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Barneys Loves the Man Skirt, But Bloomingdale’s Isn’t Sold

What is the future of the man skirt? We asked the fashion set last night at the kickoff party for Housing Works' weekend-long Fashion for Action discounted-designer-merch megasale. Marc Jacobs has been wearing them regularly since his New York show in September. Who else should wear one? And could a recession perhaps be the break that the man skirt has long sought?

Barneys fashion director Julie Gilhart said she was pretty sure her store already carried them. "Our men's buyer would have no hesitation carrying them," she said. "Not a lot, just a little bit. Men are really sexy in skirts." Style curator Natalie Kates added, "Especially if they have nice calves or are wearing some nice Doc Martens." Okay, ladies!

The important issue, though, is the man skirt's shot at a spot on the sales floor at Bloomingdale's, that transom between fey high fashion and the masses. The store's men's- and home-fashion director, Kevin Harter, gave mixed man-skirt signals. "I don't think we'll see it on the rack in Bloomingdale's," he said. But if he had to market it? "You make statements via windows and things. But I can tell you right now, I don't think a skirt for men will ever end up in Bloomingdale's." A lot of people didn't think they'd live to see a black president, we reminded him. He became thoughtful. "I can tell you — with what's going on [with the economy], everybody has to think outside the box," he said. So what kind of green-light signal did he need? "We're always looking to see what guys are wearing downtown, on the streets, in restaurants. If we started noticing it in those areas, we'd consider it."

Do you hear that, skirt-yearning men of New York? If you want your own quasi-affordable man skirt available at Bloomingdale's, you better improvise something first, like Edie Beale, and wear it until Harter and his colleagues notice a critical mass of you. We will be supplying extra pairs of eyes for them via our iPhone cameras.

Photo: Getty Images

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