Most people don’t care if you, as a man, wear a skirt in public. It might feel like they do, but most really don’t.
That said, this post is intended for the men who are yet not confident enough to go out in public in a skirt. Most of them I’ve talked to are afraid of other people’s judgements, but in reality, most people just don’t care.
This comes from my own experience wearing skirts in public, but also the fortunate experience of observing the public’s reaction to other men in skirts in public.
Nope, Don’t Care
When you leave the safety of your home the first few times, it will feel like everyone is watching you, even if there’s no one around. It feels like there are eyes in every window ready to shout and make fun of you.
While that isn’t a great feeling, the good news is that it isn’t the case. Just because there is a man in a skirt out and about doesn’t mean that people are going to look out of their windows any more often than usual. If they do happen to glance out and see you at that moment, most won’t care.
Even the people you encounter on the street or in the shop won’t generally pay much attention. Some people will notice and probably briefly wonder about it, but then just go back to what they were doing before and forget all about it.
Other people won’t notice at all because they are too wrapped up in whatever it is that they’re doing at that moment. They might be deep in conversation with another person, playing on their phones, or just simply taking in the sights around them. (I know, probably a rare occasion since the advent of the smartphone.) If a man in a skirt happens to be one of those sights, then he just becomes part of the scenery.
People Who Do Care
Of course, there will be exceptions. There will be people who do care and they fall into two categories: the type that will hate it and the type that will love it.
The people who hate it might grimace, turn away or make some sort of other gesture that indicates they aren’t happy with what they’re seeing. Amongst that group, only a tiny percentage would ever even consider saying something or confronting the man about it.
Of all the men I’ve talked to who go out in public in skirts, most have never had a single negative encounter. The people who do care and say something are generally people who are positive or even excited about it.
It’s surprisingly not that infrequent that men will receive compliments from others if the skirt is part of an outfit that looks nice. I’ve certainly received many more compliments in a skirt than in pants or shorts, both from other men and women, but mostly from women.
These people seem genuinely excited to see a man who is styled well and isn’t afraid to break fashion norms.
Should you care?
Nope, you shouldn’t. If others don’t care about you wearing a skirt in public, why should you? Instead of worrying about what you think other people are seeing when they look at you wearing a skirt, you should instead do exactly the same thing they are: just go about your business as usual.
Of course, I know this is a whole lot easier to say than to actually put into practice, but realizing and internalizing it is an important step to gaining the confidence to get out there and show your true self.
To begin with, go out in “normal” men’s clothes with the intention of people-watching. Once you’re in a crowded place such as a street or store, watch people. Are they looking at you? Are they paying any attention to you whatsoever? Unless you’re staring at them, probably not.
In the scenario, you are still wearing pants or shorts, so you might think people are not giving you a second thought because you are fulfilling their preconceived notions of what men should wear. To counter that, I suggest you then try something a little more “accepted”, but still somewhat eccentric.
Do the same exercise, but this time with an unusual hat or jacket. If it’s a hat, then it could be a fedora, for example — something that is “manly”, but rarely seen. Now repeat the exercise. Unless you’ve chosen something eye-catching like a sparkly pink cowboy hat with colorful unicorns on it, most people probably won’t care.
Continue wearing different unusual things (i.e. pants with bright patterns, women’s cardigans, different hats, heeled shoes, etc) until you finally work your way up to wearing a skirt outdoors. By doing this, you will have achieved two things:
- You will have internalized and gotten used to the fact that most people don’t care
- You will have gotten used to wearing “unusual” clothing out in public
This exercise will help you build confidence while still (mostly) staying in the realm of what is normally considered men’s clothes.
When I first started this post, I had a couple of bullet points I wanted to address but thought it would be a relatively short post. However, as I continued to bang away at the keyboard, it just kept growing and growing into a longer-form post that even needed headings. It seems there is quite a bit to say on this topic which just goes to show its importance in my opinion.
These points are based on my own experience wearing skirts in public as well as having the fortunate opportunity to observe other people when a man is wearing a skirt in public. It wasn’t long ago that I saw a man in the city of Regensburg, Germany wearing a brightly colored, shiny pleated skirt walking through the crowded city center. Instead of watching him, I watched the people around him. Of all the people there, I only saw two look briefly and then go back to what they were doing. That’s it. They were entirely unphased by it and you could even say disinterested.
It’s crucial to emphasize and reiterate just how little most other people actually care about you, as a man, wearing a skirt in public. Once you can internalize that, then going out in public is easy. Unfortunately, the only real way to do so is to get out and be seen in a skirt. Once you’ve done it a few times, you will notice that it gets easier every time and that the vast majority of people really don’t care at all.
What do you think? What have your experiences been like? Have you ever had any encounters where other people did care? Were they positive or negative? Let us know in the comments below!
Postscript: The image above was generated by the Microsoft Image Creator using the prompt: “Make a realistic image of a man in a skirt in public where the people around him don’t care”. It came up with four good ones, but this was my favorite.