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Feb 24, 2014

Planning My Men's Skirt Project



This afternoon I swung by the Comme des Garcons store, which is just a few blocks from my apartment.

The store is set up like a space-age art gallery and it's more than a little intimidating (to me).  But the staff people seem happy to answer questions and talk about the clothes.  (What else do they have to do all day except chat -- and make sure the the hangers are perfectly spaced between each other?)

The storefront

Friends, I couldn't even tell which areas in the store were for men and which were for women, and I felt like a rube asking, but what are you going to do?  It wasn't obvious.

The young male sales assistant who helped me was wearing the skirt posted up top, only with black leggings (not quite tights), colored socks and black shoes.  The ensemble looked great on him and it made me want to give it a shot myself.  Upon closer inspection (on the hanger, not the guy) I noticed that what I was really looking at were pleated culottes made in a lightweight wool blend suiting.  If I didn't want to draft culottes myself I could probably use Butterick 6164 (the version on the far right).



A little online research yields a lot of this kind of men's skirt/culotte/kilt thing, usually -- though not always -- shown with leggings (to keep it looking somewhat masculine, I'm guessing).

I think I could recreate the Givenchy cotton kilt below pretty easily, and for a whole lot less than $720.  I bet you could too.







Other designers showing skirts include Rick Owens, Thamanyah (the white skirt below) Yohji Yamamoto, and just about any designer who aspires to the avant-garde.  Mind you, this has been going on for more than a few years now.   You can read a few interesting articles about it here and here.







I'm excited about this project and I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Have a great day, everybody!

27 comments:

  1. FYI, when I tried to read this post, I got this message from my computer:
    Google Chrome has blocked access to this page on malepatternboldness.blogspot.com.
    Content from www.theluxechronicles.com, a known malware distributor, has been inserted into this web page. Visiting this page now is very likely to infect your Mac with malware.
    Malware is malicious software that causes things like identity theft, financial loss, and permanent file deletion

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    1. Thanks, Beth. I removed them from my blogroll. Hopefully that will help!

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  2. I don't know if you're familiar with Utilikilts, but you should give them a look for inspiration. I worked there 10 years ago (oh my how they've grown!) and let me tell you, there were some manly men in those skirts!

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    1. i wish i had bought a utilikilt when they first started. (i thought they were expensive THEN, haha)

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  3. I used that pattern back in 1993. Even though the skirt fit well and I rounded up on the hip measurement when choosing size, the crotch curve was all wrong on the culotte. I recommend finding a comfortable pair of pants whose waistband is at the height that you anticipate wearing your kilt/skirt. Measure that pair of pants for total U curve length and compare that to the culotte pattern front and back curve. Adjust as needed. Realizing that hip to waist ratio and plumbing differences will make this fit differently for you, I found that curve was way too short. I shifted it down by an inch at the inseam and made it much squarer in back to accommodate generous gluteal padding (butt, not hips). Good luck!
    Beth S

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  4. i love the white Thamanyah kilt/skirt. i always enjoy blurred gender lines.

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  5. I wish you well on your quest, but as someone who had to wear a skirt every day in grade school, they're such are a pain to wear day to day. We used to go to school with snowpants under our skirts when it was below zero, and shorts under skirts in spring, to make dress code and still hang upside down on the monkey bars. With a crinoline! Go for a brief fashion statement if you must, but please, no bagpipes or Irish dancing. I'll still wear them once in awhile, but you can have 'em!

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  6. I'm in agreement with jetsetsewing - I hate skirts and dresses in general. And, a lot of it has to do with all the clothing girls had to wear to be modest, not show panties, not do this, not do this, and above all else, sit with your knees together. TOGETHER!!! Don't spraddle. And, if jetset could tuck her skirt or dress into her snow pants, lucky her. Ours had to REMAIN outside the snow pants, because we were girls. Culottes and skorts were not dress code. And, if we were asked to kneel, our skirts had to have 2 inches on the ground, and no, slouching to make that mark was not allowable. I won't go into thigh rubbing against thigh, either . . .

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  7. I find it so interesting that in our current day and location men's skirts are considered a modern, novel idea when historically and even now in some areas, men wearing skirts are just wearing clothes, nothing special. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

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  8. Peter, what makes these skirts/kilts so beautiful is the quality of the fabrics used. Skirts are tricky, they need to hang well and swing properly and that requires the finest fabrics. When done right they are very nice so spare no expense on the quality. Good travels in executing your vision

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    1. I completely agree with you. So often what makes these seemingly simple designs stand out are subtle things in the drafting of the pattern and high-quality, unusual fabric. I'm not saying I won't be interested in the results, just that these things aren't as easy to replicate as it might seem at first. You might be able to capture something of the spirit...

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  9. Kilts have been Scottish warrior garb for centuries! Nothing new about them. Manly as all heck!

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  10. Okay, Peter, be honest... is this going to end up unworn past the photo shoot and gathering dust in your closet?

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  11. (Couldn't edit the last one) Or maybe are you gonna end up with a Utility Kilt?

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  12. I think some of these look really cool -- especially the Thamanyah one. I'd totally make that for myself if I ever saw a pattern like it.

    Also: What on earth did Givenchy do to that pleated cotton skirt to make it worth over $700? Does it come with the leggings, Birkenstocks and model?

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  13. Peter,Go! Do the Skirt!! Although it' s a small and tiny one, and only by young fashion victim, Men's Skirt Movement occurred in Tokyo a couple of years ago. It was not rare young men wear skirt in a part of Tokyo, Harajuku, Aoyama. The area is the fashion center of Tokyo, where is close to Comme des Garcons' head office and store.
    Masa

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  14. I'm looking forward to your skirt journey! For years I've been promising my man that I'll whip up a skirt for him, but I'm afraid it's not as easy as sewing a skirt for a woman. I have a feeling there are the details that can make a skirt masculine, but I'm not really sure what they are. Maybe I'll find it out from the articles you linked to.

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  15. I'm loving you in the man skirt idea very issie. And you hav a fab youthful body so can get away with a younger look I'm jealous go for it big man. I see leggings and a short rap skirt very utilitarian .

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  16. You've got a long, thin frame. I think the look will suit you and you'll rock it. Forward, march!

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    1. That's what I was thinking: You're the perfect body type for this.

      I actually don't like kilts on most women--the pleats don't do any favors to people with curves, so they're far more likely to look good on men. And, oh, how they do look good on men!

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  17. Peter, don't know if you remember my Issey M pattern (vogue 1729) from MPB day. The pant-skirt might be your ticket. Its a wrap skort with just one pant leg. If you want to borrow, I think our sizes would mesh.

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  18. Don't forget Jean-Paul Gaultier, he has been regularly featuring skirts for men since 1985!

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  19. Ooh, I really like the white skirt! I really like the designs with really strong lines that swing further away from the kilt side of the spectrum. You could totally pull off a futuristic, modern skirt!

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  20. Themanyah white thing looks like a child's droopy cloth diaper...sorry....more saggy than chic, but then I live in the Pacific Northwest where real men wear shorts year round with logging boots.

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  21. Yay! This style is so chic. I love the leather skirt/pants styling that Kanye favours.

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  22. The last couple of images are very Japanese traditional mens clothing steals, and the white one looks just like the offering on on one of the pattern project contests...and not terribly attractive in white, I think. Maybe a dark color would help eliminate the diaper factor. Jacquelyn's Vogue pattern has potential. Pleats could be added.
    Sammi (freezing in MT and not even thinking about skirts!)

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