The midi skirt is a style that has very much come back into our wardrobes over the past few years. This one style however came into our wardrobes in the early twentieth century and has never really left. Ever since Coco Chanel rose hem lines throughout World War One, women have been liberated through fashion and the midi skirt was one of the first examples of just that. Whether you’re a midi skirt lover or your still on the fence, we’ll take you through the History of the Midi Skirt and just how you can bring this look into your wardrobe.
The History of the Midi Skirt - Pre World War Two
Prior to 1910, hem lines were strictly to the floor and women were subjected to the binding S-Curve corset. This allowed for little movement or freedom in fashion, however come 1910, that was all about to change. Corsets became more relaxed and hemlines raised to ankle length. Then with World War One, womenswear became much more appropriate for the working woman. Shorter hemlines again, inching nearer to midi length, and shorter coats was customary for women of all classes who suddenly found themselves mixing in working and social situations like never before.Throughout this time, Coco Chanel was a beacon for the new silhouette which took a much more relaxed shift silhouette. The roaring 20’s then saw hemlines raised above the knee which was completely shocking at the time. Dropped waists, relaxed silhouettes, strings of pearls and high hemlines was the must have look of the era and while it was not the midi length, it was a major step forward in liberating women through fashion.
Source: Marie Claire
Post World War Two
As World War Two finished, women’s fashion began to dramatically change. It was Dior who stole the show in 1947 with his debut ‘New Look’ Collection. With full midi skirts, cinched waists and rounded shoulders, this collection was the epitome of femininity and a renewed post war opulence. After the years of the troubles and tribulations of living through the wartime, women were delighted as they replaced their civilian uniforms with a glamorous look. Dior was not simply creating a new outfit, it was creating a whole new way of life, a new way of living post war.
Source: Met Museum
The 60's Onwards
It was through the 60’s that midi skirts were on the way out in favour of their shorter mini skirt counterpart. Mod fashion in the 60’s was all about mini-skirts and shorter (more alarming for conservative societies) lengths. This trend however changed in the 70’s when designers and retailers introduced the midi skirt, much to the dislike of consumers. Despite the efforts of department stores, marketing campaigns, designers and retailers, many women rejected this new length and the fact they were being forced to wear a certain style. Women organised protest groups against the midi skirt and by the 80’s, the face of fashion had changed. While trends will always prevail, women’s fashion was now about personal choice and not specific trends. Women were finally liberated from the constraints of designers and stores – now it was about showcasing your personality and style.
Midi Skirts Today
Today midi skirts are a crucial part to any wardrobe. Sitting at a demure length, there is something ever so elegant and sophisticated about this hemline. Whether you’re opting for a fitted number like the Lover Ruby Oasis Halter Dress or an A-like look like the Grace and Hart Valentine Midi Dress, there is a style for every mood and occasion.
Don’t be fooled to thinking that the midi length results in a mature look, this length can be just as flirtatious or playful as a mini skirt. Less skin shown can be all the more appealing! To keep your look young and fresh, work with a gorgeous print or pop of colour like the Talulah Falls Full Strapless Midi Dress. A pop of colour will create a playful statement and if you’re opting for an A-line style, you’ll feel like the belle of the ball as you twirl your way through the event.
Whatever Midi skirt you’re working with, pair it with a crop top or a tucked in blouse to highlight your waist and natural curves. Finish off your look with a belt to cinch in your waist, a killer pair of heels and you’re good to go!