Hobble Skirt  - Definitions for the Clothing & Textile Industry

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A hobble skirt is a skirt with a narrow enough hem to significantly impede the wearer's stride, thus earning its name. Though restrictive skirts first appeared in Western fashion in the 1880s, the term is typically used in reference to a short-lived trend of narrow ankle-length skirts in the early 1910s, made popular by designer Paul Poiret. Poiret was inspired by Katherine Wright, sister of the Wright Brothers, who used a piece of rope to tie her skirts around her legs when flying with her brother Wilbur, in order to keep them from flapping while in flight. The original trend faded quickly due to the advent of cars - hobble skirts made it difficult to get into one, as well as the general impracticality. Hobble skirts did however catch enough attention to become one of the identifying features of the time period - for example, the shape of the classic Coca-Cola bottle is named after them.

Long tight skirts would reappear through the century in various forms among women's fashions, particularly among evening gowns, and inspire the pencil skirt, a shorter version of a hobble skirt that became popular in the 1950s (though the latter would typically feature a slit to increase the wearer's mobility).

Since at least the mid-century, hobble skirts became a mainstay in bondage-oriented fetish fashion, often made out of leather, PVC, or latex. For example, they were a regular topic in the 1950's John Willie fetish magazine, Bizarre.

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The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/hobble_skirt).  1/14/06

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