The History

Mini Skirt History

The Mini Skirt

The 60's were a time of shocks and the mini was the greatest. Social historians relate the introduction of the mini skirt with the introduction of the pill. Women became sexually liberated because of the pill and for the first time free love became possible. As a result skirt lengths shortened and more skin was shown. With hemlines rising a new emphasis was seen on the leg. Stockings became important, with bold textures, and bright colours and soon ‘mad patterns’ and applique.

Mary Quant was a key in the launch of the mini. It was best worn by the young, but it caught everyone from young girls to grandmothers.

Ernestine Carter declared 1963 the Year of the Leg. When Cheryl Thornton appeared on the David Jacobs Show it was decided that her mini was too short for family viewing before 9 PM. But later in the decade when Cathy McGowan, compeer of the TV pop show Ready Steady Go! Threatened to appear in a long coat the British Society for the Preservation of the Mini Skirt was formed and demonstrated outside the TV studios.

In September 1966 the Society demonstrated outside Christian Dior where the new collection featuring long coats and dresses was about to be introduced. The four demonstrators carried banners proclaiming ‘Mini Skirts Forever’ and ‘Support the Mini’ Their president Bill Scharf, claiming a membership of 450 mini skirt enthusiasts, said that the Society existed for the good of mankind.

Despites news from overseas Australia's skirt lengths were by no means over the knee by the mid-60's. In skirt lengths anything went in London but other cities in Europe were different. Four inches above the knee was the safest length to wear all over Europe. Magazines ran ads from QANTAS giving handy advice on this matter and also a send-in strip for a free copy of Elizabeth Hunters book 'Woman's World.' You could call her for advice "about dressing, about shopping, about tipping, about almost anything..."

The mini eventually evolved into the micro mini in 1967 which was nothing but a tiny strip of material that finished just below the bottom. Girls briefly experimented with pulling and stretching their stockings as high as possible, but soon the mini reached lofty heights and pantyhose replaced stockings and suspenders. By the end of the decade, with the two extremes of skirt length popular, as well as the midi length, Vogue proclaimed, "The length of your skirt is how you feel this moment." Women’s hemlines of the 1960s were a barometer of contemporary attitudes: when the consumerist ‘Swinging Sixties’ was at its height, so were women’s hemlines. When people began to consider their lifestyle the midi- and maxi-skirts made their appearance.

Source from: FashionAvenue

History 1 2 1960's 1970's