Do folks notice or not?

General discussion of skirt and kilt-based fashion for men, and stuff that goes with skirts and kilts.

Do folks notice or not?

Postby crfriend » Fri May 04, 2012 8:43 pm

This is a question that gets bandied about from time to time, albeit mostly regarding the "invisible" denim skirt. Since I don't partake of denim (hideous ghastly stuff), and because of my size, I stick out and people do notice -- and sometimes work up the courage to ask questions.

"Pardon me, is there something cultural about that?" was such a question I received today in the main atrium of the building I work in, and was asked by a fellow employee. The answer was, "Not a thing! I just find skirts more comfortable than trousers." A very short conversation followed and the end result was a comment of, "I'll bet it is!" An associated comment was made that hinted that more than a few people were curious, and I hope the chap takes my answer back to them.

The nice thing about it was that the exchange was very cordial and there wasn't even the slightest whiff of hostility -- quite the opposite, really, it was one driven by honest curiosity. Curiosity is a good thing; I'm glad the chap stopped me to inquire. "One mind at a time" and all that!
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Re: Do folks notice or not?

Postby Since1982 » Sun May 06, 2012 12:36 am

Carl said: Pardon me, is there something cultural about that?"


Having been raised from age 8 to 70 in the south of Florida USA, I just tell ppl that denim is the native wear of Rednecks and Cowboys. I do mention that you have to be either fairly large or fast to wear a denim skirt around swastika tattooed rednecks, or never get out of your car in their environs. :cry: :faint: :faint:

The nice thing about it was that the exchange was very cordial and there wasn't even the slightest whiff of hostility
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Re: Do folks notice or not?

Postby crfriend » Sun May 06, 2012 12:56 am

Since1982 wrote:Who argues with a 9 foot tall man with a 4 foot hair braid and a skirt??? Not meeeeeeeeee!!!!! :blue:

But I'm only about 6'3" or 6'4" (it wobbles), although the braid may be close to 3' (I'll need to get Sapphire to measure it.). I also think you meant " :mrgreen: " rather than " :blue: ". I'm really quite laid back; I got most of the real nastiness out of my system many years ago.

Now, on the topic of "swastika-tattooed rednecks", I think the world has had almost enough of those. Poor Norway. With a bit of luck, I hope that mentality will get expunged (in all its forms) fairly soon; however, the realist in me rather suspects not. The absolute cynic in me is convinced that we're heading for a new Dark Age. I remain happy that I have no children.
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Re: Do folks notice or not?

Postby the_scott_meister » Sun May 06, 2012 6:46 am

I find denim to be dead useful. It's quite durable, easy to wash, and easy to replace. Very good for doing outdoor stuff, and here is Arizona (Phoenix) we have a bit of a tradition of cowboys (not many rednecks though, more like red-everything if you're out in the sun too long), none of them have swastikas anywhere. In fact, the Navaho have a tradition of swastikas, it's called "rolling logs" and was even on the side of one of our gov buildings until just last year. It doesn't mean the same to them as it did to you-know-who.

I've got about 50 skirts, with a few wool kilts thrown in, and a half dozen or so are denim, the rest are various types of material. I don't like stiff denim, so the ones I have are very relaxed but still strong enough to make it through an entire day of working out in the garage or the yard without getting ruined. I don't know if people notice or not since I don't pay that much attention, but I've never had any comments from anyone on my street or by any visitors.
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Re: Do folks notice or not?

Postby janrok » Sun May 06, 2012 9:56 am

Wow, 50 skirts! How long do you expect to live?

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Re: Do folks notice or not?

Postby crfriend » Sun May 06, 2012 12:02 pm

the_scott_meister wrote:In fact, the Navaho have a tradition of swastikas, it's called "rolling logs" and was even on the side of one of our gov buildings until just last year. It doesn't mean the same to them as it did to you-know-who.

Indeed. The symbol is actually a very ancient one and got co-opted by the Nazis only in the early part of the 20th Century. I recall being in a courthouse in Iowa in the early 1960s that had swastikas as a tile motif around many of the floors; the structure dated to the late 19th Century. It's probably been replaced, or the building torn down by now, but it was an interesting early life-lesson on how symbols can be corrupted.
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Re: Do folks notice or not?

Postby Since1982 » Sun May 06, 2012 8:38 pm

carl said: Now, on the topic of "swastika-tattooed rednecks", I think the world has had almost enough of those. Poor Norway. With a bit of luck, I hope that mentality will get expunged (in all its forms) fairly soon; however, the realist in me rather suspects not. The absolute cynic in me is convinced that we're heading for a new Dark Age.


