Starting a line of skirts

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

Re: Quasi-kilt

Postby crfriend » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:15 am

KellyRain wrote:1. Sizing. Yes. I think have a wide range of sizes is critical. We have already incorporated that into our design ideas. We want something universal.

This is likely going to be a bit of a challenge as the gals and guys are used to using entirely different systems of "measurement" (if one can call "standard sizes" (ha!) standard). Perhaps a wide enough range of sizes that you catch the bulk of the intersection of sizes and list both "standards" or offer guidance in the way that Macabi does with their skirts. Yes, you'll miss the women's size 0 and the guy with a 50" waist, but both are rare. It's about market. Cutting the size off at a 38-inch waist will cut a heck of a lot of guys out of the picture.
2. Plaid. Yes!!! Yohji Yamamoto took a very simple red tartan block, magnified it by about 100 times and put them on black skirts. It made an amazing tartan that could be dressy.
We are also looking at non-ethnic inspired checks. In Tokyo a check skirt looks like a Japanese school girl since nearly every school has their own tartan here. Any small tartan on a guy is 100% out of the question without inviting a negative response. So we are looking at larger tartans in unconventional colors.

If small plaids (tartans) cause angst in your local domain, then yes, avoiding those makes commercial sense. However, the enlarged ones sound intriguing, and with a large enough spread it might be possible to include black in between the colours to really bring them out. As far as fabric goes, it might be easier to print this instead of weaving it. Modern dyes are quite good.

In this hypothetical realm, I'd avoid both extremely "feminine" and extremely "masculine" styles. The extremely "masculine" styles tend to scream, "It's a MAN'S skirt, dammit!", instead of quietly saying, "Yes, it's a skirt. Get over it," They overpower. Extremely "feminine" styles (flounces, &c.) could well be eschewed by both men and women because they're obsolete in the West and would put the guys off. Pockets are a good idea, likely concealed ones, so long as they don't detract from the lines of the garment when overstuffed (which guys do all the time). Both guys and gals will use pockets if they're available.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby KellyRain » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:27 am

trainspotter48 wrote:Caultron has the right ideas, but I'd like to add some thoughts of my own.
First off, I'm a big lad (need 48"/122cm waist), which the Skirtcraft range doesn't cover. I like the idea of slash/seam pockets (like tr******s) - possibly the most saleable item will be some form of 'stealth' skirt, complete with (unnecessary) zipper etc.
It may be useful if a range of lengths can be offered, from that which is just long enough to cover what needs covering, to above/below the knee, and mid-calf/ankle length.
The other point to watch, and I appreciate that production runs come into this, is the pricing, especially if inter-country shipping (and import duties) get involved.

Unfortunately, history seems to have many examples of people who have tried and eventually failed - Midas in the UK, Men in time in Germany, and, I suspect J'Dez in USA .


Having said all that, I wish you the best of luck in your venture.


Thank you for your advice.

Zara had a great skirt with pant pockets this year in Japan. I didn't really like the fabric, but the cut is ok. It is very practical and black so dressy. We are looking at how to hide pockets within pleats without ruining the hang of the skirt. And also looking at simple daily skirts with pockets that don't end up looking like ears on the waist.

About failing companies. I read recently that only about 10% of indie fashion lines get off the ground and survive. And of those, only a fraction survive long term.

Skirts are a key item we plan to produce. But it won't be the only thing we do. We plan to have coordinate items as well. And we have the advantage of being in Tokyo which, IMHO, is where most of the cutting edge fashion begins before the bigger designers adopt and refine it. We are connected to dozens of small design companies who have gone out there to create new lines for men, most restoring 1890s-1940s men's designs to common use. Adjustable Costume, Black Sign, Jelado and Copano have all done great things with small crews and mostly Japan and Asia customers. We hope to follow their model but target the west with equal effort as Japan.

Selling skirts to men in 2019 is probably still a losing market in the west, but in Japan there is demand and we hope that will help fund us to sell abroad. Thankfully I have an amazing designer working with me and I have the biz background and concept to develop. We are now looking for our marketing person and are hoping to partner with a small company in Europe where a life long friend and fashion designer from Seattle has set up shop. So we will give it a try and see if we can help break the pattern of failure. We hope. :)
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby KellyRain » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:36 am

mishawakaskirt wrote:Kellyrain.
Under personal stories there is a thread with alot of comments on the subject.
Read:To brand and market a mens skirt

You will get many opinions on what is the ideal male skirt.

