type of clothing worn from the waist downwards

A skirt is a piece of clothing that hangs downwards from the waist. Different skirts have been worn in many different cultures at different times. There are skirts that are clothing for women, for men, or for both.

A woman wearing a wrap skirt

In modern Western / European culture skirts are usually worn by women. An exception is the kilt and the fustanella, which are traditional skirts for men that are still worn today.

Skirts are worn at semi-formal occasions, and sometimes at formal events, although a dress is more common.

The bottom part of a dress can also be called a skirt.


Statue of Ramaat, an important person, wearing an Egyptian kilt, 2.250 BC

Skirts have been worn by people for a very long time in the past.

A skirt made out of straw from 3.900 BC was found in Armenia.[1] In ancient Egypt, men and women have worn skirts.

In the Bronze Age, the people in the South of West and Central Europe used clothes that go around the body like dresses. In Northen Europe, people wore skirts and blouses.[2]

In the Middle Ages, men and women also used clothes like dresses. The bottom part of the dress for men were shorter than the dresses that women wore.

Today, skirts are still used by men and women. Such skirts are the lungi, lehnga, kanga, sarong which is used in South Asia and Southeast Asia. The kilt is used in Scotland and Ireland.

The Chinese were one of the early societies who wore miniskirts, which are short skirts.[3]

In the 1900s, the dresses worn by Western women had more types than other years. The waistline of the dresses moved from under the breasts to the natural waist. Skirts were narrow at first, but they slowly became wider, particularly in the 1860s.

The "rainy daisy" skirt came in the 1980s, where the bottom of the skirt stopped touching the floor. This would give idea to the modern skirts with shorter lengths.[4]

In the 1920s, short skirts had become famous. The longer skirts came back in 1930, before shorter skirts were used in war times because there were limits on fabric.

In the years of 1967 to 1970, skirts became very short, where the bottom of the skirt was up to the bottom of underwear.

Types of skirts

Circle skirt
  • An A-line skirt is a skirt which looks like the letter A. It is wider at the bottom.
  • A bell-shaped skirt looks like a bell. It becomes wider nearer to the top.
  • A circle skirt is a skirt made by cutting a circle in the middle of fabric for the waist of the person.
  • Culottes are a pair of shorts, but looks like a skirt.[5]
  • Full skirts are skirts with much fabric in the waist part.
  • Gored skirts are fit at the waistline. They become wider at the bottom.[6]
  • An inverted pleated skirt is a skirt made by putting together two parts of fabric in the middle of the skirt, at the front or the back.[6]
  • A pleated skirt is a skirt with folds in the waist part called pleats, which make it narrow at the top.
  • Short skirts are skirts that end above the knee.
  • A pencil skirt, or a straight skirt, is a skirt that is tight and near to the body. There may be a cut because it can be hard to walk in.
  • An underskirt is a skirt that is put under a different skirt, called an overskirt, or drapery.[6]
  • A wrap skirt is a skirt that goes around the waist.


  • Ballerina skirts are a wide skirt used in the 1950s.
  • A broomstick skirt has many pleats (folds) made by twisting the skirt while it was wet.
  • A bubble skirt, tulip skirt, or balloon skirt, is a skirt that looks like a bubble or because the bottom part is folded into the back.[6]
  • A cargo skirt has loops for wearing a belt, and many large pockets.
  • A crinoline is a skirt held up by hoops or petticoats.
  • A dirndl is a traditional Bavarian-Austrian style skirt, made out of straight material held together at the waist.[6]
  • Denim skirts are skirts made out of denim, which can be made to seem like jeans.
  • A godet skirt is a skirt with triangular pieces of fabric put up from the hem to increase the wideness.[6]
  • A hobble skirt is a long skirt which is so tight that it causes the person wearing it to have difficulty in walking, the person hobbles.
  • A kilt is a skirt with aprons in front and folds at the back.
  • A leather skirt is a skirt made using leather.
Faux leather skirt
  • Lehenga, a long skirt with folds. It often has embroidery. It is used as the bottom part of the Gagra choli, a traditional blouse in North India and Pakistan.[7]
  • Maxi skirts are skirts that end at the ankle, used in the 1960s against the miniskirt.[6]
  • Micromini skirts are extremely short skirts.
  • A midi skirt ends between the ankle and knee, at the calf.
  • Mini-crini, a smaller version of the crinoline, which is a steel hoop used to hold up a skirt.[8]
  • Poodle skirt, a circle skirt showing a poodle for decoration.
Skater skirt
  • Puffball skirts are skirts which are held at the bottom to create a round look.[9]
  • Rah-rah skirts are short skirts with many levels of fabric.
  • A sarong is a square or rectangular piece of fabric worn around the body. It can be worn by both men and women.
  • A scooter skirt or a skort is a skirt which has a shorts joined. It can also be shorts with a piece of fabric joined in front to make it look like a skirt.
  • Skater skirts are skirts which have a waist that is higher. The bottom ends on top of the knee. It is often made out of light fabric to make it look like skirts of a figure skater.
  • A squaw dress is made out of one or two parts. It is based on Native American clothing and is popular in the 1940s and 1950s.[10]
  • A swing skirt is tight at the hips but wide at the bottom.
  • A T-skirt is a skirt made from a T-shirt.
  • Tiered skirts are made out of several levels, and each level gets more wide than the one above it.
  • A prairie skirt has one or more than one levels.
  • A trouser skirt is a straight skirt which has a top part that looks like men's trousers.

Lengths of skirts



  1. "5,900-year-old women's skirt discovered in Armenian cave". News Armenia. September 13, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  2. Koch-Mertens, Wiebke (2000): Der Mensch und seine Kleider: Die Kulturgeschichte der Mode bis 1900. Artemis & Winkler: Düsseldorf Zürich. pp. 49-51
  3. Harrell, Stevan (1995). Cultural Encounters on China's Ethnic Frontiers. University of Washington Press. pp. 98& 103. ISBN 0-295-97528-8.
  4. Hill, Daniel Delis (2007). As seen in Vogue : a century of American fashion in advertising (1. pbk. print. ed.). Lubbock, Tex.: Texas Tech University Press. pp. 23–25. ISBN 978-0-89672-616-1.
  5. Yarwood, Doreen (2011). Illustrated encyclopedia of world costume. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, Inc. p. 376. ISBN 9780486433806.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Tortora, Phyllis G. et. Al. (2014): Dictionary of Fashion. New York: Fairchild Books. pp. 370-374
  7. "Social Science a Textbook in History for Class IX as per New Syllabus".
  8. Staff writer. "Vivienne Westwood designs". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  9. Evans, Caroline (2004). "Cultural Capital 1976–2000". In Breward, Christopher; Ehrman, Edwina; Evans, Caroline (eds.). The London look : fashion from street to catwalk. New Haven: Yale University Press / Museum of London. p. 149. ISBN 9780300103991.
  10. Driver, Maggie (21 April 2016). "The squaw dress: Tucson's controversial but unique fashion history". Arizona Sonora News. Archived from the original on 18 January 2018. Retrieved 2018-01-17.