Starting a line of skirts

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

Starting a line of skirts

Postby KellyRain » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:10 pm

Have you ever felt that what you most want to wear doesn't exist? For years I have had ideas for fashion that I can't find. Often only to find it show up from designers a year or two later. Skirts for men being just one of them. So with my growing interest in skirts I decided to explore making my ideas real before someone else does.

About four weeks ago I met a young Japanese designer who is a skilled artist, seamstress, designer and has a great sense of taste. I showed her my CAD like illustrations of various skirts and coordinate items. We spent some time talking and are in the process of creating a look book of our ideas to produce some prototypes. This past week we visited the garment district in Tokyo and found or fabric palate.

So our basic concept is to make a line of gender neutral clothing that men or women can wear. We plan to create designs in various lengths, plain, pleated and mode styles as well.

I thought it would be great to ask the community here about your dream skirts. If you could ask for any kind of skirt that would make you comfortable to wear it out on the street and make it part of your day to day, what would it be like? What color would you be excited to find? What attributes would you love to see included? For example, I need at least one small pocket to make a skirt practical for me. And I need to be able to size it so I prefer wraps or sizable belted skirts. These are the kinds of insights I'd love to ask about.

With a little luck, we hope to start making skirts that are fashionable, practical and suitable for anyone.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby STEVIE » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:02 pm

Hi KellyRain,
Great idea and worth exploring but the challenge is to create a garment of almost universal and enduring appeal.
You will have seen some of the "discussions" which take place and that is between supposedly like minded individuals.
I certainly have been frustrated at not finding the "right" thing but usually work it out as a matter of inventiveness and some compromise.
I would certainly be interested to see anything that you actually come up with too.
Good Luck
Steve.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby oldsalt1 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:39 pm

Pockets . I don't like to carry a bag its something to loose so pockets would be nice . I need a place for my wallet keys and phone, a couple of pockets would be nice. and just one more thing when you design the skirts , pockets.
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Re: Quasi-kilt

Postby Grok » Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:47 pm

One garment marketed as unisex was the Madras Kilt. Actually, a short, pleated skirt apparently intended as a woman's skirt. It resembles a woman's kilted-skirt more than a man's kilt.

(I just re-checked the sizes listed online, and their largest waist size is too small for me).

One might create a design inspired by this garment, but able to accommodate the average man, and larger women.

The new design might be plaid, without using a recognized tartan.

Men in my area-Seattle, home of the Utilikilt-are definitely willing to wear kilt like garments.

Check out the thread "Another Manufacturer Offering Unisex Skirts", Skirts and Kilts for Men, #10.
Last edited by Grok on Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby Happy-N-Skirts » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:23 pm

I think you have a good idea. I would like a wrap skirt with at least one pocket for my keys. I carry a military looking shoulder bag with pockets for wallet, sunglasses, credit cards, hanky, hand sanitizer, etc.

I like outdoorsy looking skirts like camouflage patterns, khaki, gray, olive drab, denim. I like short, at the knee.

You could make specialized styles and colors for hikers and back packers. I have seen men and women wearing them. I prefer light weight fabric.

I would like something that looks like a kilt without the pleats and not as much flare; just enough to allow enough stride for hiking.

I would be a customer.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby Happy-N-Skirts » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:47 pm

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. with women admiring them. I believe women like men in skirts and kilts and would buy them for their husbands and SOs. I have met women who went nuts over men in skirts.

I used to belong to an organization which had teams with different uniforms. One of them wore kilts as a part of their identity. I was not a member of their team, but would have liked the experience of kilts but never had the opportunity. They got a lot attention from women.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby beachlion » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:08 pm

Happy-N-Skirts wrote:...... I would like something that looks like a kilt without the pleats and not as much flare; just enough to allow enough stride for hiking. ......


Before I went from kilts to skirts as daily wear, I made an in-between model. I made it look like an UTkilt with lots of pockets and an apron but without the pleats.

P1010277q.jpg


Is this what you were looking for?
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All progress takes place outside the comfort zone - M J Bobak
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby Caultron » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:14 pm

KellyRain wrote:...I thought it would be great to ask the community here about your dream skirts. If you could ask for any kind of skirt that would make you comfortable to wear it out on the street and make it part of your day to day, what would it be like? What color would you be excited to find? What attributes would you love to see included? For example, I need at least one small pocket to make a skirt practical for me. And I need to be able to size it so I prefer wraps or sizable belted skirts. These are the kinds of insights I'd love to ask about...

I've been looking for some time for a pleated skirt, pleats beginning 10 inches or so below the waist and sewn down, in a medium-to-heavy weight fabric, pockets on each side, and knee-length. The pockets are hard to find but the length is the killer. There are plenty of choices 4 inches or so above or below the knee but nothing I've found between. Think of a utility kilt with pleats all around instead of an apron, some lycra in the fabric, and slash pockets rather than cargo.

Other than that, and more generically:
  • Pockets, gotta have pockets. Convincing most men to carry a bag is at least as difficult as convincing them to wear a skirt.
  • A-line, pleated, or skater skirts.
  • Hiking shorts, which are sort of knee-length tennis skirts, same length as men's shorts.
  • Something like baggy basketball shorts without the inseam.
  • After-bath or lounging wrap-arounds, just to plant the idea that living without an inseam isn't completely bonkers.
  • Colors and fabrics currently used in menswear.
  • Trim and accessories taken from traditionally-masculine activities such as hunting, construction, motorcycling, sports, and the military.
  • Think about snap-in or button-on skort liners. I know that might seem like a cop-out to us full-blown skirt wearers but the idea of all this is to attract newbies.
  • Require the staff to wear a skirt whenever on duty, and encourage them to also wear one to and from work. If business is slow, have them walk around the neighborhood as role models.
  • Never, never offer an item that has only a women's size tag.
  • Decorate the store with a masculine theme, possibly including murals or paintings of highlanders, Romans, barbarians, vikings, or medieval nobility wearing skirts.
  • Be active in the community. Sponsor boy's, men's and mixed sports teams provided they agree to wear a skirt uniform. (And yes, wouldn't that be interesting...)
Courage, conviction, nerve, verve, dash, panache, guts, nuts, balls, gall, élan, stones, whatever. Get some and get skirted.