I would love to see someone take off with the men's skirt.
For awhile I was and still am playing with the idea. However I lack the cash and knowledge to Manufacture a men's skirt.

Keep us posted on progress.
Someone else already commented on pockets.
They are a must. Affordable price, simple, durable fabrics are what I look for.


Thank you. I will keep you posted.

I realized that if we leave it to high fashion we will get skirts that look amazing on models and on the runway, but not for the rest of us. Bulk retail has ventured there a bit with skirts but with ideas so safe that they are not really that desirable to have. Then there are the utility kilts which are great, but too heavy and stiff for me to want to wear in the city.

I also want an affordable range of skirts. I don't mind spending a higher price on an item I know I will use for years and that will last. I think our pricing will likely be higher than fast retail as we will produce relatively small numbers of items. So we hope to make up for that by making the items very high quality. Durable, good fabric, fabric that moves well when you wear it and doesn't look like a tarp, grade A stitching and designs that don't fall out of favor the next season. When we designed our concept that was at the core. We want someone who buys our skirt to have it for years. We hope they will buy another because they want one for work, one for play, one for going out and one for hanging out on the town for a day. And we hope the coordinate items will make it easy to create outfits.

When we have our first prototypes ready, I hope to share them here to get feedback from this community.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby Jim » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:41 am

Things I would like include organic hemp fabric in natural colors, no restriction in movement, and of course, pockets. A light short version for hot weather and a heavy long version for cool weather would be nice.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby KellyRain » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:28 pm

Jim wrote:Things I would like include organic hemp fabric in natural colors, no restriction in movement, and of course, pockets. A light short version for hot weather and a heavy long version for cool weather would be nice.


I'm going to get a real chance to see what works in hot humid urban weather come summer. The designer has been making pleat examples to fulfill my rough concept drawing and doing that in a summer weight. So I am rather excited that this may be ready for me to try out in summer if we can get it done in time. Tokyo is 30-35 through summer and 90+ percent humidity a lot of the summer. So I hope we can find something good that can endure heat, sweat and still hold a decent look.

We found some really good non-itchy linen and cotton blends that look promising.

Winter is easier. We found some amazing wool options so that is really looking promising for fall winter.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby Wonderful Electric » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:33 pm

Besides what’s already been said, it would be helpful to have some kind of roominess in the front, or a zipper like conventional pants to keep penis outlines from popping out too much.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby Grok » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:32 pm

Caultron wrote:
[*]After-bath or lounging wrap-arounds, just to plant the idea that living without an inseam isn't completely bonkers.
In the Zara skirt thread it was suggested that skirt-over-trousers may be a crutch needed to get men into skirts. Could it be that (for non-kilt designs), MIS must begin with baby steps?
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby KellyRain » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:59 am

Wonderful Electric wrote:Besides what’s already been said, it would be helpful to have some kind of roominess in the front, or a zipper like conventional pants to keep penis outlines from popping out too much.


Yes!!

Even the high end skirts fall down on this. So we are looking at some ways to structure the front to allow for movement and to obscure better.
Most of our design concepts account for access to pee. I found out hiking up a skirt to pee in a guys restroom is distressing for the mainstream
guys present. Though I actually thought it was such a guy thing to do to just move the front. It was certainly not elegant. So flaps, zippers
or some means of "extraction" for using a urinal is important. Especially when it can be hard to get a stall in public places here in crowded Tokyo.

I promise, this will be accounted for.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby KellyRain » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:09 am

Grok wrote:
Caultron wrote:
[*]After-bath or lounging wrap-arounds, just to plant the idea that living without an inseam isn't completely bonkers.
In the Zara skirt thread it was suggested that skirt-over-trousers may be a crutch needed to get men into skirts. Could it be that (for non-kilt designs), MIS must begin with baby steps?


I got my hands on a pair of COMME Des Garsons pleated men's skirt shorts. Weirdly enough they look more feminine than my full on skirt by the same maker in the same fabric and length.

I do think that "skants" are a necessary stepping stone. Some designers have put a drape in front like a kilt and left the back looking like shorts. Some have just built shorts into a skirt. Both are valid ideas I think.

