Don't Skirt the Issue: Give Rise to the Autumn 2013 Fashion Trend

03/09/2013 13:47 | Updated 02 November 2013

The skirt has been a form of basic wear since ancient times. Only the lion-cloth predates it, establishing the skirt as the second oldest article of clothing in the chronology of apparel.

Grecian garments (womenswear)


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Grecian garments (menswear)


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Originally a unisex garment, the skirt evolved as an article of women's clothing. In Euro-centric societies, menswear progressed as trouser-basic: allowing for agile, relatively unrestricted movement. Of simultaneous fashion development, women were increasingly encumbered by floor length skirts of ever augmenting reams of fabric. Further weighing down movability were painful contraptions of under clothing to contour the body as influenced by whatever silhouette was fashion au courant. Mid-19th century fashion witnessed the crinoline-cage for affecting the wide width skirt and later the unnaturally cinched in corseted-waist to create a shape of fuller hips.

Gender-specific dress codes, reinforced the inequalities between the sexes. Societal dictates limited women's mobility in clothing and in the greater context.

Victorian ladies: caged in
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Victorian ladies: corseted and bustled
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For centuries, societal mores defined hem length. As indication of feminine dress modesty, skirts were worn long and the ankles were not to be exposed. Until the 19th century, such was the fashion norm. Yet, by the early 20th century, particularly the years of the first World War, dress aesthetics made a dramatic shift. No longer of voluminous layers of material, skirts were narrower, some falling in gentle folds. Fashion was progressing with the times.

This new sense of fashion modernity seemed accompanied by fashion practicality: dress which was less physically restrictive. Wearing comfortable clothing while being fashionably attired was no longer a contradiction in womenswear.

As a result, dressing in separates emerged as on trend. The skirt as a distinct garment, had made a fashion break-through.

On its own


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With the ushering in of the 20th century, a new age of skirt-wear developed. Mirrored by the liberating socio-political forces of the feminist movement, hemlines and body imagery were distinctly transformed.

Suffragettes outside the White House gates

This gradual dress transition generated the ultimate of fashion factors: options.

By the 1920s, flapper fashion was in full swing and ignited a rambunctious dance craze as complement. Skirt lengths had inched upwards and were looser fit. Clothing allowed for heighten freedom of movement.

Roaring in the '20s
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Skirt hemline continued its meteoric ascension, reaching thigh-high proportions.

The '60s iconic mini-skirt and later its barely there mini-me, the micro-mini - were integral to the fashion scene. The end of the decade welcomed the long flowing hippie skirt, which also defined this politically out-spoken generation.

The mini-skirt: a fashion marker
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The current fashion trend for autumn/winter 2013, has elevated the skirt to wardrobe statement status. From catwalk to street style: floor length, at knee, A-line, mini, micro, pencil, circle, skater, kilt, form fit, loose, suited, sculptural, asymmetric ... the skirt, in its many guises, is this season's singular piece.

The skirt has hit an historic fashion high note.

Autumn/Winter 2013

Runway Showcase
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by Mulberry

Layering: skirt suits over trousers



Highland fling: kilt skirt by Moschino


A bit off balance: asymmetric skirt by Kenzo


by Prada

Asymmetry revisited


In full swing: circle skirt


Length ... mini/Attitude ... major: mini skirts by Jeremy Scott



Double layer ... textile top/plastique hem: pencil skirts by Frankie Morello



Skirtfest: by Angelo Marani

Flower power


A is for A-line


Kick it: flared hem


by Givenchy

Double skirt sensation: floor length, sheer


Triple threat: midi, flared, sheer


The long and short of it is evident.

From its humble beginnings to present lofty style status, the skirt now reigns supreme. It is a versatile garment, spotlighted as this season's fashion powerhouse player. For autumn/winter 2013, the skirt takes centre stage for repeat performances.

Street Style Showcase

(images from Tommy Ton)

Three Cheers: Asymmetric, Socks and Heels


Tulle Twirl


Two Piece/Two Stripes


Pretty in Print


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Office-wear with Edge


Flirty Flare


Mini Leather Duo




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360 degrees


Skirt in Season, autumn 2013 ... make it your own.