Skirts are no longer just a symbol of femininity, they’re also a vehicle for comfort and a statement of personal style. Unlike in the past, women today have the freedom to not wear a skirt at all, but if they so choose, they have a wide range of styles at their disposal – from pleated to pencil, A-line to asymmetrical. Let’s take a historical look at this groundbreaking garment, and talk about how to pick a skirt that suits your personality – and wear it with confidence.
The Skirt: A History
A simple and basic garment, some form of what we would call a skirt was worn in prehistoric cultures by both men and women to protect themselves from the cold and inclement weather. Later, societies like the Persians, Sumerians, Romans and Egyptians were adapting skirts to their cultures and lifestyles, adding embellishments to the design. The Egyptians, for example, created pleats; and while the men wore their skirts above the knee, the women wore them down to the ankle, fitted to the waist and secured with suspenders.
The Modern Skirt
In the 1920s, legendary designer Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel designed a shorter, wider skirt for women that freed the legs and hit just below the knee. According to the French designer, this type of skirt would provide a more practical silhouette for the day-to-day activities of the women of the time.
As Colombian designer Lucy Barragán notes: “Chanel arrived to free us from all this discomfort of the past with a much more comfortable garment, in lighter materials and of a length that allowed for easier, more fluid movement for the daily work of women of the time, who immediately supported this show of rebellion.”