (this event was still a few months before the time an off-duty female cop reached under my skirt at this same club). I rocking an awesome 15″ Gap or Ralph Lauren chino skirt. I found myself speaking with a group of three or four females when one of them rather abruptly asks me, “what do you have on under your skirt?”Continue Reading

Clothing and Deuteronomy 22:5

Cognitively-challenged Christians are eager to invoke Deuteronomy 22:5—in judgment of women as well as of men—that “woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD.” Some denominations read this as requiring women to wear dresses (or, in the contrapositive, as prohibiting women from wearing pants). Likewise, Deuteronomy 22:5 has been invoked to condemn and deny skirts as menswear. This was certainly my experience when I “saw the light” and “converted” to skirts in 2016, but it has taken me three years to get around to publishing this formal rebuttal.Continue Reading

More Double Standards

Some time back I came across this image and I later scolded myself for not saving it. Then as serendipity would have it, I found it again. Continue Reading

The New York Times: “Skirts for Men?”

New York Times (1984) - "Skirts for Men? Yes and No."The social acceptability of men wearing skirts is by no means a nascent subject, but has has anything really changed since the Industrial Revolution? In 1984, the New York Times ran this piece regarding a Paris fashion show featuring men in skirts that was, according to French designer David Hechter, “the most important thing to happen in fashion in the past 20 years!” Hechter was one of the first designers to break fashion norms previously “when it was scandal for women to wear pants.” Rodney Martin puts a sharper point on it: “It makes me feel free. It’s a statement by which I can say I am free to do whatever I want. It does cause hostility on the streets, though. Sometimes I keep my coat closed over my skirt so no one will see it. And I do have to sit differently. But it’s not about being a woman.”Continue Reading