Rising hemlines and the biggest boom of all time?

It was just a generation ago that women fought for the right to wear pants.  Even a few years back, many companies in the US considered business formal attire for women to mean a skirt suit (i.e. a jacket and a skirt) rather than a pantsuit.  Business formal aside, many women in the older generation still don’t wear pants – they aren’t feminine, you see (the pants, I mean).

But perhaps women needn’t have bothered fighting for pants.  At the speed at which some of them are going, they have left pants far behind.   Perhaps the decline started a few years ago, when some women started wearing skorts to work (and everywhere else).  Skorts, of course, were  skirt+ shorts.   They didn’t look much like skirts in most cases; they were really a sneaky way of wearing shorts to work.  Some companies allow shorts to work too. Here in the midwest, I know at least one company which actually allows employees to wear shorts to work, no need to hide them as skorts.

Clearly, pant hemlines have been rising in the last several years.  But it looks like they may have risen even further now.

The harbinger of this trend must surely be Venus Williams’ outfit at the ongoing U.S. Open:


A pantless Venus Williams (Pic courtesy: Washington Post)

Clearly, fashion now dictates that both pants and skirts are obsolete.  All you need is a nightshirt.

You could dismiss this as a case of one sportswoman dressing badly.   Of course women aren’t all going to dress like that.   Of course this won’t be a trend.

But I got a little worried when the Wall Street Journal, published this rather interesting fashion forecast for the fall season :

Here are a few predictions, based on interviews and previews of collections I’ve had lately:

Dressy shorts, in.

Suits – blazers that can be mixed and matched separately with skirts, pants and shorts – also in.

Yes, they did say “shorts”, and just in case you have any doubts about how short those shorts are, here is the picture they printed with the article :


Fashion forecast by WSJ (Pic courtesy : WSJ/ Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2010)

Do you remember that belief about falling hemlines (longer skirts – and pants?) predicting a recession and rising hemlines (shorter skirts and pants) predicting a recovery?  Well, going by that, we must be in the biggest boom of all time, because I can’t see hemlines rising any further.

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  1. excellent observation! i was hoping you’d make the link with the economic prediction, and you did.

    the only point that you perhaps missed was that all the pictures of this new trend are taken from the front. it’s possible that photos taken from the back would indicate the true economic prognostication — i.e., a double dip.

  2. Suits – blazers that can be mixed and matched separately with skirts, pants and shorts – also in.

    Angus Young (of AC/DC) nailed that look in 1977. (OK, so he didn’t exactly wear a skirt with his blazer, but but still. Credit, due etc.)

    //It is the US “Open”. Amirite?

    • You’re right, it’s the “US” open, hence the hand-wringing over Venus’s nightshirt. The French probably wouldn’t bother, as long as the nightshirt is well tailored. And the English wouldn’t care as long as the nightshirt is white. What would the Aussies do, I wonder?

      Also, did take a look at Angus Young’s pictures – hilarious. Pale, skinny legs are the perfect combination with a jacket and tie :D

  3. To be honest and fair, I am quite enjoying this fashion statement from women. The less they dress, The more it gets interesting, isn’t it ? Cheers

    • I’ve always wondered if the fashion industry even knows that we (non size zero women) exist. Or perhaps it thinks that all women aspire to be size zero or if possible, even more skeletal.

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