When I think of unisex clothing, I often think about pants, jackets, or tees. When I think of skirts, I often think it’s more of a women’s apparel, save for Scottish folks with their kilts, which men wear.
But thinking of it, there are actually more men wearing skirts these days. I remember seeing musician Lil Nas on a red carpet wearing a skirt ensemble, or Harry Styles wearing a skirt and feminine clothing for his photoshoot for a magazine.
In these modern times, should skirts become unisex as well?
What is a Unisex Skirt?
A skirt that is made for both men and women is known as a unisex skirt. The concept that skirts are just for females is turned on its head with a unisex skirt. Unisex skirts aren’t designed and manufactured in a vacuum. The businesses driving this fashion trend are well aware that they are shattering the symbolic barrier formed by skirts in order to spark a bigger conversation about gender flexibility and equality.
The Short Answer
Is it true that skirts may be worn by both women and men? The article’s title is a question. Yes and no must be the simple response. Because unisex skirts aren’t worn by the majority of males, it’s important to equivocate. They aren’t yet equivalent to unisex apparel and accessories like jeans and sweaters.
Every day, millions of these things are sold all over the globe. Genderless skirts, on the other hand, are difficult to classify as unisex since they are not yet widely worn by both men and women.
Uniform skirts, on the other hand, are available. Unisex skirts are a specialty of several designers. Many clothing firms are blurring the distinctions between their men’s and women’s categories, providing increasing unisex skirts as well as other gender-neutral options.
However, being truthful about the impact and appeal of unisex skirts is crucial. They’re still primarily exclusive to high-end fashion. Those looking to purchase such an item will only be able to do so from a limited number of sources.
You’re more likely to discover a unisex skirt at a department shop in New York, L.A., or Chicago than in a store in rural Kentucky, Georgia, or Tennessee, at the risk of falling into clichés or overbroad generalizations. Online businesses will have a larger selection for residents of the latter states.
A Challenging Past
Before we begin, let’s clarify what is and is not a unisex skirt: the kilt. A kilt is a piece of clothing made for males, not a skirt. Kilts are solely for guys, thus you won’t see any ladies wearing them.
The Scottish Highlands are the origins of this clothing. The numerous tribes are represented by distinct motifs. Kilts are still worn by Scots today for important occasions like weddings, graduations, as well as other festivities.
Let’s move on to the past.
Unisex designs have long been promoted by haute couture houses. Jean-Paul Gautier wore men’s skirts on the runway in 1984. In a picture session that appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in 1999, Hollywood sensation Brad Pitt wore a short dress.
Jaden Smith (son of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith) recently walked the runway in a unisex skirt. In addition, throughout the previous decade, Jared Leto and Kanye West have been pictured wearing unisex skirts.
Department shops and well-known apparel labels have joined the gender-neutral bandwagon. Selfridges’ Agender concept, which merged the menswear and womenswear areas of its shops, was introduced in 2015. In 2016, Zara introduced a gender-neutral collection of trousers, sweatshirts, tees, and skirts. John Lewis also eliminated gender markers from their children’s clothes range in 2017.
All of these actions and initiatives seem to be sufficient to establish unisex skirts as a popular fashion item. They haven’t followed through on their promise.
The issue, if one can call it that, is that guys wearing a skirt still seem to be cross-dressing. People are compelled to regard skirts as solely feminine due to a form of societal inertia. A male CEO, for example, who arrived at work wearing a unisex skirt would almost certainly be sent home early, and he may possibly lose his job.
In most cases, a guy wearing such apparel would be ostracized, and in other cases, he may even be confronted with physical assault if he turned up at the bar or at the club wearing it.
Even famous guys wearing unisex skirts were chastised. When Jaden Smith’s father was notified of the Louis Vuitton photo shoot, he told him forcefully, “you cannot wear a skirt.” GQ named Jared Leto the World Worst Dressed Man, which is a fairly unpleasant title.
Leto was given the honor in part because he wore “skirts approximately as often as trousers,” according to the apparently fashionable and cosmopolitan publication. After wearing a skirt in 2011, Kanye West was slammed by many other hip-hop artists with venomous anti-skirt songs. West then ordered that all photographs of him wearing the clothing be removed from Getty Images.
Connection to the LGBTQ+ Community
Only through the lens of the LGBTQ struggle can the history and present situation of unisex skirts be properly understood. This burgeoning fashion trend includes the battle for transgender rights in particular.
Transphobia is clearly at the root of the anti-unisex skirt sentiment. People who are openly biased perpetrate the most violent demonstrations. However, critics who consider themselves to be contemporary, trendy, and liberal-minded are not immune to bias.
Gender identification has been a constant subject of debate in the public arena because to the efforts of committed LGBTQ rights campaigners. It has compelled the rest of society to consider the myriad socially built traditions that determine male and female, masculinity and femininity.
Men and women from previous generations have a difficult time breaking free from these groups. The children, on the other hand, are more receptive to gender flexibility. And, since younger people make up the greatest pool of present and prospective buyers, the fashion business is increasingly interested in their thoughts and views.
In high-street fashion, Unisex skirts are gradually becoming the new standard. Major manufacturers are recognizing that their clothing does not have to be gender-specific. Part of the reason for these changes is the LGBTQ movement. The latter has made fashion adhere to one of its founding principles: to create clothing in the spirit of individual expression.
Designers Working Today
It says nothing about a man’s gender or sexuality when he wears a skirt. The major goal of unisex skirts is to broaden the range of options available to men when it comes to fashion. Because demand for Unisex skirts continues to grow, they are increasingly appearing in apparel shops.
A select group of designer brands is at the fore. They’ve made it a point to create skirts that guys can wear. Listed below are a few:
The goal of this designer start-up was to create and sell unisex skirts, hence it was formed in 2015. It’s still going strong, creating gender-neutral skirts for women of all shapes and sizes.
“They are genderless, ageless, and limitless; they come from no country, no race, and no religion, but they might be at home anywhere, anytime,” says the creator of this designer business.
It’s been ten years since the firm was established. It has tried to blur the distinctions between macho and feminine attire since then.
This designer is devoted to the creation of unblemished garments. It creates clothing from the finest materials and molds them by hand into elegant patterns, ranging from wide-legged pants to work jackets to unisex skirts.
Unisex Skirts Could Have a Future
Unisex skirts have a promising future. Despite the fact that males are still mainly looked upon for wearing skirts, the trend will not necessarily become common without direct action. Fashion trends like these are never the outcome of a battle. They are usually the result of the length of time it takes for a trend to develop.
It’s also worth noting that towards the conclusion of a painful social event, new cutting-edge trends sometimes explode into the mainstream. Before the First World War, women wore bobbed haircuts and short skirts, but the war’s damage weakened the attitudes and norms that gave birth to them, allowing the coming generation to experiment further.
It’s possible that something similar may occur in our day. The COVID pandemic’s death, devastation, and demoralization have shattered the societal conscience, and we may witness a comparable widespread openness to try out new fashion concepts.
The fall of sexism, homophobia, and transphobia will also contribute to the increasing acceptance of unisex skirts. The mental aversion to males in skirts is linked to all of these illnesses. Activists’ and regular people’s efforts are valued in this environment.
Even those who think a unisex skirt doesn’t suit their form or style should embrace it. Because unisex skirts are a win for gender flexibility, gender blurring, and, eventually, gender equality. The objective isn’t that every male should feel compelled to wear a unisex skirt to demonstrate their tolerance; rather, everyone should see increased acceptance of this item of clothing as a further check on prejudice.