The Rise of the Miniskirt

Jean Shrimpton’s first appearance in the miniskirt. Image via Onya Magazine 

 During  “Swinging London”, several fashion icons as well as styles emerged. Swinging London, a time of youth cultural rebellion which involved a lot of fashion, was the time when the world was introduced to Jean Shrimpton. Jean was named the “face of the ‘60s” and the world’s first supermodels. She was photographed for different magazines and her style of clothing had a big impact on the lives of young women during that time. One fashion item that became increasingly popular was the miniskirt. She wore her miniskirt during an appearance in Australia, helping to promote it to the world.  It could be seen as a way of rebellion for young girls; the shorter the skirt, the more scandalous and rebellious they would look.  At first the miniskirt would fall to a few inches above the knee, but as the years went by, it continued to get shorter and shorter. Some argued that the miniskirt seemed to be a “youthful protest of international threats to peace”.

It was seen as controversial because you had to be a youthful person to be able to pull off wearing such a short skirt. Before the 1960s, young women were expected to dress as their mothers did. There were not clothes for young women, they just wore whatever the older women were wearing. During the 1960s, the youth wanted to individualize themselves and started dressing differently. Young women no longer wanted to wear skirts that brushed the floor. This was seen as a threat to the older generations because it could cause a rebellion. It was new and different, and they didn’t know what could come with these changes. This was also a time when women began to feel that they wanted more choices in life than just being a simple housewife anymore; they wanted to express themselves. They began attending colleges and entering the workforce. This fashion statement of the miniskirt was one of the many changes that pushed towards women making a change for themselves. The miniskirt helped women show that they did not have to stay at home, cooking and cleaning, but that they could young and confident without a man by their side.

~Elizabeth Currie

References:

Anthony, S. (1988, 09). The hem and us. Ms, 17, 32. Accessed April 18, 2015. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/204298949?accountid=12756

Garson. “Hemline Hike Hits British.” Ottawa Citizen, July 12, 1962. Accessed February 18, 2015. http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2014-July/133413.html.

Sieger, Sandi. “The Age of Fashion Photographic Exhibition.” Onya Magazine, March 23, 2010.http://www.onyamagazine.com/fashion/fashion-function/arts-the-age-of-fashion/

Thurman, Judith. “First Mini Skirt.” Slow and Steady Wins the Race Journal. N.p., 28 June 2013. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.http://journal.slowandsteadywinstherace.com/flashback/2013/06/flashback-first-mini-skirt/

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