It was with a wry smile that I read about the boys in the UK who defied their school uniform policies by wearing skirts to school during the recent heat wave. And a sigh of exasperation when girls who took their tights off to cool down in the heat were removed from classrooms and swiftly told to put them back on. The teenage boys were told they could not wear shorts and must wear long trousers, despite the heat.
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Why is the sight of a Western man in a skirt still so rare? Especially in Australia, where temperatures at the moment are skimming between uncomfortably sweaty and unbearably hot, it would make much more sense for men to don a light skirt and feel cool while they look cool see what I did there? The French Revolution precipitated the change as the opulent and colourful styles of the previous century were shed in favour of simpler, plainer clothing that symbolically reflected the abolition of class difference in France.
I remember the first time skirts really caught my attention: It was when Jared Leto announced on his blog that "real men wear skirts" back in He, and a few other celebrities, made skirts seem so fashionable, and it was a look I've wanted to be able to pull off. Out of nowhere I had a pile of skirts, but the thought of actually wearing one of them to work for the day, or out to dinner always gave me pause. But once I was back to reality, the skirts rarely saw the light of day.
In the UK, where I live, a debate has recently erupted over student dress codes, as gender-neutral uniforms will soon be instituted at at least one school. Though the actual issue at hand has to do with students feeling free to express their gender identity and is rather complex, the media narrative is a bit more simplified: should boys be allowed to wear skirtsjust as women can now wear pants? The entire idea of skirts as specifically female dress was brought about in European thought by a combination of tailoring innovation and particular occupations; and the tradition of men in cloth wraps, skirts, tunics, robes and other non-pant items is vast and ancient.
People with "closed, narrow minds" should "NOT" dictate to the rest of any society how each individual should dress or be comfortable. All clothing has a purpose, with it's main purpose to cover, protect, and comfort an individual's body. Additionally, there are various heath benefits from some articles of clothing for support, protection from weather, and many other issues.
The indisputable fact about skirts is that they are extremely comfortable to wear for both men and women. If one follows the cardinal rule of design; "form follows function", then it is obvious that the idea of restricting men from wearing skirts today is largely a fashion argument. Just as the idea of women wearing pant's can equally be argued as fashion in most casual living situations.
Faced with sweltering temperatures and a no-shorts uniform policy, they rocked up to classes wearing skirts. Pay gaps, periods, slut-shaming, menopause, being able to pee wherever you like, to name but a few. I can cool off with my arms out and wear thin material while men still have to put up with sweat-stained shirts and crotch-sweat inducing trousers.
It's Metafilter's 20th anniversary! To celebrate, scan some cats or help fund Mefi! It's time to make the skirt work.