The Man's Skirt in History

The Man's Skirt in History: The beginnings

Skirts have been worn since prehistoric times. They were the standard garment for men and women in all cultures. Since the invention of writing, they have been registered as the main types of clothing for men in fur skirts called "Kaunakes". 

From the findings found it emerged that even during the empire of Egypt the main garment used by men was the skirt, mostly in white linen used over time of various lengths taking various names such as: "shendyt" and "Skentis", the latter garment used by the noblest as scribes and pharaohs.

In ancient Greece, on the other hand, it was the "khiton", the main garment used by men and women, a long "T" dress tied at the waist with a belt.

The Romans, with known Greek influences in their culture, also took the way of dressing of the Greeks, using widely different types of skirts also applying them to their armies.

The Man's Skirt in History: Pants instead of skirts 

Things changed when tailoring techniques became more refined and evolved and the first trousers and tights were created that took the place of skirts in men's clothing. This coincided with the French and Industrial Revolutions and the beginning of the Victorian era where bright colors and luxurious fabrics that accompanied pompous skirts worn by French monarchs gave way to sober and simpler clothing like trousers.

This phenomenon has been defined by the English psychologist John Flügel as "The Great Male Renunciation": "From now on trousers will become the definitive clothing for men, while women will be forced to wear their essential frivolity because of the clothes and skirts they will have to wear".

From the middle of the 20th century, the skirts were then placed in the male wardrobe and the trousers were replaced, leaving the Scottish kilt and the Albanian and Greek fustanella as the only traditional men's skirts in Europe.


The Man's Skirt in History: The resistance 

In the 1970s, David Hall, a former research engineer at the Stanford Research Institute, actively promoted the use of skirts for men. In his essay "Skirts for Men: the advantages and disadvantages of various forms of body covering", he opted for the fact that men had to wear skirts for both symbolic and practical reasons. Symbolically, wearing skirts would allow men to assume the feminine desirable characteristics. In practice, skirts, he suggested, do not rub around the groin, and are better suited to warm climates.

In 1985 the French fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier created his first skirt for a men. Transgressing social codes Gaultier frequently introduces the skirt into his men′s wear collections as a means of injecting novelty into male attire, most famously the sarong seen on David Beckham. Other famous designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Giorgio Armani, John Galliano, Kenzo, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto also created men's skirts. In the US Marc Jacobs became the most prominent supporter of the skirt for men. The Milan men′s fashion shows and the New York fashion shows frequently show skirts for men.

Many show business and music personalities wore a men's skirt such as Jonathan Davis, the solo singer of the Korn, the singer of the Guns N 'Roses', Axl Rose, was known to wear men's skirts. Robbie Williams and Martin Gore from Depeche Mode also performed on stage in skirts. Martin Gore was often seen in public with skirts. In an interview he said: "Sex barriers and gender roles are outdated. My girlfriend and I often share our clothes and makeup.

In 2008, an association was created in France to help relaunch the men's skirt, and the heat also encouraged its use. In June 2013, Swedish drivers won the right to wear skirts in summer, when their cabins can reach 35°C (95°F), while in July 2013, parents supported the kids wearing skirts at the Gowerton Comprehensive School in Wales.

In 2003, the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibited an exhibition, organized by Andrew Bolton and Harold Koda of the Museum's Institute of Costumes and sponsored by Gaultier, entitled Courageous Hearts: Men in Skirt. The idea of the exhibition was to explore how different groups and individuals (from hippies to pop stars to designers) have promoted the idea that men wear skirts as "the future of men's clothing". The exhibition highlighted the lack of a "natural bond" between a garment and the masculinity or femininity of the wearer, citing kilt as "one of the most powerful, versatile and durable forms of skirt, often considered by designers as the symbol of natural, uninhibited masculinity". He pointed out that male designers and trousers use skirts for three purposes: to break conventional moral and social codes, to redefine the ideal of masculinity and to inject new ideas into men's fashion.


The Man's Skirt in History: Other cultures 

In non-western cultures, men's clothing includes skirts and skirt-like garments such as "dhoti/veshti" or "lungi" in India, and sarong in South and Southeast Asia, and Sri Lanka. In Myanmar, both women and men wear a longyi, a tubular skirt as enveloping as a sarong that goes all the way to the ankles for women and half a calf for men.

In sub-Saharan Africa, clothing sometimes worn by men is known as kanga In Madagascar, it is known as lamba. 

For the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Muslim men wear the ihram, a simple and seamless garment in white cotton sponge. One piece is wrapped in the shape of a skirting board around the lower half of the body, the other is thrown freely on one shoulder.
Sheep farmers in Qahtani, southern Asir, wear skirt shaped kicks that are long to the ankle. In Yemen standard dress is a calf length, wraparound skirt, the futah. Palestinians from the Eastern Mediterranean traditionally wear the qumbaz, a unisex garment at the ankle, which opens to the bottom of the front with the right side carried over the left, under the arm and then closed.

In East Asia, skirts that are called qun (裙) or chang (裳) in Chinese were also worn by men and dresses from ancient times until the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. The Qin warriors of the first dynasty of imperial China wore a skirt tunic and a protective armor of bronze plates

In Japan there are two types of hakama for men: The humanori type has split legs, similar to skirts- pants and the hakama andon. Until 1940, hakama was a compulsory part of ordinary menswear. Today Japanese men usually wear hakama only on formal occasions such as tea ceremonies, weddings and funerals. Hakama is also worn by practitioners of a variety of martial arts, such as kendo.



The Man's Skirt in History: Now ! 

Today, Mr. Kirt with his men's skirts, embraces all movements and attempts made to promote and support the use of the men's skirt by encouraging this cause.

Men's skirts are the present and future of men's fashion.

Skirt for man


If you liked this article and want to receive more info and news from the blog, as well as a discount voucher for your purchases, register for our newsletter ;) 


Mr. Kirt