Men’s Fall 2014/Spring 2015 Trend Report: In Praise of the Man Skirt

Images of Hood by Air fall 2014 and N. Hoolywood fall 2014 courtesy of style.com

Images of Hood by Air fall 2014 and N. Hoolywood fall 2014 courtesy of style.com

Do real men wear skirts? Well, apparently so if you are a trendsetter and aligned with what was flaunted at the men’s shows for fall 2014 and spring 2015. From Y-3 and Rick Owns to General Idea and Skingraft to Comme des Garcons and Alexander McQueen, the man skirt/apron trend has re-emerged in a more masculine incarnation. So, the question of real men wearing skits should be rethought and re-examined to if consumers are confident enough in their masculinity to wear this trend?

If the male consumer is to follow Hollywood’s lead when it comes to fashion then the man skirt should be par for the course. In 2014 alone, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Jerod Leto, Omar Epps, Justin Bieber, and James McAvoy put aside trousers and donned a man skirt on stage or for a red-carpet appearance. Sean Combs flaunted a man skirt on stage in 2012, fashion designer extraordinaire Marc Jacobs has been spotted wearing Prada pencil man skirts as far back as 2011. And action adventure celeb Vin Diesel was slaughtered in the press for wearing a man skirt in 2003.

Images clockwise: James McAvoy, Vin Diesel, Kanye West, Sean Combes, James McAvoy

Images clockwise: Marc Jacobs, Vin Diesel, Kanye West, Sean Combs, James McAvoy

Still, this re-emergence of man skirts/aprons is quite different than its trending kilt counterpart of several years back. For fall 2014 and spring/summer 2015 the man skirt/apron goes beyond its kilting predecessor. This recent incarnation is not for shock value or middle-finger rebellion. With men’s fashion gathering momentum globally, many menswear designers now have the support and latitude to stretch the boundaries of design which includes incorporating a wider range of cultural influences and embracing a wider variety of silhouettes that were once considered taboo.

New elements and trends in menswear take a while to catch on for the average male consumers. For decades men have become accustomed to silhouettes that are more tailored and streamlined. However, the past couple of decades have produced more relaxed silhouettes, evidenced in baggy pants, oversized shirts and extended crouch pants; younger male consumers are accustomed to a more expansive choice in design aesthetics.

Kayne West wore a man skirt in 2012, and though he was met with support and detractors in March of 2014 West announced that he would include a man’s skirt line as a part of his burgeoning fashion empire. “Men wearing skirts goes back hundreds of years, but never caught on in America. We have been brainwashed into thinking this is some sort of feminine act. One of the most masculine things you can do is put on a skirt. I believe this will soon be the norm … I am the trend. You watch how quickly this spreads and remember who started it,” detailed Kanye West.

Australian menswear designer Brent Wilson begs to differ in a recent Sydney Morning Herald article. “I’m an advocate for people embracing their own sense of style, but I’m also quite old-fashioned … unless it’s part of your heritage or religion, leave this one to the ladies. [It’s] another fad that has come and gone and been on the runways and celebrities many times before.”

Images of Skingraft courtesy of Ken Jones, Genera Idea images courtesy of Ernest Green

Images of Skingraft fall 2014 courtesy of Ken Jones, Genera Idea fall 2014 images courtesy of Presley Slack

For fall 2014 LA–based Skingraft, Duckie Brown, Hood by Air, and Korean menswear brand General Idea included man skirts/aprons in their collections. Unlike previous incarnations of the man skirt, Skingraft, Duckie Brown, and General Idea ingeniously paired skirts with long pants—Skingraft’s oeuvre was incorporating short pants sewn into the skirt/apron. (No more crossing of the legs or keeping your knees together in sake of modesty.)

Skingraft and General Idea’s skateboarder meets urban road warrior motif with skirts in quilted and textured leather added a masculine patina to this re-emerging trend. While, Duckie Brown and Hood by Air’s foray plays more with re-thinking masculine silhouettes, Brown, in particular, has played with skirts and aprons as a form of layering and introducing different fabrications in one ensemble.

Rick Owen spring 2015 images courtesy of style.com

Rick Owen spring 2015 images courtesy of style.com

For his menswear spring 2015 collection, Rick Owens was inspired by Nijinsky in the ballet L’Apres Midi D’un Faune. The androgyny of the faune in the ballet is one of the centerpieces of the work, and Owens encapsulated that androgyny, as well as the mix of masculine and feminine in garments that paired oversized trench and double-breasted coats and graphic shirts over knee-length man skirts.

Comme des Garcon and Alexander McQueen fall 2014 images courtesy of style.com

Comme des Garcon and Alexander McQueen fall 2014 images courtesy of style.com

Comme des Garcon married graphic tees with culottes and man skirts. While Alexander McQueen’s more masculine pairing of graphic shirts with leather man skirts is a bit more commercially viable for the trending fashionisto, Comme des Garcon’s man skirt combinations are forward thinking and ideal for that male consumer who has a penchant for shock and awe.

Just a warning, when wearing a man skirt  knobby knees just want do. Knobby knees and underdeveloped legs just don’t cut the mustard if you dare to wear a man skirt/apron. Man skirts work best on men that have a great pair of calves and defined thighs.

Physical attributes aside, are you man enough to wear a man skirt? Of course, you are!!

—William S. Gooch

Comments

  1. Greg Miller says:

    Finally! A manly look for men that shouts masculine. Now we just need to get them in the stores.

  2. It would be great to see these in store.
    Australia would be the perfect place for men’s skirts.
    Summers of very dry to very humid and winter that is not that cold an d something that a pair of tights would easily fix.

  3. Hey, Anywhere is a good place for skirts! Cold just requires additional insulation and since a long skirt traps plenty of air they are actually warmer than trousers. Hot gives the required ventilation when worn knee length or above. Slips and thick tights are the main requirements for cold weather. So summer or winter skirts are ideal.

  4. Nigel Webber says:

    I knew the manskirt will become a success. Hey, just call it a skirt, there’s no need to prefix the word skirt with ‘man’, we don’t talk about girl-pants, so we? I see the pencil skirt for men taking off soon, the cliché of the kilt has been done, no need for trousers underneath the skirt which defeats the object when sensible briefs and tights will suffice. As for the apron, it’s a waste of time.

    All designers have to do now is sell them at sensible prices, not hundreds, or how will the public embrace it?

  5. Good article that shows sensible and flattering designs from the industry that I think many men will wear. An alien arriving on my high street today would think that men were only 10% of the population, so it’s time for stores to cater for, be interesting to and make money from both sexes. Unbirfurcated garments are practical, the best fit for a man’s body and extremely liberating too.

  6. Steve soderquist says:

    I thingk skirts will work for guys. I love to wear skirts

  7. Yes, it is time to rethink about men’s kind of dressing. What could be more comfortable for the men’s bodies than skirted garments? Nothing, and for sure not any kind of pants. Skirts have style and looking very good on men.
    Good article like this and a powerful promotion would bring skirts for men into stores and to the men.
    Go forward, it is a way for men to open this space to get rid of boring and over- classical pant restriction.

  8. Steve soderquist says:

    I love the idea that men can wear skirts. Men’s fashion has been boring for too long. It’s time for change

  9. I have been wearing kilts every day now for 20 years, and tights-mens-for 15 years, every day, with no problems at all. Men should wear skirts as a change from pants. Lot cooler in summer, and with slip and tights, a lot warmer in winter. THERE IS NOTHING STOPPING MEN WEARING SKIRTS, JUST THEIR FEAR OF WHAT PEOPLE WILL SAY.

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