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The return of the mini skirt is a good thing. Ask me a few years ago, maybe I wouldn’t have laid that out so sincerely. I’m not the only curvy, non-sample size woman who held a mini-skirt or mini dress up in a store and silently wondered if I could pull it off. But that was a few years ago, when mini skirts weren’t really 'in', and Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows were still a thing. Well, excuse me for a moment, that’s a lie (not the VS Angels thing, that's thankfully gone). But the mini skirt has always been with us. The short hemlines an ever-present symbol of sexual freedom and revolution, of female empowerment through the medium of fashion. They’ve always been an available outfit option that look gorgeous on any body type, by the way. But let’s get into their comeback first.
Once again we can thank TikTok and Gen Z for the resurgence of the mini-style trend. Say what you will about “kids these days” on TikTok - but it’s where news and information travel, so we must accept and understand it. A skit on SNL this past weekend warned against dismissing the app and its effectiveness in getting young TikTok stars to help efforts in Ukraine, saying “people laughed at the radio in WWII." So we can put stock into the trends and shifts that occur on this platform - simply by the sheer amount of the younger generation that frequent it hourly.
Image: Miu Miu Spring 2022 Show, Vogue
Specifically, the mini skirt landed back onto the fashion world’s radar at Prada’s and Miu Miu’s Spring 2022 runway, and with that, the high fashion world has officially picked the trend back up again. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
It’s the 1960’s we have to thank for the mini. Lady-identifying people, it’s always been your right to wear short, what some would inaccurately call “daring” hemlines. It was in the 1960’s and it is now. Although back then, the fashion world was considerably more conservative. One key player in this revolution of women’s fashion is Mary Quant.
Image: Victoria And Albert Museum, London, 2022
Refused by her parents to take a fashion course, Quant studied art education, graduating in 1953. Along with her new found husband, in 1955 they purchased Markham House on the King’s Road in Chelsea, London, opening a boutique called Bazaar on the ground floor. That area of Chelsea was frequented by dancers, musicians, and street-chic crews of late 1950’s London, and Bazaar’s free drinks, loud music, and late hours created a welcoming scene for young women to shop less formal attire (Victoria & Albert Museum). It's always the young that are spurring these trends into fame. Let's call the Modernists of Chelsea the 1960's version of TikTok stars.
The mini-skirt was in sharp contrast to the structured, traditional attire for women of the day. Enter supermodel (and super high profile character) Twiggy. Quant become synonymous with the "extremely" short hemline of her skirts, and Twiggy turned the trend international. Quant’s line of underwear and colorful tights also helped define the entire mini skirt and dress outfit, and her career took off to include multiple other trail-blazing styles and use of materials. Read more on this fashion revolutionary here.
Image: The Sun
The time of Quant and Twiggy was also a time of new liberations for women. Birth control was hitting the market, more laws protecting women were passed, and the societal definition of women as primarily 'domestic' was slowly being ripped down the middle by the young women of the time. These revolutionaries were pushing sexual freedom, sexual liberty, and all around openness surrounding womanhood. It says a lot about how strictly women are controlled by patriarchal society, the fact that raising the hemlines of a piece of clothing was radically shaking up conservative societal norms and seen as a brutal act of defiance.
Image: Fashion United
So, what next? We see the 1970’s and 1980’s continue to define runways with adoptions of the mini skirt and dress trend - but notice the hemlines forever stay under the definition of “mini.” Welcome to the 1990’s. Pamela Anderson, Naomi Campbell, and Kate Moss in the tiniest, low-rise mini skirt we ever did see. The Spice Girls were also helping to blow up the trend again, and once these influential women were wearing mini skirts, designers and fashion houses (Prada, Dolce & Gabbana to name a few) rushed to the drawing table.
Enter the 2000’s. Paris Hilton and Tom Ford took that tiny belt and made it a skirt in the summer of 2003. Another thing on the runway at the time? Rail thin models. Thankfully, we’re in a better place in body representation and body positivity in 2022. And I say this while understanding we still have a ways to go. Still, I see this mini skirt trend as continuing to push limits and symbolize sexual freedom in 2022. But again, I'm getting ahead of myself.
It’s been awhile since the 1990’s. But the mini skirt and mini dress are here with intense force. Olivia Rodrigo’s Chanel skirt suit she wore back in 2021 was, in my opinion, the most appropriate choice to meet with President Joe Biden at the White House to support COVID-19 vaccinations. A young eighteen year old pop star can have political sway and inspire a generation while looking hot as all hell - and professional all the same. Maybe she didn't mean it as a statement, but I feel like Mary Quant and Twiggy would have been proud.
The mini skirt and mini dress are no longer reserved for the young and slender-built body types. The mini skirt looks damn complementary on any person, and if you feel comfortable in it, style it however you like. Think of Mary Quant. Think of what she was trying to accomplish with those modern styles and creating a welcoming, creative, and fun space for the young people of her generation. I don’t mean to speak for the famed British designer, but I doubt she cared what anyone thought. No one should tell you what you can wear. That’s the whole point of the mini skirt. The hemline is controlled by no one, and neither are you.
Image: @ashleygraham, Instagram
Now here we are, March 2022, and the spring season trends are full of mini skirts. Some of them low-rise, some of them mini-dresses, all of them at your fingertips. I would say we’ve never had more freedom in the fashion world as we do right now. Let’s take it and run. This spring, style the mini for you.
How To Style The Mini, For Yourself
We’re still in the first whispers of spring, if you will, so styling your mini skirt or dress with a top that’s a bit heavier will keep you on weather’s good side and look super chic. A knit cardigan or an oversized blazer with combat boots are perfect pieces for spring. Try to find skirts and dresses in bolder colors if your blazer and boots are in more basic shades like blacks and grays.
Work with your proportions. Try to combine masculine and feminine styles. The sexier, shorter skirt with a bigger button-up will give you a really great contrast and draw attention to those beautiful legs. I've gathered some of Valeria's favorite mini dress styles for this spring season to help inspire how you can hop on this trend (because although it may fade by decade, but it will never truly leave us):
Shop this look: Cymone Mini Dress, Revolve
Dylan Romper, L'Academie
Style with ankle boots, sandals, heels,
oversized sunglasses, trench coat.
Shop This Look: Dylan Romper, Revolve
Juniper Mini Dress, L'Academie
Style with open-toed heels, combat boots, heeled-sandals
Shop This Look: Juniper Dress, Revolve
Darlene Mini Dress, Majorelle
Style with heeled boots, oversized blazer, cardigan,
or open-toed heels
Shop this look: Darlene Mini Dress, Revolve
Shelley Puff Sleeve Dress, More To Come
Style with kitten heels, combat boots, and baguette purse
Shop this look: Shelley Puff Sleeve Dress, Revolve
Amira Mini Dress, Lovers And Friends
Style with platform heels, chunky jewelry, combat boots
Shop this look: Amira Mini Dress, Revolve
Priscilla Mini Dress, Camila Coelho
Style with heels, pumps, baguette purse, oversized blazer, denim jacket
Shop this look: Priscilla Mini Dress, Revolve