September 01, 2006
Vast Oddball Conspiracy Emanating From Issaquah

I suppose many readers recall that very, very uncomfortable episode of Seinfeld where the great comedian Jerry Stiller, playing George's (?) father, becomes fixated on marketing his new invention, The "Manzier," a.k.a. "The Bro," a brassiere for men. Now comes news - via Independent Sources - that an Issaquah-based company is selling skirts for men on the Internet. Do we need any further evidence the Eastside is turning really, really Blue? Eight different models, all with Western Washington-themed names. I suppose soon we'll see a few male public school teachers in Seattle donning the Georgetown, the Renton, the Tenino or the Silverdale (below, left to right). Freedom is not to be taken lightly. That's all I can say.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at September 01, 2006 10:23 PM | Email This
1. I got my size 38 tenino in the mail!

Posted by: Andrew Roberts on September 1, 2006 10:25 PM
2. I'm happy to say that Sammamish, though being on the eastside, is still very conservative and we haven't seen a single one of these garments yet

Btw, I didn't know that David Bowie had authorized mannequins to be made that look just like him circa late '70s.

Posted by: Misty on September 1, 2006 10:32 PM
3. Perhaps Christine Gregoire will show solidarity with western WA clothing designers and order one for her husband.

Posted by: Misty on September 1, 2006 10:34 PM
4. Look at it this way: while the people running this company (I'm 99.999% certain they aren't republicans)are busy throwing their money down the black hole that is this business, that's that much less money they'll have available to make a contribution to the democrat party.

Posted by: Misty on September 1, 2006 10:38 PM
5. Misty,

Did David Bowie (circa late 1970's) shave his legs like the mannequin?

Posted by: Andrew Roberts on September 1, 2006 10:46 PM
6. Wouldn't have surprised me!

Posted by: Misty on September 1, 2006 10:48 PM
7. We let the Scottish come into this country and look what happens.

Posted by: thehim on September 1, 2006 11:24 PM
8. Have you actually attended Bumbershoot or one of the other summer festivals in Seattle? One need only substitute denim for tartans and shorn for hirsute ...and it's already a reality. I've never understood the connection between kilts and radical Jamaican politics/reggae music/dreadlocks, but there it is. Viva la revolucion!

Denim? I'm not sure of any interest Bonwit Teller or Banana Republic might have had in the concept, or even the Gap, for that matter. Too bland for Rio's carnivale...

All dressed up and no place to go.

If they had stock, I'd sell it short.

Btw, the mannequin is carrying way too much weight to represent Bowie.

Posted by: scott158 on September 2, 2006 12:48 AM

The free market will take care of this company and the Smart Car, so why does anybody care? Aren't these the kind of contributions that belong over on the public blog, if on soundpolitics at all?

Posted by: Observer on September 2, 2006 03:41 AM
10. April Fools!! This can't be.

Posted by: swatter on September 2, 2006 05:56 AM
11. The GOP chickenhawks, deserters, and deferrement Kings should get these as standard issue.

Give Bush a pastel skirt for his NG AWOL status. Cheney should get five - one for each deferrential "college" pass.

In fact, they should get Girl Scout merit badges for every insult to a Purple Heart veteran. Tammy Duckworth lost both legs as a helicopter pilot in Iraq - her GOP opponent should be forced to wear a skirt in their next debate.

Jim Webb was Secretary of the Navy and left the chickenheart party. Must be a coward, right?

It takes a small man to send another to fight for him.

Posted by: shrike on September 2, 2006 06:58 AM
12. The Georgetown and Tenino look all right. I'd never be caught dead in a Silverdale, though.

Posted by: Sotosoroto on September 2, 2006 07:09 AM
13. Shriek - did you wake up on the wrong side of the dumpster this morning?

Posted by: alphabet soup on September 2, 2006 07:54 AM
14. Perhaps Mr. Rosenberg is unaware of the social tradition of contra-dancing in Seattle. Beginning in the early 1980s, it has grown and flourished here. It involves live New Englandy string music, two opposed lines of dancers executing prescribed figures, and an amplified parade marshall (the 'caller') who incessantly harangues the dancers on which of the drills to execute, and when.

