When you walk into a store, you’ll typically have two variations of clothing to shop from: Women’s in the front, and men’s in the back. Men tend to have wider silhouettes available, while women have more form-fitting options. Yes, this is certainly changing, but for too long it has conditioned people into thinking garments are not merely garments, but gendered for specific people to wear, and those people only. This societal conditioning has influenced how we speak, dress, and view the world and each other. It’s the reason why so many people produce content on A$AP Rocky’s decision to wear skirts.
And of course, androgynous fashion isn’t a 2022 thing — Billy Porter, David Bowie, and Prince were doing it long before we entered the scene, but it’s this old way of thinking that still places people like A$AP Rocky, Brad Pitt, Lil Nas X, and other people who have joined the conversation in the last 10 to 15 years.
“A$AP Rocky Steps Out For A Walk Around New York With Givenchy Leather Skirt”; “Lil Nas X Wears Pink Skirt to Music Awards”; “Kanye West Shocks Fans In Givenchy Leather Skirt For Hurricane Sandy Relief Concert”; “Brad Pitt Showed Up In A Skirt to His Own Premiere,” Or “Diddy, Always Deemed As A Tough Guy, Collects His Kids From School In A Skirt!”…Okay, that last headline I made up, but the headlines people come up with are so intense, and clearly they strongly disapprove of a man in a skirt.
Rocky, who just welcomed in a child with mogul Rihanna, uses skirts to express himself. And really, that is it. He likes them, sees skirts as a fashionable item, and will continue to wear them, regardless of who does not approve. More recently, Brad Pitt arrived to the premiere of his new movie in a laid back linen skirt. When asked what the inspiration was behind his outfit he told press: “I don’t know! We’re all going to die, so let’s mess it up.” Clearly the “it” here is the idea that men cannot wear skirts, and all other twisted things society has grown to believe over the years.
And if you think about it, skirts and kilts have been worn by men since the beginning of time in Scotland and other countries. Diddy even wore a kilt during a performance in Glasgow. The sarong, a wrap skirt, is even worn by men in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific Islands. Why does America have such an issue with this?
I’m happy to see brands like ASOS, Bode, Pyer Moss, Rick Owens, Hood by Air, Stella McCartney, and Telfar designing clothes that are more fluid — encouraging anyone to wear it no matter their gender. Although fashion has much work to do, our hope is that outdated gender norms will leave society, and we can normalize a skirt for what it is: A garment that is used to express and clothe yourself.
Images are snapshots of society, right? When you are shown the same image or a variation of that image over and over again, you start to believe it to be true. So, I hope A$AP Rocky, Harry Styles, Brad Pitt, Russell Westbrook, Kid Cudi, and anyone else that so desires to continue to bend and blend wardrobes by wearing skirts to fully change the narrative that they can be for anyone. After all, a piece of fabric or garment has no inherent gender.
Photo via Wiz Khalifa