Where Do we Draw the Line ?

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

Re: Where Do we Draw the Line ?

Postby Daryl » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:08 am

moonshadow wrote:
oldsalt1 wrote:Just a quick comparison you make the choice as to which is feminine and which is masculine


The answer may seem obvious. One might point to the flowery number as the feminine.
But why?
Because flowers are for females...
But why?
Because that's the way our culture is...
But why?
For every answer you think you have... then ask yourself...
But why?
The solid conclusion I seem to reach after a string of "whys"... is... there seems to be no logical reason, other than "that's just the way it is..."


I'm not a fan of "culture" as the explanation for everything, nor of the idea that everything is merely arbitrary. I think there is often a more biological driver. If we look across cultures enough we find certain repetitions, and those are good candidates to suppose that their roots are biological/evolutionary.

The role of culture often seems less the cause of certain associations and more an amplifier of certain associations (often an amplifier with runaway positive feedback). Across cultures we see flowery and ornate as being more frequently associated-with or worn-by females, but only in western culture do we see this difference amplified from "more frequently" to "only" for females and "never" for males.

It gets a bit abstract here but Plato proposed the idea of ideal forms and I think that his ideas infected western culture to seek absolutes/ideals and we try to use majority tendencies as signposts for them. For example, we experience that females in homo sapiens (and a lot of other mammals) aren't as physically aggressive as males on average, and from this we (unjustifiably) deduce that the perfect female is entirely non-aggressive and the perfect male is maximally aggressive. In truth the aggression difference is primarily only in competition amongst males for access to females, but our (cultural) habit is to over-generalise so we do. We create distorted caricatures of real humans and call them ideals, and then we set about policing these ideals and treating variations as abominations. Aristotle (Plato's student) is the root of the idea that all things have a"final cause", by which is meant a thing's original purpose. Mix in Christian cosmology and we have the idea that our caricatures are actually divinely ordained.

The idea that all features of people are biologically rooted is called biological determinism. One would think that the opposite is cultural determinism but the reality is more complex. Eg. environment interacts with culture which interacts with biology and it becomes a real tangle. The easiest metaphor contrasting the two ways of seeing things is "nature vs. nurture". I am in the "both" camp. We are neither blank slates at birth nor mechanistic products of our biology. Both play a role.

SO, I think those things that we perceive as "feminine" probably have some connection with our biological evolution. My theory is that our sense of what is "pretty" is part of the evolved attributes that females use to attract males. Flowers are considered pretty by everyone across cultures. We just find them attractive (probably for some evolutionary reason). If being pretty gives a woman a greater choice of mates, then it has an evolutionary advantage for her and her bloodline. So it makes sense that women would find that adorning themselves in pretty things would enhance their mate-choices even further, and walah, we have prettiness being more often employed by females.

And in the west more than almost anywhere else, we amplify this to mean that prettiness is only for females.

Aesthetically, congruence and contrast are big elements too. Women are curvier and men are more angular, on average, and this infects our sense of what is more feminine or more masculine as well. A contrasting element on a woman is angular and actually makes her curves more apparent. A congruent element actually follows or enhances her curves, with the same effect. How congruence and contrast are employed can also affect our sense of what is more feminine or masculine. For example, an angularly-cut front on a dress, designed to contrast with breast cleavage, probably fails on a man. Again, this in not merely arbitrary or cultural. Only its insane policing is arbitrary and cultural.

In my obviously not humble opinion.
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Re: Where Do we Draw the Line ?

Postby Daryl » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:24 am

Caultron wrote:There seem to be a tendancy that once you're comfortable in a skirt, you start looking for other accoutrements that go with a skirt, and because you only see (or remember) women wearing skirts, that tends to mean women's accoutrements like tights, heels, bags, and tops. But don't feel pressured in that direction or any other. Just be yourself and go at your own pace.

FWIW, in my experience, conservative tights, bags, tops draw very little attention over and above a skirt. Heels draw more attention but much, much more surprise than hostility.


