In Defense of the Full Skirt

You know what I like- big, swirly, feminine skirts.  I wear them at home, in the garden, cleaning house, on the bus, at the market, out to lunch, hanging with my girlfriends, while teaching, and for special occasions.  In short, for almost any activity I’d normally encounter in my daily life.  I love them.

Imagine my general irritation when I read “Skirting the Issue,” a guest post on the academic fashion blog Worn Through.  The author is exploring the issue of a lack of full skirts in high fashion.  I don’t wear high fashion, in fact I seldom “pull my head out” often enough to know what’s going on in high fashion.  Or high street fashion.  I simply don’t have the mind-space and don’t particularly care.

So from the outset, the author and I had our differences.

I felt the schism widen:

“If several more yards of excess fabric is incorporated into a design (simply for the sake of style) the physical difficulty {of wearing a full skirt} is only compounded, often to an embarrassing degree.  Haven’t we all witnessed the hapless homecoming queen or embarrassed bride struggle with her frills and petticoats when attempting to alight from their cars or make their way through a gauntlet of guests?”

To that bride or homecoming queen, all I can say is- learn to wear your clothes properly before the event or find another gown.  Really.  Practice makes perfect and it’s not difficult.  I don’t have much patience for that kind of behavior.

(Image courtesy of We Heart Vintage)

“And… perhaps surprisingly, the dearth of the full skirt also has to do with the overall economics of high fashion as well.”

I get that.  I’m not high-fashion, so I use sheets and duvet covers and “free” fabrics for my big ol’ dresses.  I’m perfectly happy to, it’s cheap and readily available.

“The full skirt had its first modern interpretation of course in 1947 when Dior launched his revolutionary “New Look.”  With its emphasis on a cinched waist and ample, flared skirt, the New Look signaled post-war prosperity.  But to the nation of France, long indoctrinated with thoughts of wartime rationing and frugality, the New Look at the time of its birth was an assault to proper decorum and good taste not to mention national well-being.  A few of the first stylish Parisian women who dared to wear the look out in public actually found themselves attacked on the street by hostile crowds who deemed the pleats of Dior’s creation as recklessly wasteful and offensive to the eye.”

That I did not know, but it rings true.  I love New Look lore.

From Old Rags

“And, so, today, to wear a full skirts seem almost as out-dated as choosing to wear a Lacroix bustle, or as silly and unsightly as showing up somewhere in an exaggerated hoop skirt.  In fashion-speak, the full skirt just does not look “right” or “modern” right now nor has it for some time.  The full skirt imposes an aura of frivolity and wantonness upon its wearer.  It says one is both out of time and out of touch.”

Excuse me…?  Pardon?  Pardon?  Silly- I’ll grant the author that one, but unsightly?  Puh-lease.  I know I look good in my full skirts.  More than that, I feel good.  A full skirt creates its own breeze as you walk, it covers a multitude of “flaws” in the figure, and despite the current wisdom it actually looks great on a variety of body types.  Blogging showed me that.

On another level, I object to reading that a full skirt imposes “an aura of frivolity and wantonness upon its wearer.”  Frivolity I can live with, but wantonness?  That’s harsh.

Consider the reactions I receive from regular people when I go out in my dresses:  Old men smile at me and wink, little kids watch with big eyes, women my own age tell me they wish they were “brave” enough to wear what I do, older women say “It’s lovely to see a young woman wearing a pretty dress,” and more times than I can count someone might say to me with a smile “You remind me of my mother/grandmother/great aunt Jane.  I miss her.”  Many people don’t pay much attention.  I’m seldom if ever pelted with rocks and rotten vegetables when I go out.

La Tomatina, The Tomato Throwing Festival

What is more wanton and frivolous than the big-money Industry built on negative and perverse body images that high fashion has become?  I don’t mind being “out-of-touch” if that means I’m out of touch with Fashion.  Fashion is cruel, exclusive, and feeds us dark fantasies of emaciated female bodies as an ideal.  Of course a full skirt, which is a celebration of femininity and comfort, would incur the wrath of such a coterie.

