Until now, men have considered the idea of wearing something other than pants or long shorts in public to be nothing less than a sacrilege against humanity. Although, throughout history, the concept of men wearing skirted garments was all too common. After all, pants were not widely used by any society more than three hundred years ago. - Pants were originally an invention to make it easier to ride a horse. The idea stuck, and the two-legged garment became standard apparel for working men to stave off cold and abrasion.
At the onset of the industrial age, Levi's were probably the most popular mass-produced garment made for men. Sewn of heavy canvas, Levi's jeans were designed to stave of the scrapes of workman's toil. The political rise of the working class in the 1800's transformed the workman's attire into a symbol of raw power against the pompous and flagrantly dressed gentile statesman at the polar ends of the political and fashion spectrum. The power struggle of the working class has since grayed into the history books. So many men today live comfortable lives transporting themselves from their cozy homes, to their climaxed controlled cars, and into their environmentally shielded workspaces. Their female counterparts, transgressed long ago into the once male-dominated career lifestyle, are comfortably donning non-bifurcated garments as they go off to work and play.
The idea of men wearing skirts in today's sex polarized society is a hot subject in certain corners of the Internet. Is it cross-dressing or is it the reemergence of an old-world fashion trend? - The topic is frequently debated in various Internet discussion groups and forums. For the most part, there is relatively widespread interest and at least moderate acceptance of the 'men wearing skirts' idea in one form or another.
It seems that many men are rediscovering the comfort and practicality of the skirt. (Men's skirts are often referred to as kilts, sarongs or pareos for those who are fearful to associate the word "skirt" with men. - Get over it, it's just a word). When you step back and take an objective look at things, the idea of restricting such a broad class of garment design to women seems a bit absurd. - Especially when you consider the anatomical configuration of the male species - "The three-legged pant just didn't take off like it should have". Skirt style garments are unarguably the least encumbering configuration of lower-body apparel that men could wear. It's more than a style statement according to some doctors, loose non-restrictive clothing can help men live healthier and reproduce easier.
The indisputable fact about skirts is that they are extremely comfortable to wear for both men and women. If one follows the cardinal rule of design; "form follows function", then it is obvious that the idea of restricting men from wearing skirts today is largely a fashion argument. Just as the idea of women wearing pant's can equally be argued as fashion in most casual living situations.
In other parts of the world such as the South Pacific, Indonesia, Africa, Middle East, India, and the Philippians it is common to see men wearing skirts and other non-bifurcated garments. Certain cultures like Scotland and Greece maintain kilts and men's style skirts as formal military attire. After many brief showings on the runways of Paris and Milan over the last couple of decades, it seams that the men's skirt trend is starting to stick. The main reason for hesitance over the years is the overwhelming fear by most men for being identified as homosexual. However, subculture stigma seams to be having a diminishing influence on the emerging men's skirt market for heterosexual males. The trend is not about feminine skirts for men but rather masculine skirt designs that are made for the male body shape.
Skirts made for men are appearing in a wide range of social circles from hikers and runners to carpenters and artists. Currently, the most common skirt configuration worn by men is a modern adaptation of the Scottish kilt. Previously relegated to traditional dress, the kilt has seen a recent rise in popularity beyond the borders of its Scottish heritage. (A kilt is a special type of pleated skirt that wraps around the waist and has an overlapping front.) A number of manufacturers are now offering modern kilts for men. Companies like Utilikilt, Amerikilt and Union Kilt have taken and old idea and revitalized it with heavy-duty construction complete with cargo pockets and tool holders. Other companies such as JDEZ offer lightweight cargo sarongs, and hiking skirts that convert to shorts for warm weather recreation. And Macabi Skirt, who offers a cleaver unisex skirt for backpackers and travelers. While other companies, like Men-in-Time and AMOK, make high-fashion masculine long skirts for men.
The idea of skirts made for men is both a new and old concept. While probably a long ways from going mainstream, mens skirts, kilts, sarongs and the like are probably going to continue to increase in popularity.
Short note about the author
Jay Dezelic is a fashion designer for http://www.jdez.com - a manufacturer of unique and comfortable informal wear for men and women. Jay is also fashion writer for http://www.justchange.net - an ezine focused on helping people make positive changes in their lives. Additionally, Jay is a freelance fashion model who's unique portfolio could be seen at http://www.jdez.com/models/jaydezelic.