Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's Radical - Fashion Protest over Hemlines in 1970!

In the late 1960s, the mini skirt reigned supreme, and did we young women ever love it! I remember it with such fondness. My father would often remark, as I was preparing to walk out the door in a mini-something "Well, you have a shirt on, when are you going to put on the rest of your clothes?" ;) In those days, I wore clothes with the high-thigh lengths you see in these photos. So sassy, so liberating!


Yes, we really wore our hemlines that short. Here are some patterns from 1969 that demonstrate the mini-length hemlines. There is short, and then there is really short:

(Note the bridesmaid's mini dress!)

Then, in 1970, the powers that be in fashion dictated a switch in skirt length from mini to midi. Not happy!! Life magazine, March 13, 1970 edition, captured this fashion hassle over hemlines.

Couture designers were quoted on their views about the hemline change, and they clearly had strong preferences:

In the sewing patterns of 1970 and on, we slowly start to see lower hemlines, including the midi and the maxi lengths. The ultimate compromise was moving the hemline up to just below the knee.




  1. I remember my grandmother and mother talking about "the new length", and how they didn't have to reveal too much in minis any longer! ;) Is it just me, or are all three lengths now considered fashionable in 2013?

  2. Hi! Well, it only took me months to see your comment! So sorry for the slow reply! All lengths seem considered fashionable, now and in the 70s. I remember it being a big deal back then - we could choose what length we liked, rather than having it dictated to us. :)