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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby trainspotter48 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:09 pm

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.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby mishawakaskirt » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:27 pm

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.
Mishawakaskirt @2wayskirt on Twitter

Avoid the middle man, wear a kilt or skirt.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby Happy-N-Skirts » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:20 pm

TO: Beachlion

The photo you attached is about what I wear when I am out and about. I prefer not having cargo pockets as I wouldn't use them. Although they are handy, the stick out too much. Actually the picture looks a lot like me and the skirt looks a lot like a guy wearing shorts only more comfortable.

Thank you for sending that. I think it could be a good seller. I would be very confident wearing that skirt. I wear elastic belts when there are belt loops. Most of my skirts have elastic waists.
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Re: Quasi-kilt

Postby KellyRain » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:54 pm

Grok wrote:One garment marketed as unisex was the Madra Kilt. Actually, a short, pleated skirt apparently intended as a woman's skirt. It resembles a woman's kilted-skirt more than a man's kilt.

(I just re-checked the sizes listed online, and their largest waist size is too small for me).

One might create a design inspired by this garment, but able to accommodate the average man, and larger women.

The new design might be plaid, without using a recognized tartan.

Men in my area-Seattle, home of the Utilikilt-are definitely willing to wear kilt like garments.

Check out the thread "Another Manufacturer Offering Unisex Skirts", Skirts and Kilts for Men, #10.


Thanks for your post. Seattle is my old home too. My industrial music friends there have worn kilts since the early 1990s. Love Seattle.

I wanted to reply about your thoughts.

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.

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.

Unfortunately that means having fabric made for us. So that will likely be a 2nd generation effort when we have a little income or investment to work with.

Thank you for these comments, great insights.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby KellyRain » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:59 pm

Happy-N-Skirts wrote:I think you have a good idea. I would like a wrap skirt with at least one pocket for my keys. I carry a military looking shoulder bag with pockets for wallet, sunglasses, credit cards, hanky, hand sanitizer, etc.

I like outdoorsy looking skirts like camouflage patterns, khaki, gray, olive drab, denim. I like short, at the knee.

You could make specialized styles and colors for hikers and back packers. I have seen men and women wearing them. I prefer light weight fabric.

I would like something that looks like a kilt without the pleats and not as much flare; just enough to allow enough stride for hiking.

I would be a customer.


Thank you. We are looking at three bands within our line. 1. Active 2. Business 3. Dress / Fashionable
I am 100% with you on the pocket. The most practical skirt I have is a Zara skirt that has two pockets. But the cut isn't great. Ganryu is a side line of Comme Des Garsons who have made some nice simple straight and wrap skirts with back pockets like pants. It is a narrow cut so the pockets work. Good design for everyday but too pedestrian for dressing up. And sadly looks like someone just converted pants. So far most of the practical skirts I have seen for active or daily wear seem to just produce tubes with pockets in various fabrics.

I think our biggest challenge is to make a daily wear or active wear skirt that makes you feel fashionable while being sensible to live in every day.

Thanks for your ideas!! ;)
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby KellyRain » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:08 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. with women admiring them. I believe women like men in skirts and kilts and would buy them for their husbands and SOs. I have met women who went nuts over men in skirts.

I used to belong to an organization which had teams with different uniforms. One of them wore kilts as a part of their identity. I was not a member of their team, but would have liked the experience of kilts but never had the opportunity. They got a lot attention from women.


Thank you. This is great advice.

I can speak from experience that some women really love a guy in a skirt. We own a small events cafe in Tokyo so that is where I most often wear my skirts. There has been a certain demographic of ladies there who have been very supportive. Maybe more than supportive, more like enchanted. Which my wife who runs our place loves to watch because it makes me SOOO uncomfortable and my efforts to escape are so difficult given that I often host the cafe and have to interact with everyone and cannot escape to the kitchen.

I am not some handsome guy. I am older, small for western men and a more than a little unusual in my fashion taste. So having women hit on me in the wild at my age is not common place. At all. But the skirt seems to really work for ladies in the 35-45 age range, rather conservative and professional. Did not see that coming. But it has happened every time ladies in this demographic are present for events.

The other demographic who like men in skirts are the youngsters. Support from our younger customers, especially female, has been really strong. But thankfully without the flirtation. ;)

I think a guy who wears a skirt confidently will get attention. If he is well dressed, keeps a neutral/genderless or masculine atmosphere, then there are going to be ladies who love the look and the courage it took to wear it. So definitely we can capture that in marketing.
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Re: Starting a line of skirts

Postby KellyRain » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:10 am

beachlion wrote:
Happy-N-Skirts wrote:...... I would like something that looks like a kilt without the pleats and not as much flare; just enough to allow enough stride for hiking. ......


Before I went from kilts to skirts as daily wear, I made an in-between model. I made it look like an UTkilt with lots of pockets and an apron but without the pleats.

P1010277q.jpg


Is this what you were looking for?


Thank you for posting this photo. I like the utility skirt for everyday. Weirdly enough these are hard to find here. The ones I can find are just fabric tubes with largely unusable pockets priced like designer fashion. Which was one of the reasons we decided to launch our own.

What colors would you be excited about? Would you be interested in a dressy option for work or dinner out?
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