The history of the mini skirt/dress

The Mary Quant mini
I am one of those curious kinds that like to know why things happened or came about!! My latest wonder was the mini skirt and it's history, perhaps because the mini-skirt and I were born in the same year and have traveled almost 50 years together! 

Warning — this post contains some examples of the mini skirt/dress from the 1960s.  

* Did you know that Coco Chanel described the mini skirt as “Just awful” and the Netherlands banned the mini skirt for a limited time. Anyone in Greece was jailed for wearing a mini skirt in the 1960s. 

* Disneyland outlawed the mini-skirt and the gatekeepers would measure the distances from the woman's knee to her hemline and restricted her entrance until she ripped out the hem. 

* The mini was introduced by Andre Courreges in 1965. He felt that clothes were not keeping up with modern trends and wanted to introduce something that was modern, streamlined and easy to wear.  Courreges created the A-line skirt that did not cling to the body and was worn with white boots. (source)

Mary Quant minis, designed to be simple,
neat and clean and young looking. 
* Mary Quant (1960s) is considered the mother of the mini (the short skirt reportedly named after her compact car), and said in a 1995 interview with Vogue.They celebrated youth and life and tremendous opportunity. They had a kind of ‘Look at me’ quality. They said, ‘Life is great.’” (Source: Vogue

* Not only did the birth of the miniskirt coincide with that of the Pill, but all of that exposed skin brought attention to a woman’s sexuality. (Source: Vogue)

* Mary Quant wanted the skirt to show femininity and sensuality rather than being vulgar and tasteless. 

* The 1960s was the first point in history were fashion was lead by the young. Young women wanted to be radical and different, they wanted to be empowered and rebellious and they didn't want to follow the rules that women in previous generations had followed. They wanted to set their own trends and no longer be see as quiet and submissive in society.

* It wasn't until to the mid 60's (1966) did the short skirt become more wide spread. Mary Quant was producing minis that were set 6 to 7 inches above the knee


* The introduction of the pantyhose (tights) made wearing a mini much easier. It was hard to wear a mini skirt/dress with stockings, whereas pantyhose offered protection from the elements and no unsightly glimpses of stocking tops. Stockings died in the mid 1960s as a result as young women no longer wanted to wear the suspender belt, girdle etc.... (Source

* The mini led to a revolution in hair, shoes and accessories.

* Mini skirts became an increasingly popular in films and movies of the late 1960s. Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek movies) decided to integrate the mini skirt as part of the uniform of the female crew of the spaceship.

* ABC aired a television special called "The Mini-Skirt Rebellion in the US in 1967 and introduced the style to young Americans. 

* Whilst synthetic fabrics were invented in the 1930s and 40s, it was in the 1960s were they mass produced and were considered ideal for the latest fashion of the mini skirt and baby doll dress. 

* As fashions moved into the 1970s, the bohemian style of maxi dress took over and as the fight for women's rights grew, the mini wasn't seen as counterproductive (as in the wearing of alluring garments). 

* The modern mini is known as the "micro-mini" and you guess why, it is considerably shorter than the minis of the 1960s. Modern minis tend to be more figure-hugging and if loose, more likely to give others a view of their backsides. 

* The mini still remains controversial being blamed for encouraging men to rape women and this has led to many a protest by women stating that men need to control their behaviour rather than women changing their clothing. 

I hope you enjoyed my coverage (or perhaps lack of, consider mini skirts today cover nothing) on the mini. As to the question of modesty and mini — well, I think the answer is clear. Minis don't cover anything (more so today than in the 1960s)  and therefore couldn't be classed as modest in any way.  And whilst I believe that men need to control their lust, we as women do need to make sure we don't reveal all and allow men to trip. 


******

Comments

  1. It seems like the original minis were not really a mini at all - rather what we would call a short skirt!! As for the mini being created to be something that was "easy" to wear... there's nothing easy about sitting in a mini skirt - especially for the viewer!! It's disgusting! And yes, I do think that clothing can encourage men to behave in wicked ways, even though most people will say the men are to blame and that it "has nothing to do with what a woman wears". I don't think that's true at all. Yes, men were base well before the invention of the mini skirt... but I think the sexual and sensual clothing definitely encourages men to fill their minds with sexual and sensual thoughts about women - and we know that thoughts is where all evil proceeds from, as the Scriptures say.

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    1. I agree that they aren't easy to wear and its funny watching some women trying to pull their skirts down to make them slightly more modest. In summer many wear very short by light weight skirts that blow up quite quickly with the wind and that only adds to the stress of not showing one's undies to the world. Not a practical choice at all. Those original tartan ones were quite nice compared to what is available now, perhaps its time for a revisit of the original skirt.

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  2. I don't mind the top pics of the Mary Quant mini - as in just above the knee. I don't like them any shorter, and they are so not practical especially when you have little ones - every time you bend over you flash your knickers!!

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    1. I do like those tartan ones to, but they really aren't that mini compared to todays mini!! These are quite conservative. I agree that minis are not practical when lots of bending down are required and many are not suitable on a windy day either !!

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  3. Thanks for taking the time to research this history. I have no use for mini skirts, personally. As has been mentioned they are not practical and often are uncomfortable in appearance both for the wearer (squirming to pull it down as she sits or bends) and the viewer who is trying to avoid seeing things that ought to be covered. I also agree that while men need to control their thoughts, women should try to dress in a way that will bring them respect and honor, instead of lust and desire. Proverbs 11:16 A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

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    1. I have often walked behind a woman in a mini and its funny watching them trying to pull it down so not to reveal "too much". It is also interesting seeing a younger woman who is overweight wear one as its often much higher at the back and they don't seem to be aware how bad it looks.Not a lot of grace in a mini:) I remember watching a film once and the male character turned to a woman he is sitting next to and says something like "That is an interesting belt" referring to her skirt!

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  4. What an interesting article! I find it funny that a man was the inventor of such skirts, and claimed that he was making them to be "easier for women"...hardly! I think he was making them so he could ogle women easier!

    Christina
    www.ourwoodhome.com

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    1. Only a man would say that!!!! Perhaps he should have tried it on to discover how uncomfortable a mini can be!!!

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  5. The fact that the mini skirt boosted the popularity of tights as an alternative to stockings is surely a point in their favour. Besides being more comfortable than stockings and suspenders they are less likely to provoke male lust (Ask any man!)

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