Why did women stop wearing long skirts?

I was looking at images of women's clothing through the centuries and I noticed how it wasn't really until the 70s that pants came into fashion for women. And why do women nowadays wear less and less? (I am NOT saying it is a bad thing or a good thing, I geniuinly would like to know the answer).

I know through the times women were reserved because they had to dress a certain way because of cultural norms. But isn't that true today as well? Women dress the way they do because of cultural norms?

I am curious because I don't understand where the trend of tight clothes and short skirts/shorts came in and why they did. It was introduced in the 70s but its changed a lot since then and I am not sure why.

Why did women stop wearing long skirts?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • the so called "sexual revolution" occured. Les emphasis on relationships/long term fideltiy more emphasis on flings/short term relationships. So the more skin a woman shows the more it emphasises her sex appeal rather then more modest clothing which emphasises everything but her short term sex appeal. It would also explain why mens dress hasn't really changed (relatively speaking) while womans clothing has radicly changed. Also the emphasis on women taking on masculin roles while discarding her old feminine roles is why the shift to a more masculine style of dress like suit pants and such, at least when she is not emphasising her sex appeal.

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    • Great point. Makes sense. Everything is being sexualized and people are calling it "sexual liberation". Its not the same thing. Tbh, I dont even know what sexual liberation could mean.

    • Long story short, and it might not be what you want to hear but feminist as a group wanted power, in second wave feminism they had started to loose power with their orginizations so in order to gain more they had to have something to fight hence women being "oppressed". By saying that womens sexuality is being suppressed by men they gave woman an enemy in men, an ally in feminism and a cause to fight for. Everybody likes sex so the idea that they could have more of it consequence free meant they no longer had to restrain themselves they could give in to any urge without consequence (its not unlike politicians who are constantly promising to fix your problems for you, its what you want to hear so you believe it). This gave those feminist groups power and money but it actually gave women as a whole less power as they lost thier bargaining chip (I reffered to it as similar to an oligopoly in another comment on here) so then it degraded from there.

    • In short, their is no such thing as liberation of sexuality as it has always been in the womans power to choose whether or not to have sex (one of the reasons prostitution is the oldest proffession). Its a lie basicly just as politicians will claim that their way is the right way and your way of life will be destroyed if you don't listen to them sexual liberation was the feminist version of that.

Most Helpful Girl

  • www.hollywoodchaos.com/.../...-full-view-img-1.jpg
    I've always thought that was more what the fashion is nowadays...
    Not jeans and a conservative shirt like pictured.

    More like short shorts with booty hanging out, and revealing shirts with boobs hanging out. That's what I see everywhere I go. I wish that society dressed like the people in the 2010's on this picture... lol

    Anyways, it's because women have shed their womanly gender roles and can wear pants. If they had been able to wear pants all those years ago, I bet they would have, too. They are simply 100% comfier. I can't imagine how uncomfortable those women must have been... especially with having to wear corsets all the time (proven to ruin your body).

    Now for shorts and skirts... I don't understand how that happened either. Perhaps feminists trying to make people less sensitive to showing skin? Maybe as a point that they can? Maybe because the weather is "hot" (even when it is, I still wear jeans or capris or appropriate length shorts and a normal shirt)? Maybe to continue showing that women don't have to be "proper" like in the old days? Maybe because they just like that style? Maybe to attract men?

    I sometimes wonder if it's seriously just for the last reason. Courting was different back in the day, and casual sex wasn't as prominent and it was certainly frowned upon. And now women feel like they have to "stand out" and show off their body to attract men.

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    • Women chose to wear corsets, and the wrong way on top of that. It was never forced and in fact was meant to function as a bra yet women realizing that if they made the corset ridicioulusly tight they could creat an hour glass figure and so that is what they did. Its also to blame for the women fainting motif as it restricted breathing causing them to hyperventilate whith even the slightest exertion. As for women "feeling" like they have to stand out to attract men, that is part of the reason why women dressed conservatively. It was to ensure that men would focus on them and dedicate their time and energy on them, upon the sexual revolution women where giving away sex for free for the first time which meant men no longer had to spend years in courting a woman in the hopes of sex but could get it near immediatley, this meant that women who did not wish to give it away where forced to compromise as the man would simply go elswhere for it.

