12/31/12

Mini Skirt Monday #137: Old School Minis


To read the past 136 Miniskirt Monday posts, you'd think the miniskirt was invented in the late sixties.  Granted, Retrospace is mainly about the 70s, so perhaps I can be forgiven for not covering pre-1960s minis.

As we all know, the miniskirt didn't magically appear on Carnaby Street in 1965. If you want to be technical about it, you could take it back to the Greek, Egyptian and even Neolithic periods. In the twentieth century it experienced some popularity among the Flappers, and was pretty common in the female dominated service arena (i.e. cigarette girls, hat check girls, waitresses, etc.) The Depression and Dust Bowl were unkind to the mini, but you can't keep it down for long, and the female leg started showing itself once more.

So, let's have a brief look at some ancestors of the mini.  It is time we paid them their due.  Enjoy.


Virginia Mayo

Vera Lee


All the girls on the 1950s show "Space Patrol" wore minis.  Like Star Trek after it, the miniskirt was the uniform of the future.


More Space Patrol girls

"High adventure in the wild, vast reaches of space. Missions of daring in the name of interplanetary justice. Travel into the future with Buzz Corry, Commander-in-Chief of the...... SPACE PATROL!"

Patricia Hardy

Martha Raye

Iris Adrien and Elena Verdugo

Hat Check Honey (1944)

A Girl in Every Port (1952)

Elena Verdugo 

1950's Detroit

Charlotte Dewey


Annette Wilson and Candita Raye

Barbara Nichols

Audrey Hepburn


Adrienne Dore

St. Trinians



Claire Carleton

Ozzie Nelson and Miniskirt




9 comments:

  1. See "The Ordeal of Richard Feverel" by George Meredith for its cynical theorizing that ballet was invented to give horny young Victorian males a chance to see genuine female leg.
    I bet a lot of biblical movies reeled them in by showing women in "exotic" costumes with plenty of leg.

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  2. Between the outfits, and the photographic style of the Hollywood stills of the day, it didn't get any better. This is some great stuff... and let's not forget when Mitzi Gaynor washed that man out of her hair, in perhaps the greatest leggy show ever to hit the silver screen.

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  3. I love Virgina Mayo and I love this post! To me, those 1940s women had it going on with perfection.

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    1. I agree whole heartedly, and LOOK at those waist lines :-)

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  4. I've notice that back then, performers in any field--even cheerleading or baton twirling--were permitted to wear more revealing outfits on stage than was was considered acceptable for street wear. You certainly wouldn't find housewives or office workers in hemlines that short. They are mainly publicity stills...the one of Barbara Nichols is from SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS.

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  5. Vera-Ellen wore a couple tiny minis in White Christmas.

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  6. no wonder I'm a cross dresser having grown up looking at women such as these !

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  7. Elena Verdugo was a regular on "Marcus Welby, MD" with Robert Young and Mr. Barbra Streisand. She didn't show off those wonderful gams, though.

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  8. I've Barbara Nichols in so many movies, and I can't recall any of them.

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