The conversation around androgynous dress has developed significantly from back when Kurt Cobain was performing in a dress but, if we’re being honest, the skirt hasn’t quite made it into the category of “unisex” for much of society. Well, not yet.
In late 2019, pre-pandemic, we covered the rise of the man skirt and how, at the time, it was popping up on runway displays between Paris, New York, Milan, and beyond.
Now, our wardrobes are doing their full butterfly transformation and becoming louder, more ostentatious, and decidedly less boring.
In what is something of a perfect storm for the affirmation of the skirt for men, some of pop culture’s biggest names are wearing them, too.
Most recently, A$AP Rocky has been joining in the fun.
The leather skirt was seemingly paying homage to Ye’s famous stage wear for the Watch The Throne tour, one of the most iconic men’s outfits in recent years.
And Rocky isn’t the only one adding skirts into their rotation – Russell Westbrook bodied his Thom Browne ‘fit at NYFW last year, and Brad Pitt recently wore a brown linen skirt with a matching blazer at the Berlin screening of his new film Bullet Train.
Google search data shows that searches for Brad Pitt went through the roof as every major news outlet was publishing the story, while on social media images of the actor on the red carpet were everywhere on my feed.
There’s no denying that some of this attention was because of how well he pulled off the look, but I suspect that the vast majority came from the novelty of seeing a man in a skirt.
It’s nothing new, the likes of Rick Owens, Thom Browne, COMME des GARÇONS, and Maison Margiela have been including men’s skirts in runway collections for years and their un-gendered use stretches back centuries — not just in the form of the I’ll-only-wear-it-at-a-wedding kilt.
Even so, dresses and skirts have never really stuck their flag firmly in mainstream menswear.
This renewed affirmation of skirts in menswear via popular culture might be the final push into mainstream consciousness that was needed.
It goes much further than just A$AP Rocky and Brad Pitt. Who could forget the moment that Kid Cudi performed on Saturday Night Live in a Virgil-designed floral dress, Oscar Isaac continuing his style accession with skirt supremacy, or Jordan Clarkson wearing a full look from Highsnobiety’s exclusive Thom Browne collection, including a paneled mesh skirt.
Plus, we are not only talking about long sweeping ankle-length skirts, Highsnobiety cover star Bad Bunny has been giving some love to mini skirts, joined by the likes of J Balvin.
These are big stages. And huge statements of advocacy for genderless dressing.
Why it’s taken this long for the skirt to really enter the realm of menswear, I don’t know. And I sincerely hope what looks like a full acceptance of the category doesn’t once again fizzle out with a quiet yelp.
People wearing whatever they want, whenever they want, means more styling options and less time trying to work out another way to wear your Levi’s 501s.
With that in mind, we hit the internet to round up some of the best skirts for men on the market right now.
Our search, and the amount of them available in the collections of the world’s best brands, tell us that it’s going nowhere fast.
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