Not even close. The explosion of new Swastika laden rednecks/hunters/fighters/or in general, weirdos... has been piling up ever since the USA hired a Black President. And now, during his fight to keep the job, (which I personally think he has no chance) considering all the mistakes he's made. Typically here's one, he had his FBI stop all USA citizens from playing any online poker of ANY stakes, no matter how low...We're not even allowed to play penny ante poker, although every citizen of every country in the world including Afghanistan, North Korea and all the other bad countries allow their citizens to do so. In this reason alone we've become a 3rd world country instead of # 1 as we were for centuries. By the way, that restriction doesn't apply to Mr. Obama and his poker buddies who play IN the White House every Saturday night. This is a published fact. He makes rules for Americans, but of course, he's exempt. :blue:
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Re: Do folks notice or not?

Postby David » Sun May 06, 2012 10:49 pm

Folks absolutely do notice and I only recently became convinced of this fact. I always checked my outfits in a mirror before venturing out of the house and I was firmly of the opinion that my skirts, most of which were converted cargo shorts, still resembled the cargo shorts from which they were derived. My bedroom mirror was apparently like Lewis Carroll's looking-glass in that it placed me in an imaginary world where I only saw what I wanted to see. The fact that nobody paid attention to what I was wearing just reinforced my belief that my outfits were inconspicuous. Recent events and public reaction have changed my mind. We had a few days of nice warm weather in February when I wore one of my converted cargo short skirts to the shopping mall. I walked down a corridor that jogged around the corner of a store and I found myself facing directly into a showroom window where I saw my full reflection. It was more like a silhouette rather than a sharp mirror image; but, I recognized myself and I was taken back when I realized that the skirt I was wearing looked like a skirt. It could be mistaken for nothing else! There was no "daylight" showing below where the crotch should be when I walked and it certainly flared out to the sides more than any pair of shorts. It would be very difficult for a lucid person not to recognize a guy in a skirt when they see one.

The related issue is how people react when they see a man in a skirt and I feel that geography, including associated cultural issues, plays an important role. Up until a couple of years ago, I lived outside of Washington, DC, in a fairly affluent community. I received a few strange looks on rare occasions; but, I never heard a negative comment about my skirts. Most everyone I encountered was polite and cordial and showed no apparent bias toward the clothes I was wearing. I incorrectly concluded that they did not notice the skirt; but, I now suspect that they either had more important things on their minds or that they were accepting of my clothing alternative.

I retired and moved to South Carolina a couple of years ago. I was lulled into believing that a bloke wearing a skirt in public was no big deal and I did not initially maintain a suitable awareness of public reaction. When I realized that my skirt wearing was drawing attention, I chalked it up to the outside temperature - it was too cold for a person to be wearing what was presumed to be shorts. I now understand the real problem which is that the sight of a guy in a skirt around here is, at best, a "HEE HAW knee slapping event." That's not surprising, I guess, since South Carolina was the only state to nominate Newt Gingrich for president during the current primaries. I have received some adverse comments from Rednecks who probably consumed too much alcohol; but, so far there has been no violence. We retired here because of the warm climate and the lower cost of living so it looks like we will have to learn how to cope with the intolerant and opinionated members in the local community. However, despite all of their shortcomings, they are still observant enough to notice a guy wearing a skirt.

I'm sure that a person's height and weight, how they carry themselves, the nature of the outfit they are wearing, and other factors also have an impact on the public reaction. I suggest that when you step out in a skirt, you will be noticed, so you might as well wear an outfit that you feel comfortable in rather than one you hope will remain under the radar.

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Re: Do folks notice or not?

Postby crfriend » Sun May 06, 2012 11:12 pm

David wrote:[...] We had a few days of nice warm weather in February when I wore one of my converted cargo short skirts to the shopping mall. I walked down a corridor that jogged around the corner of a store and I found myself facing directly into a showroom window where I saw my full reflection. It was more like a silhouette rather than a sharp mirror image; but, I recognized myself and I was taken back when I realized that the skirt I was wearing looked like a skirt. It could be mistaken for nothing else!

I don't particularly like to belabour this point, but did the garment look "believable" or were you taken aback in horror at your own reflection in full-length in a public setting?

Yes, skirts look different from shorts -- even the modern very full "board shorts", frequently of satin-like material -- and so they should. However, the question is focussed on the overall presentation -- were you comfortable with your image in the window? If you were, then you're well on your way; if not, then it's time to step back, and with a calm rational mind reason why you weren't, and make suitable changes.
The related issue is how people react when they see a man in a skirt and I feel that geography, including associated cultural issues, plays an important role. [...] I now understand the real problem which is that the sight of a guy in a skirt around here [in South Carolina as opposed to D.C.] is, at best, a "HEE HAW knee slapping event." That's not surprising, I guess, since South Carolina was the only state to nominate Newt Gingrich for president during the current primaries. I have received some adverse comments from Rednecks who probably consumed too much alcohol; but, so far there has been no violence.

