Whether or not that's true, the New York Times reports that, from street fashion to design studios, skirt lengths are falling precipitously. Fashion forward young women are starting to wear skirts whose hemlines even brush against the floor. Link here.
It's fair to say that when the purveyors of fashion try to dictate a new trend, they want women to buy more clothes. A young woman with a closet full of short skirts might well decide that she does not need yet another micro mini. But, if the fashion changes, she will be obliged to stock up on maxi skirts.
On the other side there have been moments when the lords of fashion promoted a new style, only to find that women simply refused to buy it. And it also happens that fashion designers hang out on the street to get inspiration from the style trends of everyday women. From the street to the runway is often the way style develops.
Either way, a fashion trend seems to bespeak a culture trend. And if longer skirts are coming into vogue, then we all want to know what it means. The Times sees it as a cultural indicator and offers an analysis: "Today the fluid but rigorously plain maxis reflect a subtly shifting cultural climate born in the wake of the Dow's collapse."
If so, it is a delayed reaction, though one that would suggest the advent of a secular-- that is, long term-- bear market.
According to the Times skirt length also represents a turn away from "the frivolity and calculated provocation of a thigh-high skirt 'toward a more austere sensibility.'"
If this is true, what happened to hope and change? How much is the young generation simply expressing a fundamental disappointment in the new administration? Is it preparing for greater austerity and more belt tightening, ahead.
Of course, hemlines had risen so high that they really had nowhere to go but down. And with rising hemlines there was accompanying transformation of values. Modesty and mystery went out of fashion, and young women began hooking up, sexting, and posing for Girls Gone Wild videos.
Young women who wore extreme minis reached a level of exposure that horrified their elders, but that also seemed to undermine their own self-respect. If a woman exposes nearly everything to everyone, she loses her right to choose to whom she wishes to expose what.
Intimacy is not very intimate, it's not even yours, when you offer it to everyone.
Forget about the self-puffery prescribed by the self-esteem movement; if you really want to develop and maintain your self respect you have to start by showing the world, in your appearance and decorum, that you respect yourself.
I hate to use the word, but micro-minis seem to disempower women while maxi skirts seem to produce heightened self-respect. As the Times suggests, they seem to give women back their swagger.
After the necessary disclaimer that no one knows whether this trend will continue, one forecaster still predicted that five years from now all women will be wearing maxi skirts: "and fending off the advances from unsavory-looking strangers with an insolent hitch of the hem."
From hooking up to hitching up. That would be quite a cultural transformation.