The Messy Relationship Between Skirts and Masculinity - And Our Best Fix
Like many pieces of clothing and accessories today, the skirt is perceived as largely made for - and exclusively worn by - women. While the target demographic for this style is clear in both its design and in the way it is marketed to the public, its origins contradict the very idea that it has come to represent in the modern context. Much like high-heels, which were made originally for men, the skirt has a rich history: one that serves to defy its widely pigeonholed reputation today.
Where It All Began
Spanning from their likely birthplace in Ancient Egypt to the rest of the world, skirts were famous for their functionality, originally known to cater to both men and women. Eventually, dresses were created, gaining popularity around Europe and consequently giving the skirt an increasingly more feminine association. The additional spread of trousers in the region gave men a new preferred clothing alternative, mostly eliminating their use of skirts.
The new realities of the Victorian Era dismissed the inclusionary origin of the skirt, giving way to the centuries-old social constructs that we still see reflected in our fashion habits today. It might be discouraging to learn about this shift, but it also forces us to realize how the realities we face today have come to exist, and whether they should truly be dictating the ways in which we choose to navigate our lives and decisions.
Beyond the West
While the Western world undoubtedly holds a huge influence in the world of fashion, the skirt has stood its ground as a culturally significant piece of clothing in various countries to date. Men in Asian and African nations can be seen wearing beautiful skirts and variations of the style, often as traditional attire featured in cultural events and ceremonies.
While the place of the skirt in specific circumstances has fortunately survived the tests of time, its dismissal as daily wear for men in a large part of the world is also clear.
The World Today
If all of the men who wished to wear skirts were to put one on and go normally about their day, it's undeniable that progress would be made. After all, out of all of the possible solutions to end the wrongfully negative association between skirts and ideas of masculinity, it feels to rank amongst the most effective (talk about power in numbers!). For many, the reality might not always be so simple.
That's because, beyond the outdated expectations imposed on our society today, the design of modern skirts also stands in the way of diversity and freedom of expression when it comes to clothing. Skirts are often designed to both exclusively fit and flatter specific bodies, an approach that naturally excludes the large majority.
So, we're here to do things differently.
At unseem, skirts are truly for all. By advocating for and promoting gender-neutral clothing, freedom of identity, and the opportunity to choose, we encourage all of those who wish to do so to put on a skirt they love and change the world along with us.
Our wrap skirts make it easy. The design adapts to your shape, meaning there's no worrying about weird fits or uncomfortable, limiting styles. For whoever wants to wear a skirt, whichever way they want to do it, without compromising comfort in the name of self-expression.
Feel good in yourself, with unskirt by unseem.