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Message Board > Fashion Styles and Trends > Skirt Lengths ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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Skirt Lengths
Via Bill Cunningham, NYT. Love this guy.
krissie
krissie
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Subject: Skirt Lengths via Bill Cunnigham, NYTimes Date: 10/2/10 8:15 PM

Skirt lengths
-- Edited on 10/2/10 8:16 PM --

Doris W. in TN
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In reply to krissie


Date: 10/2/10 9:11 PM

That was fun, and so interesting! Thanks.

Restart06
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Date: 10/2/10 9:11 PM

interesting....I just pick my own...longish.

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tourist
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In reply to krissie


Date: 10/2/10 9:20 PM

krissie - I enjoyed several of those videos - thanks! The addiction to black is so strange to me. My hairdresser wears a lot of black, but that is partly because it is a handy "uniform" without being a uniform and also because all the dyes etc. in a salon make a mess of other colours. Crazy...but interesting to watch!

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3KillerBs
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Date: 10/3/10 10:11 AM

Conclusion from a small town in rural North Carolina, ...

People in New York dress WEIRD. How on earth are you supposed to chase kids around, haul groceries, or do any real work in those outfits? Especially those shoes? I can't imagine walking on concrete in them for more than a few minutes without excruciating pain. (Of course walking on grass/dirt/gravel in places where there are no sidewalks would be physically impossible since those pin heels would sink).

On a more serious note, I personally think that mid-knee is one of the worst possible places to end a skirt. If you're anything less than very tall it chops you off in awkward proportions, particularly if you are carrying more weight than you wish you were. And it draws attention to the knee -- one of the body's less aestheticly-pleasing parts, especially once a little age and arthritis goes to work on them.

IMO most women will find a more graceful set of proportions and emphasis somewhere between the top of the calf and the top of the ankle. Slimmer women with nice knees will also find a good length somewhere between the top of the knee and the middle of the thigh.

As for looking matronly, what's wrong with that? I'm a 46yo mother of 4 kids aged 19yo down to 4yo and my hair is nicely highlighted with natural grey streaks. I AM a matron so why should I object to looking like one? I am so tired of being told that I'm supposed to try to look like an unattached girl on the hunt for a man.

Even more, I'm tired of viewing the unfortunate sights that result when middle-aged matrons dress like they are unattached girls on the hunt for men. My sisters-in-age who try this don't look sexy, they look desperate and a bit pathetic. :(

I'm personally too short and round to do elegance but I can at least attempt and attractive dignity and if the end result looks more like I'm a good cook who might also know her way around the home improvement store than like a fun hookup at the bar on Friday night I'll at least be doing truth in advertising.

Though I do need to make something a little dressier for this fall because my husband surprised me on Friday when he picked me up from work by telling me we were going to a local winery for a jazz concert/wine tasting and I had trouble putting together something suitable.

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3KB

"The combination of physical strength and moral sincerity combined with tenderness of heart is exactly what is wanted in a husband." Amelia Peabody Emerson

3KillerBs
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In reply to tourist


Date: 10/3/10 10:29 AM

Quote: tourist
krissie - I enjoyed several of those videos - thanks! The addiction to black is so strange to me. ...

Me too.

I like color myself and I like seeing well-chosen color on others. The all-black and/or all-neutral wardrobes favored by so many are just plain dull.

------
3KB

"The combination of physical strength and moral sincerity combined with tenderness of heart is exactly what is wanted in a husband." Amelia Peabody Emerson

tourist
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Date: 10/3/10 10:38 AM

3kb - did you watch the video about the shoes? I loved it that he showed a bunch of women wearing flip flops and carrying their ridiculous shoes! And he showed one woman falling, too.

It was summer in those videos, so I understand the bare legs, but at least one woman (IMHO) should have given up that look due to the wrinkles around her knees. That is not a nice look. Yes, for those of us who are not fashion hounds we could do that (and I do!) but if you are doing cutting edge fashion, as these women were doing (or at least trying to do) you can't go around showing your knee wrinkles, can you?

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Doris W. in TN
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In reply to tourist


Date: 10/3/10 10:51 AM

I loved the shoes in that video.

Proportions make a difference in whichskirt length works for different people. I bought The Fashion Code after following the discussion over on StitchersGuild, and felt it was worth the money. (I've wasted more than that on bad patterns) As for short skirts, there were no surprises, but there was no mid-calf length on my 'map'. The next good length for me was almost ankle length, like a long tea length.

Mid-knee works, IMO, depending on the shape of a woman's leg in that area in addition to proportions. I've seen some great looks and some disasters at that length.

Quote:
you can't go around showing your knee wrinkles, can you

ITA. My more recent skirt lengths are getting lower, to the bottom-of-knee, for the same reason and cellulite(?)---not as toned as I used to be. Ack.
-- Edited on 10/3/10 10:52 AM --
-- Edited on 10/3/10 10:53 AM --
-- Edited on 10/3/10 10:54 AM --
3KillerBs
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In reply to tourist


Date: 10/3/10 10:57 AM

No, I didn't watch the one about the shoes.

