Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dear Abby Stands Up for Men in Skirts

The "man skirt" has been popping up in trend-setting cities like Paris and Antwerp, and seems to be building up quite a following, including Marc Jacobs himself. Although this is becoming a new and innovative way of dressing for men in the Western world, it does present a dilemma for those living in less fashion-forward areas, challenging well-established rules of dressing. This is the complaint of Joe, a man living in Pennsylvania, who says that he is constantly ridiculed for wearing skirts and he writes to "Dear Abby" seeking advice. Her response is that it takes a real man to wear a skirt:

From the Dear Abby column, December 31, 2008

DEAR ABBY: My problem is unusual, but I'm hoping that if you address it in your column it will help.

I'm a married man, confident in who I am, who wears skirts for comfort.

I feel that skirts are more comfortable than pants, which I find tight, restrictive and uncomfortable. I wear skirts around the house, when I'm out running errands and when I attend church. My clergyman has raised no objection to it.

After much research, my wife and I have concluded that the only thing against men wearing skirts is social pressure, and then only in certain countries - America being one of them.

Pants are a relatively new style of clothing. For thousands of years of recorded history, men and women both wore skirts. Then women fought for and won the right to wear pants, shorts, whatever they wanted - which is great. I believe men should have the same option. My wife supports me in this.

Our problem is that some family members who disagree have talked behind our backs, started rumors and turned people against us with false information.

How can I make them understand that they are entitled to their belief, but that they shouldn't gossip and create problems for us because I am not doing anything wrong?

- Joe in Pennsylvania

DEAR JOE: Gossip is the province of small-minded people, and it is sad that your relatives have used the fact that you have chosen to be different as an opportunity to spread malicious falsehoods.

As long as you have the testicular fortitude and shapely enough legs to wear skirts, then you have my blessing. Some men's clothing designers have been trying for years to revive skirts as part of men's wardrobes. Because fashion trends not only change but often revolve, who's to say you're not on the leading edge of what's to come?


  1. Abby is rght men can wear skirts, of course. And I think they shoud do, taking advantage and showing 'real' men's. It is just a garment, but it seems for some people it is their religion.
    We have women's month and what else could do men better than wearing a skirt or dress as their every day wardrobe as a famous women from Netherland in her speech said for women's day 2004: "The emancipation of women will be finished when men wearing skirts and dresses - it woill be an upgrading for men and women in the social structure".
    Let's work on this, positive.

  2. I heard about this sentence but I am not sure if some men did.
    Clothing are not a religion, but a neccessary part of life because looking good and people can express themselves.
    Men should have the same possiblity wearing what they want, that is a question about equality, indeed. We cannot demand and demand all the time without all the same like men, we have to give a return service, and that means we have to support men going a new, mostly strange way in dressing.
    Of course, a skirt is NOT only a womens garment but for sure it has been worn the past 100 years only by women in the Western society.
    The change is coming now,and we have to do our best to mke it happen, for all men too.
    I recommend strongly men's skirts.

  3. Thanks everyone for your comments! This has sparked an interesting discussion that goes beyond just whether or not men should be wearing skirts, but as to whether or not both men AND women are ready for absolute gender equality. C

  4. Yes, I think some people are ready for a real gender equality. It is right that a skirt is not just a women's garment, actually it wasn't that 300 years ago. It was adopted when men starting to wear pants after French Revolution. Before women only wore dresses.

    So, how to start with the men? Nobody can force it, because we are doing that what others doing. Men who wearing a skirt want to go out of the crowd, and that makes this guys interesting. I just can support them, they are great.

  5. It looks like that some more men are now encouraged enogh to wear a skirt instead pants. I believe that it just needs a little push and the wave is rolling on.
    Recently I say a couple men dining in an restaurant and they looked super in their skirts. One of them was so confident with his skirt that really thought he never could wear a pair of pants.
    I try to think beyond seeing more men dressed in the best wardrobe for male bodies ever, in skirts.

  6. I wear a skirt sometimes to go out to a restraunt with my wife or sometimes to the (ladies) shops to go shopping (Lane Bryant etc). I am 6' 210. Usually I am dressed in white shirt, power tie, black blazer, black A line knee length skirt, stockings and black loafers. Actually quite dressed up or Business attire. Sometimes I get a double take, but only rarely do I get a comment. Which I know is coming from a small mind.