Since the most practical skirt is a wrap skirt (easy to size as we all gain or lose a little weight over time, and easy to put on and wear), we are thinking about what can go under them rather than going for shorts or skants. Skirts bunch up in cold weather as they gain static, or bunch up as we walk, but a lot of guys are not comfortable with some kind of slip or under skirt. Also liners can present issues too. So we have been thinking about a design for shorts to wear under skirts. Something you don't need to be afraid to flash, but doubles as underwear or a layer over underwear.

The fabric would need to be smooth so a wool or linen skirt could move freely and not build static. The crotch area would need to be roomy so we are not undermining the physical benefits of wearing a skirt. Thankfully some 1880's underwear designs provide some great loose fitting concepts that we think can be adapted to a pair of very comfy loose shorts designed to live under skirts. But this work is far harder to accomplish than making skirts. So we are looking for a partner who does sports related wear to see if we can collaborate on a prototype.

The under shorts also have the possibility of helping to hide the man bits better. This part will take us a little more time to explore. But we want to have a very open, comfy under short that also serves the same purpose as an underskirt. And since it will be shorts, maybe guys will feel less exposed. Especially if the shorts come in at a 50cm length or so for a 60cm long kilt.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby crfriend » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:17 am

KellyRain wrote:[... W]e are looking at some ways to structure the front to allow for movement and to obscure better. [...]

I found out hiking up a skirt to pee in a guys restroom is distressing for the mainstream guys present. Though I actually thought it was such a guy thing to do to just move the front. It was certainly not elegant.

This is quite interesting, especially if it's backed up by research. Personally, I have no problem lifting the front hem of an A-line skirt to take a whiz at a urinal and do so several times per week -- but, the A-line design covers my backside enough so it's modest. Pencil designs would be a challenge in that regard.

I suppose, if challenged in a men's room, I'd merely remark that, "My hardware works just the same as yours. It's just our wardrobe that's different." So far, I haven't been. (There was one time when I was in my weekend hangout and needed to use the loo and somebody complained to the proprietor that, "There's a guy in there in a skirt and heels!" to which the proprietor said, "So what." Nothing else was heard for the rest of the afternoon. I especially like the subtext of this one: "He's a man using the men's room. What's your problem?")
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby dillon » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:11 am

The beauty of a skirt is that after knocking back a few Old Fashioneds I don’t have to negotiate with a zipper. Recovering from my broken wrist that has been especially convenient since I don’t have full sensation in my fingers. Of course it doesn’t hurt to have the zipper option, and it would be particularly handy if included as a feature in full length skirts.
As a matter of fact, the sun DOES shine out of my ...
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby skirtyscot » Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:13 pm

KellyRain, you shorts idea could be a good thing to help men get round the mental obstacles to wearing a skirt. But if they are like shorts then they will have to be either fairly long or fitted at the leg-holes, to prevent exposure. And they should be made of the same material as slips, so the skirt doesn't cling to them.
Keep on skirting,

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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby Blackpassage » Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:26 pm

You know, I would love to see a basic pencil denim skirt made for men. Something just above the knee. The heavier material of denim isnt to revealing, and if it is made with proper pockets, zipper, and belt loops, it would be a very natural progression from shorts. I wear a Utilikilt Mocker model often, but I find it is heavier than i would like. What it comes with though, is an established broader acceptance. As mentioned above, marketing will be extremely important, with these items being available in mainstream brick and mortar stores.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby beachlion » Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:41 pm

Blackpassage wrote:You know, I would love to see a basic pencil denim skirt made for men. Something just above the knee. The heavier material of denim isnt to revealing, and if it is made with proper pockets, zipper, and belt loops, it would be a very natural progression from shorts. ......


I like this idea. I will try and make one for myself in the same style and form as a black skirt I made. It has a big box pleat in the back. It was the last one from this topic. https://www.skirtcafe.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=19702&start=30%20
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Sports Skirt

Postby Grok » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:23 am

Happy-N-Skirts wrote:Marketing skirts for men. I would suggest the marketing would include pictures of men doing activities that lend themselves well to skirts. Hiking, golf, archery, bowling, etc.
Lacrosse skirt as an inspiration. I figure that this resembles Caultron's proposed basketball-shorts-without-inseam.

https://www.hibbett.com/nike-womens-spo ... A0405.html
Last edited by Grok on Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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