Probably the most versatile of skirts, the vintage midi skirt has a history just as intriguing as that of the mini. Entering the scene in the 1920s, the dance-friendly midi skirt frequented the new, decadent post-war party scene with a little help from designers like Coco Chanel and Jean Patou. In the 1940s and 1950s, the more formal tea-length midi skirt and the pencil skirt became popular, reflecting times of hardship and modesty. Fast forward a couple of decades and influential WWD editor John Fairchild declared 1970 “the year of the midi”, in an attempt to ban the “immoral and unladylike” mini skirt. Much to the customers despair, the fashion world obeyed and designers sketched skirts with hemlines of more “respectable” lengths. As women loved their newly found freedom with the mini and weren’t happy with being told what’s appropriate to wear, the “war of the hemline” began. In the 1990s the below-the-knee skirt made a brief return with the classic 1990s slip dress, and in later years the midi has gained a more lasting momentum in more imaginative styles.
OfV says: Looking beyond the ladylike 1950s New Look A-line skirt, the vintage midi skirt is a versatile wardrobe must-have catering for formal events and leisured days alike. A one-coloured pleated midi skirt lends a dressy element to a leisured t-shirt; a figure-hugging pencil skirt is the hero piece of power dressing; and a floral midi skirt is a recurring essential for summer. At Open for Vintage, we host decade-defining pieces and rare vintage finds from some of the most prominent designers in history. Consider a 1980s Celine knife pleat belted skirt to smarten up your everyday office attire; a 1970s Yves Saint Laurent evening ensemble with a statement skirt in metallic silk for an eye-catching party look; or a vintage 1950s hand-painted Mexican souvenir skirt adding a retro spin to your vacation wardrobe. Couple your favourite vintage midi skirt with an oversized shirt (tucked in on just one side) and slides for a contemporary fashion feel. Uncover enduring trends; retro prints, patterns and silhouettes; and ground-breaking conceptual cuts and volumes in our vintage midi skirts edit below.
A spectacular Nina Ricci evening skirt from the 1970s. The fabric is really unique and utterly divine - a fine black silk chiffon, flocked with the softest velvet and shot with metallic gold and silver lurex threads, forming a large-scale floral pattern in brilliant colours.