Earlier this year, when Miuccia Prada showed a men’s line full of mini tutus and flyless pants, the fashion world flipped out a little bit. Though there is certainly no lack of gender renegades among the business’ elite, clothing that feminizes men may be fashion’s final taboo. But according to New York Magazine, we may see more men wearing traditionally female garments in the near future. Men’s skirts are all over spring 2009 collections including Etro, John Galliano, and Comme des Garçons. And because they’re always a few years ahead of us style-wise, a few European men are already wearing them.

New York’s Amy Odell is ambivalent about the phenomenon, writing, “We can’t get past the fact that they’re men wearing skirts, and something about that trend catching on just doesn’t look or feel right. Don’t get us wrong — we’re all for equality of the sexes, and if Yves Saint Laurent can put women in pantsuits, there’s no reason other designers can’t put men in skirts. We expect to see them on the men’s runways from time to time. And we find it delightful when we do, but in a non-serious way. But now that it may be getting serious, we’re a bit unsettled.” I understand what she’s saying, but it makes me a little bit sad that women dress like men to be taken more seriously while men wearing skirts is automatically funny.

This isn’t to say that I have no reservations about men in skirts. For one thing, the designs pictured in the New York piece leave a bit to be desired. John Galliano’s knee-length black skirt, topped with an explosion of purple feathers and what looks like someone’s grandmother’s ’70s Chanel suit jacket and layered over magenta leggings, would be equally ridiculous on either gender. And if Comme des Garçons’ long, gray skirt ever showed up on Project Runway, Michael Kors would likely have called it “farty.” Etro’s shiny, elaborately wrapped and sensibly belted skirt is the only look I find remotely attractive.

I also wonder how comfortable skirts are for men. Though I, and many women I know, find them more comfortable than pants, we don’t have several inches of skin swinging between our legs. I’d imagine chafing and support could be problems, though perhaps that could be solved by the right pair of underwear. But since my knowledge of the issue is purely theoretical, I’m hoping some men will weigh in on this one. What do you think, guys–love the skirts or hate ’em?

[Photo via Flickr]

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