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For Dedicated Followers Of Fashion

Apr 24, 2008
There are many varying opinions on why people wear certain items of clothing, why they don't and who dictates what's fashionable and what isn't.

Take the mini skirt for instance. Women were long constrained with corsets and covered in acres of fabric in the name of decency - and fashion. After the World War One, there was a revolutionising of what women were prepared to wear and how comfortable they wanted to be.

The twenties saw the loss of the corset and the introduction of the 'flapper' dress. This came with distinctly shorter hem lines than people were used to seeing and really was only for the highly fashion conscious. To this end, general trends dictated that longer, more modest skirts were the norm.

This continued until well into the sixties when the mini skirt became fashionable. The older generation viewed the mini with distaste and thought it demeaned women, making them look like tarts. Most of the younger generation saw it as a liberation that they could wear what they wanted without feeling restricted. It was also one of the few fashion inventions that set them apart from every other generation before them.

That is no longer the case today. I'm not quite forty yet and I see fashions repeating themselves. Had I known this would happen, I'd have kept my clothes from when I was younger although cramming yourself into what you were wearing twenty years ago just never looks as flattering after you've added a couple of extra stone!

The mini skirt is often attributed to Mary Quant but this is debateable. Designer John Bates brought the mini skirt into the public arena when he designed the wardrobe for the TV series - The Avengers. He took quite a chance with this as the programme was filmed a way in advance and he didn't know if his choice of mini skirt would work in their favour or not. However, it did meet with favourable attention and within months Mary Quant had her own range of mini on sale.

Of course, the mini skirt would never have taken off if it weren't for the invention of tights to replace stockings. Mini skirts and stockings truly are the attire of street walkers and not your dedicated follower of fashion.

Despite women seeing the mini as a sign of liberation, this soon changed in the seventies when the feminist movement brought midi and maxi skirts into play. It was the general opinion that women in mini's were seen as dolly birds and not taken seriously and women wanted to get back to being seen as people and not playthings.

The mini still continues to come and go in the fashion scene and it seems that no sooner have you purchased this seasons trends that it all changes for something quite the opposite. This isn't really a problem as not many people can afford to keep up with this way of paying into the business and almost anything goes when it comes to clothes these days.

In fact, one person can be wearing a fashionable mini one day and look just as comfortable the next day in a boho style long, floaty skirt. This is a true benefit as it allows for self expression in the clothes that we wear and what you choose each day can depend on what mood you are feeling in.

Whichever way things go in the future, it's a sure thing that the mini is here to stay.
About the Author
Fashion expert Catherine Harvey looks at the history of the mini and where it fits in today.
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