Miniskirt Monday #2

I'm not quite sure what the purpose of a Mini Skirt Marker is. The pronouncements on the box sure make it intriguing: "Up! Up! and Away!", "High-Low, Any Way They Go!"

Every few years you hear someone bring up the theory about rising and falling hemlines predicting the ups and downs of the economy. If the hemlines are up on the runways, we're in for a bull market. Hemlines start to fall with the onset of a bad economy.

If this theory is true, skirts will start brushing the floor any day now.

Perhaps no one besides Twiggy, Nancy Sinatra and Mary Quant are more closely associated with the miniskirt than Jeanie C. Riley, whose skirt was as much her trademark as Elton's glasses and MJ's sequined glove.

What's really a shame is that most of her discography is kaput. I looked high and low for images of her old album covers, and could only find a pathetic few. She had some incredible ones, and you can only get a tease of them over at her official site -thumbnails only. I'm sure they're out there somewhere.
Here's a few lines from her hit "Harper Valley P.T.A.":

Well, it happened that the P.T.A. was gonna meet that very afternoon.
They were sure surprised when Mrs. Johnson wore her mini-skirt into the room.
And as she walked up to the blackboard, I still recall the words she had to say.
She said, "I'd like to address this meeting of the Harper Valley P.T.A."

Recognize this next lady? It's a pre-Xanadu Olivia Newton-John. Add the 1970 film Toomorrow, starring ONJ, to the growing list of movies that are still M.I.A. on DVD at Moon in the Gutter

And, finally, nothing sells crackers like a miniskirt.


  1. I love miniskirts. Some great pictures. When I think of girls of the past in them, I do usually think of Twiggy and Nancy first. Would love to see them make a comeback. Probably not with the economy like it is now though.

  2. You'd think that with less money, less cloth would be a good idea.

    I wonder if the mini-skirt marker was something for sewing or alterations.

  3. Not sure how much I buy into the economic correlation. Miniskirts are a celebration of youth and a "dig" at dull repressive social mores. Find a generation (like the Baby Boomers in the late sixties, or the flappers in the roaring twenties) which celebrates youth and thumbs their nose at the more conservative establishment, then you've got a generation that's prone to high hemlines.

    Then again, that's just my theory... in the end, who the hell knows (or cares for that matter)?

  4. The mini-skirt marker is a gadget to help properly mark the hem on a skirt. My mom inherited a similiar 'hemming guide' from my grandmother. it's shorter, meant for 1950's skirts, but the same idea.

    Have you ever noticed someone's skirt being higher in the back than in the front? This is because 'off the rack' clothing is measured from the waistband down. the skirt is the same length all the way round. Unless the wearer is lacking a butt or hips, this results in the hem being uneven. Not so noticeable in longer skirts, but very noticeable in short skirts.

    So, this gadget helps measure the hem length properly, from the ground UP. Back in the mini-skirts heyday, almost all women had at least learned some sewing in home ec class. Many still made at least some of their own clothes, so a gadget like this would be handy in fine-tuning the work. Even store bought items might be tailored to fit better, or simply be shorter!

    1. I remember when I was at school in the 60s - the girls in the school next door shortened their skirts - particularly of interest was Catherine who had cut a foot off hers!

  5. Thanks, anonymous! Very interesting.

  6. AnonymousJuly 17, 2010

    Your blog is a killer! Hope it's ok if I use some of your images for the blog I'm starting myself?

    Phil O. Sophos