Spotlight: JC from NY State

Spotlight: JC from NY State

Tags: Spotlight

What do you go by?

Mostly people call me JC

Where are you based?

Rural northern New York state

How did you get into skirts?

From the waistband on down through, but most dresses go on over my head (Haha).

Seriously, though: I’ve always been a bit unconstrained in my styles and choice of clothing, if any. I’m an aficionado of colors and textures, and standard men’s clothing is so severely limited and lacking in both. During my working years, where the profession imposed more of a uniform during working days, I limited my expression to my preferred satin & lace underthings. That’s been ongoing for decades: so much more comfy and soft and, well, pretty and sexy (wife agrees). But on play days, all my adult life I have pushed the bounds a bit, until I realized there was no penalty for being unusual but stylish (not slovenly or creepy). I will not wear baggy swim trunks or street shorts for that reason and Wife and I have long enjoyed costumery, especially for festivals like Renaissance Faires and Steampunk conventions. I’ve included one Renn Faire photo of us both. That is where I likely first became aware of the superior feelings in a crotchless garment (be it tunic or skirt), and some years ago I began to adopt them for daily wear on off days and since retiring, almost every day – especially since I have found sources for my preferred above-the-knee skirts with real pockets!

 A couple posing together at Renn Faire, the man on the left in a black skirt, hat, and sword in a colourful cloth belt. A woman on the right, in a blue-green dress, flower pattern vest, and headband.

What’s your favourite thing about skirts?

No wads of extra cloth in my crotch – a cool comfort, especially on long car drives! And as noted above, the wide range of colors and textures.

Is it hard to find skirts that you want to wear?

Not at all. I do have my favorite brands (Jupe de Abby, Style & Co.), but I have many others. I enjoy trying new styles for low investment by shopping the re-use site 

Can you describe any challenges you’ve faced in wearing skirts?

Haven’t really had any challenges, other than figuring what to do with my keys, wallet, and phone in those lacking pockets. I don't like the shoulder bag option: a bit too awkward and maybe even a touch too femme for me. Also, indirectly, though it was fun: finding very long socks to fit my big feet and long legs. I do not much like tights for the same reason I don't prefer pants – too much fabric in the crotch. It took a while and many trials, but I have many well-fitting, staying-up, all the way over the thigh muscles socks now in several weights to suit most any weather.

Can you share a meaningful story around skirts?

I don’t really have any story with deep meaning, but I can maybe share one that goes to the public reaction to what is still an unusual choice in male dressing.

I was hiking on a local rail trail one beautiful fall day, wearing a cap, short-sleeve button shirt, belted 20-inch denim skirt, and hiking sandals. As I completed the walk and was returning to my car, a Tesla back when they, too, were unusual, a woman newly arrived in the car park a few spaces over, approached asked if we might speak. Of course, I agreed, and the first question was about my car. But it was possibly just an ice breaker, as she followed up asking if I could say why I was wearing a skirt. I smiled and replied that it is by far my preferred garb for a hike. She worked through a list of options (gay, trans, etc.) to associate with that fact, all of which I declined, noting I am a straight, married, father, professional engineer, and all-around regular guy. She asked about my wife and her opinions on skirts (she mostly likes them on me). And we had a long talk on various other topics (she, of early middle age, was a real-estate broker, very personable and interesting). Her closing remarks on the topic of skirts was that she liked the look and thought it wonderful to be so free. I agree! And I think this verbal exchange exemplifies both thoughts and questions that more often are left unvoiced; and the most likely outcome when they are shared and addressed.

What situations do you wear or avoid wearing skirts?

When the tasks at hand call for more protection (welding, roofing, some car work) or specific formal occasions (tux, black tie, some weddings or funerals, depending on the principals involved).

If you could share one thing with the world around skirts, masculinity, or nonconformity, what would it be?

Nonconformity for its own sake is not a valid proposition. It’s OK to deny fashion, but you must have style: your own style. Skirts can be as masculine or feminine as any other garment, depending on fabric, cut, and circumstance. We are fortunate in most of the modern Western world to have little external pressure to rigidly conform.

Any other thoughts, comments, or aspirations?

I’d like to win the lottery, but I refuse to buy a ticket.


Tags: Spotlight

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