23 May 2011 – Take Two

May 23rd, 2011 § 7 comments

23 May 2011 - Grape


  • Olive top: thrifted
  • Feather necklace: Tilly Bloom
  • Belt: swapped
  • Skirt: thrifted dress, cut into a skirt
  • Flats: Target, thrifted new

End Notes:

(It’s day 2 of my 15 for at least 15 mini challenge.)

It’s rare that “what the models are wearing” and “what the pregnant work-from-home mom is wearing” ever coincides. And yet, as I continue to pursue my new fascination with midi-length skirts, I find out that Selita Ebanks and I were basically wardrobe twins in high-waisted, full knee-length skirts and drapey tops. Except, of course, I’m wearing mostly thrifted jersey pieces and flats and she is…not.

23 May 2011 - Grape

Fun fact. In the winter of 1970, Paris fashion shows emphasized midi-skirt lengths as a direct and dramatic move away from the mini skirt that had dominated the 1960s. This did not go over so well. In fact, Life Magazine published a cover story bemoaning the loss of youthfulness and sexual allure symbolized by the mini. Nicola White, in her book The Fashion Business: Theory, Practice, and Image, suggests that many American women saw the midi skirt as a symbol of fashion’s excesses and as a result largely disregarded Paris’s style decree. Other women the longer skirt decree — and its associated connotations as “more feminine,” “conservative,” or “demure,” — as an attempt to tamp down on the sexual freedom women were claiming at that time. Do you think that these associations still remain strong today? And how much does context (both of where we see it and whose body it’s on) play into that interpretation?

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§ 7 Responses to 23 May 2011 – Take Two"

  1. Kristin says:

    Considering the strict adherence to attire for women that consists of cape dresses and ankle length skirts in local-to-me Mennonite and Amish cultures, I would vote yes, one hundred percent yes, those associations are still there. I have a knee-jerk wariness of any skirt or dress that falls below my knees for fear that I will be mistaken for a much much much more social, religious and political conservative than I actually am. In southeastern Pennsylvania, the uber-conservative, anti-women’s rights faction has cornered the market on long skirts and dresses.

  2. Heather says:

    You look so beautiful in this outfit. Your skirt and necklace are wonderful. I only wish I looked this great when I was pregnant.

  3. Carrie says:

    Wow… context definitely is key. In a large Texas city, long dresses or skirts (maxi dresses) are often worn by very fashion-forward women with trendy items such as gladiator sandals and fun jewelry and come off as relaxed, beach-ey, etc…. they definitely don’t signify Amish-ness, and come off as very chic! But of course, we don’t really have a strong Amish or Mennonite presence down here “coloring” the lens through which we view skirt length.

  4. Aimee says:

    To me, a midi skirt is still short enough that it doesn’t fall into the area of Amish/conservative lengths. Tea-length falls in the same area, but I don’t read about people criticizing those skirts and dresses. I personally prefer mine to come just below my not-so-flattering knees.

  5. Eleanorjane says:

    I think it depends quite a lot on the skirt. An ‘over the knee’ tight pencil skirt can be much sexier than a shorter cotton A-line skirt. Full length skirts/dresses can also be quite sexy, depending on the styling.

    I don’t think I’d wear a skirt that hit mid-calf ‘cos I don’t think it would be that flattering on me. And I haven’t worn anything more than an inch above the knee since I was about 16 ‘cos my knees/thighs are not pretty! But there are plenty of pretty kneelength and full length skirts in the world, so it’s no loss…

    PS – you look lovely as usual; pretty, flattering, stylish and comfy. LOVE the colours!

  6. Lisa says:

    I think context -both socially and the rest of the outfit- are really key when you’re dealing with long skirts.

    One of my favorite skirts is an almost-floorlength black jersey skirt that flows when the wind blows. The drapey fabric flatters my curves rather than hiding them. I do make sure to wear it with a more fitted or tailored top to balance the amount of fabric on the bottom half, and the result is to make me look more long and lean. I have occasionally wondered if wearing a long skirt was too “old-fashioned”, but I frequently get compliments on it from stylish people my age (I’m 27), and it makes me feel beautiful the way it swishes when I walk, so it’s definitely a keeper. Plus it’s as comfortable as pajamas and looks classy enough to wear to work! I think a long skirt done right can feel feminine and empowering.

    I have also seen some muslim women who totally rock their floor-length skirts, with a skirt that really fits them well and accentuates curvy hips, topped with a tailored jacket, maybe a belt, and a funky-colored head scarf. Just because you are covered from head to toe does not mean you can’t dress in a way that makes you feel beautiful and sexy.

    So I would say that long skirts do not necessarily convey that you are “conservative” in your religious beliefs or in the way you dress, because it totally depends on context. And I don’t think it’s only long, bulky skirts that can leave us with a negative impression in this way – what about women who wear oversized frumpy business suits, or who hide behind baggy t-shirts and sweatpants? Aren’t they subconsciously saying something negative about their feminine bodies by they way they present themselves to the world? I think a person’s attitude in how she dresses says more about her than the length of her hemline does.

  7. R says:

    huhmm, I don’t think your skirt is mid-lenght, rather just slight under the knees length. Stelita’s skirt is a palm or so under her knees. For what it’s worth, the lenght of your skirt is a thousand times more flattering.

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