Skirt Etiquette

General discussion of skirt and kilt-based fashion for men, and stuff that goes with skirts and kilts.
Post Reply
Coder
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 804
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:40 am

Skirt Etiquette

Post by Coder »

A situation came up last week when I was out at an art fair, and it occurred to me there are etiquette differences and such when wearing a skirt versus other types of bottoms (pants, shorts, etc..).

I spent about four hours skirted at an art fair, and was about to go into a booth but the artist was lying on the floor adjusting a display. I chose not to go in because I was wearing a knee-length skirt and whilst I do wear appropriate undergarments, I felt she might not appreciate the view regardless.

Years ago this came up before - my boss asked me to go up a ladder and take down some things in storage - wearing a skirt it was a bit nerve-wracking for me and, well I was able to get out of the task but I was thinking - wtf - was she cognizant of my attire that day? Dr.

And I started wondering - when you grow up and are “taught” how to wear a garment, things become second nature. Maybe there is a way to walk around people on the floor (pinch the hem?), or even do ladders. I know someone here has shown many a ladder example, but I am curious what skills one would learn growing up.

The obvious ones are how to sit properly, or ascend steps in a floor-length skirt.
User avatar
crfriend
Master Barista
Posts: 12489
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 9:52 pm
Location: New England (U.S.)
Contact:

Re: Skirt Etiquette

Post by crfriend »

Caution: Ramble follows.
Coder wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:19 pm
I started wondering - when you grow up and are “taught” how to wear a garment, things become second nature. Maybe there is a way to walk around people on the floor (pinch the hem?), or even do ladders. I know someone here has shown many a ladder example, but I am curious what skills one would learn growing up.
Whilst that may have been true 40 or 50 years ago, it most certainly is not true today in most circles. Girls today are not "taught by their mothers" about the ways of skirts. This is brought up yearly at high-school Prom time each spring (when it's been allowed to happen) when onlookers get to witness the spectacle of young women fighting gallantly with their apparel. Even years ago, my late ex- and I got some laughs -- and some sadness -- witnessing the spectacle: and wow the hateful stares of the young lasses fighting with their their finery I've received for being a confident bloke in a skirt still ring. Frequently my late ex- would linger behind me to let me cut a path through all the confusion and take in the reactions. (Watching a 6'4" guy in a floor-sweeper round a corner into a room with sometimes only an inch or so above his head going through doors has got to be spectacular. Because of my height and the speed with which I move, I bank into corners and recover on the way out else my high CG will make me fall over; this is risky in low-friction shoes which is one reason I tend not to wear shoes with slippery soles.)

In this, I am drawn to the memory of the first young woman I was really interested in (which never came to fruition, although we remained friends) who, during my "Soused Period" got married, designed and constructed her own wedding dress -- twice. One was the muslin prototype, and which she practised wearing as she'd never worn anything like it before; the second was the real article.

We'd parted ways when she departed my old home-town for college, but one spring morning in 1987 or '88 we bumped into each other on Boston's Metro (the "T") at the Prudential (nee Mechanics) station, me three sheets to the wind at 08:45, with a hangover, and possibly a case of the flu -- and I was recognised (not hard) and her ebullient about the coming events. I was in a complete funk having been discarded by another woman, and leaning on the nearest support could only really say, "Well I guess that shoots my chances!" Some painful laughter was had, we agreed to get together again, she went her way, and I went mine to fix computers. It was when we got together that the friendship "clicked" again, and we shared some good stories; she showed me the dress-in-progress and mentioned the "practise" aspect of it, and I asked, "Weren't you taught that as a girl?" I got sneered at for that crack and received a retort of, "One day I'll see you in a floor-length gown and fighting with it!" (I think she'd be proud now that I've mastered the art, but I haven't seen her since her wedding (where in a bizarre twist of fate I wound up catching the bouquet -- which torqued off all the bridesmaids)). I have lived a charmed life.
The obvious ones are how to sit properly, or ascend steps in a floor-length skirt.
The answer is simplicity itself: with both hands, deftly lift the front of the skirt so you don't land on the hem, and when you get to the target floor deftly let it go. Going downstairs is actually harder, and in that regard I don't do "dainty" and grab a handful of the skirt and sweep it forward and around so I don't land on the hem behind me, and when reaching the bottom release it. Sitting is trivial: don't "man-spread".

