Skirting The Issue

Little Black Dress

It may be local. It may be temporary and fleeting.  It is definitely from a small sampling, and a completely personal study, but I believe that women are beginning to regain some of the sophistication and elegance of bygone years.  Many women, including many young women, are once again wearing skirts or dresses for everyday situations.

Women wearing ‘men’s clothes’ became common during World War II, when women took factory jobs to fill in for menfolk in the Armed Services. After the War, working women, dressed comfortably and modestly in shirts and pants, became common, and acceptable.

Even in office settings, skirt/blouse combos were usually outnumbered by slacks and jeans, and dresses were reserved for parties and dates. The ratio of skirts or dresses seemed to be about one in twenty, or fewer.

I recently spent a day at Niagara Falls, followed by a day with a couple of hours at a mall, followed by a Saturday morning spent at the Farmers’ Market. Suddenly I was amazed at the number of females wearing skirts or even dresses.  The odds now seemed to be one in five, or even more.

Of course, I’m not counting the Mennonite females, who always wear dresses, which look like they’ve been made from rejected couch upholstery fabric.  They look neither elegant nor sophisticated.

While I appreciated the views, I didn’t feel Niagara was a good place to wear skirts. There’s a lot of breeze, and up-and-down, and climbing – hills, stairs, escalators, even the tour boats in the river.

Granted, while there were a lot of them, not all of them were sophisticated or elegant. Many, and not merely the younger ones, wore barely enough fabric to hang the ‘For Rent’ sign and price list.  One 40ish woman wore what I originally took to be a sock.  The color of safety-cone orange, it was a knit dress, primly covering her from chin to kneecaps, but it was so tight, that even I had trouble breathing.

It clung tightly to her, from below chandelier earrings, to above cork-wedge-soled sandals with 4 inch heels.  Not what I’d wear to a tourist trap.  Knitter daughter says there’s a knitting term for knitted clothes that look like they’re painted on – maximum negative ease, alternate pronunciation – If you’ve got it….flaunt it!

The next day – a hot, sunny one – at the mall, I expected lots of shorts. Again, I was surprised.  Skirts were common, and ranged from office wear, to pencil skirts, to baby doll.  Poodle skirts are back, although I imagine they’re called something else now.  Lengths ranged from barely legal, or moral, ‘wide belts’, to floor-length.

There were grandmothers in comfortable, conservative, kneecap-length dresses, latter-day hippies in swirling, diaphanous kerchief dresses, young mothers in cool caftans and airy muu-muus. Asymmetrical hemlines were evident.  Angled cuts hung down front, side and back.  Cut-outs were on chest, arms and backs.

The biggest surprise was at the food court. (You didn’t think I’d leave without eating, did you?  All that looking made me hungry.)  There were at least 12 young women having lunch – or at least coffee – wearing some form of ‘The Little Black Dress’, which I thought was reserved for more special occasions, plus four more in the same high-fashion style, but in rose, gold, robin’s-egg blue and pastel green.

What’s happening with women’s-wear in your neck of the woods? Are skirts and dresses becoming more common?  My female readers will already know, because they always keep an eye on the competition.

For the guys, if you get caught staring, assure any eye-candy that you are not a lascivious pervert, but merely performing a scientific study for a famous blogger.

Extra points if you can do it without snickering – or drooling.   😆


11 thoughts on “Skirting The Issue

  1. jellico84 says:

    Nice comment from male perspective. Being one who prefers dresses, and the longer the skirt the better, I find it extremely frustrating that it is nearly impossible to find a decent skirt that isn’t cut up to the wazoo (Male designers so what do you expect). Dresses are harder and harder to find in today’s market, especially the affordable kind. Would wear more dresses and fewer slacks if decent ones could be found.


  2. Jim Wheeler says:

    In my opinion, for what it’s worth, women’s shorts and slacks are just fine – for about 5% of them. For the rest, they simply accentuate the rotundity of the obesity epidemic not to mention the ubiquity of the tattoo fad.

    This of course is based mainly on observations at the local Walmart, so there’s that. Most couldn’t possibly know what they look like from the side or behind. It would be a kindness to the world if the stores would place triple-paned mirrors between the entrances and the shopping carts.


    • Sightsnbytes says:

      I believe short, tight skirts, like spandex, should have a weight restriction as well as an age restriction. One would only have to visit Walmart on any given day to agree with this

      Liked by 1 person

    • Archon's Den says:

      It wouldn’t work. Like the warning on Rochelle’s Flash Fiction site, “It’s not what you look at; it’s what you see that counts.” That strange gland at the back end of the optic nerve assures them that they’re gorgeous and sexy. 😯

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Maxi dresses are especially popular in the summer, Archon. Believe it or not, they are super comfortable and don’t cling during this ridiculous heatwave that we are currently experiencing. The poodle skirts that you are seeing have been renamed, “Midis.” As for that hot mess in an orange tube top and 1975 cork wedge sandals, she must be a model for “slothing.”


    • Archon's Den says:

      The Muslims, with their little mobile tents may be on to something. If they were only light-coloured, instead of that heat-absorbing black. 😯
      I don’t know about ‘slothing.’ The Cat in the Hat Chick in the Sock looked more like she was street-walking. That tube top went all the way down to the knees. 😛


  4. BrainRants says:

    D.C. has a high percentage of women who nail the classy yet just-short-of-sexy look. Very business-oriented.


    • Archon's Den says:

      D.C is a very business-oriented town. Everybody – male and female – has to look like they’re important. I’d probably get stopped by the fashion police at North Bethesda, and not allowed inside the ring-road. 😉


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