I contend that Fashion itself is “out of touch” and “out of time.”  Or perhaps what I wear is considered “street fashion” and below the notice of Fashion.   Either way, I find myself perversely proud to wear a full skirt if I will be perceived as being “out of touch” with fashion.  I don’t have the slightest desire to align myself with such madness.

Further, I use reclaimed fabrics for my full skirts as an act of mindful consumption.  I could argue that using reclaimed fabrics and eschewing sweat shop made clothing in fact makes me more “in touch” with the realities of the world we all live in.  Our resources are shrinking, our goods are unaccountably produced, and the ideals of “fashion” exclude all but a small proportion of consumers.

I wore this long circle skirt almost constantly while at home this past winter. It's not difficult to wear a long full skirt, let's put that issue to bed.

What do you think?  I know I’m not the only big-skirt-lover out there.  Are counter-culture “Millennials” turning to 50’s frocks to make some statement about the world we find our parents made for us?  What statement is that, precisely?  Can a former symbol of outrageous consumption be re-purposed into a whimsical ideal of sustainability and ethical fashion?  Are we frock-wearers a new type of feminist, prettily rejecting “fashion” and all its baggage by choosing to dress differently?  Have you ever felt hopelessly unfashionable while wearing a big skirt?

I’m not saying “It’s full skirts or nothing” but I am saying “I like my clothes, what’s fashion done for me, anyway?”


85 comments

  1. Bravo, bravo!! I’m seriously impressed with your argument. And heck yes, why wouldn’t a woman practice wearing a full crinolined skirt before her big day? We practice wearing high heels before we attempt a public outing (well, at least I did, as a teenager). As a matter of fact, women practice all the arts of being womanly – fixing our hair, applying makeup, experimenting with clothing types to see what looks best for us an individual. Why would wearing a full skirt be any different?

    Honestly though, I have a hard time understanding why wearing a full skirt is perceived as something hard to do. Maybe if you’ve never worn a dress in your life before you would have trouble, but otherwise? I never felt any great difficulty moving in a full skirt. Actually, I think they provide the most freedom of movement you can have!

    The rejection of full skirts by people in the high fashion world only serves to prove to me we’re on to a good thing. If they are trying to ridicule something, you have to wonder why. I’ve always had the same reactions as you from real people to the way I dress. I think seeing women who enjoy dressing up and looking (dare I say it…) old fashioned gives people hope that those cherished values of the past are not forgotten.

    To heck with high fashion, I’ll take my circle skirt!

    • Yep, I practice. In fact, when I’ve made a couple of new separates, I spend some time playing “dress ups” so I know ahead of time what goes with what. It’s such fun.

      I think you may be on to something… About values. I need to ruminate on that for a while….

  2. I personally prefer the fuller skirt because it suits my body type – I’m not really going to look any good in one of those ‘bandage’ dresses.

    I think the vintage style is back with a vengeance, no matter how hard this guy disagrees ;)

    • I think “vintage” is still a little like “counter-cultural street fashion” though it’s making inroads… I mean… When a group of people up and decide to dress in some dramatically different way, and that way is more or less tolerated by the mainstream, you have to wonder what it all means… Right? Or maybe I over-think everything. :)

  3. I love full skirts! They are gobs of fun! I think my craziest experience has been wearing full 50s get up including a circle skirt to class on St. Patrick’s day and I didn’t have a stitch of green on. It was a bit odd but I felt fabulous and I definitely wasn’t the strangest dressed person I saw.

  4. hey steph! i´m totally with you. i read this article to and it describet exactly the reasons why i give up my own “fashionbuissnes”: the lack of feminity, elegance and volume in actuell mainstream fashion. i dont wont sew skinny jeans, trashy thin t-shirts & dresses dont worth the name.
    i´m written this on other place – i´m love wearing my full skirtet look even for trekking, but i´m the only one here. even on “events”.
    i think this is the time of “body-cult”, so people/women pay and work hard for the bodys and wont to show it.
    (sorry for the english)

    • Your english is MUCH nicer than my German, Beate. :)

      I like thick, tough skirts for hiking, too. Though admittedly I do little hiking/trekking these days.

      I have a suspicion that the lack of femininity is down to a few things– laziness on the part of the designer (it’s much simpler to design something for a coathanger than a real, jiggling body), and changing attitudes about gender roles. I’m not advocating a return to 1950’s housewifery, but I do have a feeling that men and women are different and need separate spheres.. That’s for another post..

