How to Wear Skirts and Man-Skirts

The art of wearing a skirt well is not as easy as tossing it on and just walking. In fact, different lengths have different issues.

SHORT SKIRTS

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Be careful of the Bermuda Triangle when you sit in a miniskirt. Creative Commons: Macleans.ca

A short, micro or miniskirt takes a certain degree of elegance if you want to maintain decorum and not look like a tart. Learn how to pick something up from the floor or a table without revealing all of your underpinnings. If you have to pick up something it’s best to bend at the knees and go straight down. Bending at the waist is sure to be revealing. Oh, and wearing underwear is an absolute must with short skirts. Make sure that if a chance unveiling happens that you are okay with what’s revealed, both in flesh and in material.

Some miniskirts are fairly form fitting. If you’re buying one, trying walking around in it first and see if it rides up or pouches at the belly. The other thing to check that not many of us think about is sitting in a skirt. The butt will widen and can cause constrictions or riding up. As well, there is that triangle of revelation between skirt and legs that can introduce any viewer at the same level or lower than you to an eyeful. Think Basic Instinct here. If your skirt is that short, you may have to cross your legs or place your hands or purse in a strategic position to keep the Bermuda Triangle hidden.

Short but full skirts are better at covering the Triangle but have the same problems for bending over. And of course, you have to watch the wind. A Marilyn moment in a short flouncy skirt is going to display more than your thighs. Many women now opt for dark tights with short skirts but that’s not always going to be a choice in the summer. You definitely don’t want to be lifting boxes in this length of skirt.

MID-LENGTH SKIRTS

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These midlength skirts are narrow enough you might need to hitch them to walk up stairs. Creative Commons Marc Jacobs

I consider any skirt from just above the knee to mid-calf to be a mid-length skirt. You don’t have to contend with displaying intimate details as you do with the short skirt but there are other issues. The tube or stovepipe skirt can be so tight that walking becomes an art. If you try to walk or stride you’ll either rip the material or fall over. Many of these skirts have an open slit in the back that facilitates walking, but you many still have to take delicate half-steps. Think of the kimono and how Japanese women mince along on the wooden sandals, called geta. To sit in a skirt this tight (if it is not stretchy material) means you might have to hike it up and you probably don’t want to cross your legs, even if there is room to do so. It would be quite constricting. If your skirt is particularly binding, you might find it difficult to bend your knees enough to mount the stairs. In this case you actually have to hitch your hip up to accommodate, or hike your skirt to give your knees room to bend.

A full skirt gives you ease of walking, but has other issues. If it’s really full it can tend to gather between your legs until you feel like you’re wearing a diaper, not to mention it doesn’t look that great. One way to deal with this is to gather a little bit in you hands to hold it out. The other is to wear a slip. Not only does this stop the transparent effects of the sun (or particular types of artificial lighting), but it will decrease the gathering of fabric. Slips are rarely as voluminous as a skirt, unless you’re dealing with the full circle where a full and ruffled slip is required to hold it out, which also stops it from going between the legs. And again, the fuller the skirt, the more you have to watch the wind, which really loves to play with fabric. The only thing with sitting that you have to watch with this length and style  is that it doesn’t end up with someone sitting on  part of it. Sometimes wearing a coat over top with a purse can cause a skirt to ride up. You might want to test that because it could show more than you’re anticipating.

FLOOR OR ANKLE-LENGTH SKIRTS

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This length might mean you have to develop the kick-step, depending on fabric and flow. Creative Commons: Michael Kors

Not all of these are evening gowns and I wear some ankle-length skirts from time to time. It’s rare to find fitted ones this long unless there is a slit, but a fishtail or tulip style may be fitted to the knees, then flare out. Again, you’ll probably have to practice walking elegantly. More common will be an A-line or fuller skirt. If the skirt actually touches the floor you’ll have to work out a kick-step that lets you kick the fabric out before stepping forward so you’re not tripping yourself. Going up stairs requires you to gather the fabric in a hand, but you might want to do this going down the stairs as well. Steps are strewn with garbage, or just wet, and a long skirt will trail behind. As well, anyone walking behind you might step on your skirt, resulting in tearing or worse, a fall.