My last act of defiance at the place I worked at from 2001 to 2013 was to descend the four floors of the glass-tread staircase in the grand atrium of the new building on the campus following the griping of a lot of women about the stairs. Vertigo aside, human factors and architecture frequently combine to make things like that perfectly safe. At night, the place was brilliantly lit from above; during the day, the skylight provided more light than the artificial illumination could possibly have. The human eye, whist good, cannot deal with places with intense contrast such as looking up at a daytime sky and perceive something is shadow in the middle of it (this describes a skirt on the stairs perfectly). Two "Managers" were happy to see me go; lots of technicians reeled from the loss for years. At last count, they were still looking to fill my slot and wanted somebody with a PhD to fill it. (Yeah, right. Good luck, losers.)
Retrocomputing -- It's not just a job, it's an adventure!
User avatar
denimini
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 2495
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:50 am
Location: Outback Australia

Re: Skirt Etiquette

Post by denimini »

I am very well versed in wearing skirts on ladders and scaffold, wearing my stonemason's hat much of the time. I have experimented with a camera and have been surprised how well a mini skirt will maintain modesty, unless the person is directly beneath the ladder, which happened the other day. I went around to a friends house to check out a suspected leak of the solar hot water unit on the roof and needed her to hold the ladder, being a particularly high roof and appropriately long ladder. My approach to this situation is that it also involves skirt viewers etiquette, averting one's eyes ........ or not. The discaimer and confession here is that I personally don't always avert my eyes, I am not sure if it is empathy, schadenfreude or voyeurism although it would vary with the particular situation. Perhaps if I was in a compromising situation I might engender empathy from females but I suspect it would likely be vindication from others.

I would imagine that sitting and bending is only an issue for short skirts, as I don't have any experience with long ones, and is basically a matter of remembering to keep your knees together. I will often sit on the edge of a chair in a public place to reduce skin contact with the surface and allowing me to put my legs out straight. I have developed the habit of going down on one knee to pick something up of the floor, which I do now even when I am in pants; habit and easier on the back. To get something from a low shelf in the supermarket I will squat because I am facing the shelf.

That is the nature of skirts; there is no doubt learned behaviour in wearing them but there also is (was?) learned behaviour for those around them.
crfriend wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 11:55 pm
(where in a bizarre twist of fate I wound up catching the bouquet -- which torqued off all the bridesmaids)).
At 6'4" ..................
Anthony, a denim miniskirt wearer in Outback Australia
User avatar
crfriend
Master Barista
Posts: 12489
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 9:52 pm
Location: New England (U.S.)
Contact:

Re: Skirt Etiquette

Post by crfriend »

denimini wrote:
Fri Jul 23, 2021 1:22 am
crfriend wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 11:55 pm
(where in a bizarre twist of fate I wound up catching the bouquet -- which torqued off all the bridesmaids)).
At 6'4" ..................
She threw that thing with the arm of an NFL quarterback, and it bounced off the ceiling well above the heads of all the bridesmaids, then subsequently got tangled in a ceiling fan, and I snagged it a fraction of a second before it would have landed on the DJ's kit. I merely reached out and grabbed it on its way down; the DJ was appreciative and I sheepishly held it up for all to see.

