La Mode Memoirs: The Long and Skort of It
Jul 07, 2011 - by Hannah Rothstein
She shoots, she skorts! Yes, you read that right. Were talking about skorts, an item you may remember from that far-off decade called...the 90s. If youre thinking, I dont remember the 90s. How am I supposed to know what skorts are? heres a quick explanation for you: like spork, skort is a mash up of none other than the skirt and the short. And today you'll learn where it really came from.
The lovely, pink-striped pair above, which was sold some time back on ModCloth, is an interesting variation on the usual skort, which typically features shorts covered with a front flap or complete over-skirt. Now that were clear on what a skort is, are you ready to learn about where it came from? Good, well hop on in that imaginary internet time machine, and lets get going!
The skorts long, somewhat-lost grandmother stepped her way into being back in Victorian times. Way back then, women had been encumbered with heavy, multi-layered, full-length skirts (that left little room for movement) for pretty much ever. Heck, women couldnt even ride horses in the same manner as their male counterparts; their skirts forced them to ride sidesaddle. During this era, though, the world wizened up, and skirts where divided down the middle and rechristened culottes, or split skirts. They carried on into the the early 1900s where ladies took up cycling in the same vain.
Now, re-enter the time machine of your mind and set the date for 1960...
Culottes had been around for quite some time at this point, and women were no longer content just riding horses. Rather, many a lady decided to take up golf. A forward-thinking gent named Leon Levin, who had begun manufacturing quality womenswear back in the 30s, and his designer Lulu Roody decided to capitalize upon this trend, and invented a modernized version of the split skirt that they dubbed the Q skirt. Their updated culottes left length behind, instead embracing an abbreviated cut that hid shorts beneath a colorful exterior. The creation was a hit, quickly adopted by the Ladies Professional Golf Tour, and it stuck around for quite some time by targeting the fashion-conscious, sports-playing lady, as explefied in this 1974 ad: We know how you love the active life - so weve made our cloud-nine gold clothes fresh as the wide blue yonder. These two Q-skirts are designed by Lulu Roody in ric-racd polyester with their own color-keyed tops.
Skorts eventually faded out of popularity as womens dress norms became more laxed. They saw a brief resurgence in the 90s before settling back into the embers of history, where you may now find them smoldering, waiting for someone to come along and rekindle their popularity.
Or, oh boy, has the skort already been sparked?
Photo from HipsyGypsy