      • once i worked for a blouse-factory – making patterns. the rule was to design ONLY for looking good on the hanger! this was really strange for me. and they sell a lot!

  5. I very rarely wear skirts, but when I do, I almost always gravitate toward full skirts.

    Devil’s advocate, I can understand some of his arguments, but frankly my understanding went out the window with the wantonness comment. The only way a woman in a full skirt is considered wanton is in that “hmm, it’s always the quiet, proper ones you have to worry about” kind of way—most definitely not overtly!

    • Baaaahahahaa “….The quiet, proper ones you have to worry about..” Yes, yes indeed. :) I rather choked with rage when I first read that bit- wantonness and thought “Right, I need to cool off for a few weeks and write something back…”

  6. I haven’t sewn myself any full skirts, but I do own some. I love them in the summer heat. Assuming they aren’t dragging the floor and are below the knee, they are incredibly practical. Yes, practical. They allow plenty of ease of movement combined with modesty. They don’t ride up, they don’t twist. One can bend over without worry. They look, what the British call “smart.” And are cool and comfy. Darn it, I think I will sew one now! :-)

  7. I wear a full, long A-line skirt virtually every day. Generally, I hem somewhere in the ankle-to-foot area. Yes, if I’m hopping around, I’ll kilt it up a bit for extreme housekeeping… but the rest of the time it stays down. Petticoats and crinolines (a bride’s dress, for instance) might take a little learning time, but a plain skirt? Bah.

    No, what he’s whining about without coming out and saying it is that a full, long skirt makes us look FEMININE. Soft, sweet, pleasant. Small(er) waisted. Very different than a man.

    Yes, my long full skirts take a lot of fabric. So? They’re practical and I love them.

    LOL now you have my hackles up as much as your kitty picture…

  8. “Old men smile at me and wink…” I think we found your wantonness right there.

    Seriously, I started sewing dresses from the 50’s and early 60’s when I realized my favorite dress was styled with a full skirt and made me feel happy.

    Now, if only I could get some old man to wink at me; of course, I’m closer to their age than not — they might think I might actually respond in kind or more, being all wanton and such.

    • I laughed when I read that. You know, once I could have sworn a very old, nice looking man was giving me the “once over” if you know what I mean.. It was so quick, and relatively polite that I wondered if I really saw it…

      Isn’t it funny how a simple think like a big skirt can change how you feel? I always marvel at it.

  9. In contrast to the article referenced, this essay made my day. Well said, on every point. There is nothing more pleasant to wear on a hot day – as a friend of mine said “pants are evil” which sums it up.
    The closest I ever get to ‘high fashion’ is a short bit (which is about all I can bear) on some red carpet coverage; there is a reason so many women wear voluminous gowns: they’re gorgeous.

    • Yes, sometimes I watch the red carpet stuff… And I had a grand old time with my daughter and girlfriends when Prince William got married earlier this year. :)

      You’re so right.

  10. I should have thought part of the feminine joy of wearing a full skirt is gathering up an armful of gorgeous rustling fabric to nip up stairs or get out of a car – far from being embarassing, the way the skirt works is a massive part of its appeal. I guess the High Street doesn’t do them because even with cheap fabric and cheaper labour, a full skirt would cost more to make than a straight one. Enjoy your different sillouette – I’m sure you draw admiring glances everywhere!

    • Oh yes… I love a full skirt made of beautiful fabric- a softly rustling silk skirt, is there anything at all more feminine? If there is, I haven’t seen it.

  11. Keep rocking the full skirts! Lets bring them back and enjoy them. I personally love how feminine and dainty I feel with an acre of fabric swirling about me- in a big pretty skirt I am Venus and it is my clam shell perch…it puts me in a Tennessee Williams play and I am swishing over to receive the julip my suitor is teasing me with. A man thinking ‘fashion economics’ just can’t understand the power of the upholstered hip!

