The History of Skirts and Skorts: When, Where, Why and How

The History of Skirts and Skorts: When, Where, Why and How

Who invented skirts, and how did they transform to be the versatile style option they are today? Read on to learn more about the history of skirts and skorts!
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Crystal standing in a courtyard wearing an Anthony's Resort Wear top and white skort.


Skirts have been a style staple that have withstood the test of time. But who invented skirts? As far back as 3900 BC, women were wearing straw-woven skirts as the go-to bottom option for their ensembles. 

Even when we think back to ancient Egypt, men wrapped loincloth garments called shendyt around their waists similar to skirts. The versatility and convenience made waves in the early years of skirts, and only continued to get better as designers incorporated comfort as well as colors, patterns and other length and style preferences into the mix. 

The transformation of the modern skirt is fascinating, considering the types and styles you can find on a shopping trip today! From maxi skirts and minis to skorts and midis, there are so many different options to explore, try on, and wear for a night out on the town with friends, or relaxing at the resort with your significant other. 

Watching skirts transform throughout history has made this trend worth following. Here’s a brief look at the evolution of skirts and how they’ve come to be the comfortable go-to for fashionistas around the globe:  


The 19th Century

In the 1800s, women were expected to achieve a look that was desirable to the male-dominated society that they were a part of. They wore long, bell-shaped skirts with tight corsets underneath to display the illusion of a tight waist and slim figure. This look was known to be highly uncomfortable and prohibitive, but it was the look that men expected.


The 20th Century

Fast forward to the 20th century and women’s clothing began to get less restrictive. After World War I, skirts began to sit lower at the waist and were shorter in length. Women who wore skirts right below the knee were often considered progressive in 1920s women’s fashion - style icons like designer Coco Chanel spearheaded the look with little black dresses, skirts, and so much more.  

She wanted to create fashion with comfort in mind, and many women followed the trend. Soon we’d see more soft fabrics like silk, and more embellishments like beads, sequins, rhinestones and other small but impactful details that gave women more confidence in creative style. 

The 1930s encouraged more natural waistlines and length to create a casual look. But post World War II in the 40s and 50s made it difficult to get their hands on skirts of their style preference - the government had restrictions on fashion production and purchasing. Instead, it was a turning point for women to wear more masculine clothing. At this time, trousers, shirts and jackets were more popular than ever. 

Fast forward to the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and women found freedom of expression again. Youthfulness, simplicity and individuality inspired designers to create pleated skirts, shorter styles and everything in between. Creating an empowered look in this revolutionary era became simple with skirts. 

 Camille leaning against a wall wearing a pink Escape by Habitat top and a white skort.

The 21st Century 

When we consider skirts in the 21st century, they’re more contemporary than ever. From vintage flowy skirts to modern day designer pencil skirts, there are unlimited possibilities and boundaries for skirts. 

Even the skort played a major role in shaping women’s fashion trends and comfort preferences. But who invented the skort, and why did this option that resembles a skirt so closely come about? 

The first skort dates back to the 1890s, mostly meant for women who wanted comfort and security while biking. But its popularity rose in the late 90s and early 2000s. Tennis players began wearing skorts and tennis skirts, and it continues to act as a feminine yet sporty style option.

“A skort is an interesting piece today because it blurs the line between what’s comfortable and what’s appropriate,” Deidre Clemente, a fashion historian and associate professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas shared with Refinery 29.  “I think there is more control now for women to play between those lines.”

Today, finding a skirt that’s equal parts comfortable, stylish and complementary to your figure is simple! You don’t have to resort to wearing pants if miniskirts are not your style - there are many different ways to wear a skirt at a length that makes you feel great about the skin you’re in. 


Shop Anthony’s Skirt Collection

While today’s fashion designers continue to take inspiration from the early age of skirts and dresses, they’ve modernized the garment to be even more comfortable, versatile and stylish than ever. At Anthony’s, we have a variety of shorts, skirts, and skorts for everyday activity. 

From Bermuda shorts and flowing floor-length maxi skirts, to cute stretch scallop shorts and wrap around skorts, we have an option that can fit your taste.

Shop at Anthony's now to find the perfect skort or skirt for you!

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