Let’s be clear about something: Men in skirts is really nothing new. In the ’90s, it wasn’t unusual for Kurt Cobain to sport a skirt onstage as he strummed power chords. Bowie did the same thing a couple decades prior. Designers like Marc Jacobs, Rick Owens and Kanye West (does he count?) have rocked the “men in skirts” vibe for years. One year ago next month, actor Nico Tortorella got married in a long, white dress. And was there anything more deserving of conversation following Sunday’s 2019 Oscars than the tuxedo gown Pose star Billy Porter took to the red carpet?
So nah, men in skirts is nothing new. But according to some people who know what they’re talking about when it comes to men’s style, 2019 is the year of men in skirts. Now, sure, maybe not your Uncle Larry. But we have to agree this is probably the year you’ll see more guys feeling fancy free in flowy bottoms than ever before, and we’re not just talking drag queens.
The reason? There are currently more designers than ever before “making men’s skirts like it’s no big deal.”
Writing for GQ, men’s style pro Rachel Tashjian notes that several less tenured brands (she specifically cites Luar and Gypsy Sport) have been sending guys down the runway in skirts and dresses for seasons now. And a focus on gender-neutral silhouettes is currently all the rage in shows by Eckahus Latta and Maison Margiela. (The latter recently dressed our TV crush Cody Fern for the 2019 Golden Globes.)
Now that New York Fashion Week 2019 has come and gone (it took place in the city between Feb. 8–16), more labels than ever can say they’ve blurred the gender lines and played around with sending men in skirts down the runway.
But it’s not the fact that men in skirts are strutting runways that’s of note anymore. As we said, that’s old hat at this point. As Tashjian reports, it’s the fact that no shock is intended by these genderless garments — that these skirts, dresses and skorts are each just another garment a man should feel comfortable wearing — that is truly groundbreaking.
Big conversations are happening in the world of “masculinity” and what that word — and preoccupation of so many — means to men of the current era. And so it makes sense that just-as-big things are happening in the world of men’s style. It may start with queer men, like much of men’s style does, but as we’re already seeing, men in skirts will eventually be “a thing” with straight men, too. Just ask Kanye about that leather, Riccardo Tisci-designed Givenchy kilt he sported onstage back in 2012.
What began as a blurring of the line between menswear and womenswear has now become a full-on mélange of genderless fabulousness. Men have always been able to wear whatever the hell they want. Now it seems they actually are.