Do real men wear skirts? Saw a “fashionisto’ in a kilt strolling along Walnut Creek’s Civic Drive Thursday.

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.”

30 thoughts on “Do real men wear skirts? Saw a “fashionisto’ in a kilt strolling along Walnut Creek’s Civic Drive Thursday.

  1. Kilts have been in fashion for centuries, for a small but select group. 🙂

    That being said, I would hate to see men of any nationality wearing kilts in a sloppy way. A man needs style, confidence, and fitness to carry off this look.

    For most men, it's probably better to say “forgetaboutit.”


  2. The astonisihing thing is that women think they have a right to an opinion on the subject – whilst demandng the right to live, dress and work as they please without restrictions of any kind.


  3. I've had a couple of kilt sightings in the past year while riding on BART.

    Each time, the guy wearing the kilt looked great in it. Attractive, outdoorsy-looking, robust, healthy solid-looking types who looked as though they could win some kind of traditional feat of strength, like heaving a shotput or a tree trunk or some danged thing like that.

    Mmmm mmm mmmm.

    So, yes, bring on the kilts. Man, it would take guts for a guy to wear one, I think, even in the Bay Area — but more power to those who can pull it off (no pun intended!)


  4. 65+ guy here. Yep, I wear kilts, utilikilts and denim or tailored skirts. Depending on the situation and where I'm going/ what I'm doing. Oh I still have trowsers too but the skirts are way more comfortable.


  5. 3rd comment had cogent observation. To which I add—there is strong tendency for people to say “If men want to wear skirts it has to be a kilt.” This is the same as saying if we want to travel overseas, Scotland is the only allowable destination. Kilts are over-represented. Are women wearing ONLY ONE trouser style? What the Greeks wear is very different from HACKNEYED kilts and superior, because it has better movement (the flat front of the kilt KILLS it aesthetically.) Pleat location as a sex difference? Morons believe that.


  6. Skirt for men are okay, but men have to be confident with this new kind of dressing then we can talk about “real men weaing skirts”.

    It is not just about equality, it is also for men's health and comfort. And, men can look great in skirts -kilts always included because a kilt is a skirt-.
    I see in Scotisch or Irish kilts more the tradition, and 'original' kilts should be worn by those people who have the heritage. Other kind of kilts and skirts can worn by everyone. Everyone can do it in their own sex and personality, that is the way.
    And, most important, everybody has the same right to dress he/she likes, we should not support double standards.


  7. We got the whole man/women, trousers/skirt thing the wrong way around – trousers being anatomically correct for women, and anatomically incorrect for men.
    Everybody knows that the 'private area'of men should be 1 degree cool than body temperature – then men can say “I'm really haelthy”.

    But who cares? Just another thought, or?
    Or isn't it long overdue? Is there any single reason onearth why men should not wear skirts?

    Or maybe we never thought about other options than pants as clothing for men. I think men's dressing options slipped out of our mind for a long time. Fortunately men are back with an interesting way of skirted-dressing.


  8. To the mentioned over-representation of kilts compare toskirts for men. In U.S.A. most skirts for men just called as “kilt' because of two reasons:
    Kilt is a traditional men's garment even it is a skirt. Secondly the 'real' kilt is still a part of a costume in common understanding and only worn for special events by Scots and Irish.
    So, in most imagination people thinking about the Scottish kilt in traditional connection but want it for every-day use – but that does not fit. And kilts have an opening at the side, skirts for men don't have that.

    The problem between kilts and skirts appeared since women began wearing kilts but using it as skirts.
    Today more women using the typical men's garment than men itself.

    Conclusion: Typical “old” men's garments like trousers/pants and kilts are worn by women today, so men should do the same because there is no gender specific garment for men anymore existent. Am I right?


  9. Yes, Soccer Mom, there is a trend to go with skirted men. Your last paragraph – some department stores do not follow the skirt trend for men in case of recession – should be a little bit updated. Some stores already sold men's skirts as Parisian, H&M is coming up with that, and when you ask in some Macy' stores for men's skirt as a man they will give you a big and very friendly help – coming up with traditional skirts – in women's department. Tom


  10. Nothing wrong with skirted men. Saw recently two couple, men in skirt, women in pants. One went into Kaiser P.
    Definitely skirts looking sometimes better on men than pants.


  11. What is the question about men in skirts? There are already several million websites and comments written. I think we are be able to post our humbled opinion, we are not supposed to be a judge. Men who like skirts- okay, who don't like it, also okay.
    I only know for sure that pants are not the appropriate garment for men in case of biological reason. I also know one man in my neighborhood which has to wear skirts because of a medical treatment. All concerns are different, so what to write?


  12. I've been wearing them here and there for about 25 years. A man has to pick the context very carefully. I've had very few negative comments when I've been in CA, or NYC, or even in the Midwest, but the south is not really ready for it. I'm not sure about all points in Europe either.

    My favorites are above-the-knee denim and khaki. When I was younger I'd just get off-the-rack womens or juniors skirts, but now that I'm older and have a few more dollars to spare I have them custom made.

    BTW, straight male, single, 42.


  13. To understand the question “Do real men wear skirts?” we have to rewind the history when women starting wearing pants. Did anybody, anywhere the same question for Women: “Do real women wear pants?” Why men always on “the wrong side”?
    My answer is clear: “Only real men wearing skirts”, all other don't or have to hide.


