It’s summer, and do you know what time it is, boys? It’s time for you to join us, on the frontiers beyond gendered fashion, where we cover our fleshy bits with whatever makes us feel sweet in the heat. It’s time for everyone (including straight, cis men) to wear skirts.
First of all, I shouldn’t have to be making this argument. It’s not hyperbolic to say that people have been wearing skirts forever. From pharaohs, kings, and emperors, to peasants and farmers, warriors and popes: Historically, more men have worn skirts than not. In fact, the idea that men shouldn't wear skirts is a relatively new cultural idea.
From a pure practicality standpoint, skirts are a great invention: One piece of cloth, thrown around the waist, and you're cool, covered, and comfy. They give you plenty of freedom of movement, and they’re easy to produce. Wearing a skirt just makes sense.
What doesn’t make sense, if you think about it, is how Western culture has decided that skirts are only acceptable for half of people. Why? Do we not all deserve a nice swishy, breezy clothing experience in these hot months? Isn’t it time that we all cast aside the shackles of gender and pants?
I understand there’s cultural pressure that keeps men in pants, but modern gender-bending fashion is hardly new, either. Celebrity men—cis, straight, or otherwise—have been on this train for a long time. David Bowie and Prince would rise from their graves if I failed to mention them here. And, if you’ve been paying attention at all, you can see the waters rising on this trend. In the last year, there’s been a delightful uptick beskirted men—from Lil Nas X on Jimmy Fallon, to Dan Levy at the Emmys, to A$AP Rocky on the cover of GQ—and as a queer ally I’m here for it. Any fashion choice that makes Ben Shapiro as mad as Harry Styles' outfit did must be a good one.
If you need more reassurance that you aren’t the only dude donning a dress, check out the incredibly heartwarming TikTok trend Femboy Friday, where young men (many of them straight- and cis-identifiying) are delighting in wearing skirts (and nail polish, and all other manner of dangerously femme adornment items). Take courage from the youths.
Skirts are comfy. They look nice. And your masculinity can handle the boldness of wearing one.
Here are half a dozen skirts to spruce up your wardrobe this summer. (Before we start, be warned—some of these links lead to clothing in the *gasps* women’s section of an online retail establishment. Don’t let that scare you. If you need it, here is your official permission: Buy clothing from whatever gender section has the clothes you want.)
If you’re not yet ready to fully commit, there’s this skirt-overlaid drop-crotch shorts (a skort, if you’re not familiar, is a skirt plus shorts). Subtle, perfect for running errands and getting used to the fact that no one cares what you’re wearing (and even if they did… what’s gonna happen?).
A classic utili-kilt
No tartan here, just heavy canvas with sturdy seams and heavy hardware, which makes this kilt understated enough to wear any place you’d go in jeans. Plus, when you get compliments you can take part in the time-honored tradition of announcing “it has pockets!”
Something a little sporty
We’re all familiar with the universal appeal of an Adidas track suit. But those iconic stripes can also be found in this easy, breezy men’s athletic skirt (and it’s currently on sale!).
If you’re feeling at all inspired by the femboys, you need a tennis skirt. They’re sporty and preppy, cute and tough—style with an oversized, cut-off T-shirt and a clean pair of sneaks and you’ll be surprised how suddenly approachable you look. This one is all over TikTok, and it comes in a ton of patterns and sizes (just be sure to measure your waist and check the size guide). If you’re feeling shy about the length, just throw on a pair of bike shorts underneath and you can turn cartwheels without any mishaps.
The black cami dress
If you’re feeling panicky at the idea of wearing not just a skirt but a full-on dress, let me spin you a little scenario. Picture yourself running out of the house, one hot, humid, sticky, summer morning. Maybe you’re a little hungover, living that post-vax social life again. You’re not ready to put on clothes or be witnessed in the world, but there’s no coffee in the house, and no coffee is not an option. You must go out in the world.
Enter: the black cami dress. It’s loose and silky for the heat, yes, but the best part? Pull on one item of clothing and BAM: you’re dressed. Bonus points because you look fine as hell, too (show off those shoulders!).
A plaid midi-skirt
The great thing about a midi skirt (one that hits midway between your knee and ankle) is the length means you can sit however you want, and your junk will still be covered. This one is inspired by Lil Nas X (who is understandably concerned about such things after his SNL wardrobe malfunction), so take a page out of his book and style with big chunky boots.
The easy breezy print
The contrast of a light and flouncy poly with a tough pattern is what makes this skirt so cool and the over-the-knee length makes it super wearable. Imagine how comfy chic you’d be in it at a picnic in the park, with a black tee and a pair of Blundstones.
The understated suit skirt
If you’re the kind of person who regularly wears a suit, you need this. Thom Browne has been designing tasteful suit skirts explicitly for men for years now, and he’s really mastered the understated classic. You can wear this skirt anytime you would wear suit pants and look so much cooler. (You’ll feel a lot cooler too, promise.)
There you have it: Seven easy ways to slip a skirt over your masculinity. Congrats on being an ally and thanks, on behalf of all of us, for doing your small part to help our culture stop gendering fabric formations.
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