Short history of the iconic mini skirt – loved by everybody from Twiggy to Kim Kardashian – The Sun

REMEMBER that little black dress that makes you feel a million ­dollars?

Or those jeans that show off your curves to perfection?

They might be perfect to you but the mini skirt has been named fashion’s most iconic statement piece of all time.

Freeing our knees for nearly 60 years, the skimpy skirt first hit the scene back in the swinging Sixties.

It has kept us on-trend for generations, explaining why it has bagged top spot in the Samsung survey.

But it is not always easy to wear.

Clemmie Fieldsend trawls the archives to reveal, decade by decade, which version best suits which body shape.

1960s: Best for athletic figures

THE Swinging Sixties saw London-based Mary Quant design a garment that would change women’s fashion for ever.

Skirts had been getting shorter since the Fifties, but when customers kept demanding higher hemlines, Mary came up with the revealing mini skirt and mini dress.


  • Denim mini skirt, £25.99 from topshop.com – buy now

She said: “They are curiously feminine, but their femininity lies in their attitude rather than their appearance.”

Sixties sirens Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy were among just a handful of the first women to own an original.

More straight and column-like for the narrower figures of the time, the androgynous style is ideal for athletic shapes now.

1970s: Best for hourglass

PRESIDENT John F Kennedy’s wife Jackie was famed for her impeccable style and signature two-piece skirt suit.

So when she took on the shorter style, her social standing and global fame introduced the skirt to a higher class of customers.


  • Blue floral skirt, £29.99 from mango.com – buy now

But it wasn’t all tweed and twinsets. This era also saw the mini on hippies as they took to festivals in short styles with bright prints and florals.

Actress Ali MacGraw gave the skirt on-screen fame with fit and flare styles when she wore a tartan number in 1970 movie Love Story.

If your figure is more hourglass, Seventies-style minis are for you.

1980s: Best for top-heavy

WITH punk fashion designers such as Vivienne Westwood still leading the way in the early Eighties, hemlines shrank even more in length.

But what they lost in height, they gained in width.


  • Ruffled skirt, £29.99 from zara.com – buy now

Rara skirts with organza or netting were key for volume – think “the bigger the better” – and style icon Madonna was at the forefront.

Blondie’s Debbie Harry made them cool for tough girls by opting for tighter styles in black or acid-wash denim.

These days, rara skirts have evolved into ruffled and frilled pieces. They are perfect if you are top heavy as they balance the fuller look.

1990s: Best for petite

THE Nineties saw Kate Moss heading a new era of models – and these “It Girls” wanted sophisticated, sexy and short hemlines.

When she first rose to fame, Kate sported mini dresses. But it wasn’t just the Supers that ­popularised the look.


  • Pink skirt, £29.99 from newlook.com – buy now

Film and TV stars had a role to play, too.

Actor Alicia Silverstone burst on to the scene in a yellow check co-ord for hit film Clueless.

Plus, Jennifer Aniston’s wardrobe in Friends was crammed with micro-minis.

For now, the look is best suited to petites as the skirts will elongate your legs with detailing like a small slit or wrap-looking ruffles.

2000s: Best for pear

A-LINE skirts had a surge in the Noughties with the likes of TV host Alexa Chung teaming embroidered styles with slogan T-shirts.

They got a little longer too, falling slightly above the knee.


  • Tan belted skirt, £19.99 from stradivarius.com – buy now

The A-line did not act alone, though. Cocoon-style skirts that created volume in the middle were also a trend, with Gwyneth Paltrow getting on board.

The trapeze shape with wide-angle bottom is ideal for skimming over hips and bums.

Look for belted styles to really cinch in and show off your waist.

2010s: Best for columns

COCOON styles slimmed down for 2010 with figure-hugging pencil skirts that show off women’s curves breaking the fashion fold.

Traditionally associated with midi lengths, the pencil got even sexier and more exciting with a shorter hemline hitting the bottom of the thigh.


  • Khaki skirt, £14 from boohoo.com – buy now

Championed by the likes of Rhianna, the thigh-hugging mini celebrated the female form.

The narrowness enhances the shape of your bum while a slightly longer length will slim the thighs.

2020: Best for apple

EVEN though we’re just a few months into a turbulent 2020, the mini skirt is stronger than ever.

Typical figures have changed significantly since the Sixties and now tend towards amazing curves.


  • Snake print skirt, £20 from prettylittlething.com – buy now

Kim Kardashian has kept her style standards high in lockdown by showing off her shape in skin-tight mini skirts.

Plus the likes of Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts have been hitting the streets in second-skin minis, too.

This style is great for apple shapes, tightly nipping you in at the waist. And by hugging your bum and hips, it will give you a more defined silhouette.

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