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    • actually had to devalue themselves since now men no longer had to dedicate anything to get sex so it was kind of like a oligopoly (its where a few companies have all the power but because they are so evenly matched that they are at a stale mate since if they raise their prices and their competitors dont then they will lose power and if they lower thier price in order to gain more money all companies are forced to lower their prices short changing all of them) where once a sizeable group of women lowered their standards of sex all other women where forced to follow suit in order to keep up. The irony is the restraint on sex is the very foundation of society since prior to monogamy men rarely reproduced (only about 40% compared to 80% of women) this meant that those men began to either become combative in order to gain a mate by fighting established powers or they disengaged from the society having no reason to invest in a future that had no bearing on them, since they had no children.

    • So with the creation of monogamy what happend was that those women who where sharing the few powerful/wealthy men where now having a stable mate, that is they did not have to worry about being cast out when a younger woman came by or when they became to old to bear children (sound a bit familiar?) For the men they had the right to reproduce and having done so where more invested in the society they now had a reason to care about the future and thus be a productive member of society. So the man had some one to provide for thus pushing production and the woman had some one who was dedicated to her so she got protection and cared for even if she got older even if a more attractive woman came by she wouldn't simply be abandoned. Every body won. Now without these mechanism the foundation of our society is starting to decay. Who knows whats going to happen, but so far as I can tell nobody seems particularly happy, women or men.

What Guys Said 9

  • Pretty much all cultural norms, including dress, were thrown out the window during the 60s and 70s. There were far more important things like war and civil rights going on. Norms about trivial things like dress were rejected as unimportant by comparison. The 60s and 70s were basically a great big fuck you to norms of the past. Pretty much everything from the past was rejected, even the music.

    Also, women did wear pants before that, but mainly it was only causal dress at home. Anything even remotely non-casual required a dress (with a few exceptions). In my school, it wasn't until the 1970-71 school year that girls were first allowed to wear pants to school. It was the same time that guys could have hair longer than their collar, wear open toed shoes, wear pull over shirts, etc. That all happened at once. In other places it happened at different times, but it mostly happened within a few years of that everywhere.

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  • w/o much knowledge, i'd attribute liberation of women as the most influential factor.

    also to add a interesting bit to your question:

    this style of bike was produced to accommodate skirted women mounting and dismounting a bike:

    cdn.shopify.com/.../...aec8-5c4ec9f2ea0b_large.jpg

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  • Mini skirts came in in the 60's I believe.
    A lot of the seeds were planted in the late 50's and then the 60's were a time of conflict and experimentation and a sort of rebellion against conservatism and the 70's solidified that and kept it going even more.
    Most of this was brought on by music and the rise of pop culture. People were seeing their music idols on TV as well as on the radio and fashions were influenced. Television becoming more mainstream in general also fueled the changes.
    War in Vietnam etc was a big thing which also turned young people against conservatism and caused them to rebell. There's documentaries about this shit.

    It was also work and school uniforms in those days for girls to wear long skirts. If they were too short, boys would be able to see the girl's underwear in the reflection of their shiny shoes.
    So women wanted to leave the long skirts at home when they weren't working and be free spirits when they went out because that's what everyone else was doing.

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  • Changing trend of the society I guess.

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  • Those are skirts.. there dresses. As for skirts... Peer pressure, and from designers.