This is my experience as well.

The skirt can be a gateway drug into more and more female-oriented norms, but trying to emulate what "works" on females (to our own eyes) can lead to some pretty poor results (again to our own eyes). One should not, in my opinion, feel that as a warrior shattering arbitrary cultural norms, one is obligated to subvert every norm by adopting it as one's own. I personally enjoy pushing the envelope, but I recognise that there is an envelope and find that expanding it is more fruitful than lighting it on fire.
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Re: Where Do we Draw the Line ?

Postby oldsalt1 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:14 pm

weeladdie18 wrote:Old salt....trying to be serious for a minute...good example ...the blue skirt outfit does look male and sporty....the patterned blouse does look feminine.
In this example it is easy to compare one outfit with another.......If a third outfit was shown....this might change the balance.

Just for a change , I wore a patterned shift dress with my male harris tweed sports jacket today. I thought it looked .o.k as the pattern was not what
I would call a feminine pattern....Still, I keep on pushing my skirt outfits to what I consider is My Limit, but rarely get any any comments.
There again, I am just trying to get on with my own life..................weeladdie.


Ok a third outfit I think its somewhere in the middle patterned flowers that are not to feminine
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Re: Where Do we Draw the Line ?

Postby Sinned » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:56 pm

Now OS, that is definitely more feminine IMHO. Strange, talking about men wearing flowery garments. I remember in the mid-late 60's, maybe even the early 70's that men used to wear flowered shirts with matching flowered ties. And that was considered masculine! I was a wearer.
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Re: Where Do we Draw the Line ?

Postby Kilty » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:56 pm

Daryl wrote:
Caultron wrote:There seem to be a tendancy that once you're comfortable in a skirt, you start looking for other accoutrements that go with a skirt, and because you only see (or remember) women wearing skirts, that tends to mean women's accoutrements like tights, heels, bags, and tops. But don't feel pressured in that direction or any other. Just be yourself and go at your own pace.

FWIW, in my experience, conservative tights, bags, tops draw very little attention over and above a skirt. Heels draw more attention but much, much more surprise than hostility.


This is my experience as well.

The skirt can be a gateway drug into more and more female-oriented norms, but trying to emulate what "works" on females (to our own eyes) can lead to some pretty poor results (again to our own eyes). One should not, in my opinion, feel that as a warrior shattering arbitrary cultural norms, one is obligated to subvert every norm by adopting it as one's own. I personally enjoy pushing the envelope, but I recognise that there is an envelope and find that expanding it is more fruitful than lighting it on fire.

Skirts need accessorizing, just like kilts require the socks, sporran, brogues etc or the look is unfinished and would draw more looks. My skirts are typically worn with tights, stockings, half slips for warmth or modesty, along with briefs of different styles or cut. All depends on the wearer and how comfortable one feels.

20181018_161919.jpg


I try to match my shoes if possible, and wax my legs for summer and no tights. My black slip is visible but it's no big deal as I see other women dressed the same and it's good for modesty.

Society expects skirt wearers of either gender to dress well if at all, so accessories are inevitable. We are still guys, even if the wardrobe choice differs from the norm. Some may not like this but it comes with the territory of the type of garment :roll:

PS OldSalt, I love your skirt ♡♡♡
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Re: Where Do we Draw the Line ?

Postby Grok » Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:11 pm

The utility type kilts are an exception-they don't demand much in the way of accessories
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Re: Where Do we Draw the Line ?

Postby oldsalt1 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:23 pm

Society expects skirt wearers of either gender to dress well if at all, so accessories are inevitable. We are still guys, even if the wardrobe choice differs from the norm. Some may not like this but it comes with the territory of the type of garment :roll:


Before you wore skirts you wore pants. sometimes you dressed up with a nice pair of slacks loafers etc. and sometimes you dressed down with jeans and sneakers. The same is true with skirts .

some skirts require shaved legs nylons and matching pumps. But some skirts its ok to dress down even to the point of men's socks shirts and sneakers.