  12. I love full skirts and have worn circle and other full skirts for years. Not a big fan of crinolines for everyday wear but I can garden, clean, parent, run errands, and dance in a full skirt much more comfortably than in jeans or a narrower skirt. I love feeling so feminine and I prefer to wear skirts or dresses rather than trousers or jeans. As this is a man writing the article and assuming that he doesn’t make a regular habit of wearing dresses or skirts he can’t possibly know how wonderful it can feel to move in a full skirt and feel it swing and sway with your body, let alone the joys of twirling. I for one don’t care what current fashion trends dictate and will probably wear my skirts until they are disintegrating or no longer fit and then just make new ones.

    • Hear, hear!

      My petticoats make me feel faint in hot weather. Which is a pity. Once I climbed up the side of my house, into the second floor bathroom window wearing Leaflace dress, a girdle, stockings, petticoat, and heels. I came home from work early and my keys were in my other bag in the house… No choice.. Now I have an extra key. :)

  13. There was a time when women wore nothing but long skirts. How does the author think they all managed. They picked up the front of their dresses to walk up stairs dumb ass!
    Also he’s never had the joyful feeling of swirling around in a big skirt. Obviously.

    • But did female servants also wear long skirts, and, if so, how did they walk upstairs when carrying a tray?

      • Sometimes the skirts were a little shorter. When I’m wearing a long skirt and carrying the washing upstairs, I lift up part of the skirt in one of the hands holding the laundry basket. Not terribly difficult. )

  14. What a load of bunkum he has written. Full skirts have ALWAYS been in fashion in some format or other, even in the 20’s and 30’s. I would suggest that stuff about women in Dior being attacked is also c-rap, maybe one incident of abuse blown out of proportion.
    From one angle, any garment you wear needs to be worn with a respect for context. The women of Wellington have a healthy respect for the wind here, which can render you blind crossing the street, skirt in face! We appreciate the half slip way more than other modern populations ;-) If it is a kick a**e big skirt, you practise, like you said. No practice, no class. Not the skirt’s fault. Hobbling in a slim fitting dress can be just as ungainly.
    I have no time for so called academic writing that takes a point of view and tries to wrap the facts around the opinion and bamboozle the reader. Overstating a few incidents from history, repeating a few opinions, meh, boring. Flick your hem at him in a dismissive way, Steph!

  15. I love a full skirt because it makes me look like I have an iddy biddy waist. They make me want to dance and twirl. It’s a stack of fabric for my kids to hold on to when we are walking or under if they are feeling shy.
    I also love a full skirt, particularly the reference to fashion history when the silhouette of a woman was truly grand. When people made a real effort to get dressed. And mostly when there was a real sense of mystery surrounding a woman.
    Your argument is great. Your writing is great.
    I agree that every body looks good in a full skirt. I do often wonder the appropriateness off short shorts on every body though!!

  16. I don’t wear pants. The only pair I own are solely for wearing to the beach. There is nothing I cannot do in a skirt – including crossing the road on a windy day while keeping hold of a seven year old and a toddler, AND keeping my skirt down. Quite honestly, I find slimmer skirts more difficult – you can’t take huge steps, or sit on the floor cross-legged to play with a toddler, you can’t hold your harvested vegies in a fold while not flashing the world, or hide an embarrassed child who is desperate for the loo and can’t hold it until the bus comes, you can’t bend over without at least the tiniest bit of worry about either splitting or pantylines, and you definitely can’t twirl.

    • I completely agree. Full skirts are much more versatile! The only pants I own are a great fitting pair of jeans…which has only taken me 25 years to find!

    • I spent several of my formative teenage years restricted to skirts alone, and I did it gladly. For all those reasons and more. Well put, Sarah, well put indeed!

      I like pants ok, but I’m a skirty kind of lady in my heart of hearts..

      • My restriction is self imposed – until I can find or make a pair of pants that doesn’t have me flashing the world every time I sit or bend (or a top that is long enough to cover the flash and doesnt look frumpy on me), skirts are simply easier. And since they are both warmer in winter and cooler in summer for me, I’m happilly restricted. I imagine if I’d been restricted as a teenager I would have gotten into a big snit about it though.