For most of this period, each Seattle contra has included at least one self-appointed gent wearing a skirt very reminiscent of these Issaquah creations. It's not hard to conclude that someone from Issaquah came away from such a dance quite pleased, thinking there must be money to be made from this phenomenon.

Posted by: Hank Bradley on September 2, 2006 08:27 AM
15. Well this explains a lot! I was driving in Southwest Seattle and saw what I assumed was a mother dropping off her grown son at a bus stop. He was wearing a beige pleated skirt. I went through some brain contortions try to see that as a kilt but it was plain BEIGE for pete's sake! It just looks like bad drag and there is nothing more sad than bad drag.

Posted by: SeaRep on September 2, 2006 08:35 AM
16. Come on, those photos were Photoshopped. Even Arab photographers can do a better job on their fake photos.

Posted by: swatter on September 2, 2006 08:39 AM
17. Hmmm- I don't get it, they all look like black tee shirts to me.

Posted by: Jeffro on September 2, 2006 09:06 AM
18. They look like conservative republican dresses to me. Anybody can make a dress. Who is buying them? Knock to stereotyping of teachers, republicans and democrats.

Posted by: thor on September 2, 2006 09:07 AM
19. A man without a skirt is like a fish without a bicycle.

Posted by: Steve on September 2, 2006 09:45 AM
20. I understand David KLOWNSTEIN and the HA crowd have ordered the full line....and swap dresses with each other daily.
I'd sure hate to see our fatass KLOWN buddy ivan in any of the miniskirts!

Posted by: Mr. Cynical on September 2, 2006 09:47 AM
21. Cynical--
The thought of ivan weiss in a mini-skirt getting into a smartcar is PRICELESS!!

Posted by: OMG on September 2, 2006 09:49 AM
22. P.S. Apparently, red lipstick is a mandatory accessory with the skirt. Notice the bare feet. High heels would be perfect! Just the thing when you are defending your family from a terrorist attack. The jihadis will fall over laughing, and then you can easily kill them. If that doesn't work, after forced conversion by the sword I think we should stick with a plain black burka. It goes with everything.

Posted by: Steve on September 2, 2006 09:56 AM
23. Careful now - iban (AKA FatBastard) studies each and every SP thread looking for secret rovian dispatches...;'}

Posted by: alphabet soup on September 2, 2006 09:59 AM
24. Try this experiment: Cover up the skirts with your hand and look at just the face, torso and arms. Just a regular American guy, right! They can take my pants away from me when they pry them from my cold dead legs!

Posted by: Steve on September 2, 2006 10:24 AM
25. Somehow I think that the Highlander show rerun phenomenon has gone horribly, horribly wrong.


Some poor highlander is spinning in his grave... I wonder if this could be considered hate speech? I mean, think about it. The clansmen of the highlands were warriors and any fairies caught wearing this would obviously be besmirching the ancient honor of this form of dress... IF THE LATINOS CAN HAVE HATE SPEECH I WANT IT TOO! Luckily my ancestors were Norse and didn't wear any of this sissy stuff :) .

Posted by: Aaron on September 2, 2006 02:10 PM
26. BEST one-liner to date:

"They can take my pants away from me when they pry them from my cold dead legs!"

Posted by: Cheryl on September 2, 2006 02:20 PM
27. Those are just girl skirts with a an ugly "male" mannekin stuffed in them. I'll bet they charge way more than they should for them, too. Guys, if you want a damned dress, just buy it at Target.

Posted by: Peggy U on September 2, 2006 05:32 PM
28. Peggy: LOL!!!!!!

Posted by: Michele on September 2, 2006 07:12 PM
29. fact, I DID see a skirt similar to the 2nd one from the right at Gap today for just $44.

Posted by: Michele on September 2, 2006 07:42 PM
30. Hey, does anyone know where I can find a nice wrap-around denim skirt (size 0), that isn't one of those appallingly short minis they are selling nowadays? Something about the length of the second skirt from the left? I would like to find one for my daughter. Thanks!

