The length of skirts is so puzzling that Harper's Bazaar published a chart back in 1868 to help determine the skirt lengths of little girl's skirts depending on their age. Even more surprising, it is believed that the length of skirts can be used to predict the stock market. If the skirts are shown short that means the stock market is going up. If they are shown longer that means the stock market is going down. There are no rules that determine skirt lengths today. (Well there is a way to calculate, but I do not care to mix math with fashion). We see long (maxi), medium (midi) and short (mini) up and down the runways. Whatever you use to determine your skirt length, most women ask the question, at what age is it inappropriate for a woman to wear a skirt above her knees?
Many of us say 40 and above, skirts should be below the knee. The nice thing about the length of skirts today is that there are no rules, as far as fashion goes anyway. You can be fashionable and look stylish in lengths that are long or short. However, where do we draw the line? Or do we? Many women work hard to keep their bodies toned and are proud to show their legs. Is that a good enough reason to wear a hemline above the knee at any age? Unsure how to brooch this issue I hit the streets of Chicago for feedback.
At 45 years old the first woman I approached loves pencil skirts and chooses to wear her skirts no more than one inch above her knees because she is self-conscious of her thighs. She thinks geographical location may play a part in the length skirts are worn; this makes sense based on the drastic change in fashion we see from coast to coast. In Vegas we see shorter skirts, San Diego we see what's trendy, and New York we see what's going to be trendy... But what do we see in Chicago and what influences this? She also feels that short skirts should be left to the younger woman, but why?
The second woman I spoke with said she wears shorter skirts in the winter because she can wear them with opaque tights, in the summer still short, but again, just above the knee. For her, age plays an important part in why she chooses a little longer hem. While we want to stay true to our age, we do not want our skirt lengths to age us. Everyone remembers the Fashion Fit Formula and how it determined your skirt length based on body proportions. Evidence has shown that hemming a dowdy skirt to right above the knee can knock years off your age.
As with all fashion statements we should stay true to ourselves and wear what is comfortable. We live in a world of endless choices; we have the freedom to wear what we want, when we want. Office dress codes are more lax and have come a far cry from the conservative nature of 80's skirt suits. Women have finally learned that they can be both professional and feminine. Who ever thought that women should dress like men? Are our endless choices making it unbearable for women to get dressed in the morning? Would it be easier to have just a few rules to follow? Dare To Dress would love to hear what you have to say...
Values are a funny thing. The way they unite different people. The way they encourage different cultures, races, and ages to ascribe to the same cause. Idealistically, values encourage the cyclical fashion in which our society, and culture, changes.
Dare to Dress is the brainchild of three Chicago women who share the same values. Fashion Designer Eva Pazola, Stylist Terri Franklin, and myself, gathered one warm afternoon in February to discuss fashion and the way it makes our worlds go-round.
The mission statement of Dare to Dress is lucid. We are a Chicago based blog designed to provide stylish women with a forum for bold discussions about ways to look within themselves for personal expression. We aim to lay a social foundation for women to love and embrace our fashion culture. Ultimately, we want to support women who appreciate the intimate qualities fashion brings to our everyday lives.
Please join us each week as we discuss what we love: fashion. We hope that our efforts cultivate Chicago into the fashionable, and self-expressing, mecca we know it can, and will, be.
Not much. Ha. But really, what does it mean? What does it mean to the rest of the world? What does it mean to me? Most importantly, what does it mean to you?
As a consumer behaviorlist I see fashion from a consumption perspective, what made her buy this? Was it the designer label, was it the price tag, was it the production method, or place of origin? What psychographic characteristics entwine some Chicago women to hardly meet, let alone exceed, the fashion status quo?
I think it is important to first establish what we think encompasses fashion. To us, fashion is dressing for who you are. It's not about who you are wearing or what you are wearing, it's about how you wear your clothes to represent who you are.
Terri, Eva, and I want to create an environment where women can wear what they want, when they want. When going to dinner with friends, Terri does not want to be told, "You don't have to dress up." Terri is not "dressing- up" because she has to. Terri wants to dress up! Do other Chicago women feel this way? We are hopeful, but prompted to think not based on quite a few personal experiences. For example, when attending a designer spring trunk show do Chicago women really think it's appropriate to wear sneakers, pig-tails, and a backpack? Our problem was not what this woman was wearing, it was that she truly did not think she was worth a more beautiful image. As a designer, Eva wants to be inspired by women on the street. Most importantly she wants Chicago women to be inspired by her.
Being around fashionable women allows me to feel myself. It reminds me why I do what I do. As a wardrobe consultant, there is no greater pleasure than when a client tells me how beautiful she feels and that aligning her clothing with her personal values positively affects her life.
Chicago is beautiful. We have stunning architecture, clean streets, and fabulous restaurants. Why does it seem as if the people of Chicago are struggling to keep up with this great city?
Truly and cautiously yours,