Be a man: Wear a skirt

The evolution of man continues on the runway as the man-skirt is officially introduced into the mainstream fashion lexicon as part of H&M's 2010 spring collection for men.

Designers started putting men in skirts and sending them down the runway but the world did not really take notice until high profile designer Marc Jacobs started appearing in one for shows and events a few seasons ago.

Social conditioning that skirts are for women are being challenged with designers like Prada, Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen unveiling long and short skirts, pleated skirts and kilts, for men.

After all, men have been wearing skirts as part of native attire for years — the Scottish kilt, the Greek foustanella, the dhoti and lungi in India, the sarong in Southeast Asia, and the lavalava in Samoa.

Western culture has long resisted the man-skirt, holding fears of it being branded as effeminate.

"Our spring collection has a strong global inspiration and many ethnic influences," said Karen Richter, showroom manager at H&M Canada. "Men wearing skirts is common in many other cultures around the world."

H&M shows the pleated skort with a graphic T-shirt, a tailored blazer, leggings and a tough boot.

Also, H&M is bringing back an old look. Drop-crotch pants, or harem pants, for the urban man — a look some might remember from the late '80s.

It's a trend that can be seen on men and women in Europe but North Americans can't seem to let go of MC Hammer and "…Can't Touch This," look.

Givenchy, Dior Homme, Phillip Lim, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren and many others designers have re-introduced the drop-crotch silhouette.

H&M shows the harem pants with a bright T-shirt, graphic maxi scarf and a cotton spring jacket.

And, bringing that avant-garde look, along with the man-skirt in March 2010, H&M brings other daring looks to its spring collection for men looking to embrace future fashion trends.

"There are certain male customers who are always looking to be one step ahead of the trends and who like to stand out from the crowd," Richter said. "(Look for) lots of florals, bright colours, embroidery and beading, which are all details that are often unexpected in a men's collection."

Designer skirt watch
Designer Marc Jacobs (pictured left) wore a skirt to the launch of V61, an event hosted by V magazine, this past September. Jacobs also sported the trend at the Marc By Marc Jacobs Spring 2010 fashion show at The Armory in New York that same month.

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