I am not a fashion plate but you can't tell me that this outfit is not acceptable
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Re: Where Do we Draw the Line ?

Postby Sinned » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:39 pm

OS, there isn't a skirt on this earth that REQUIRES shaved legs [0]! Seriously, I look at it this way. If I was wearing shorts, which are the bifurcated version of the skirts I wear, would I shave my legs? In my case, no. So then, why would I shave my legs to wear a short skirt? I'm lucky in that my leg hair [1] is very fair so isn't that noticeable.

[0] .... unless you're a gorilla.
[1] And I do have leg hair and have never shaved my legs, ever.
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Re: Where Do we Draw the Line ?

Postby Jim » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:12 pm

Sinned wrote:... there isn't a skirt on this earth that REQUIRES shaved legs [0]! ....

[0] .... unless you're a gorilla.

That's only if you feel the need to hide that you're a gorilla!
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Re: Where Do we Draw the Line ?

Postby JeffB1959 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:21 pm

While I’m late to this particular party, but, to add my two cents worth, the ONLY line I draw is that I wouldn’t wear anything I don’t think would look nice or stylish on me, given my singular taste when it comes to women’s clothes, otherwise, I’ll try just about anything.

I’ve worn skirts as short as 15 inches which, on my 6 foot 2 inch frame, shows off plenty of leg, something I don’t at all mind. I’ve worn cami style minidresses without any problem, I’ve worn pink tops and found them delightful, I refuse to put limits on myself regarding what I choose to wear because that would be detrimental to me as a fashion freestyler. Despite what this forum is all about, the notion of wearing ONLY a skirt is a 100 percent nonstarter for me, I just can’t bring myself to do it because, frankly speaking, that would be damn BORING, the joy I get from what I do comes from putting together a complete outfit, adding just the right top, shoes and accessories to present a look that I’m both happy and comfortable presenting to the public, and I don’t mind admitting I routinely obsess over my appearance because I insist on only looking my best, otherwise, it’s simply not worth the trouble.

Perhaps I’m an outlier when it comes to the subject of just wearing skirts, but I CAN’T just wear skirts, that’s not in my mindset, I have to go the whole hog, and that’s why I don’t draw any lines when it comes to what I wear.
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Re: Where Do we Draw the Line ?

Postby oldsalt1 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:04 pm

JeffB1959 wrote: Despite what this forum is all about, the notion of wearing ONLY a skirt is a 100 percent nonstarter for me, I just can’t bring myself to do it because, frankly speaking, that would be damn BORING, wear.


I understand your point. I took a trip back through your postings and it shows that you have been a freestyler all along.

But one of the things we are trying to do is get more men to try a skirt. and lets face it somebody new isn't going to go from the "men's' side to skirt blouse pumps and jewelry on his first try.

What I did in the last photo is take what just about every man has worn out to do his daily thing. ie: Polo shirt, socks, sneakers and just switched the jeans for a skirt. (a jeans skirt at that).

I mean I wore the same thing 30 years ago when I went out to do some shopping. But I switched to a skirt.

Again somebody new at this might try what I did.

Your outfits are great but a newbie ain't going all out on his first try.

Women's clothing tends to be meant for more gentile times. and sometimes you have to get down to basics.

If you want a unique experience to show what I mean try changing a tire, on the side of the road, in a skirt or kilt :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Where Do we Draw the Line ?

Postby moonshadow » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:48 pm

oldsalt1 wrote:If you want a unique experience to show what I mean try changing a tire on the side of the road in a skirt or kilt :lol: :lol: :lol:


As someone who works around the house (and car) in skirts, I can say that anything below the knee can be a pain, and almost impossible without tearing the skirt. I normally switch to above the knee skirts. However on the above the knee skirts, there WILL be flashes and periods of immodesty. So it's not something I'd recommend in a highly public setting. Whilst laying under my truck on a few occasions, I'm sure if a neighbor caught the right angle, they might have caught a glimpse of my underwear. I try to keep the hems pulled down, but after working for 15 minutes to get a bolt to line up with a hole and you finally get it, you don't fidget with your clothes until you get the thread started (on the bolt).

