The Sixties Called, Miniskirts are Here to Stay

Savannah Outram, Contributing Director

Director : Savannah Outram
Photographer: Matthew McKenna
Makeup: Savannah Outram
Models: Rajdeep Sindhu, Nandita Mahakam & Lizzy Weinert

As I walk through the Mall, there is one thing I continually notice popping out to me in the glimmering window displays. Fashion has always been a revolving wardrobe of styles that go ‘in’ and ‘out’ depending on the season’s hottest runway trends. However, what united each of these displays, despite coming from an array of stores, was the influence of the past on the present. 

One era that plays a foundational role in this is the 1960s. Known as a time of political upheaval, protests in the form of Vietnam and Women’s Rights, and a uniquely rebellious younger generation, each of these components converged into an environment hungry for change. In reception to this, the fashion industry adopted opposition to the norm through daring new styles like the mini-skirt. To delve further into how this clothing piece maintains its cultural relevance, I decided to interview two women who grew up at the time. 

Matthew Mckenna
Matthew Mckenna

“I loved mini-skirts!” Suzanne Davis recalled fondly, however, having grown up in the conservative Midwest, she stated the act of doing so felt rebellious and new for many young women at the time. When I asked about her favorite outfit from the era, she stated “I remember my husband bought me a shift mini-skirt with white GoGo boots that I wore often with fishnet tights”. 

Similarly, when interviewing my grandmother, Evelyn Simpson, she shared “the mini-skirt was widely adopted by young people. To me, it symbolized freedom at that period of time from a lot of dull frumpy past styles”. 

Hearing both of these experiences indicated the symbolism this piece of clothing continues to have, dominating fashion spheres as a staple in many women’s closets. Mini-skirts remain ‘in’.

This is not without some revamping though, as the shop window displays indicated a new take on the iconic style. Playing to the daring aspects of the mini-skirt, even shorter ‘micro-skirts’ have become a rising trend that is foundationally rooted in 1960’s culture. A lot can be said about this, however, I believe the most obvious explanation is the similarities between the political climate of the Sixties and now. 2021 was a tumultuous time for young people amid a pandemic and ever-changing restrictions. Therefore, it is no surprise that fashion trends experimented with these freeing styles that averted from confinement.

Additionally, a lot can be attributed to the freethinking style of second-wave feminism and nowadays fourth-wave feminism. With brands celebrating the same principles designers from the 1960s held close, such as freedom of expression and choice, it is unsurprising miniskirts and 1960s fashion has found a newfound cultural revival.

When asking my interviewees what they thought stood out to them most in terms of fashion trends now, Suzanne responded “The hippie style of the sixties is definitely coming back in the form of tie-dye, as well as patent leather and boots”. 

Evelyn agreed although she pointed towards a more inclusive market evolving for the younger generation. “New times have evolved, there are now ideas for everyone in fashion”. 

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