And there may be some truth to the folk-tale that the person who catches the bouquet will be the next to tie the knot, because a couple of years later I was already entangled with who eventually became my companion for 20 very good years before her brain failed. I have no reason to believe that it was "aimed".
Retrocomputing -- It's not just a job, it's an adventure!
rivegauche
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 228
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:05 pm

Re: Skirt Etiquette

Post by rivegauche »

I only climb a ladder once a year to clean my gutters and do not wear a skirt immediately outside my house at any time, so the etiquette of ladders in a skirt does not apply to me. The only time I risk a wardrobe incident is getting in and out of a car - the simple solution is to keep your knees together and parallel as women do. I never 'manspread' even in trousers - it is a ghastly habit especially when the personal space of others in invaded. I usually wear a slip so strong winds do not worry me. You can overthink this issue and wearing a skirt should be relaxing.
Coder
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 804
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:40 am

Re: Skirt Etiquette

Post by Coder »

Not trying to overthink, although I do that at times :D

Exiting a car was a surprise to me - I hadn't really thought about it until I had read someone posting here, and glad I did!

Once when I was on a self-driving bus, a lady wearing a mini skirt was sitting across from me and was manspreading - it was an awkward ride as the vehicle passengers sit opposing one another. I ended up staring out the side of the vehicle the entire drive, it was unfortunate because I wanted to take some pictures of the interior but couldn't.
pelmut
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 1509
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:36 am
Location: Somerset, England

Re: Skirt Etiquette

Post by pelmut »

Just shout down from the top of the ladder: "Don't look up our you'll go blind!".
There is no such thing as a normal person, only someone you don't know very well yet.
User avatar
howardfh
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:43 pm

Re: Skirt Etiquette

Post by howardfh »

At the airport yesterday, sat on a very low seat so had to cross my legs tightly so the woman opposite didn't geth the view she hadn't paid for!!!
User avatar
Fred in Skirts
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 3373
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:48 pm
Location: Southeast Corner of Aiken County, SC USA

Re: Skirt Etiquette

Post by Fred in Skirts »

I usually wear knee length skirts and do not climb ladders. I am handicapped and have to use a cane so it is hard to use both hands to sweep the skirt under me when sitting so I don't worry about it.
I do sit down in waiting rooms and in others homes etc. I do wear the unmentionables and they are some times in very bright colors, but have had no comments yet. As for getting in and out of my car I don't understand the problem. I open the door put my right foot (0) in side and then slide in bringing my left foot in at the same time. Getting out I put my left foot out on the ground and then slide out while standing up and bringing my right foot out and putting it on the ground. Not one view of my undies is given to others.

(0) If in the British lands where people drive on the wrong side of the road, I would start by putting my left foot in first then slid in bringing in my right foot at the same time.. :lol: :lol:
"It is better to be hated for what you are than be loved for what you are not" Andre Gide: 1869 - 1951
Always be yourself because the people that matter don’t mind and the ones that mind don’t matter.
STEVIE
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 2451
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:01 pm
Location: North East Scotland.

Re: Skirt Etiquette

Post by STEVIE »

I have been at both ends of the skirt etiquette stick.
Many years ago when I worked for John Lewis I was showing a female customer how upholstery fabrics juxtaposes with different floor coverings.
That is a low level task and she squatted right opposite me. She was not terribly mindful of her skirt.
I knew exactly what might have happened so that woman had some of the most continuous eye contact ever.
For that I was actually congratulated by a female manager who had obviously been taking an interest.
In my current job when skirted, I have actually been "told off" for wearing a skirt which was too short. One of the reasons given was that I had "allowed" someone to see my underwear when I swivelled my office chair. I do wonder what would have been said if I had made the same comment about a female because I do believe that it was a woman raised the issue. Point is I have noticed breaches from some female colleagues but I would not discuss let alone officially complain. If need be I would perhaps ask certain female managers that I trust to have an off the record chat if they felt it was needed.
Steve.
new2skirts
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 535
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:33 pm

Re: Skirt Etiquette

Post by new2skirts »