Working down in the crawl space, I've had skirts ride up practically to my waist. Which meant literally laying in the crawl space directly on my underwear. But who's eyes will be prying in such environments anyway? Other than maybe the spiders....

It can be done, but my only suggestion is to wear a skirt that you don't mind getting permanent stains on. This is one reason while traveling I like to carry a pair of pants, tee-shirt, and regular shoes in the trunk. You just never know when you're going to need to wear something that doesn't get in the way when attempting a road side repair.

On to Daryl's response to my comment...

Whew! I gotta admit, I had to read that one good and slooooww... even going back to double read a few times, but I think I got the jist of it.

Actually your comment covers some subjects I've thought about a lot, though didn't really have the right words to explain my thoughts. You make some interesting points about the evolution of some of our cultural habits.

Daryl wrote:It gets a bit abstract here but Plato proposed the idea of ideal forms and I think that his ideas infected western culture to seek absolutes/ideals and we try to use majority tendencies as signposts for them. For example, we experience that females in homo sapiens (and a lot of other mammals) aren't as physically aggressive as males on average, and from this we (unjustifiably) deduce that the perfect female is entirely non-aggressive and the perfect male is maximally aggressive. In truth the aggression difference is primarily only in competition amongst males for access to females, but our (cultural) habit is to over-generalise so we do. We create distorted caricatures of real humans and call them ideals, and then we set about policing these ideals and treating variations as abominations. Aristotle (Plato's student) is the root of the idea that all things have a"final cause", by which is meant a thing's original purpose. Mix in Christian cosmology and we have the idea that our caricatures are actually divinely ordained.


That seems to be what 6,000-10,000 years of "civilization" does to a species. I suppose it comes down to the old habit of trying to fit everything into certain boxes. It does make sense. But there are still questions. I can understand why a human female would target an aggressive male for mating. As they are the strongest, procreation through their seed would increase the odds of the tribes survival. But one thing that eludes me: Why do males find females who exhibit the characteristics associated with "femininity" attractive?

Of course this is not meant as a generalization as obviously some males (homosexual ones) tend to be attracted to "manly" men just as most women are, but by and large, most men, regardless of culture seem to prize a feminine mate. Why is this? You would think, in the struggle for survival, both sexes would do well to be hardy and not dainty or delicate. In fact, even to the modern day, delicate females do tend to be "dead weight" in certain situations of survival, or in matters such as settling in a wild frontier. Lets face it, a ritzy woman from New York City isn't going to fare well in the wilds of Alaska. Hell, I wouldn't even fare well in the wilds of Alaska, who am I kidding! :o

Now I understand that there are delicate males too, that also would not fare well in survival situations. And up until the last few hundred years, those men were dealt with by natural selection. And yet, women seem exempt for some reason.

So to simplify the question: Why do so many men want women who look like flowers?

Further, why are flowers even so prized in today's world when most of them really seem to have no real value outside of just "looking pretty"?

Of course, flowers ARE useful in the cycle of nature, I'm not questioning the science of flowers and their importance in our ecosystem, but these studies weren't really known to the man of 10,000 years ago.

... My theory is that our sense of what is "pretty" is part of the evolved attributes that females use to attract males. Flowers are considered pretty by everyone across cultures. We just find them attractive (probably for some evolutionary reason). If being pretty gives a woman a greater choice of mates, then it has an evolutionary advantage for her and her bloodline. So it makes sense that women would find that adorning themselves in pretty things would enhance their mate-choices even further, and walah, we have prettiness being more often employed by females.