    • Yep. Full skirts allow a much wider range of motion than slim skirts. You can take longer strides in them. You can sit and squat and skip and run in them without splitting seams. Skirts can be full at the bottom and more fitted at the top, as in Folkwear’s 1890s Walking Skirt pattern (very figure-flattering), and thus use less fabric than you’d think. Skirt too long to walk comfortably? Shorten the hem then, silly person. Or wear taller shoes. Agreed also that strangers compliment you more — and salespersons treat you with more respect — when you wear a full skirt.

  17. I agree with you. And everybody else who’s agreed with you.

    My only issue with skirts has been the whole wrangling kids/wind issue. It makes me wonder if 1) I need to wear more petticoats, or 2) if hem weights aren’t such a bad idea.

    I’d also like to add that there are far more grave areas of wastage in our lives than fabric for a full skirt.

    • Yes, you’re right re: wastage. Very right. I have some things I’ve been trying out to reduce household waste the past year or so, it may be time to post a series on it…

      Ever wear a lined full skirt? Bladvass Dress is made that way, and that skirt isn’t going ANYwhere… And even though it feels heavy when I’m handling it off my body, when I put it on I forget I’m wearing clothes.

      • No… I’m curious, does the lining hang free, or do you line the pieces before sewing them and incorporate it as one piece?

        • Either way is ok. Usually, a skirt lining is allowed to hang free, and is only connected at the zipper and sometimes by a thread chain at the side seams near the hem. Lining the pieces before sewing them is usually called “underlining” and will also lend wind-resistant weight to your skirt. Really it’s a matter of taste. I can go either way, myself.

  18. I love dressing in full skirts. It’s so feminine and pretty and definitely suits more body types than the loose “sack-like” dresses that are so often in the shops.

    • Ugh… Don’t get me started on sacks. I wrote an angry rant just this weekend about sacks, but I didn’t post it, I emailed it to myself. hehe.

      • Clearly you must post this, as I’m sure we could get up a quality rant session about sack dresses too. :)

  19. I love full skirts!

    I must be living under a rock, too, because I thought there were lots around in current fashions, especially on dresses with fitted bodices. Very popular, at least in my circles.

    I’ve always worked in formal business-attired corporate-office environments, and I definitely don’t feel badly dressed in a full skirt. I do recall that this wasn’t always the case and I don’t think they were de rigeur in the mid-90s – lots of straight skirts then, fewer dresses. But that may just have been my wardrobe at the time (based on what I could afford on sale)!

    • I’m fairly happy living under my rock, so to speak.

      Do you ever wear super-gorgeous dramatic long full wool skirts in business fabric? If I find myself needing that kind of attire, I want one of those… Otherwise, I guess it’d be a waste..

  20. Another pro – skirt vote here!

    I agree – you get a more “gentle” response wearing a skirt – it doesn’t even have to be full!

    • Funny– today I was wearing some K. Hepburn pants and a 40’s “keyhole” neckline shirt… And an old man totally winked at me! It was so funny, given what I wrote last night…

  21. I love myself a beautiful full skirt! and seriously, that is one of the only styles that actually looks good on ANY body type (just browse through the sew along photos in Caseys Elegant musing blog) . So feminine and lovely. And here’s to repurposing and reusing textiles: my latest circle skirt textile acquisition is a round tablecloth bought at a second hand store with a lovely flower print and fringe! Who doesn’t love some fringe!
    I rarely comment, but i had to jump in because you were singing my song in regards to “fashion” and full skirts.

  22. Wantonness!?! Really!?! WANTONNESS!?!

    Ummm…Ok.

    Full skirts are demure, and sweet, and ladylike. Not at all wanton! People comment on how modest and ladylike they are when I wear them, and more importantly, I get treated like a lady.

    And they aren’t nearly as wasteful, fabric-wise, as much slimmer, more revealing cuts with complicated seaming. Or those baggy monstrosities that are so ‘in’ right now. You can make a full skirt for a less fabric than a pair of skinny jeans for heavens sake!

    Thank you for your article. No thanks for bringing the stupid fashion one to my attention though. I could have lived in happy ignorance of my wanton wastefulness (I’m currently taking a break from sewing a full skirted dress out of the fabric I bought with you!)

    • Oh, and I can add slight historical inaccuracy to flat-out stupidity among the original article writers faults. The New Look dresses were pretty accepted in Paris – wearing new styles, however outrageous, was seen as patriotic because it supported the French fashion industry as it tried to recover from the war. The notable riots/attacks happened in the UK and America.