Shoes and long skirts can make a dangerous combination. If you’re wearing heels, watch out. I’ve had my heel catch in the hem of a skirt that had slightly stretchy material and almost topple me down the stairs. If you’re on a chair with roller wheels, be careful that your skirt doesn’t get wound around the wheels. This has happened to me a few times.

MAN-SKIRTS OR KILTS

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Fashion gone wrong. Jean Paul Gaultier’s version of a manly man skirt.

Some men like to wear skirts and they’re not all gay. Others feel more comfortable calling these kilts, and the Utilikilt has gained great popularity amongst the male set. It’s a modern version made of heavyweight canvas and lacking the plaid of yesteryear’s kilt. Whether wearing a skirt or a kilt, men especially need to learn the art of wearing the skirt. Most of these are midlength so walking isn’t an issue but sitting can be a man’s undoing. Men often sit with their legs apart and if you happen to be going regimental (naked) beneath your kilt you better keep an eye on the capricious wind. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of sitting on the ground when I guy in a kilt came up and squatted in front of me. Ding dong, I saw far too much dangling. Guys, anyone at eye level and below can see a lot and it ain’t pretty. So, men, learn to either cross your ankles, close your knees, put your hands in your lap or use a pouch. That’s what the historical sporran was for besides storing valuables; it protected and hid the family jewels.

If you’re not sure how you’re going to look walking or sitting in any skirt or kilt, practice. Get a friend to give you hints but please, keep the treasures buried except for your special someone.

10 Comments

Filed under consumer affairs, Culture, fashion, humor

10 responses to “How to Wear Skirts and Man-Skirts

  1. Kelly

    Check out my Facebook album “now that’s a kilt!”

  2. Bunny Eats Design

    Hilarious but informative.

    I don’t do short skirts, although I once wore a long top as a dress. It covered all the essentials, but I felt like a cheap whore. We’d just come from the swimming pools and someone had walked off with my leggings. With no backup trousers, I wore my top as a dress to dinner. On the plus side, my top was not the shortest hemline in the room. Yep, my tops are longer than some dresses, skirts and shorts.

    • So have I. A t-shirt in a tall length makes a very inexpensive dress for a not-so-tall guy. Just a comfortable pair of panties & you are good to travel. I tried this look after visiting Florida once during the hot & humid later summer period. No reason not to follow your instincts. Some ideas are just too good to be gender restricted.

  3. I am a man that wears a skirt, and there are a number of us that do. I do have to adjust how I sit, bend and other, but I enjoy it better than wearing pants, the biggest thing I found is sociality and their closed minds. what most don’t realize is that skirts belonged to men before women, a, and I am not Crossdressing , nor am I gay. Just a man in a skirt nothing more, and hope to see more men in skirts.

    • colleenanderson

      I agree. Many men look great in skirts. But as far as men having skirts before women, not necessarily true. It depends on the culture but clothing was much more unisex in ancient times. A rectangle of fabric or fur wrapped around the body was the same for men and women, until men adapted for hunting and women for breastfeeding. :) And the social mories came in to play.

      • Yes that is true, we all were skirts back them, but they were different styles. Females had the longer styles where men had the shorter styles. I like wearing my skirts, but I couldn’t ever wear a mini, or Greek style as for most other things like, stockings, fluffy shirts, and high heals were developed by men and worm mostly by men, not today.

  4. mitmar

    Wearing skirts is a daily routine for me, and I feel great in it. Confidence is that what everybody should have when trying new ways, dressing included. People like my outfit and encourage me to go my way in male dressing with skirted garments, pantyhose, etc.

  5. Blake

    LIVE AND LET LIE

  6. Steven soderquist

    What do you think about a cargo skirt with that look good on a guy. I love your article. Let me know and email me. Thank you

    • colleenanderson

      It all depends on the guy. :) But like cargo pants, they’re just shorter and not that far from the kilt.

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