Shins gone wild: the return of the midi skirt


Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said, “A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.”

While Churchill’s simile might seem flippant, or even a little indecent, it at least goes to show that the topic of hemlines is one of great interest to both genders and has been since time immemorial.

A particular type of hemline, the midi skirt, has recently made a resurgence on international runways and, for once, our little ‘academic’ heaven here at the University of Dallas appears to be ahead of the trends! Let me pause briefly to explain this hemline for those who are at a loss: the midi skirt, not to be confused in the slightest with the mini skirt, describes any hemline which falls somewhere between the wearer’s knee and ankle.

This is also not the maxi skirt, a style which many UD women adopt frenziedly during the Rome semester, in the hopes that we can somehow be stylish, comfortable and exceptionally un-throw-out-of-churchable all at once.

The midi length, which first emerged in fashion in the early 1970s, was the subject of much controversy. The sex-positive feminist movement resented what they considered a move back toward conservatism in dress, and many designers lauded what they considered a desirable relief after the short hemlines of the ’60s.

“I was the only Italian couturier to believe in the new length. I wanted a return to elegance after so many years of bad taste,” fashion icon Valentino is purported to have said during the ’70s controversy.

Hubert de Givenchy, French aristocrat and fashion designer, also weighed in on the original controversy and stated, “the long length gives women a more delicate and languid look. I have always lingered about the knee.”

Here at UD, where conservative dress is the norm, the midi skirt has always enjoyed a healthy following. However, as the midi skirt has become more fashionable, new avenues of inspiration have opened up which UD women can consult in order to freshen up their look.

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The midi skirt is an incredibly versatile piece and does not have to look plain and boring.

As junior Bridget Safranek said: “since it’s a more conservative look you can do something more fun and crazy with patterns or different textures. When you’re wearing a little romper  you can’t do something totally out there with textures because then it’s like double attention.”

As senior Elizabeth Kerin sees it, midi skirts are perfect example of a tension at the heart of fashion.

“There’s always a conversation in fashion between edge and how much you are revealing,” Kerin said.

Senior Ann Keuhl emphasized the feminine possibilities of this look which perhaps are what make it so appealing to the stylish women of UD. Joking at first that midi skirts should be described as “shins gone wild,” she went on to express what can be so lovely about this style.

“I think that midi skirts are ideal because they are very feminine but also very fashion-forward right now. I like the long lines look and that they frequently accentuate the waist. They seem like the ideal feminine outfit. A little heel is good because it lengthens the legs but if you style flats well, they can work too,” she said.

On a campus like ours that values modesty and feminine mystery, there ought to be much rejoicing! Break out those midis, ladies, and enjoy finding new ways to wear these staple pieces.


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