Thursday, December 4, 2008

The mini skirt

Speaking of mini skirts...

What do you define as a mini skirt? Who should wear one and who shouldn't? Why?

This is something I've been thinking about for quite some time, long before I turned 35 this September. It seems everyone has an opinion on how women should dress appropriately for their age (whatever that means). And the debate over how old you should be before you stop wearing mini skirts is a never-ending one.

It surprises me how worked up people get about this issue, too. I googled this subject and read many message board posts with varying opinions, all hotly debated. People's opinions range from the belief that no one should wear a mini past 18 to the belief that you should wear whatever you want, as long as your bits and pieces aren't hanging out and you look decent. A "mini" can be defined as hitting anywhere from a few inches above your knee to barely clearing the butt cheeks. I personally think anything resembling the latter is a micro-mini (as some of these photos show), and something like the skirt below is a more standard mini skirt length.

I must admit, I'm in that more easy-going group. I mean, if a woman wears a skirt that is, say, 4-5 inches above her knee, looks nice, and isn't completing the look with fishnets and spike heels, then what's wrong with that? Why must we suddenly adopt a certain dress code once we hit a certain age? I have seen 18 year olds wearing minis who struggle with the look, and 45 year olds wearing minis who look awesome.

Do I ever think about that older woman being too old for such a look? Of course not. I always admire people who look good, who are stylish, and who can rock a certain look. The more artistic and fashion-edgy element of society tends to buck the system and do whatever they please, but once you start talking about the rest of the population, there are suddenly rules and regulations about fashion. Of course, you should always follow the dress code of your particular job, but otherwise I think if you can swing it, why not?

To show how silly this age rule is, think of this. Should it be said that once you're over a certain weight you shouldn't wear, say, leggings? What weight would that be? 135 pounds? 150? 200? 300? You could stand two women side by side who are both the same weight and they can look radically different from each other. And why should either woman be restricted from wearing something because of a number? If they weighed 5 pounds more than the "limit", are they suddenly excluded from wearing leggings? Or should they keep a pair on hand in case they hit that magical number again? The same ridiculous argument applies to wearing a mini skirt, I think, except age is the deciding factor. But what about an 80 year old wearing a mini, you ask. Well, if she can work that outfit, then wow, I'm impressed! And if not? Hey, she's 80, she can do what she wants!

I saw this post on a message board regarding denim mini skirts today:

I see nothing wrong with wearing a denim mini skirt. How is it different from wearing a pair of shorts, aside from the fact that people might see your panties if you bend over too far? As long as you have the legs, who cares. I think the real issue is society is uncomfortable with women over a certain age flaunting their sexuality. For whatever reason, only teenagers and women under 40 are allowed to look attractive in clothes. We are told it's really because we're older and should have dignity and we're mothers and so on. But I think you can be an adult and have dignity while looking attractive and sexual. Nevertheless we seem uncomfortable with this idea and we're afraid of seeing the ravages of age that every woman over 35 supposedly have. As you can see with celebrities and women you may even know, not every female over a certain age has a terrible body that should be covered up. Many women 35 and older take really good care of themselves and in my opinion have earned the right to flaunt what they have. Part of the fun of being a woman is dressing up and showing off your figure. I don't know why a woman shouldn't enjoy it as long as she can. If anything, I think teenagers should dress more conservatively and adult women of every age should be free to showcase their sexuality.

Now, I'm not saying women should start wearing itty bitty skirts to flaunt what they have, and I don't think that's what this person meant. I think the point is if you feel like wearing a shorter skirt, why not? In the end, I think it should be the length of the skirt and not the age of the woman that should determine whether it should be worn or not.

What do you think?

(Third image courtesy of Corbis)


sMacThoughts said... many issues. I do not subscribe to any rules being set as they apply to age, I do know. And for me, I just never subscribed to the wearing of *any* clothes to be based on a person's *right* to flaunt what she has. We do not say this about makes no sense to me. I'm not in a show. I wear what I like, what I think looks attractive, and I think most people do, but what the definition of that might be from one to the other clearly varies. And I do think there are sadly too many women who seem to dress with the belief that their value lies solely in how sexy *others* will find them in the outfit.

Sheila Bocchine, Pinhole Photographer said...

I LOVE mini skirts! I'm a chubby, 29 year old and I wear them often! Mini skirts and mini dresses! I especially love wearing them with heels so my legs look gorgeous!

Fashion is such a debatable topic... everyone has their own style. If you're happy wearing what you're wearing, then it shouldn't matter to anyone else. Maegan said...

...and back in the day, they were SO MUCH SHORTER than they are now without being slutty is that possible? I think if your legs are great, you can pull them off but maybe, the older you get, the more tights you should wear with them. But, if one is comfortable wearing one, no matter what her age, who's to tell her she can't? Great post.

citysage said...

Good questions raised here Chris! I agree that age shouldn't be a determining factor in wearing a mini...though I will say that I've seen so many women of all ages wearing minis who just didn't look so great! I love most of the photos you posted, for example, but that one of the two girls leaning against the lamp post? Well, they're an example of how it can just look silly---the proportions are all wrong. I guess for me that's what it comes down to: getting your proportions and your fit right, no matter what age or size you are. Can you tell I'm a loyal fan of stacey and clinton on 'what not to wear'?

Claire said...

i am one of those who breaks the rules and always pushes the limits so i am definitely not about to prescribe any rules that need to be followed... i just have one simple request, please don't show me your dimpled bum or your smooth bum or your panties : )

Georgia (AKA g-bug) said...

well, you know what i think after our long break room conversation, so i won't even chime in lest i sound redundant.

disa said...


Anonymous said...

I wore mini dresses and skirts back in the late 60's and early 70's when they were REALLY mini! As the one picture on the blog shows, there are two girls at a street corner who look like they are wearing their boyfriend's shirts... that was me back in the day! My mum called those dresses "panty warmers" and looking back now, I can see why.

The biggest problem was finding sheer to the waist pantyhose. I learned that the typical dark panty tops in pantyhose couldn't be covered for long in dresses that short.

Diana M. Reed said...

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