Thursday 7 October 2010

R.D.Blumenfeld on Skirts

October 7th, 1900

Mrs. Williamson, who edits the Onlooker, a society gossip paper, had all the women in the Row staring at her. She had some sort of contraption hooked to her skirt to hold it up, thus freeing her hands. She explained that the necessity for holding up the present-day long skirts affected the wrist. " I know many women," she said, " who suffer from 'skirt wrist.' "

October 14th, 1900

The fashion writers in the office are agitated about the suggestion that women's skirts should be shorter. They have gone about interviewing the managers of the great shops, and they are all against it. I have received a note from Paquin on this subject to the effect that short skirts are "ungraceful and unbecoming, and so distinctly inconvenient." He says that the skirt two inches off the ground is all right for dry weather, as it leaves both hands free, but not so in muddy weather. Dare to leave it alone and it hangs full and heavy at the back, gathers in all the rain and mud, sweeping wet and uncomfortable round the ankles. Attempt to hold it up and it is too short to reach with any comfort, and becomes most tiring with the twist and drag of it, whereas a really long skirt is lightly thrown over the wrist or arm, and gives no further trouble. The short skirt, to be safely left alone in muddy weather, says this fashion dictator, needs to be at least six inches off the ground ; and who dares to wear it!

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