Posted by: Peggy U on September 2, 2006 11:07 PM
31. Peggy, do a search by typing in "Khaki wraparound skirt" and you should be able to come up with something

Posted by: Michele on September 2, 2006 11:56 PM
32. oops--that should be "denim wraparound skirt". Bet you'll find plenty

Posted by: Michele on September 2, 2006 11:57 PM
33. random ideas:
--I'll don one as soon as Greg Nickels and Sims do the same.
--this opens up a whole new perspective on camera-under-stairs peeping cases;
--"faster-access wear" for the Broadway Area of Seattle;
--any homeless spotted wearing these?
--gives new meaning to the phrase "that'll blow yer skirt up!"
--when is the first Seattle employer dress code lawsuit?
--does the Gov's hubby need one? wearing the pants in the family?

Posted by: Jimmie-howya-doin on September 3, 2006 02:39 AM
34. this is our version of tough war talk and psy-ops propaganda; the terrorists are probably laughing, busting guts and incapacitated as we speak; and we wonder why our young boys are doped up with ritalin, pierced everywhere and effeminate--is the end goal is to look like mannequins?

will the police get kevlar ones? hey--these might stop a lot of future nasty kicks in the jewels;

Posted by: Jimmie-howya-doin on September 3, 2006 02:46 AM
35. Holy cow - talk about your homophobic wastes of time!! I stumbled across this site by accident while searching for something else...and I am unimpressed to say the least. A child in Africa dies every three seconds from HIV and/or starvation, and we have children in our own country without a roof over their heads, and you're spending time on this? Here's an idea for ya -- if you're a man and you don't like the idea of a man wearing a't buy one. There, that one was easy.

Posted by: Greenie on September 3, 2006 10:02 AM
36. Looks like there is a lot of testosterone posioning in the comments here. AKA 'cavemen'.

Sounds like no one here has heard of Utilikilts from Seattle.

To quote and old saying: "don't knock it until you try it."

Posted by: Kilted on September 3, 2006 10:35 AM
37. Greenie - Since you like easy solutions, here are a few.

Starvation in Africa - overthrow all the socialist dictators who have driven the former European colonies into ruin and stolen their wealth. I'm sure the UN blue helmets could help with this.

AIDS in Africa - actually far more die of Malaria each year (50 million or so). Solution - spray the whole place with DDT. Yes, some wildlife will die. If you are a PETA type, then consider saving the mosquitoes and accepting the resulting human misery.

Roofless American kids - Have Jimmy Carter sew all the manskirts into big tents. There, that one was easy.

Posted by: Steve on September 3, 2006 10:46 AM
38. Is it true next years spring line extention will include the "Volunteer Park Mini skirt" featuring easy access for spur of the moment romances with the "drinking liberally" crowd in mind? AKA the "Murray-Mini."

Posted by: Huh? on September 3, 2006 10:58 AM
39. This reminds me of an old song I heard in a pub in Austrialia. "Jock, Jock the mighty Scot what an unusual sight to see. You could tell he was built by the tilt of his Kilt and his Sparron hung down to his knee."

Posted by: Smokie on September 3, 2006 11:10 AM
40. Burt, Burt the unusual flirt,
he always wore a kilt.
"A black tee shirt and a lovely skirt
gives plenty o' room for me stilt."

Posted by: Steve on September 3, 2006 11:26 AM
41. Steve, 'easy solutions?' No. Real solutions? Yes. And those little sarcastic quips ain't it. While I have to compliment you on your eloquent lambasting of my posting, I have to say that, sadly, you missed the point entirely. The point: 1) your laid-back banter is homophobic, explicitly and implicitly. 2) You certainly should have much more important topics to discuss and debate, whatever they may be. Tisk, tisk. Where's your "compassionate conservatism?" Wouldn't that at least include being tolerant of those who are different than you?

Posted by: Greenie on September 3, 2006 12:54 PM
42. I'm not sure how homophobia entered into this. I certainly never made any comments regarding homosexuals whatsoever. What you infer is your business, but I didn't imply it.
I do think men who wear women's clothes are odd, regardless of who they have sex with. I would think the same about people who wear clown suits, or propeller beanies, or Elizabethan collars.
Labelling people as homophobic (or racist) is a favorite ploy of the left to stifle discussion. I respect you right to wear skirts if you wish, please respect my right to laugh at you if you do. One has no right to be free from ridicule if one dresses ridiculously.
Now lets hitch up our akirts and get to work!

Posted by: Steve on September 3, 2006 01:21 PM
43. Ok, Steve. Now that's a response I respect! I hope you have a nice Labor Day weekend.