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  • For the younger, wear short maybe it represent confidence, displaying , attracting. it's particular, privilege for youth..
    after 35 years old, even if you want, you already lose that confidence to wear it

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  • Because men love to see their legs

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  • Climate change

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  • This may upset some people, but women at some point decided to start dressing and acting like men. It is as if they think anything feminine is a sign of weakness. After all if a man wears a skirt he would be mocked, and in our age of believing in gender neutrality that seems to extend to their ideas about women wearing skirts. Now the women that wear them are often mocked by other women behind their backs. There are even some high class restaurants that come under fire for enforcing gender specific dress codes. This mindset has set the stage for any woman following fashion trends to automatically adopt these clothing choices as well.

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    • I wonder why women felt the need to do that though? Was it supposed to be symbolic and then people changed it to a trend? Because wearing pants is not really a huge deal when you have unequal pay.

    • I think in many ways it was symbolic. There is that saying about the person wearing the pants in the family being the one in charge after all.

What Girls Said 8

  • Well... why not? I can't imagine long skirts being particularly comfortable, for one. Especially back in the day when you had to wear a slip and/or corset even earlier underneath longer dresses and skirts. Long skirts are not particularly practical either. Pretty limiting in terms of activities you can do while wearing them, not very practical if you're planning to be out and about much of the day, be it at work or at school.

    As women became more sexually liberated and just liberated overall, they kind of embraced their bodies too. We no longer feel the need to have to hide our bodies for the well-being of men and such. Symbolizing our absolute monogamy towards whoever we're with at the time. Which is more towards people who claim women should remain entirely covered when out in public so that nobody but their s/o can look at their body?
    No. We are not the property of men, whether we're involved with them or not. It's our own body, we'll do as we please with it.

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    • Corsetts where a choice they where not made to wear them anymore then a man was made to wear a hat. Women chose to wear them, originally for supporting her breasts (it was the precursor to the bra) but then upon finding that if they tightened it they could accent their figure it became used for that purpose. Women chose to cover up, not men. Its funny how society claims men only think about sex while simultaneously claiming that it was men who tried to stop women from having it. In fact it was other women because if a man could have sex easily he wouldn't invest in the woman hence the issue today of women essentially having to give up sex readily in order to maintain or start a relationship as the man can simply go elswhere. Women where actually freer then women and if it was so confining why has male dress always and currently cover more of them then female garments? In fact one could argue that men have always been the property of women, if you look at what was actually expected.

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    • Well, they did make that choice thats not really something that is debatable. It wasn't men who shamed women just as we can tell currently at the zeal at which men excepted female sexual "liberation". They where now no longer forced to court a woman for years at the hope of getting sex but could very easily acquire it, near instantly in fact. Further more men where also shamed for their sexuality, frequently. It was not as if men where allowed to function at will, they in fact where more restricted then women in their behavior. Also how would you know if thier uncomfortable? Why do men where suits seeing as they are far more conservative then anything women where (through out history in fact men where more layered and conservative with dress then women as that chart shows). Are you deslusional? To think that women had no power despite being half the population? Despite raising their sons to think a certain way, despite having greater power of mate selection?

    • @hellionthesage hahahahaahh. Men shamed for their sexuality? Right. Alrighty then.
      Women were and still are shamed for having a sexuality, don't even try to tell me otherwise. Or are you still in denial of how many men, cultures/religions shame a woman for not essentially showing any skin because heaven forbid the eyes of men other than her husband catch a sliver of her ankle or neck?

  • Fabric was rationed during and after WWI and WWII so skirts had to become narrower and shorter. During the wars women also started working. They couldn't do what they needed to in skirts so pants became acceptable. After getting used to more "permissive" styles women weren't keen on going back to restrictive skirts.

    Active lifestyles and sports also become popular with the upper class. It's also the same reason tans became popular.

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  • trends keep on changing... and also i guess its due to global warming

    understandingagw.org/.../...rming-clothes-line.jpg

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  • Cause it's less comfy.

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  • I think those long skirts were heavy and pretty hard to walk around in. The woman would have to pick up the hem of the dresd when she climbed the stairs and all kinds of hassles we probably take for granted now.

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  • Fashion is always changing alongside culture

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  • i don't know but i wish it hadn't happent.

    i'm pro-skirt.

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  • Working

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