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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Analysing the Maxi Skirt


Midi skirt popular in the 1950's vs. maxi skirt popular in the 1960's/70's and again today.  Which is more elegant?
 
"It is often said almost with passive resignation that fashions reflect the customs of a people.  But it would be more exact and much more useful to say that they express the decision and moral direction that a nation intends to take: either be shipwrecked in licentiousness or maintain itself at the level to which it has been raised by religion and civilization." Pius XII, 1957
 
 
I have hesitated for a long time to publish this article on the maxi skirt.  This is mostly due to the torrents of articles out there from other Catholic women bloggers praising them for combining "modest" and "trendy"...

That right there should be a major warning sign.

I have worn maxi skirts and dresses a few times since they became popular a couple of years ago.  (There are some pretty ones, exceptions to what I am going to analyze below.)  I just never have been able to love them!  This could in part be due to the fact that they don't look great on me, but I suspect a deeper reason.  There is something I do not like about maxi skirts and I think it is something idealistic.

Just because a fashion is trending does not make it bad.  But because we live in a fashion world that is far advanced in the Revolution, it almost does.  So the fact that maxi skirts and maxi dresses are trendy does make them very suspicious.

Here are just a few reasons to justify this suspicion:

-The maxi skirt has little or no form, dismissing that gentle structure that is always present in a skirt with elegance; think of the delicate pleating found in the waistline of a civil war era dress.  The maxi dress is slinky and often falls so long as to hide the feet which actually draws more attention to them in a sort of tribal, mid-eastern way, far more than former Christian fashions ever did.

-Often, instead of being more modest as you would expect, maxi skirts are less modest since they are clingy, usually made of cheap knit or polyester material, and thus end up showing the form more than a shorter skirt of stiffer material and more structured form would.

-Maxi dresses usually have very low necklines and are sleeveless.  Skirts are generally paired with tanks or tight shirts in order to avoid an overly flowy look.  These facts can be discerned just by looking at pictures in catalogs online or in the stores that advertise the maxi skirt look.  They are very popular for beaches and in other casual, risqué settings, often paired with other immodest clothing pieces.

-The maxi skirt was first introduced back in the 1960's and 70's in loud floral prints, hippy style, and it is interesting that it represented that era of Revolutionary social equality.  Today the women who are most fond of the fashion seem to be the same type, gravitating toward an ideal of loose morals and casual relationships.

This is all a very general analysis of the maxi skirt trend in relation to The Catholic Lady.  I really want to know what you think.  Please share your comments below!

13 comments:

  1. I could not agree with you more! It is nice that the fabric covers the legs, but like you said, in most cases, it is clingy. The fabric choices available undercut the essence of modesty which is aimed at not drawing immediate attention to one's self. Although I have seen a small number "maxi" length skirts that are modest in all respects, I agree that the ones currently popularly seen in the trendier stores and made of clingy, neon-colored, or bold geometric patterned material, are just impostor clothing and are not feminine or modest in my opinion. Perhaps it is a step in the right direction if a lady had been wearing "daisy dukes" through the summer, but to be honest they aren't that much better in my opinion either.

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  3. I agree with you on this. I have three teenaged daughters so I am very cognizant of how they appear in regards to modesty. It is such an uphill battle! My 17 year old recently went to a week long event where the girls had to wear skirts or dresses. She had my older daughter buy her a maxi skirt and it turned out to beone of those slinky, clingy skirts. I was quite shocked at how immodest it was. I purchased her two modest eShakti dresses which far outshine and outclass that bit of fluff. I own two maxi dresses myself but they are loose and not clingy at all though I do have to wear a top with then since they are halter dresses.

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    1. I must say I just discovered eShakti today, and immediately marked it as a favorite. Their clothes are so cute, and I love that you can customize many of the styles to make them more modest (longer length, sleeves, etc.)!

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  4. I also completely agree. There is really nothing modest about most maxi skirts or dresses these days. I own one maxi skirt that is made of the clingy fabric, but I purchased it in a size larger than usual so that it doesn't cling too much, and I also only wear long blouses or tunics over it. I have always thought if it isn't something I would wear into church, I shouldn't wear it!

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  5. I have generally avoided maxi skirts because, as you noted, they tend to be quite long, and as I am short by fashion standards (since when were we all supposed to be 5'7", by the way?), the skirt would just drag on the ground-- ugly, inelegant, and, in wet weather, uncomfortable. Having said that, even were the length not a problem, I probably would avoid maxi skirt anyway due to the way they cling, especially around the mid section.

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  6. Although its true that some maxi skirts are clingy and hug to the shape of your body, some are not. In fact, I find some are a great addition to a modest closet! I don't wear them very often because they are usually too short for me (5'8" and still growing!) The ones I do own are very practical, feminine, and great for a more casual look. I think maxi skirts are simply something you must use discernment with much like everything else. When they are clingy, they obviously are immodest, but when properly fitted, they are a great piece to have.

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    1. Thank you for your input! I do agree there are pretty ones out there!

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  7. Many of the Maxi things I have seen are very transparent. The lining is so short as to render the skirt immodest. Just something I noticed.

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  8. I remember when maxi dresses started to come out a few years ago. At first I got excited to see so many dresses with long hemlines in the stores. But I quickly realized that virtually all of them had *very* immodest necklines. Also, as a commenter above noted, they tend to be neon colors or geometric prints - not pretty, in my opinion. I might consider a maxi skirt, if I found a nice one, but so far I haven't seen one worth the money.

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  9. I think it depends: I agree that some maxi skirts and maxi dresses are immodest, as the majority of dresses in stores but with a little bit of research I found pretty ones. I have noticed that every time the fashion world proposes a modest item, like maxi or midi skirts, it also finds a way to make it immodest, like wearing midi skirts with crop tops, maxi skirts with shorter lining and so on.

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  10. I totally agree that you need to be careful in choosing your long skirt. There are some suitable ones out there. Sometimes it's just a question of sewing up a side slit. I would also point out that skirts are very easy to make yourself, much more so than a dress.

    Another point about skirts: it's so important (if one wants to look elegant) to look at the outline overall and the length of the skirt, along with the shoes. I find it helps to start by thinking of a long dress with a high neck and long sleeves, then thinking of how I would change it. I think if one is new to longer lengths, it is easy to forget to look at the overall impression. For instance, a shorter length generally needs some kind of nipping in at the waist. However, as you so rightly say, it's so worth the effort!

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