Skorts For Guys: How Gender Neutral Dressing Is Transforming Fashion
The fashion world is departing from the constraints of gender norms and instead focussing on fluidity.
Gen Z and Millenials have proven that androgynous style is less about genderless clothing and more about encouraging people to dress across the entire spectrum of fashion.
The slow leak of femininity into menswear has recently been reignited with Cuban heels, painted nails and jewellery, and is being championed by the likes of Harry Styles, Jaden Smith, and Timothy Chalamet.
Veterans of the look, Rick Owens and Raf Simons have been dabbling in skirts for almost a decade, and outside of Western culture, it is not uncommon to see men wearing skirts and skirt-like garments.
From long collarless shirts worn by Indian, Nepalese, Pakistani, and Sri Lankan men to wraps, loincloths and togas worn in ancient Greece and Rome, skirts have long held a legitimate place in menswear.
There are myriad benefits of wearing a skirt, the most obvious being the suitability to warmer weather, allowing for airflow and ease of motion. Skirts are also the answer to the oft-monotonous formal menswear options.
Men’s suits have a homogenising effect on the wearer making it difficult to show your fashion-forward colours while at a formal event. This year has brought the rise of coloured suits, sheer shirts and the absence of shirts under blazers as well, helping distinguish those more courageous fashion icons. But there’s nothing quite like a skirt.
When Coco Chanel introduced women to pants in 1920, she changed the world both aesthetically and socially. She gave women power and freedom with a single garment. A century on, femininity is finally beginning to be concomitant with power, so it’s no wonder we’re seeing feminine staples migrate into menswear.
Perhaps the male modern-day answer to Chanel’s avant-garde vision for womenswear is none other than Billy Porter. Growing up queer, black, and with a strong appreciation for fashion, he has faced his fair share of marginalisation.
For Porter, dipping into styles traditionally reserved for women is not only an aesthetic choice but also a political one. He wants to challenge expectations and prompt the world around him to interrogate what masculinity and femininity mean in modern times. Porter has also said that wearing these feminine styles have helped him feel masculine.
If there’s a perfect time and place to challenge the status quo of fashion and menswear, in particular, it’s the Met Gala – one the most prominent and exclusive social events in the world, almost entirely inaccessible to the average person.
Adding a skirt to your wardrobe is a fashion-forward and futuristic decision – not one for the fainthearted. Luckily, there is a range of gateway-garments to ease you into skirt wearing, from culottes and wide-leg pants and shorts to skorts and layered skirt pants.
Fashion is about change and risk; be brave and powerful with your outfits because style should know no bounds, especially not the bounds of the gender binary.