  14. Skirts are also for men, period.
    Ask any kayaker along with the following famous people :

    Sean Connery, Mel Gibson, Liam Neeson, and even Samuel L. Jackson wore a skirt in the movies. Other stars such as Alec Guinness, George Lazenby (James Bond 1969), Mike Myers, Ewan McGregor, George Clooney, and numerous others have worn skirts/kilts.

    Most men in Western society are afraid to wear any skirt-like garment,
    because they fear it would be confused with femininity and cross-dressing.

    Stand up to those that doubt your masculinity, wear the kayak skirt proudly and paddle to your hearts content as often as you can.


  15. Of course, real men wearing skirts and dresses. Period. And, yes with pantyhose when necessary. And why not? Because real men do not have to questioning that they are real men.
    I don't know why it is always in question that men can something differently. They can and they should DO IT!!


  16. contains a PDF on the history of skirts and trousers. Readers get an eye opener as to how intolerance of nonconformity prevails in all societies. Today the conformity of men not wearing skirts is enforced by such intensely prejudicial terminology as “transvestites.” The power aspect of style selfish women is discussed & how they view a skirt monopoly as dominance over men who are given no choices.


  17. Yes, I enjoy wearing skirts and kilts. They are so comfortable and stylish. I prefer long skirts, especially while Contra Dancing, where you are likely to see a couple of guys in skirts. The reason being that it is so much fun to spin and twirl in a flowing skirt. Most of my friends think it is cool and I am starting to wear my skirts out to parties, concerts, etc. I created a blog about guys in skirts at


  18. Only real men wearing skirts! And, a kilt is a skirt by definition.

    Why I am coming upt with that? Skirts for men are -again- on catwalks for fall/winter 2010/2011fashion, just a little bit more than 1 year ago. That means, designer have heard the cry from men coming up with this new trend and create new style fashion. Now with shinny tights and new kind of shoes for men.
    Recently I watched a movie-clip showing a brewery in Germany with a kind of uniform for all males: kilted style skirts. And it looks amazing good.


  19. Only real men wear skirts because they don't have to question their sexuality. Or:
    Do real women wearing pants?
    I can't understand why it is questioned at all? Do other people put in question what women wearing? Is that common that only men be caged? Why?
    I think it is time that men come up with a change and have additional choice what to wear. And skirts are not just more comfortable, they are also the best for male's health.
    So, again, why this question above?


  20. The lack of knowledge is appalling.

    (Traditional) A skirt pins on the left, a kilt pins on the right.

    My military kilt has 8 yards of material and is made of 16 oz wool. Its warm even when it gets wet.

    I had a casual kilt made for my daughters wedding in Vegas, 5 yards of material, 10 oz wool.

    Kilts are very comfortable, I see the new utilikilts and I think that is way cool.

    That being said, wear what you want.


  21. Men wore skirts since clothes were invented (about 75000 years ago), and still wear these garment in many parts of the world, except westernized society, where skirt became feminine. Look at the garment we wear – trousers. These can't fit our male anatomy, causes testicles overheating. Our sexual organs are thrown outside the body? As You think, why? Just because overheating them is wrong! Look at the guys in kilts, are they “fashionistas” whatever it means? Skirts for men should not be connected with a fashion, but medicine, comfort and our heritage (I mean not only Scottish and Irish – kilts were common in many Ancient and Medieval European and Asian cultures, similar clothes survived to 17th century in France for egzample).



  22. I live in Dallas, TX and have recently seen men sporting skirts just around the city. I thought it a bit strange, because, let's face it: these guys are not all Scottish. Guess it's the style now. Won't see in one though.


  23. Of course, only real men can wear skirts – or call it kilts.
    Times changes and we have to change our point ov views.

    I am a strong supporter since I saw men in skirts. They just looked terrific in it. And I like to add that all which are talking against men in skirts never saw them – just their imagination make them building a (s0 called) opinion.


  24. I live in Walnut Creek and began wearing a Kilt or man-skirt, call it what you want, just 3 weeks ago. I had not been interested in them until I noticed UtiliKilts at the Maker Faire in San Mateo a few weeks ago. They have a unique product which made sense to me. I now wear my “Workman's” style whenever I can. It's rugged and functional and very comfortable. I get looks around town, but I don't really care about that. I am comfortable and don't understand why we shouldn't be able to wear what we want. I observe others reactions, ranging from amusement to discomfort to appreciation. I already have plans to order at least one more. The fabric is heavier duty than the jeans I usually work in. The kilt is much cooler than the jeans. Once the jeans get soaked with sweat, they stick to my legs and weigh an extra 10 pounds or more. No fun to work in. The kilt stays cool and comfortable. More men should try it.


  25. Christ, here we have again someone saying because a kilt pins on the right, it isn't a skirt. A motor vehicle remains a motor vehicle whether its doors open the usual way, or upwards as in fancy sports cars. The kilt never existed that was not also a skirt. The absence of pleats across the front of kilts does not equate to male sex organs. People who wear kilts without underwear stupidly risk soiling them. They also risk being arrested and jailed if an indecent exposure occurs, even innocently (gust of wind and someone makes allegation of exhibitionism.)


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