Since I wear double-wide shoes, which are nearly unavailable in anything remotely attractive (a situation which has gotten worse in the past couple decades as shoe manufacture moved abroad), I have never been able to develop any kind of "fun shoe" collection and gave up any interest in shoes ages ago.

I have to settle for one pair of men's sneakers, one pair of summer sandals and one pair of winter, non-sneaker shoes at any given time.

------
3KB

"The combination of physical strength and moral sincerity combined with tenderness of heart is exactly what is wanted in a husband." Amelia Peabody Emerson

WildWyoming
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Date: 10/3/10 12:35 PM

Well, we have to remember that New York has it's own culture, just as small town Central Texas does where I live. The fun of dressing a certain way is part of that culture. I personally wouldn't bother wearing such impractical and unhealthy shoes, but the point in them is not practicality but art in the form of fashion. To me, to spend hundreds of dollars on artistic but unhealthy shoes would not be something I would do. Shoes take a beating, besides. It's a poor investment. But, I can appreciate the art of it even if I won't do that to my wallet or my feet or my back.

Please note that there were no small children or laundry baskets in the NYC street photos.

I can see wearing really nice looking shoes to a luncheon for fun and wearing something that coordinates but is a healthier and less expensive shoe on the street. I find that business pumps last much, much longer if I wear a rubber soled nondescript ballet shoe or something like that on the street and into work and then slip into my business pumps at my desk. I look a bit more professional in them and they don't get beaten up by rough roads, cracks, rocks, etc. They really last MUCH longer. I also don't sweat in them as it's very hot here. So, they don't get stinky like a lot of shoes do here when they are worn without thick cotton socks.

No, I wouldn't wear them, but remember these people have different lifestyles than we have, and it's just part of the culture. I assure you that they look at what we wear and say, "Why would anyone wear that!?"

I agree with Bill Cunningham that the best length is the one that flatters the most. The caveat is that that length is not always the most practical.

For example, if your personal values indicate that a longer skirt is more suitable, then wear it. Looking like Barbie is sort of low on the priority list for real women, in my opinion. Sorry if that offends.

Or, if want to wear skirts but have lots of little kids and bending and sitting on the floor, etc. well, a narrow skirt is just really not going to work. Wear that full skirt, but consider how it can be both practical and flattering. For example, a skirt that is full on the bottom may be narrow on the top, hugging the waistline rather than highly gathered at the waist in a way that adds pounds and heavy fabric.

As for the issue of looking matronly, it is a great thing to feel comfortable in your own skin and your own life. We don't need to be constantly trying to look like teenagers. IF fashion is the focus, there are styles that can fit that focus on older, shorter, plumper figures more than other styles. But, for many of us, our focus is on our families, our careers, our values, our longterm goals. We don't need to conform to a city culture or fashion culture or whatever you call it.

I would say that the best skirt length is truly the one that fits you and your needs and values and activities best overall. In college, someone once said to me, "You're gorgeous, but you don't play it up. You could look like a model if you spent more time fixing your hair, your makeup, shopping and that sort of thing." I just said, "I don't want to spend my life fussing over my appearance. If I look good, great, I'll use that as an opportunity to do LESS and not more because maybe that's meant somehow to relieve me of some of the social pressure to look a certain way." Well, that's a paraphrase.

We don't have to "do the most with what we have" in terms of our appearance. Maybe we ought to focus instead on doing the most with what we have in terms with our whole personhood. I'd much rather write about something I care about than to curl my hair, put on Rogaine to keep it thick, paint my nails, or shop for shoes. But, that's me. I like dressing up, but it's not important to me.

I would much rather we all be individuals than all do the same thing and that same time and try to look all alike.

I read once about a man in Hollywood who was looking for his wife at a party. He glanced over at a group of women and realized that from the back he couldn't tell which was his wife or even if she was among them. They all were thin, fake tanned, blonded artificially and blown dry. They all wore beige, a color that supposedly was supposed to look flattering on middle aged women in Hollywood. They all wore slim, straight smooth pants, beige, elongating shoes, elegant beige beautifully draping tunics, and huge diamond rings. They all had dramatic, smoky eyes so from a distance he couldn't even tell when he caught a glimpse of their faces. He literally had to walk over to them, walk around where he could see their faces and study them for a minute to identify his wife.

I don't want to be like everyone else. I don't want to follow a stranger's "rules" for dressing or appearance. I had been following the rule for lightening your hair over time and it just made me look like everyone else. Finally, I told my hairdresser to color my hair the color of my roots (minus the heavy white component). I have had tons of compliments, from strangers, from friends, etc. though I didn't point anything out. The darker color, which really shocked me as my hair normally lightens as it grows and this was all dark, dark brown now, brings out the Hispanic in me that due to a lack of Hispanic cultural influence, I tend to forget about. It looks stunning, at least compared to my washed out highlighted look. And, I got it cut shorter, which I had thought would look mannish. But, it's very feminine and I have little to do to fix it.

So feel free to ignore the rules and be yourself. I get tired of lookalikes.

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