photos, from left to right: Stylites, The Sartorialist, Pop Bop & Snap (x2), Brandon Acton-Bond, Joey Ma from Individuality.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about men without pants – but there’s a twist! They’re wearing skirts. And I’m not just talking about that recurring dream where I show up to the first day of high school wearing a pleated mini and everyone starts laughing and I look down and am like, “How did Cher Horowitz’s bottom half get on me?! Oh, but I love my shoes right now.” Nor is it some hypothetical alterna-reality where everyone wears a cross-cultural kimono-wrap-dress hybrid uniform, because I know that’s where your mind went next. My interest in the skirt was piqued a few seasons ago when Marc Jacobs closed a few shows in a kilt, but I wrote that off as something that worked because he’s Marc Jacobs. But as the pics above evidence, men are wearing skirts outside the exploratory realm of the high fashion runway and on personal and street style blogs alike. Is this the final frontier in breaking down gender boundaries?
What I most appreciate about the effect, especially as seen in its incarnations here, is its sincerity. There really isn’t anything in a man’s wardrobe a woman couldn’t pick out for herself, right? She’d be a tomboy or just edgy and there’d be nothing sensational about it. To think of a man walking into a woman’s closet and pulling out his “fave piece” to co-opt seems a bit preposterous. Part of this is the dynamic and complicated nature of the female wardrobe; part of it is obviously social stigma. He’d be a cross-dresser – not a label you’ll see playfully splashed across the pages of a GQ market section the way you might find “Tomboy Style” sitting proudly atop a selection of “ways to get the look” inside Elle. The reasons behind all this are handily explained in song form, thanks to Madonna.
Long story short, these guys are wearing skirts and it isn’t drag, nor do they look like cross-dressers. They’re post-modern men to whom wearing a skirt isn’t emasculating because maybe looking “like a woman”, like looking “like a man”, isn’t something to be ashamed of – nor is it something defined by an article of clothing. Will I be wearing a skirt anytime soon? I’m not a post-modern man yet, although I do think the look has potential. I just figure Katherine Hepburn wanted to wear pants for a reason. But hey, if Lady Gaga hasn’t technically started a revolution she’s at least indicated a movement of sorts in the fashion universe – pants are kind of optional, really. It’s 2011 – power to the pantsless!