On catwalks, designers have been endorsing men’s skirts for the best part of fifty years, but it was usually left to the more experimental and left-field fashion houses: Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier, Yohji Yamamoto, Marc Jacobs, Raf Simons et al. For a long time, only the most adventurous of men, largely of the LGBTQ+ community, followed suit. But past fashion weeks have presented some new entrants in the men’s skirt playbook, cementing its staying power. Dior put models in wool skirts, cut above the knee and paired with jumbo knits. Elsewhere Gucci, which under the helm of Alessandro Michele pushed masc skirts for eight years, has continued to do so without the designer. Floor-sweeping, grungified, plaid numbers were given an edge by way of beanie hats and ultra-thin Cobain-style knits back in January. Virgil Abloh made it one of his many missions at Louis Vuitton to get men in pleated tunics.
Egonlab, one of the buzziest brands to come out of Paris in recent years (Styles wears it, we love it) put models in mini skirts cut from denim and Prince of Wales checked wool. Martine Rose, London’s designer provocateur, opened Pitti Uomo and the ensuing 2023 roster of shows, with guys in floor-length skirts, setting the tone for the rest of the men’s shows. Ludovic Saint Sernin, the French designer dressing Dua Lipa and Troye Sivan, has long been shouting for men to wear skimpy skirts. Even Etro, a 55-year-old brand famous for its paisley blazers, sent men in skirts down the catwalk for its Autumn/Winter 2023 show. Retailers, meanwhile, have followed suit: Ssense and Mr Porter both stock skirts for men.
Nevertheless, intolerance (like the kind you find on Twitter) and gender norms might mean that wearing a skirt down Oxford Street is a daunting prospect. Men who fancy it but are unsure about taking the plunge could take inspiration from Otamare Guobadia, a writer and columnist who is an avid skirt-wearer. He explains that he wears them regardless of general opinion. “When I was younger I shied away from skirts and dresses for fear of tension between my ‘masculine body’ and more feminine modes of dresses,” he says. “At this point in my life, I dress neither to subvert expectations nor subdue them. There is no great political statement at work for me. I wear skirts because I look hot in skirts.”
The truth is that if any man wants to wear a skirt, dress, kilt or tunic in 2023 should be absolutely free to do so – even if that guy is a former wrestler. Skirts are loose, free and deliciously cool. Everything you want to be, right?