Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Midi Controversy

The midi is a skirt just below the knee or mid-calf. It became popular in the 1940s where women achieved lasting elegance with their style and wartime fashion was a challenge. In the 1950s the poodle skirt gave women a twirl and a wide swing. The 1960's reveled more leg and gave women the mini skirt and fashion freedom.  

Midi skirts from the 1940s:

1940s Utility Clothes
1947 New Look
The midi skirt was reintroduced in the 1970s. Its attempt to be the next mini skirt drew some controversy. Apparently, John Burr Fairchild, editor of Women's Wear Daily, wasn't a fan of the mini skirt and was the spark that started the fire. Designers, manufactures, and department stores pushed for the reoccurring trend but women (and men) were not happy about it. The freedom of the mini skirt from the1960s was too good to let go of and women vowed to never give it up. Protest were arranged, petitions were signed and boycotts were formed.

Farewell to knees and maybe even calves if the anti-mini forces have their way,” warned Life magazine in 1970.

When Barbra Walters (right) was a Today Show host, she advocated for the midi.
Stop the Midi button from 1970. 

Protesters with their signs:

"Minis are the truth"
"You can take a maxi up but can't let a mini down"
"Men sex things our way"
"Up Women's Wear Daily"


If anything the outrage of this new trend promoted women to not follow fashion trends and fashion dictated by the fashion industry. It encouraged personal choice in fashion and gave women the freedom like the mini skirt of the 1960s. The midi of the 1970s may have been a big flop but in 2012, it's being worn by many fashionistas... with no protest.


Judith Viorst, a children's book author, wrote a poem in 1974 that was published in the New York Times about the way many felt about this fashion fiasco.

“…And Mrs. Viorst Wore Her Skin,”
I’ve always been willing to follow the dictates of fashion,
Whatever it’s told me to do I have gladly obeyed.
I’ve been, in my bangles and scarves, a Sant’Angelo gypsy.
I’ve been, in my feathers and headbands, an Indian maid.
I’ve put on bleached jeans and no bra when they said go be groovy.
I’ve put on a shift by Courrèges when they said go be staid.
but now fashion says I can be anything that I choose to.
And that is the kind of decision I’m simply not used to.
I’ve played some strange roles in response to the dictates of fashion.
I once was a black-vinyl sadist in zippers and boots.
I once was a gaucho with wide gaucho pants and sombrero.
And not only Bonnie buy Clyde in my striped gangster suits.
I’ve also been Alice in Wonderland, ruffled and lacy,
As well as Miss Carmen Miranda in wedgies and fruits.
But fashion, this season, has left me to my own devices.
And all of a sudden I’ve got an identity crisis.
I’ve minied and midied and maxied. I’ve even worn hot pants.
(With inner-thigh fat and no calves that took plenty of gall.)
But each of these styles has supplied me with self-definition,
And that is the reason I’ve never objected at all
To being a World War II prom queen in platforms and chubbies,
A worker for Mao, and a Belle Epoque belle of the ball.
But now fashion says I can wear what I want. I can’t take it.
And till I receive new instructions I’m staying bare naked.
What do you think about the midi skirt? What are your thought on the 1970 controversy? Are you team mini or team midi? Let us know in the comments!
XO Wil Harris 


  1. I just love fashion anywhere from the 20's-60's, after that I feel like fashion went sour...lol. Thank god Vintage is coming back, there was a certain elegance to those skirts/outfits back then...

    1. Us too, especially the lady like and sophisticated styles!

  2. This is such a faltering cut for skirts, these are all such beautiful pictures :D


  3. I like a lot all the old pics you found! nice recap!

  4. who knew? I personally favor the midi over a mini, but after working in such a stuffy office I've become overly modest when in comes to my normal life clothing. Slash, I just don't buy anything I can't wear to the office anymore. I have a problem.

    1. Right, us too! You don't have a problem at all, we saw your cute costume from Saturday! ;)

  5. Great post :) Have a nice day! :)


  6. "Save the mini" haha. Great post as usual!


  7. That is so interesting! I had no idea there was such hype about it... I love both!


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Have a fashionable day!
XO Wil Harris