By Marie Anne Greene
The dictionary has it wrong OR at least incomplete. Evidence for this assertion are the two dictionary definitions presented below.
• That part of a dress or coat that extends downward from the waist.
• A woman’s one-piece garment extending down from the waist.
In my opinion neither of these definitions are descriptive enough and do not convey the feminine magic that many SKIRTS possess and have exhibited for centuries.
Today’s skirts are the product of both utility, practicality and fashion and have evolved in design virtually in every generation often in response to changes in the living or work environment of the age. On a short-term basis skirt styles change from year to year and season to season. We are lucky that we can and do learn and adopt from the multiple styles and circumstances that have proceeded and surround us. We are so very fortunate in this regard.
The origins of the skirt dates back in a biblical sense to the Garden of Eden and may have been no more than leaves. In an archeological sense the humble skirt may date back even further in the history of our species. Its origins may have been purely pragmatic, protection of the body from the sun, wind, ice, snow, blowing sand as well as cold. It was probably many generations before this utilitarian item evolved into the gorgeous wear of the women of the ancient Egyptian, Chinese, Indian and Persian Empires to mention only four diverse civilizations which transposed its plain utility to the gorgeous item of wear that became the foundation of woman’s fashion.
In today’s world it seems to have been relegated to second or third place in the feminine closet. This is a definite shame as the skirt has greater utility and flexibility than ever before given the range of fabrics, texture, colors and durability but most of all is its “Mix and Match Flexibility which allows it to be a fashion multiplier, spirit lifter and in many ways a cost saver. Perhaps its nomenclature, “Skirt”, may have an unintended impact on its “neutral” Arora. By contrast descriptive terms such as: Sarong, Sari and Kimono evoke a special sense of femininity.
How many skirts do you have hanging in your closet or your special stash location? I wager (based on mine modest collection) that the number approximates or exceeds 16. Of this total five are black, two white, one red and one pink, the balance are colorfully striped or floral patterns. They range from three minis to two floor and two ankle lengths with the majority spread between mid-thigh, above knee, knee and just below knee.
Without going any further into the counting game, we have no less than sixteen baseline variations which when paired with an equal or greater number of blouses, tops, sweaters and jackets which in turn can be multiplied by adding accessories as scarfs, shawls, statement pins and necklaces, the classic female perennial cry, “I do not have a thing to wear. ” can be called into question and may underly your skills and imagination to “Mix and Match”. This is not meant as a chastisement of your native abilities but rather a call to let your inner femininity and imagination be a tad bit bolder when assembling a skirt (or for that matter a slacks) outfit.
Be as bold as your personality and the setting will allow. (Kandi of Kandi Land recently disclosed she enjoys spending time assembling outfits and has 50 plus lined up awaiting the proper opportunity to wear.) I do not have this size wardrobe, but absolutely and totally agree with Kandi that spending the time and trying on the various combinations is a wonderful and can be thrilling time whether a few hours or even a full day or weekend. Wonderful-Wonderful-Wonderful! If possible this little bit of heaven should be experienced and recorded whenever possible. Be sure to have a full-length mirror and camera at the ready. There are always “Memories” to be captured.
Summertime provides an excellent time capsule in which to experiment although each season as well as “Holidays” provide a similar set of opportunities. Think beyond the box and your closet’s organization and the outfits you have worn previously. Mentally select what “image or impression” YOU want to present/convey. Let your feminine imagination explore your image archives (mental and fashion magazines, movies and advertisements) and blend these with your fashion sense and your impact aspirations. Do not discard a possible combination before trying it on and you conduct 360 degree a mini-promenade in front of that mirror.
And most important please recall although the skirt may be neutral by itself, but when paired with an attractive, tailored, silky, feminine or sexy blouse or soft pink sweater and tied together with a wide waist cinching belt and matching jewelry – earrings, necklace, bracelets and finger rings all can be absolutely – charming, daring, spritely, businesslike or just highlight a fun loving and womanly GIRL. The belt is more than a transition or functional item and when combined with the skirt can enhance several of your feminine attributes.
First it can nip in the waist making it a little more feminine in appearance, second it can accentuate your womanly hips with a similar benefit, third it can highlight those tanned or nylon clad flashing legs, fourth and lastly it can add to the sway of your walk and reinforce your inner sense of female pride and satisfaction. Lastly the humble unlined skirt and your own sense of femininity can be immediately enhanced by the addition of a lace trimmed full or half-slip under the plain simple skirt… A wonderful plus to your inner female persona. Another accessory to be used selectively is a golden sash in lieu of a traditional belt. It can work with both a long or short skirt and provide a special flare for that special event.
As to the length of the skirt, all options are open depending upon your confidence and the degree of a womanly appearance of your legs. Some of us are not as fortunate as a younger or slimmer compatriot but the skirt allows all shapes and foundations to be accommodated. Now a few of my personal feelings as to length and style of my skirts: I love the short, mid-thigh mini, great for crossing the legs and sitting erect. Next comes the “pencil” – emphasizes the girlish hips and the provocative walk. This is followed by the swirly knee length semi-full skirt a hallmark of my carefree female mood-ready to dance. You may find this particular style incorporated in better cocktail dresses which communicates youthful sophistication and freedom regardless of actual age.
As you may have guessed this GIRL could ramble ON and ON, but I have taken enough of your time and hope that some of my babble has or will be useful to you. Go forth be yourself and enjoy your inner GIRL.
Postscript: After completing the composition was inspired to put together a skirt-based outfit. Began with a plain snug fitting black knee length skirt. Topped it with a newly acquired soft floral blouse with a base theme of thin light blue vertical stripes interrupted in randomly by clusters of darkish flowers. The floating sleeves are accentuated just above the wrist with a three-inch band of open faced black net. The skirt and blouse are united by a White and Black two-and-a-half-inch elastic belt.