I was driving past City Hall yesterday around noon, on my way to pick up Soccer Son from sports camp at Heather Farm, and I saw a man striding along Civic Drive–in a skirt.
Or, rather a kilt. Beige cotton-looking fabric and pleats—something like the “man skirt” in this photo at left. The man looked tall and toned beneath a black T-shirt, and very fashion forward, with a hair that appeared to be stylishly bleached and spiked up. From what I could see of his face as I drove by, it seemed handsome, chiseled, with a strong jaw and cheekbones. Clean-shaven.
He was walking in that flouncy kilt with ease and confidence.
I poked around on the Internet, and apparently men’s skirts were “all the rage” at Men’s 2009 Fashion Week. Who knew? They showed up in various lengths, fabrics, patterns, and styles on the runways of Comme des Garcons, Jean Paul Gaultier, Yohji Yamamoto, Rick Owens, Yves Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen. Apparently, designer Marc Jacobs might be to blame for the man skirts’ recent resurgence on the catwalks, according to Daily Beast writer Alisa Gould-Simon. (Hmm, “man skirt?” Kinda like “man purse?”) “Or,” she says, “one could also trace it further back to the Scots and Irish…”
New York-based fashion blogger the Sartorialist also snapped photos of men out and about Manhattan in skirts, and wrote: “Seems the idea of men in skirts is now acceptable but questions remain about 1) cultural appropriation; 2) how the gentleman’s legs look in the skirt; 3) what shoes to wear? and 4) (I can’t believe I’m asking this but) above or below the knee?
Well, here’s one reason to favor or oppose the arrival of Neiman Marcus in Walnut Creek—depending of course on your point of view on the man skirt. According to a Wall Street Journal blog, “Retailers have been skeptical of the trend. … Colby Williams, Neiman Marcus’ men’s fashion director, for example, said he didn’t buy any men’s skirts for spring, noting that the daring look is likely to be a hard sell, especially during a recession.”