A short history of the iconic mini skirt - loved by everybody from Twiggy to Kim Kardashian
REMEMBER that little black dress that makes you feel a million dollars? Or those jeans that show off your curves to perfection? They might be perfect to you but the mini skirt has been named fashi…
Or those jeans that show off your curves to perfection?15The mini skirt, as modelled by Twiggy, has been named fashion’s most iconic statement piece of all timeCredit: Getty Images - GettyThey might be perfect to you but the mini skirt has been named fashion’s most iconic statement piece of all time.
Freeing our knees for nearly 60 years, the skimpy skirt first hit the scene back in the swinging Sixties.It has kept us on-trend for generations, explaining why it has bagged top spot in the Samsung survey.But it is not always easy to wear.Clemmie Fieldsend trawls the archives to reveal, decade by decade, which version best suits which body shape.
1960s: Best for athletic figuresTHE Swinging Sixties saw London-based Mary Quant design a garment that would change women’s fashion for ever.Skirts had been getting shorter since the Fifties, but when customers kept demanding higher hemlines, Mary came up with the revealing mini skirt and mini dress.
15Sixties siren Twiggy was among just a handful of the first women to own an original Mary Quant mini skirtCredit: Getty Images - GettyThe androgynous style is ideal for athletic shapes nowDenim mini skirt, £25.99 from topshop.com -buy nowShe said: “They are curiously feminine, but their femininity lies in their attitude rather than their appearance.”
Sixties sirens Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy were among just a handful of the first women to own an original.More straight and column-like for the narrower figures of the time, the androgynous style is ideal for athletic shapes now.1970s: Best for hourglass
PRESIDENT John F Kennedy’s wife Jackie was famed for her impeccable style and signature two-piece skirt suit.So when she took on the shorter style, her social standing and global fame introduced the skirt to a higher class of customers.15Jackie Kennedy was famed for her impeccable style and signature two-piece skirt suit
15This era also saw the mini on hippies as they took to festivals in short styles with bright prints and floralsBlue floral skirt, £29.99 from mango.com -buy nowBut it wasn’t all tweed and twinsets. This era also saw the mini on hippies as they took to festivals in short styles with bright prints and florals.
Actress Ali MacGraw gave the skirt on-screen fame with fit and flare styles when she wore a tartan number in 1970 movie Love Story.If your figure is more hourglass, Seventies-style minis are for you.1980s: Best for top-heavyWITH punk fashion designers such as Vivienne Westwood still leading the way in the early Eighties, hemlines shrank even more in length.
But what they lost in height, they gained in width.15Blondie’s Debbie Harry made them cool for tough girls by opting for tighter stylesCredit: Rex FeaturesRara skirts with organza or netting were key for volumeRuffled skirt, £29.99 from zara.com -
buy nowRara skirts with organza or netting were key for volume – think “the bigger the better” – and style icon Madonna was at the forefront.Blondie’s Debbie Harry made them cool for tough girls by opting for tighter styles in black or acid-wash denim.
These days, rara skirts have evolved into ruffled and frilled pieces. They are perfect if you are top heavy as they balance the fuller look.1990s: Best for petiteTHE Nineties saw Kate Moss heading a new era of models – and these “It Girls” wanted sophisticated, sexy and short hemlines.
When she first rose to fame, Kate sported mini dresses. But it wasn’t just the Supers that popularised the look.15The Nineties saw Kate Moss, pictured with Naomi Campbell, heading a new era of models with sophisticated, sexy and short hemlinesCredit: Getty Images - Getty
15The look is best suited to petites as the skirts will elongate your legs with detailing like a small slit or wrap-looking rufflesPink skirt, £29.99 from newlook.com -Film and TV stars had a role to play, too.Actor Alicia Silverstone burst on to the scene in a yellow check co-ord for hit film Clueless.
Plus, Jennifer Aniston’s wardrobe in Friends was crammed with micro-minis.For now, the look is best suited to petites as the skirts will elongate your legs with detailing like a small slit or wrap-looking ruffles.2000s: Best for pearA-LINE skirts had a surge in the Noughties with the likes of TV host Alexa Chung teaming embroidered styles with slogan T-shirts.
They got a little longer too, falling slightly above the knee.15Cocoon-style skirts that created volume in the middle were also a trend, with Gwyneth Paltrow getting on boardCredit: Getty Images - GettyLook for belted styles to really cinch in and show off your waist
Tan belted skirt, £19.99 from stradivarius.com -The A-line did not act alone, though. Cocoon-style skirts that created volume in the middle were also a trend, with Gwyneth Paltrow getting on board.The trapeze shape with wide-angle bottom is ideal for skimming over hips and bums.
Look for belted styles to really cinch in and show off your waist.2010s: Best for columnsCOCOON styles slimmed down for 2010 with figure-hugging pencil skirts that show off women’s curves breaking the fashion fold.Traditionally associated with midi lengths, the pencil got even sexier and more exciting with a shorter hemline hitting the bottom of the thigh.
15The thigh-hugging mini celebrated the female form, as worn by RihannaCredit: Getty ImagesThe narrowness of the skirt enhances the shape of your bumKhaki skirt, £14 from boohoo.com -Championed by the likes of Rhianna, the thigh-hugging mini celebrated the female form.
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ExclusiveOH PLUCKI've spent €1.7k on lockdown Botox & filler, I'd rather be sick than ugly2020: Best for appleEVEN though we’re just a few months into a turbulent 2020, the mini skirt is stronger than ever.Typical figures have changed significantly since the Sixties and now tend towards amazing curves.
15Kim Kardashian has kept her style standards high in lockdown by showing off her shape in skin-tight mini skirtsCredit: BackGridThis style is great for apple shapes, tightly nipping you in at the waistSnake print skirt, £20 from prettylittlething.com -
Kim Kardashian has kept her style standards high in lockdown by showing off her shape in skin-tight mini skirts.Plus the likes of Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts have been hitting the streets in second-skin minis, too.This style is great for apple shapes, tightly nipping you in at the waist. And by hugging your bum and hips, it will give you a more defined silhouette.
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