Posted by: Greenie on September 3, 2006 01:34 PM
44. You too. Thanks.

Posted by: Steve on September 3, 2006 01:45 PM
45. That is the new director of elections and his family. All registered to vote in King County.

Posted by: Marmstro on September 3, 2006 03:35 PM
46. Greenie, except for the skirt thing (which was hilarious) listen to Steve. He's making all kinds of sense. Do you KNOW how corrupt some of those african countries are???
And I assume you are donating your own money to charities that help these people in AFrica? I have. Because I AM a compassionate conservative who gives tons to church and non-profits every yeAR.
If you haven't done likewise, then please don't jump all over everyone else here,making assumptions about what they have or haven't done.

Posted by: Michele on September 3, 2006 04:04 PM
47. Greenie: It's called levity. It helps to have a comic break from serious issues once in a while, don't you think? Is there anyone here who honestly doesn't think the sight of a man in a dress is ridiculous? Someone tell Dame Edna, Flip Wilson, Robin Williams, Tom Hanks, Damon Wayons, Dustin Hoffman, Mike Myers, the entire Monty Python crew, and who knows how many more, that their drag acts aren't funny.

Don't presume that just because people take time out to have some fun that they are shallow. And - if you are a guy who wants to wear a dress, I hope you have the legs to pull it off, and that you shave them!

Michelle: I have done a google search for "wraparound denim skirt". I found a few, but they are not quite what I have in mind. The ones I have found that I like don't run small enough. I may be forced to sew...

Posted by: Peggy U on September 3, 2006 06:11 PM
48. I forgot, Greenie - although, I don't know too many homosexuals that I am aware of, the gay guys I do know all wear pants - never seen even one of them in a skirt or dress. I think you mean "cross dressers". They wear women's clothes, but are not necessarily gay. I suppose there is some overlap between those sets of people, however. If I saw a guy in a dress, I would not presume he was gay. So 'homophobic' is an inaccurate assessment of the perspective here. Men look silly in women's clothing.

Posted by: Peggy U on September 3, 2006 06:21 PM
49. Ya' couldn't make this stuff up!

Posted by: JDH on September 3, 2006 09:30 PM
50. Peggy U -- Yes, men do look silly in women's clothing. And women look silly in men's clothing. I hereby command you, and all other women, to immediately cease the wearing of trousers, and get back to wearing women's clothing. We're tired of all of you constantly cross-dressing.

Logic, however, would dictate that pants made for women are women's clothing, from which it follows that skirts tailored for men are men's clothing, wouldn't it?

Posted by: RedStateOfMind on September 3, 2006 10:39 PM
51. Aaron -

Actually, your Norse ancestors (mine too) did wear something similar; long belted tunics remarkably similar to what survives today in the Scottish tradition of the "great kilt." Matter of fact, everyone's ancestors wore skirts. Trousers are a relatively recent invention that came into being around the dawn of horseback riding, for reasons that should be obvious.

You just never know what will happen down the road. It took 60 years for jeans to become clothing for anyone other than miners, and another 30 years to become universal. Could this be The Next Big Thing? Utilikilts in Seattle seems to think so - they did over $5 million in business last year. People on the street see mine, and know the brand name - "hey, is that a Utilikilt?" Brand recognition is a huge thing if you ask a marketing student.

But don't buy one. They don't fit right without a pair of stones dangling underneath.

Posted by: RedStateOfMind on September 3, 2006 10:54 PM
52. Thats not proof that the east side is getting blue. What we see here is the result of some 30 something capitol hillbilly moving back home to Issaquah. Taking up residency in mommy and daddy's basement. And trying to demonstrate to both that he's capable of starting a career and making something of himself.

Someone should really break it to the poor slob that the men's skirt thing has been tried at least 3 or 4 times in the past 25 years. And for some reason it just never catches on. Maybe Nordies will have to pick em up before you see em take off.
Personally I think that short number might do the trick on a really hot day. Just think how refreshing it would be to have a slight breeze across the.. err ... well...umm... nevermind.