Bolded: That may be true, but again, we go back to the question above, why do men seek "prettiness". What possible advantage does this give a prehistoric tribe? In fact, having the tribes women look "prettier" than the others could be a liability. Everyone knows the best way to kill a tribe is to take it's women. Having attractive and delicate women in a tribe makes them essentially the low lying fruit for easy picking during invasions.

Italics: But why do men seek "pretty" females? Ironically, it seems that men have more appreciation for "pretty" things than women do! For women, it's just another tool in the toolbox. For men, it's the prize.

Red: It's voilà. 8) :wink:

In my obviously not humble opinion.


Excellent points made for further discussion Daryl. Definitely some deep thought. Still yet, the burning question is, what makes us so different? We are men, most of us consider ourselves "masculine" oriented, and yet we like to dress in outfits that are associated with femininity.

Is society broken? Or are we? <--- I think that is the question we're all really trying to untangle.
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Re: Where Do we Draw the Line ?

Postby crfriend » Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:05 pm

moonshadow wrote:Is society broken? Or are we? <--- I think that is the question we're all really trying to untangle.

Something that is largely forgotten when discussing matters like this is that we've moved, societally and developmentally, beyond basic evolution and "survival of the fittest". We may not like that, but it's true nonetheless, and even in an environment where brawn counts for a whole lot, brains and the ability to reason though things very frequently prevails.

If it was still down to "Only the strong survive." we'd not have come anywhere near as far as we have as a species, because it's always the smart ones who come up with new and novel ways of doing things that make life easier and thereby confer advantages to survival that brawn alone cannot provide.

How does this affect the way we think about clothing? For most, who still cling to the old views, it likely never gets thought of, and when it does it tends to draw derision for the simple matter that it's "different". Face it, you're not going to see Rambo in a skirt because his brain isn't capable of making the jump; however, you will see artists and the bright ones be able to make that jump -- especially artists. Occasionally children can make that jump without much difficulty, which is very nice indeed; however, children still need to deal with their parents who may still be using "old thinking".

Would I fare well in the wilds of Alaska? Hell no! I'm also smart enough to know it's cold there, I know my limits, and I detest being cold. So, I'd survive that one by avoidance.
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Re: Where Do we Draw the Line ?

Postby moonshadow » Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:19 pm

Something I missed...

Daryl wrote:Mix in Christian cosmology and we have the idea that our caricatures are actually divinely ordained.


That may be the way of the religious thought process in today's world, and for at least the last 1,900 years or so, but I'm not sure that was the original idea. There are schools of Christian religious thought that would seem to indicate the Christian "God-head" might actually be (or was) androgynous. [0]

The details of this are long and complex, and would throw this thread WAAAAAY off topic, but suffice it to say, it comes down to each individuals understanding of "God". In which some believe (myself included), that we should not adapt the characteristics of "God" to our own, rather we should attempt to adapt our own characteristics to that of "God". An impossible feat, certainly, but I believe in our present stage of spiritual development, it is not the destination, but the journey that yields it's own rewards. [1]

So considering that frame of thought, one must ask (as I do often), are the concepts of predefined gender roles really of God, or humanity manipulating the purpose of "God" to advance our own worldly agenda? Humanity depends on gender roles for our basic survival, but doesn't scripture state, "Man can not live on bread alone"? Modern Christians take that to mean that we should always be "in the word". But I think there is more to it than that. You can read the scriptures front to back several times in your life, and still be spiritually dead. Contemplate for a moment, considering the vastness of the universe, if humanity were to suddenly cease to exist, would the universe not continue on it's path? It seemed to do just fine without us a billion years ago... And thus, if "God" is the creator of all of that, what possible offense could it pose to the greater cosmos if a man were to be of the more feminine variety? Does it really matter that much? For those who think so, why?

This touches on my dilemma about avoiding "worldliness" that I had touched on in another topic. My choice in attire does seem to be worldly, as much as I'd like for it to be spiritual. I suppose the true "Godly" way to dress is without clothing at all. After all, we were all born naked, and it is said that when we reach the afterlife, not only will we not be clad in our normal "worldly" clothes, but will even have a different body all together, a "spiritual" body so to speak.