      I also know of a NZ woman who got caught in England during the war, and travelled home with a few New Look dresses, which had already become common in the UK. She returned to the (very rural) West Coast of the South Island, and was shouted at and spit upon when she wore the dresses. Let’s just say they were a little behind the times!

  23. Know what I dislike? Someone wearing something because it is in style when it clearly does not look good on that person and when they look obviously physically uncomfortable in it. The term for that is fashion victum. I think any style becomes a classic when it a) looks good on the person wearing it b) it suits their life style and c) they are physically comfortable in their clothes (not constantly tugging and pulling and figiting.) A full skirt may not be the rage on the run ways but it looks like you rock them! In your pictures you look comfortable and I assume you can do what you need to. I wear a corsette everyday (gasp how old fashioned!) But it gives me a lovely curvy hourglass shape as opposed to my apple shape. I am able to do my work and hobbies in it. (I don’t need to bend a lot in my work) I find a well made corsette very comfortable and in fact a long standing problem with back pain was made nearly a non issue when I started wearing one thereby increasing my ablitly to engage in life. So in my case, an “out of style” style works for me.

    • Dawn, I could not agree more. I believe my very first post was something along those lines, and those are the three guiding principles I generally apply to my own method of dressing.

      Reeeeeeeeaally interesting about the corset. I keep waffling back and forth, whether I want to start wearing a light one. I suspect many, many modern women would find the experience useful at least, or perhaps enjoyable…. But I find if I mention the word people gasp in horror as if I’ve suggested we try out my new thumb screws… :)

      • When people hear corset they think of the horror stories about women’s innards being rearranged and they imagine them to be very confining and and a form of bondaged designed to keep women helpless. Though I can’t back this theory up, I believe the severely corsetted women were in the minority. Perhaps they suffered from distorted body perceptions (like the annorexic that believes she is fat). Or perhaps it was an odd status symbol…you couldn’t move or breathe so you needed servants to tend you-the tighter the corset the more servants you needed/had. Certainly their severely drawn fashion plates were the equivalent of our airbrushed models and some women may have cinched up as tight as they could to get close to that ideal. But then, as now, not all women achieve the fashion ideal. Most wore corsets daily and had children and looked after them and their homes. They engaged in tennis and horsback riding. They couldn’t have done it in corsets tightened to the width of their spinal columns!

        As to your wearing one…well you have to decide when and why you’d wear one and then experiement to see if it does what you expected it to. My only suggestion is get a good quality one. The cheaper ones are made out of cheap bones that rip through the cheap material and end up digging in. A well made one feels very comfortable. It is the same principle when buying a bra. You get what you pay for.

        Another thing I do…I don’t tell everyone I wear a corset or they look at me like I just told them I was a dominatrix. I do tell them I wear a back brace. In the strictest definition I am not lieing ;-)

  24. As someone who both made and wore full skirts in the 50’s and 60’s… What we called full skirts were either gathered or pleated. Full skirts were the second sewing project (after aprons) in Jr. High Home Ec. classes, so I don’t think designers avoid them out of difficulty. By the late 50’s we were wearing so many petticoats, practically a girl fashion competition, that the inevitable occurred and there was a brief fling with hoopskirts so that one underskirt would suffice to make your skirt stick out. Enough of us sat down and had our skirt fly up into our faces, showing our underwear (anyone out there know about “pettipants?) that the hoops returned to the dustbin of history where they belonged. Other roomier skirts have had their own names, and occasionally one or the other has been all the rage. So there are beautiful circle skirts, A lines, tiered skirts and gored. All comfortable and practical. Obviously that man’s never worn a skirt!

  25. P.S. That picture of you perched on the fabric is my all time favorite, not counting the sweet little one when you were 4.

  26. Yay full skirts! I’m actually wearing one of my 2 today, because it’s a double layer of bamboo knit, and so is warmer than pretty much anything else. I have planned a couple lined wool 3/4 circle skirts, and might actually get a change to sew them now that the huge stress of finishing papers is over.