STEVIE wrote:
Fri Jul 23, 2021 6:27 pm
I have been at both ends of the skirt etiquette stick.
Many years ago when I worked for John Lewis I was showing a female customer how upholstery fabrics juxtaposes with different floor coverings.
That is a low level task and she squatted right opposite me. She was not terribly mindful of her skirt.
I knew exactly what might have happened so that woman had some of the most continuous eye contact ever.
For that I was actually congratulated by a female manager who had obviously been taking an interest.
In my current job when skirted, I have actually been "told off" for wearing a skirt which was too short. One of the reasons given was that I had "allowed" someone to see my underwear when I swivelled my office chair. I do wonder what would have been said if I had made the same comment about a female because I do believe that it was a woman raised the issue. Point is I have noticed breaches from some female colleagues but I would not discuss let alone officially complain. If need be I would perhaps ask certain female managers that I trust to have an off the record chat if they felt it was needed.
Steve.
As guys we will always have to face a double standard... I generally wear knee length pencil skirts, with stockings as it's summer, and I've noticed most ladies flash but don't seem to be as concerned as in years gone by. Sadly for skirted men, trying to avoid being judged as some sort of deviant for our choice of wardrobe, I try to be aware of my surroundings, such as sitting in a low chair. If anyone catches a brief glimpse of my knickers whilst I get out of said chair, it just comes with the territory.

Perhaps as more and more girls default to jeans / slacks / leggings, they may copy how many guys sit.

Have noticed a lot more women in skirts in the warmer weather.

We just have to get out there more like the skirted Instagram crowd do, such as Mark the model :)
Formerly Kilty / Joe Public etc...
User avatar
familyman34
Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:55 pm

Re: Skirt Etiquette

Post by familyman34 »

rivegauche wrote:
Fri Jul 23, 2021 1:14 pm
I only climb a ladder once a year to clean my gutters and do not wear a skirt immediately outside my house at any time, so the etiquette of ladders in a skirt does not apply to me. The only time I risk a wardrobe incident is getting in and out of a car - the simple solution is to keep your knees together and parallel as women do. I never 'manspread' even in trousers - it is a ghastly habit especially when the personal space of others in invaded. I usually wear a slip so strong winds do not worry me. You can overthink this issue and wearing a skirt should be relaxing.
I was doing my gutters only yesterday - usually I procrastinate and leave this task until the gutters are overflowing during a storm! There are numerous large trees nearby, including two big oaks which we are not allowed to trim because they have a "tree protection order" (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tree-preser ... s--general), that fill the gutters with leaves, dead twigs, etc.
We live in a bungalow, so I only need a single 3m/10foot section of my triple ladder to reach the gutters. I was wearing a denim mini-skirt (reaches mid-thigh, giving me about 10cm/4inches of "freeboard"). The building is about 6m/20feet from the road, and is on a very popular walking route, so there are frequent passers-by who could readily contemplate my exertions.
Neither my wife who was working in the front garden nor I heard any adverse reflections on my attire.
Familyman34
User avatar
Epiceneguy
Active Member
Posts: 99
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:22 pm
Location: UK

Re: Skirt Etiquette

Post by Epiceneguy »

Coder wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:19 pm

Years ago this came up before - my boss asked me to go up a ladder and take down some things in storage - wearing a skirt it was a bit nerve-wracking for me and, well I was able to get out of the task but I was thinking - wtf - was she cognizant of my attire that day? Dr.

And I started wondering - when you grow up and are “taught” how to wear a garment, things become second nature. Maybe there is a way to walk around people on the floor (pinch the hem?), or even do ladders. I know someone here has shown many a ladder example, but I am curious what skills one would learn growing up.

The obvious ones are how to sit properly, or ascend steps in a floor-length skirt.
I find that I've naturally been sitting more 'discretely' whenever I wear a skirt or dress then when I wear trousers but I've learnt that driving with a ra ra type skirt on with the windows open can lead to a fluttering hemline, so I would say some of our behavioural changes come naturally and others are learnt, as for going up ladders it sounds like she was very much aware of your attire and it was probably a bit of what's good for the goose.......going on, lol.
When life gives you lemons, slice them and put them into your G&T!
Post Reply