A skirt is a traditionally
feminine tube- or cone-shaped
which is worn from the waist and covers
the legs. Unlike
not divided. The hemline can be as high
as the upper thigh or as low as the ground.
At its simplest, a skirt can be a
made out of a single piece of material,
but most skirts are tailored, with gores,
pleats, or panels, of light to mid-weight
fabrics, such as
worsted, or poplin.
Some medieval upper-class
women wore skirts over 3 metres in diameter
at the bottom. At the other extreme, the
of the 1960s were minimal garments that
might not even cover the groin and buttocks
A dress or frock
is a garment consisting of a skirt with
a bodice attached.
Skirts and dresses of thin or clingy
fabrics are worn with
make the material of the skirt drape better.
In Europe and America skirts and dresses
can be worn by females of all ages when
they are not wearing
A skirt may be worn as part of a
or dresses are the garments of choice for
many women in formal situations, such as
weddings and geopolitical summits. In cold
climates, girls and women may wear pants
for warmth, with dresses on top to mark
their femininity. In traditional societies,
such as in many countries in Africa, Latin
America and the Middle East, it is considered
inappropriate for girls and women to wear
pants rather than a skirt or dress.
A disadvantage of skirts and dresses
that contributes to many girls and women
preferring pants is that they may be either
too tight and therefore limit freedom of
movement such as when climbing ladders,
or too wide, in which case one, because
of modesty, may feel the need to take the
trouble to avoid exposing underwear or "too
much leg" during daily activities or
when there is a strong wind. There is also
a large social predjudice against those
who choose to adhere to traditional female
gender roles (sometimes termed being a "girly
girl") and wear dresses and skirts,
particularly amongst younger women, with
many young girls and women feeling that
they shouldn't wear them at all, despite
feminism not being about the choices made
but the freedom to make that choice.
Skirts and dresses however can be cooler
and less confining than many pants styles,
and they are more practical for relieving
oneself in remote outdoor areas. Dresses
are still very popular for special occasions
such as Proms or weddings.
taboo against the wearing of skirts
and dresses by men in the Western world
is one of the strongest clothing gender
roles and is virtually never violated. In
some places men may wear what are de facto
skirts or dresses, though they are not usually
so defined. Examples of this include the
Scotland (now usually worn only in ceremonial
of formal occasions), and skirts for men
as part of 1990s
and of some counter-cultures or youth style
fashions (e.g. gay culture, techno music).
is worn commonly by men and women in some
parts of the tropics.
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