Hemlines – how they have changed

I recently read an article about how, historically, as hemlines rose so did the economy.

The theory: the Hemline Index.

Now, I am not saying that the Hemline Index really exists.  I just thought it was an interesting idea and a good way to see how the hemlines on dresses or skirts have changed over time.

You can see from the above picture the changes to skirt length over time.  The picture only really shows one fashion/skirt type from each decade, so it isn’t entirely reliable.  However, it is a good way to know the shapes from each decade.  I personally have clothes that range from the 40s-late 60s (true vintage) and also some clothes that are retro/vintage inspired.

The reason why I like vintage so much, is because it is usually really well made.  Vintage clothes fit me better and, because I have an over active imagination, I start imagining who would have worn the clothes before me…and then think that the original owner must be really old.

Further research showed me that designers had differing views over hemlines and the length of skirts.

There were many who claimed that longer skirts were more classy.  And also some who claimed that longer skirts were not modern.  I believe that it doesn’t matter! You can wear whatever you want these days.

Here are some quotes from designers who were ‘pro long/midi’ skirt:

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Coco Chanel even said:

Meanwhile, the second quote clearly shows the changing times and fashion:

I found these quotes in the Life Magazine (13 March 1970).  It’s so interesting to see the designer’s views of hemlines.

Some were indifferent about it:

It depends on the dame and her mood – Bill Blass.

And even Pierre Cardin had something to say:

The quarrel about the hem is a phony one

And, last of all, I found this picture while hunting around google. It shows how, in the 19th Century, children started off wearing shorter dresses, and by the time they were 16 they were wearing dresses down to the ankles.

I am so glad we live in a time where we can wear what we want.

Quote of the day:

Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only.  Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening – Coco Chanel


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