I often question if I'm getting too carried away into this particular "worldly" practice of alternative fashion. I seek to be a spiritual man, and endevour to contemplate on philosophical questions and ideas. I think for me, part of the lure of skirts and dresses is that it is a cultural taboo, and opens me up to unique struggles within our current paradigm of society that I otherwise would have missed. For example, going back to the "straight white privilege" discussion. If I were just a "normal" guy, especially with my current race and sex, I could not understand many of the struggles of others in different situations.

Indeed, in my own observation, people seem to be kinder are more open minded when they are in some kind of struggle. It is often said that disasters can bring communities together, whereas periods where a community is faring well, tend to drive the people within said communities apart.

If feminine skirts and dresses were ever accepted as "main stream" for men. I'd still wear them for sure, but I suppose I'd have to find some new taboo to keep myself "in the struggle". For as it is, at this juncture in society, for me to wear a dress- it thwarts my ability to survive easily. Things aren't handed to me as freely as they would be if I were more "normal". Jobs are harder to find, as is general kindness and charity when needed. I suppose that's what keeps them from being considered "worldly" for me, as by the simple act of wearing them puts me at a disadvantage in regards to worldly advancement.

For as it is said "man can not live in bread alone", for this man (me) wearing clothes that put me on the outside of the norm force me to look within my own heart and soul to find solace in the world I live in. Just think, if I dressed and acted normally, I could be like the millions of "upper middle classers" out there who yes, have worked hard for everything they own, and own a LOT they certainly do. But at what cost? How many of these six figure men really can openly wear a feminine dress and not risk losing everything they hold dear?

And so, they are a slave to their own fortunes. Some probably wish they could dress as many of us do, but they know if they do, they lose everything. Their jobs, the three cars, the vacation house, the trophy wife, all of it! And some may resent us for it. And since they are in a position of power, and many or us are not, they proceed to make life difficult for the man who "doesn't live on bread alone".

And we (the people) are so desperate to be like them (the powers that be), that it's almost sickening. The back biting, the bickering, the one-upping. It is an offense to the spirit. Just yesterday I stood in a very long line at a gas station to purchase something to drink, the line was to the door with customers playing the lotto (which was over a billion dollars)... and I thought to myself... "and this region prides itself on being Christ like....." :roll:

To call on a recent occurrence in human history, how many white southerners who, behind closed doors may have sympathized with the plight of the black community through the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 60's, and yet in the open, remained silent about the injustice they were witnessing for fear of losing everything they hold dear? When Christ himself (as the story goes) allowed himself to be tortured and killed in the most barbaric fashion known at the time so that humanity could simply atone for their sins and thus be granted eternal salvation, I find it a most offensive streak of human "Christian" hypocrisy" that more of "his followers" do not rise up and take a stand for the poor, beaten, and damned of the world. Any why not? Because they may lose everything they worked for. Gheeze.... :roll:

To steer this back on topic, I suppose where I'd personally draw the line, considering what I just wrote above, would be "when it stops rubbing people the wrong way". :wink:

[0] Without steering this into a purely religious discussion, for those who seek more insight on that, invoke Google.

[1] In theory, this seems to be the basis of classical Christian theology. Many still hold to this to the present day, though all you hear about in the media are those who are using the religion to advance their own worldly agendas.
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Re: Where Do we Draw the Line ?

Postby lazerr » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:35 pm

What a discussion this has gotten to be. I love the apparently well thought out manifesto. This topic probably can't ever end because what is "normal" changes all the time (though many things are stubborn).

BTW Old Salt, you have great legs (I'm sure you've been told that before). A short skirt works, because it looks good. I totally agree that the substitution of a skirt from shorts is totally valid, in fact that is what I do. I ask "what would I wear anyway" and go with it, except with a skirt that matches the occasion. A short, flowered skirt probably is a long way off for me, even though I could probably look good in it!

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