Posted by: Mike on September 4, 2006 12:01 AM
53. I like the Tumwater and Tenino, but would be hard pressed to find an occasion to wear a Silverdale. And the Kent? Never! But those prices, oh my! Way too high for my budget.
If anyone wears one, that is personal expression of freedom. Style is another freedom we enjoy, and conformity is the expression of repression. Like one? Buy one. Not your cup of tea? Don't. Pretty simple, and not all that threating to me.

Posted by: duhh on September 4, 2006 01:39 PM
54. RedStateofMind: You are right, I suppose, about the cross-dressing thing, though at this point in time women wearing jeans have become mainstream (in fact, they have been during my entire lifetime). I think women continue to wear dresses as fashion statements, not for functional reasons. But then, women stereotypically are viewed as valuing appearance over comfort.

Personally, I think pants are more practical everyday wear for everyone. They protect your legs, and you can engage in a wider range of activities while wearing them. The skirts advertised here are not "formal", nor are they practical - particularly that one on the far right. I don't know if you have ever worn a skirt, but many of them restrict leg movement somewhat. From the fit of these on the mannekin, I can tell that these would limit range of motion. These are not skorts - they are skirts - so they are not as utilitarian as shorts. They are merely fashion statements. And, at this point in time, they are weird. As someone pointed out, Elizabethan ruffs were once in vogue, but that doesn't make them enduring fashion items.

From the female perspective, I like a "sharp dressed" man - but I also prefer men to be no-nonsense, no muss, no fuss - not metrosexuals, thanks! I think this crosses the line into froufrou. It is decorative, without being practical, and somehow that just doesn't strike me as "masculine". Kilts, on the other hand, are looser fitting and do allow some freedom. Historically, they were worn with leggings which protected a man's legs and kept them warm.

I would bet that more women than men have a "problem" with a guy in a dress. What kind of signal does it send to women? It may be that a man is confident in his masculinity, and doesn't care what people think of him. However, I doubt that is what women are thinking when they first see the guy. First impressions are important; even if a guy would be comfortable wearing a skirt, he isn't likely to try it if it will ruin his chances of hooking up with a woman! (And you can just forget that happening if the guy's legs are prettier than hers, or if he wears the same size she does. It's bad enough having your girlfriends, your sisters or your daughter raiding your closet, let alone a guy!)

Do you suggest we pinpoint a historical time and cultural setting to establish as the "normal" reference for clothing? I mean, right now, the cultural norm for Afghani women is the burqa, but I certainly don't want to adopt that! In viewing these skirts, I am using the gender model I grew up with in this culture as my reference. So, yeah, they look silly to me! I would expect to see that on my aunt, not my son or one of his friends! And though you probably consider me to be too narrow minded, I think there are a lot of women like me who would not be attracted to this. Since women do most of the clothes shopping (even for their men), I wouldn't expect this to gain wide acceptance any time soon.

Posted by: Peggy U on September 4, 2006 04:21 PM
55. "Personally, I think pants are more practical everyday wear for everyone."

Peggy U -- Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I agree with you, to a point. I'm a carpenter, so the likelihood that I could be persuaded to part with my Carhartt dungarees is quite slim. Quite a large percentage of the working population, however, works indoors and can suffer no worse injury than a paper cut or bizarre stapler accident. If I sat in an office all day, I have a strong suspicion something without inseams would be more comfortable than pants for my boys.

And don't try to tell me suits and ties are either comfortable OR practical! They are an invention of Satan! Oh, sorry. Ties are French, whom as conservatives we are obliged to hate anyway. Why aren't we burning our ties on massive bonfires?

After long summer days of quite literally sweating my balls off, though, I'm ready to "slip into something more comfortable," as it were, which is why I like my kilts. Many gals seem to like it, though that's not why I wear them. Any who don't? I wouldn't waste my time anyway with a woman who presumes to tell me what I can't wear. Period. Imagine if the tables were turned on THAT situation.

As for attracting the opposite sex, I might throw in that the way many women dress these days is positively shameful, if not lewd. Everywhere I look, it's tramp-stamps and buttcracks. Who's casting the first stone?

And while CitySkirt isn't really my style... I might order one just to piss off Matt Rosenberg and fuel the "Issaquah Oddball Conspiracy!" Maybe the one with the hammer loop.... A fellow gets pretty thick-skinned and contrarian growing up conservative in SoCal.

