Skirt (clothing)

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The skirt (from Old High German / Middle High German: roc (h) Gespinst, from ruc spinnen) describes different forms of both historical and modern clothing.


Late medieval clothing (from Parzival manuscript, around 1440)
Scotsman with full plaid over the left shoulder

In Germanic times and in the Middle Ages , the skirt was an upper garment with sleeves worn by both sexes, especially in the poor classes (for women up to ankle length, for men up to knee length). He repeatedly experienced changes, especially in length , width and girdle . From the 14th century, a development of jacket-like outerwear for men began.

By dividing the dress into two parts, the top and the skirt, which were initially sewn together, the skirt emerged from the 15th century onwards as a separate piece of clothing for women, covering the body with a single tube from the waist down, enclosing both from the waist down Legs at the same time, while the pants surround each leg individually. Compared to trousers, this shape sometimes offers a little less freedom of movement, but more ventilation of the legs.

In this sense, the term skirt is understood today in Germany and Austria, while the half-skirt is called jupe in Switzerland, while in Switzerland skirt is understood to mean a dress . In women's tailoring, the lower part of a dress is called a skirt from the waist down.

The men's skirt is an item of clothing worn by men; In terms of cut, it is differentiated from a jacket or a jacket in that the top and lap are cut separately and connected by a waist seam.

For various reasons, in parts of Europe since the end of the Middle Ages, the custom that only women wear skirts, while trousers became men's trousers. Men's skirts are only worn in rare fashionable exceptions.

For reasons of tradition, men in England and Scotland wore and still wear a special form of wraparound skirt : the kilt or tartan skirt shows in its special fabric pattern the respective clan to which the wearer belongs. Variations of a general kind have established these fabric patterns in many countries and are also called tartan checks.

In Greece and Albania is Männerrock still worn. The fustanella is traditionally made of cotton . In Southeast Asia there are also men's skirts, which are known as sarong , pareo , longyi or lava-lava depending on the region . The former name is also used for the kikoi in East Africa.

Skirts in women's fashion

Heinrich Zille : Woman, gathering her skirt

The skirt worn by women in the western world is extremely variable in shape, type, color and length and is extremely fashion-dependent.

Until the 1960s, the skirt or dress was the usual clothing for women, and trousers were generally only intended for use, e.g. B. worn during sports. With the advent of the miniskirt, many women switched to pants, and as the skirts got longer again, pants, as well as skirts, became established women's clothing. Since the end of the 20th century, trousers have predominantly been worn instead of skirts in the cooler seasons , but skirts of any length are still popular in summer because they are more airy than trousers.

Forms of women's skirt

Skirts are usually classified according to their length first. One distinguishes between

  • Mini skirt that ends somewhere between the buttocks and knees (but mostly in the middle of the thighs),
  • Midi skirt that still covers the knees and
  • Maxi skirt that goes down to the ankles .

There are also numerous special forms and types of women's skirts:

  • The pencil skirt has a classically narrow straight shape and is adapted to the figure with darts.
  • The panel skirt is usually cut from four, six or eight conical panels and is therefore narrow around the waist and wider at the bottom.
  • The pleated skirt has regular sewn or ironed folds in the waistband. A distinction is made between the normal pleated skirt with folds on one side, box folds or pinch folds and pleated folds . The classic pleated skirt is used in a short form as a competitive sports dress, or in rock 'n' roll , figure skating , formation dancing and square dance .
  • The bell -shaped skirt is cut in the shape of a bell , it fits tightly at the waist and hips and becomes wider and wider over the thighs, with the increase in width decreasing again towards the hem.
  • The circle skirt is made of a circular piece of fabric and is very wide at the bottom.
  • The tulip skirt sits on the waist, goes wide apart at the hips and mostly comes together again at the thigh.
  • The hobble skirt was developed by Paul Poiret in 1910 . This was an ankle-length skirt that was tightly gathered at the hem by a fur trim or yoke.
  • The balloon skirt is a women's skirt in which the fabric cover of the hem is pulled together slightly, for example by a lining sewn all around the hem with a small hem width.
  • The Stufenrock consists of multiple horizontal panels, each eingekräuselt above. Often the steps are decorated with ruffles or lace.
  • The godet skirt has wedge-shaped pieces of fabric (“godets”) inserted in the lower part and correspondingly cut strips that widen downwards so that the skirt is narrow at the top and only wrinkles in the lower third.
  • The culottes are actually pants that are cut so wide that they give a skirt-like silhouette.
  • The skirt shorts are actually also pants, but mostly in the front with a kind of loincloth or in the style of a pleated skirt that hides the space between the legs.
  • The wrap skirt is a wrap robe made of a simple piece of fabric, the edges of which are strongly covered and which is only closed at the top.

Skirts in men's fashion

Frock coat (France, approx. 1816–1820)

The term rock ( men's skirt ) for a men's jacket is not arbitrary. The difference lies in the cutting. While jacket , sports jackets , jackets are cut, etc. through, skirts consist of two clearly distinct elements, the upper part (Leibrock) and the laps , which are connected by a waist seam. Continuous coats were already common in antiquity, but these were only partially constructed, the majority were more like cloaks.

The vests of the late Middle Ages developed further into the Justaucorps of the Baroque and Rococo , which were more draped than constructed in terms of their construction and took the necessary range of motion from ample folds. With the development of tailoring systems and the associated possibility of working precisely, the wrinkles in men's clothing disappeared in the 19th century. Have been developed for men new rock forms, including the tails , first the buttoned Biedermeier tails , giving the still worn tails as formal dress developed, which alone due to its exact fit could be worn without over- and underlay got along and closure. Since the tailcoat made the highest demands on the tailor's art , the intended effect depended solely on the tailor. Inaccurately fitting tailcoats look more ridiculous than elegant, which is why tailcoats became more and more out of use with the disappearance of the tailoring trade.

The frock coat is still known today , a skirt with knee-length laps, which came up for "upper class" after the Biedermeier tailcoat and was initially considered to be lively and youthful, but ultimately, until around the Second World War , only a curiosity of old men as a roast skirt or funeral skirt was.

Between the Napoleonic Wars and the First World War , the development of uniforms followed , at least in terms of construction, civilian clothing. For the uniform coat with relatively short tails that followed the frock coat, the name weapon coat was used , which was originally common for knights' vests. With the change in warfare in the First World War, the uniform jacket cut prevailed, which is still used today, apart from traditional uniforms, worldwide. Colloquially, uniform jackets are incorrectly referred to regionally today as uniform skirts.

See also

Web links

Commons : Skirts  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Rock  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Knighthood Odenwald ( Memento of the original from May 26, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Damenjupes
  3. ^ Helvetism