Absolutely local culture has a bearing on the matter, and some places are more tolerant than others, but, if presented well, and arguments well dispatched on the matter prevail, then there really should be no problem. Alcohol, especially in excess, is always a problem as it acts as a "tact inhibitor", but it is never an excuse for bad behaviour. I have always found that if I keep my head high and my confidence intact there is almost never any problem (at least that I have experienced at any rate).
I suggest that when you step out in a skirt, you will be noticed, so you might as well wear an outfit that you feel comfortable in rather than one you hope will remain under the radar.

That thought ought to be gospel in this community. If you're not comfortable -- in all meanings of the word -- then you will stick out like a sore thumb, and for all the wrong reasons. Likewise, if you are comfortable then you'll still stick out, but for all the right ones.
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Re: Do folks notice or not?

Postby skirted_in_SF » Mon May 07, 2012 12:21 am

the_scott_meister wrote: In fact, the Navaho have a tradition of swastikas, it's called "rolling logs" and was even on the side of one of our gov buildings until just last year. It doesn't mean the same to them as it did to you-know-who.


I believe the Navaho swastika and the Nazi swastika point in different directions. That is to say on one the arms bend to the right and on the other to the left.
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Re: Do folks notice or not?

Postby Kilted_John » Tue May 08, 2012 7:45 am

Yes, they do. Took my sister 15 minutes while on a walk at one of the parks around here this evening to discover that, yes, her bro was wearing a knee-length denim skirt, instead of denim shorts. But, yes, she did notice the fact. After a while, she returned to normal, and didn't say anything else about it the rest of the night, even when the whole family went out to dinner.

Strangely enough, when I wore a black pleated skirt a couple months ago and ran into her @ the checkout stand in the grocery store, she didn't notice at all.

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Re: Do folks notice or not?

Postby skirtyscot » Tue May 08, 2012 12:29 pm

I'd say that's more of a "no" than a "yes", KJ. It took your own sister 15 minutes, having completely failed to notice once before! On that basis, most passers-by will not spot it at all.

But do any of us really care if other people notice or not? We are all choosing to go against one of society's clearest and most widely adhered to fashion conventions. When you set foot over the threshold of your house in a skirt you have already decided to let people see. Someone is going to spot it, and they are unlikely to differentiate between one skirt and another; all they will see is a man in a skirt. Even if it is your first time and your heart is pounding or your knees are shaking, you know that sooner or later you will get a funny look from someone. Going out under cover of darkness or to somewhere that nobody knows you will merely put off the moment.

I'm not criticising anyone for starting with the least obvious style or testing the water by going a distance from home - I did it myself. But we've all got to grasp the nettle at some time, and it may as well be sooner rather than later. Every time that someone I know has had their first sight of me skirted, afterwards I've thought "I'm glad that's over with, next time they won't be surprised and it will be easier".
Keep on skirting,

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Re: Do folks notice or not?

Postby couyalair » Tue May 08, 2012 7:07 pm

I am quite sure folk notice any unusual garment, but in general, they are so taken aback by a skirt on a male that they just do not know what to say (for fearing of appearing rude or unsophisticated) and prefer to look the other way or pretend they've not seen anything new.
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Re: Do folks notice or not?

Postby Taj » Tue May 08, 2012 8:32 pm

There are a given number of people who don't notice much and others who are quite observant. Some folks are too distracted with their own task to pay more attention than to avoid collision, unless they are poking phone, then its time to duck and dodge. I wear Utilikilts out and about a lot. I'll get looks, +, -, and neutral. Comments given occasionally are mostly good. I've quit thinking about it for the most part. Since I can't get used to suburbia they will simply have to get used to me.
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Re: Do folks notice or not?

Postby skirtingseattle » Wed May 09, 2012 2:15 am

My initial experiences wearing skirts out in public (miniskirts 13 to 15" top to bottom) were that virtually no one noticed. These were solid, dark colors and could have easily been taken for short shorts from afar. Since I don't have eyes in the back of my head, it is impossible to know that there weren't more people who noticed. Perhaps they only stole a look when I wasn't facing in their direction or when I had passed them by. Most people have been trained not to stare (as this can be interpreted as a sign of aggression), so my individual, subjective opinion on this subject is not statistically reliable. When I go out, I don't look at every person in my field of view to see if they have seen me (and me in a skirt) as I am also not trying to be aggressive in that way towards them either.

The reason why I believe a man wearing a skirt or kilt solicits more attention that the individual wearer believes they are soliciting is because once I started wearing my kilts out into public (not my miniskirts) with family and friends, they tell me that they notice a large number of people doing double-takes and staring when I am not facing in their direction - many more than I noticed when wearing skirts. Now it could be that the kilts I am wearing, which are much more bulky and longer (~20") than my miniskirts, are more noticeable and therefore solicit more looks. Without a scientifically controlled experiment, it is impossible for me to say if kilts that I wear are more noticeable and solicit more attention than miniskirts that I wear. However, I think it is safe to say that all of our individual, subjective experiences may not be giving us the whole picture as to our impact on others by being "seen in a skirt".

Food for thought.
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