Fashions come and go, but however long they last, certain ones will be embraced more than others. We shall look at some fashions past and present that are still memorable whenever and wherever they are worn.
In fashion, flares are a type of trouser style. It did not take off big style until the mid-60s. This was after singers Sonny and Cher would popularise them on US TV. With flares, the trouser leg, in the position between the calf and ankle, will curve out creating a flare.
Flares can probably be dated to the early 19th century when sailors from the US Navy would wear bell-bottom trousers before a set uniform was provided for them.
More recently, people would wear flares for themed party nights due to their associations with the 60s and 70s.
Between the mid-90s and 2000, flared jeans were starting to come into vogue again for women. They had achieved this by 1999 and would last as a fashion for a decade. However, 2006 would see these bell-shaped silhouettes phased out in preference to skinny jeans which then became popular.
In complete contrast to flares, we have skinny jeans. In some parts of the world, these will be called slim-fit pants. Primarily, they are tight trousers that have a very snug fit in terms of legroom and end with a small leg opening. This opening can range from 9 inches to 20 inches in circumference depending on the designer.
Skinny jeans were also known as drainpipe jeans because their trouser legs were so narrow. They were popularised in the 60s by musicians and rock bands such as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan. Audrey Hepburn, a fashion icon in her day, would also make skinny jeans popular. Like flares, most fashions have had a comeback. Fashion can often come around full circle. This has to be put down to us all liking nostalgia and wanting to recreate a decade from history that was known for its fashion. The 60s was certainly one of those periods. If it wasn’t black and white that was trending it was the diminishing thigh lines created by Mary Quant’s mini-skirt.
Mini, Midi, Maxi
That’s right, we can have skirts and dresses in all lengths, depending on the decade and depending on the fashion at the time. Carnaby Street was the place to be in the 60s to experience a wonderful array of fashions. We do father seem to be stuck in the 60s. But then, it was a period for those dedicated followers of fashion.
As a guide, mini-skirt, mini skirt, or mini, are generally no longer than 4 inches (10 centimeters) below the buttocks. The equivalent dress will be of the same length.
Midi dress applies to a length of two inches or more below the knee and to just above the ankles. The easiest lengths for women to move in are the ones that are a couple of inches below their knee, or with a few inches of ankle showing.
If a dress falls at the ankles or hits the floor, then it can be described as a maxi dress. It will generally be a dress that measures between 55 and 62 inches (140 to 160 centimeters).
There is no doubt that the longer the dress, the more movement is restricted but the more formality is increased. The mini-skirt was designed by Mary Quant in the 60s to give women greater freedoms in a period where they were increasingly being allowed more of it. Bohemian lifestyles were being followed by many. The mini-skirt is a symbol of freedom as much as it is a fashion statement and icon.
In summary, three notable styles of fashion were flares that had trousers stand out and be noticed, which were gender-neutral, skinny jeans that were almost a rebellion against trousers that were wider than they needed to be, and dresses in different lengths that gave women greater choice in terms of practicalities and expressing themselves. Today, we associate micro-minis with nightclubs, where movement is all-important, and longer dresses such as ball gowns, where formality is required, with school proms.