  27. I heart full skirts! I adore wearing them – they’re fun, they swish and you can twirl and they just feel feminine and also quite freeing at the same time. Sure, they take more fabric to make, but I figure since they’re not “in fashion” at the moment, they therefore won’t go “out of fashion” and be discarded for whatever’s the next “in thing”. (Bah, disposable fashion. Don’t get me started.)

    Anyway, back to full skirts. I actually find them really practical – you don’t need to worry about what underwear you wear; they don’t ride up when you sit down; you can wear them all year around. The only downside is on really windy days. One of these days I’m going to make some bloomers to wear under them for such occasions….

    (PS I wear them around the office as well, and have yet to have anyone look at me as though I’m wanton and frivolous. Full skirts = awesome.)

  28. The Dreamstress pointed this post out and I had to come and read it because I love full circle skirts. I love them becuase they’re easy to make, easy to wear, suit my figure, and most of all because they’re FUN! I can’t help but twirl each time I wear one. I went to a mixed styles dance last weekend that was heavy on the rock and roll and swing dancing, and everyone, especially me, loves how my skirt flies out when I dance. By the end of the night I was red and hot from dancing and laughing! Hmm… maybe I am a bit wanton!

  29. I’d wear skirts more often except for 2 things…they really are not practical in my line of work and no one wears one except for the power execs. I’d come across as trying to be superior. In my line of work the skirt says, “I’m the boss and I do not have to get down and dirty like the rest of you do.” The high heels say the same thing. The other reason is it is winter 6 months of the year where I live. Only a wool lined floor length skirt with wooly pantaloons would keep that north wind out of your skirts and off your nether regions. I wish I could wear them more often. May be I should invest in more for weekend summer wear. Then I’d have to deal with sweaty theigh chafing….

  30. What a ridiculous article. If only he could see what I’m capable of doing in Victorian wear, including a full skirt. I don’t know how he thinks working class women got by in the past, magic?

    I’m actually pretty angry about the slut shaming, I didn’t notice the wanton comment the first time around. Lovely.

    I don’t wear full skirts because I want to be treated like “a lady”, I love smashing gender norms and girls like me aren’t considered ladies anyway. I wear them because I like them, they’re relatively warm and don’t keep me from doing the things I love. I actually see a lot of full skirts, but perhaps I am just not high fashion enough.

    • Magic indeed. Heh. I wonder that every time someone says something to me about my long long skirts being “impractical.” Impractical to whom? And anyway, back in “the day” you’re talking about, many working class women were exposed to open flames… I’ve read terrible accounts of apparently accidental self-immolation. I’m very glad to live in the time I do…

  31. Ya… what you said Steph. Also, it is exactly that type of article that makes me hate ‘fashion’. Which will also get a reaction from other sewists on the interwebs somewhere along the lines of, “you can’t hate fashion because you have to get dressed”. To which I reply, “I didn’t say I hated clothing, I merely said I hate ‘fashion'” Which is to say, I wear what I want and look and feel good doing it!

    Wonderful post.

    • Fashion is my F-word…

      I wonder how it would work to shout in frustration “FASHION YOU!” next time someone cuts me off, or my bobbin runs out of thread 1″ before the end of a tricky seam… hehhe.

  32. I’m guessing that if this guy had ever had some serious hips and worn a pencil skirt with heels he might have different take on the difficulty of wearing a full skirt.

  33. I believe that there is more of an issue with getting out of a car with a short skirt than anyone every had with a full skirt (and why you would wear no knickers with a short skirt is definitely beyond me.) I say wear what you want as long as you feel comfortable in it.

    • Beyond me, too. I find that very slim pencil skirts are far and away the hardest ones to wear well. I don’t really get the short skirt/no undies thing either, but that’s perhaps another issue altogether……

  34. Pingback: Way To Blow Me Away! Pretty Dresses, Full Skirts and Sensible Dressing « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

  35. Ok, I found myself getting all riled up reading through this. I completely agree with you in every way. Oh my. I’ll just leave it at that. Thank you for your defense of the full skirt.

  36. Pingback: Fluffers At Home- Betty Draper « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

  37. Pingback: Finished Object: Hemp Hurricane Skirt (And Flash Pattern Giveaway) « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

  38. Pingback: Finsihed Object: Tribute to 1952 and Mommies Dress « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World


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