A Guy’s Guide to Getting Skirted

Words do not adequately describe the comfort of a skirt in the sweltering summer months. While comfort is an enormous justification for donning a business-acceptable skirt, it is not its only benefit nor the only reason, as I have pointed out in “Why I Wear Skirts” and other posts.

The actual number of men worldwide who wear skirt-like garments is unknowable, but a reasonable estimate would be between 500 million and 1 billion, which, out of a world population of 4 billion men, is a rather significant percentage. Their garments are known by many names across the globe: kilt, gho, fustanella, hakama, sarong, dhoti / veshti / lungi, longyi, kanga / kilenge / kikoy / tappa, lavalava, baana / chola, ihram, futah, sulu vakataga, qun/chang, qumbaz, and thobe.

It is worth noting that, next to the loincloth, non-bifurcated garments are the second oldest articles of clothing. But the bifurcated pant is also fairly ancient as shown by native Amerindian peoples. Some anthropologists have suggested that bifurcation is attributable to textile technology. Under this theory, textile cultures adopted non-bifurcated garments while animal hide cultures adopted what we know call pants. For purposes of this blog post, I will use “skirt” to refer to all non-bifurcated garments regardless of gender much in the same way that “pants” refers to bifurcated garments worn by both males and females.

This post is aimed at providing curious and novice American men with the advantage of practical advice and a basic education on how to start wearing skirts. While I strive to be practical and balanced, I do advance a viewpoint of masculine aesthetics for several reasons: first, it is my personal stylistic preference; second, I believe this to be the most natural tract for men making their first forays into this counterculture movement; third, I believe this to be of greater service to the movement (as explained in closing). To make it easier to digest, I have divided this post into four sections: Key Concepts, Masculinity & Femininity, Wearing a Skirt, Shopping for Skirts, and Closing Remarks. Continue reading “A Guy’s Guide to Getting Skirted”

Why I Wear Skirts

Man in mid thirties sporting a skirt and polo shirt

One roastingly hot July day in 2016 I decided to wear a skirt and I haven’t looked back since. Sure, I see the curiosity in others’ eyes and on their faces, but it is surprising how few people actually ask me 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 my fellow southerners just want to avoid the appearance of rudeness, and I respect that. 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.

As a starter, I deny that skirts are exclusively feminine garments. The American celebrities Jaden Smith, Marc Jacobs, and Jared Leto regularly wear skirts and skirt-like garments, as do countless Scotsmen, Japanese, Indonesians, Fijians, Samoans, and roughly one billion Indian and Arab men. My curiosity with skirts as a gendered construct really began in the wake of North Carolina’s HB2 (“bathroom bill”) debacle, and my pursuit to understand gender issues is ongoing. Continue reading “Why I Wear Skirts”

Advocacy Apparel – Because Clothing Is Genderless

I am developing a site and business plan to sell skirt-advocacy apparel. Not just screen printed t-shirts, either. There will be some classy polo shirts and caps (and perhaps bumper stickers!) with catchy phrases and educational URLs. Stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, please suggest items and slogans in the comments below.

Tell your friends too!
Feedback = Market = Advocacy
Live the change that you want to see.

Gender Equality in the Shadow of 1960s Civil Rights

The outside temperature reached 103° F one recent July afternoon in south Georgia. I once experienced even hotter temperatures in Spain a decade ago, but the gulf humidity here is a beast of a different kind. I bounced to a thrift store in search of extensively used (i.e. breathable) medical scrubs. Little did I know that this simple mission would ignite a profound inquiry into gender equality.

I did not find scrubs suited to my quest, but hanging right beside the roundabout was a plain, charred olive A-line miniskirt. It struck me as an even better heat-buster and the skirt looked so sensible and professional as to remind me of my days in the corporate offices of a large regional bank. Gender equality afforded women the option to wear pants many decades ago so what was stopping me from enjoying the comfort of a skirt? As progressive as that bank was in its employee policies, I think management would have fairly and intellectually considered the prospect. Unfortunately, I suspect my subsequent world of public academia is not as capable of cerebral contemplation on issues of gender normativity. Continue reading “Gender Equality in the Shadow of 1960s Civil Rights”

In a Man’s World

Bravo has a cutting new series titled In a Man’s World.  Women from various walks of life receive full-body muscle suits, and craniofacial prosthetics to create a physique that is out of this world. The women also receive vocal and movement coaching and then simulate their regular selves….as a man. The circumstances and settings are a bit artificial (after all, some explanation has to be offered for the presence of video cameras) but some balance is achieved with additional hidden cameras. What I find most interesting about the series, though, is the coaches’ observations of the subtle differences between men and women. Esco Jouléy’s keen insight into body movement is fascinating and empowering for skirted men wishing to amplify their masculine aura.