Over the decades, women’s¬†skirt lengths have seen hemline highs and lows. This season, it seems ‘prim’ is ‘proper’ and this midi length has been given extra¬†style kudos¬†by celebrities and Royals who’ve been leading the fashion pack with demure¬†lengths¬†all season. But with so many different styles on offer, from micro mini skirts to sweeping maxis, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the key skirt moments of years gone by, and offer a few tips on choosing the right length now.
1950s… the midi rules. Skirt lengths were on the rise in the ’20s¬†and dipped again in the¬†’30s, but¬†conservative views¬†in post-war times meant the¬†length stayed between the knee and mid-calf. In the last few years, TV shows like Mad Men have made the midi¬†a must-have style to copy.
Then: A page from a 1955 Marks and Spencer supplement shows¬† full skirts with nipped in waists. Now:¬†Autograph Flared Skirt and M&S Floral Print Pencil Skirt.
1960s… it’s all about the mini. M&S sold their first mini skirt in the 1960s¬†with the first appearance¬†in the company magazine, St Michael News, in 1966. Showing the knee was an entirely new look.
Then: ‘Skirts are on the way up’ reports the¬†April 1966 issue of our magazine. Now: M&S Woman 5 Pockets Denim Pencil Skirt and Limited Collection Sweat Skirt.
1970s… mad¬†for the maxi. Lengths were lowered again as we reach the 1970s, with a more bohemian, hippy look. We’ve definitely seen a return to the maxi as an easy-to-wear style, for both casual and formal occasions, in the last decade.
Then: From July 1974, this shot shows the summer maxi was ‘in’. Now: Autograph Colour Block Maxi Skirt and Autograph Floral Print Pleated Skirt.
1980s… hemlines on the rise. Skirt lengths shot up again during the eighties where the silhouette was about showing off those power-shoulders. Body-con mini skirts, ra-ra¬†and playful bubble-hem styles were also a big hit.
1990s and beyond… anything goes. As designers increasingly take inspiration from the past the skirt options are endless, and although there have been mini trends (cargo skirts, denim skirts, skorts and kilts), there’s also more room for individual style to determine how we wear our skirts. The great thing is, there’s plenty of choice in all lengths as it’s not just about one ‘look’.
Then: an illustration that¬† featured in St Michael News in 1970 shows that skirt lengths were a hot topic. Now: maxi-lengths offer maximum style -¬†try printed styles from Indigo to get the look.
Which skirt length to choose?
- For women who are very petite, a shorter skirt length can be flattering or why not try a fitted pencil skirt that finishes on the knee. M&S Woman has some great styles like this or try our petite range.¬†
- If you are conscious of your legs and prefer not to show them off, rest assured there are plenty of lovely, fashionable maxi skirts available. Try Autograph or Indigo.¬†
- If your legs are your best asset why hide them? Our Limited Collection has some great mini skirts, as does Indigo. Keep¬†the look¬†laid-back and casual with summer sandals or flats.
- For taller women, a calf length or midi skirt can be a elegant and stylish choice. But if you are shorter, simply adding a small heel will make this skirt length all-the-more flattering.
- Choosing a skirt length also depends on your height, so one woman’s mini skirt might be knee-length on another. The key is to try them on, and once you know what¬†length looks best on you, make a note of the measurements. This way, you can shop online with ease – simply shop all skirts and then narrow your selection via the length options from the menu on the left of the screen.
Do you remember the skirt trends of past decades? How do you like to wear your skirts now? Let us know by leaving a comment below.