Posted by: RedStateOfMind on September 4, 2006 07:57 PM
56. Wear one of those for a while and you will learn why kilts are pleated.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on September 5, 2006 10:06 AM
57. RedStateOfMind: Most of the men I know couldn't care less about style. I generally associate with programmers and engineers, though, so that might skew my view of stylish men! My husband wears whatever happens to be closest at hand. It's like pulling teeth to get him to go and buy new clothes. So, I take the path of least resistance - and replace worn out clothes as needed. It's not so much that I tell him what to wear; I just end up doing the shopping, and I buy what appeals to me, since he doesn't seem to care! Many of the women I know do the shopping for their husbands and boyfriends. When you are shopping for someone else, it's wise to take a cautious approach to style (unless, of course, you enjoy standing at the "return" counter). In other words, you're not going to haul off and buy a man skirt.

I showed the man skirts to my daughter and my niece. My daughter is the fashion conscious one in her group of friends - they usually take her along to consult on their shopping trips. My niece works at Abercrombie and Fitch and enjoys dressing people up. I figured, being younger, they would be more accepting of new trends. Neither one would buy a skirt for their boyfriends, and neither feels they will catch on. Kilts, on the other hand, are apparently ok. (Mr. Wallis is right about the pleats being necessary. One lousy kick pleat just doesn't cut it.)

Oh, BTW, I completely agree with you on lewd clothes for women. They are repellant, rather than attractive. My daughter calls it "skankware". It doesn't appeal to many young people, but someone somewhere thinks it does. It makes shopping a challenge at times!

Posted by: Peggy U on September 5, 2006 11:23 AM
58. Michele: Sorry for putting two "l's" in your name! Observant I am not!

Posted by: Peggy U on September 5, 2006 11:25 AM
59. Peggy, try Christopher and Banks for cute modest clothes for both you and your daughter.

There is one at the South Hill mall in Puyallup.

Posted by: Amanda on September 5, 2006 12:16 PM
60. Peggy, Michele, Amanda-

I love the fact that women can turn a topic of skirts for men into a forum for school clothes shopping for their daughters. Being the dad of 16, 14 and 13 year old daughters, I'm all to familiar with the "your not leaving the house dressed in that young lady" ordeals. Thank heaven for Moms.

Bless you all on this first day back.

Posted by: Jeffro on September 5, 2006 12:48 PM
61. Here's hoping they know what heel height goes with which skirt! Any man worth his salt knows that the longer the skirt, the higher the heel must be. Wearing the wrong shoes would just RUIN these stunning outfits! Deb

Posted by: dj on September 5, 2006 02:42 PM
62. Here's hoping they know what heel height goes with which skirt! Any man worth his salt knows that the longer the skirt, the higher the heel must be. Wearing the wrong shoes would just RUIN these stunning outfits! Deb

Posted by: dj on September 5, 2006 02:42 PM
63. dj- not to worry, the Ziggy Stardust dummy looks pretty fashion savvy to me.

Posted by: Jeffro on September 5, 2006 03:27 PM
64. Amanda: Thanks!
Deb & Jeffro: Too funny!

Posted by: Peggy U on September 5, 2006 04:36 PM
65. Deb -- don't be silly, woman. Everyone with a lick of sense knows that heavy leather boots, work boots, go with skirts. See the photos at Heels are for cowboy boots, so you don't get your feet caught in the stirrups.

Posted by: RedStateOfMind on September 5, 2006 05:53 PM
66. Aaron, Norse huh? The Viking invaders that hated and mated most of the indigenous peoples of the British Isles wore a garment that was defined in the "old English" as "Kilten". The Vikings left most of their offspring in Scotland, hence the overabundance of blond and red haired Scots. And with time, the Scots took the clothing choice of their ancestors, (The "Norsemen, Northmen, Northwoodsmen etc.'s choice, "The Kilten"), renamed it the Kilt and made it their traditional National MALE Garment. So, Aaron, if you be Norse in ancestry as you say, your male ancestors wore skirts long before the Scottish did. The "suit" as we know it today, originated in the Victorian and later ages and is a comparably NEW garment for men. Suits are wonderful garments, allowing men to "blend in" with all the other penguin looking lemmings.

Posted by: Skip on September 6, 2006 02:17 PM
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