Fashion has never stopped supporting gender equality struggles. Previously, representing the feminist revolution was the suit. Now, fashion is once again revolving around the men’s dress.
Men in skirts elegant equality or a trick to attract attention?
For centuries, men’s fashion has always represented innovation, as women rarely leave the house and don’t ask to dress up. However, from the 19th to 21st centuries, this reversed. Thanks to the women’s liberation movement, women join the labor force, have their own income, and spend more freely. At this time, men’s fashion was limited to traditional standards, and therefore developed more slowly when compared to women’s fashion.
But in the past few years, men’s fashion has changed dramatically, as many designers strive to redefine masculinity in fashion. If Spring Summer 2021 is the landing of feminine dresses in the men’s fashion village. Then, in the Fall-Winter 2022, the style of men wearing skirts returns with a shape that is easier to accept by the crowd. The figure is elegant enough, but still has a masculine quality.
Men’s dresses for the Fall Winter 2022 season raise questions about the definition of masculinity and femininity as well as dress standards.
In the past, skirts and dresses were the daily wear of most ancient civilizations.
The Egyptians wore schenti ( loincloth similar to a skirt) , belted at the waist and sometimes ruffled in the front. The Greek elite wore the chiton, a dress-like dress tied around the shoulders, while the Romans wore the t oga, a large piece of cloth wrapped around the body. Whereas the basic dress for both sexes and all social classes in ancient Greece and Rome was the tunic.
In ancient Rome, men absolutely did not wear pants. They even consider this outfit to be ridiculous. The reason is because they despise the civilizations that wear pants – Persia, Scythia (India), Gaul (France) – thinking that these societies are not as civilized as themselves. Ancient texts show that they described the Gauls as “squishy” when wearing long pants. The Roman soldier wore short clothing to show bravery and agility in battle.
So, why are trousers gradually replacing the skirt in men’s clothing? Historians say that was because pants were necessary when riding, especially in cold weather. The war horse is a tool of war, helping the great powers develop. Since then, pants have become a necessity for men.
For example, the Japanese wear kimono which is a kind of skirt with a robe, but samurai wear loose pants. Chinese men used to wear skirts before B.C.E., but during the wartime turmoil, they also switched to wearing pants. “Those who don’t raise war horses and switch to wearing pants, or do it late, lose out compared to those who quickly change,” said researcher Peter Turchin of the University of Connecticut, USA.
The victors of war will be richer and more powerful. Gradually, men wearing pants became a symbol of the ruling elite, and the culture of men wearing skirts disappeared.
Now, some countries still preserve the culture of men wearing skirts, including Fiji, Myanmar, Bhutan. In Greece, it was an integral part of military uniform. Scots are also proud of their kilt dress. However, the fact that men wear skirts only appears in rituals, not everyday applications.
At the 2019 Oscars, the whole world was shocked when Billy Porter wore a Christian Siriano dress to appear on the red carpet. The actor’s bold expression despite public opinion has sparked a new wind in the men’s fashion design trend.
Three years later, the Autumn-Winter 2022 runway saw a series of male models wearing skirts on the catwalk. From fashion house Burberry, Riccardo Tisci treats the audience with impromptu designs that are still bold in the spirit of heritage. Meanwhile, Gucci made guests admire when collaborating with Adidas , allowing male models to wear skirts and sports pants. At Egonlab and Dolce & Gabbana , there are random matching tartan dresses.
Harry Styles is one of the male artists who often wear dresses, although he is more of a straight guy than a log. In particular, after the 2020 Vogue cover photo shoot, social networks talked about this set of photos. Overall, the responses were positive, although there were still a few objections.
Gradually, putting aside the detractors and negative comments, influential men in the fields of music, cinema, and fashion began to “flash the flag”, confidently appearing with dresses. . Men wear skirts maybe because they represent the gender equality rights of the LGBTQIA+ community, or maybe because they want to show that masculinity can’t be framed in clothing.
The X-Men god Oscar Isaac and singer Bad Bunny bombarded the Met Gala 2022 red carpet with long dresses. Basketball star Russell Westbrook wore a kilt-style dress down the street. Rapper Lil Nas X performed the show with a crop top and mini skirt set.
After all, what comes out on the catwalk is an inspiration to any man who wants to wear a dress. Men wearing skirts is not a trend, but a fact that has existed for a long time. Gone are the days of the steel mold standard, the moment when a gentleman wears a skirt is as normal as a woman wears a suit. It is not rebellion, then, that is subject to rejection or reflection. And the world is on the way towards Fashion for All. Regardless of class or gender!
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