Back to all articles

The History of Miniskirts

Some ancient examples of the miniskirt appear in Egyptian frescos and on figurines, and in 1926, Josephine Baker famously wore a miniskirt made of bananas during performances of the “Folies Bergère” in Paris. However, credit for creating the miniskirt as we know it today is generally given to Mary Quant, who in 1964 designed a skirt that hit several inches above the knee and named it after her favorite car, the Mini. French designer André Courrèges also experimented with higher hemlines in the 1960s, so there is some debate over who truly deserves the credit for the creation. Interestingly, Quant contended that “the girls in the street” were the true inventors of the miniskirt. Model Jean Shrimpton caused a stir when she wore one in 1965, and Yves Saint Laurent debuted his famously short “Mondrian” dresses that same year. By 1967, girls were copying the mod style Goldie Hawn sported on “Laugh In” and the miniskirt trend was officially in full swing. The miniskirt fell out of favor in the 1970s, but Debbie Harry helped to revive it. Then in 1982, the rah-rah (or ra-ra) skirt brought short hemlines back to the fashion forefront, and skirts with short hemlines continued to be a trend well into the 1990s, with celebrities from Madonna to Julia Roberts seen wearing them. The miniskirt was also incorporated into women’s work wardrobes in the 1990s thanks to TV shows like Ally McBeal. In the 2000s, celebrities like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears continued the miniskirt trend, and in the mid-2010s, ’60s-inspired miniskirts were all over the fashion runways. While it has only been around since the 1960s, it seems that the miniskirt is here to stay!

Share this article

card showing the history of rocking chairs

Your go-to guide for weird history facts

Subscribe to the FREE daily email that makes learning about history fun.