A denim microskirt
A woman wearing a microskirt

A microskirt or micro-miniskirt is a very short skirt. It is shorter than a miniskirt, being less than 8 inches (20 cm) in length. At that length, the microskirt exposes the thighs and the lower portion of the buttocks, as well as part of the underwear. To avoid exposure of the buttocks and underwear, a microskirt is sometimes worn with tights, leggings, shorts or bloomers, but is also worn with bare legs. They are predominantly worn by teenage girls or young women to evoke an impression of cheekiness and playfulness, especially when accompanied with appropriate body language and in an appropriate social context. It is sometimes humorously referred to as a beltskirt and is described as more an evocation of the idea of a skirt than something that covers anything substantial. Microskirts are rarely worn as streetwear, but commonly worn by cheer girls.

The microskirt is regarded by some as being chosen by those who have a desire, conscious or subconscious, to expose their lower buttocks. Stretch microskirts are sometimes made using Spandex material which are often worn by the more daring in conjunction with hold-ups and a pair of stiletto heel pumps, and sometimes with G-string underwear.

Microskirts are often worn by singers during performances, such as by Fergie[1], Micky Green,[2] Beyoncé Knowles and others. They have also on occasion been worn without controversy by celebrities, such as Gwyneth Paltrow.[3]

The microskirt appeared in Europe in the late 1960s following the popularity of the miniskirt made famous by designers such as Mary Quant. Early version of that period were merely shorter patterns and allowed rather more exposure of the thighs of the wearer. Shorter versions started becoming available and some were quite short, having the hem at about the top of the thighs so that there were often glimpses of underwear. A few people chose to wear even shorter styles that exposed some of the buttocks and some considered these rather risque as they showed more of the underwear at the front. There were rumours that some girls wore extremely short microskirts that were as little as 4 inches long and even tales of girls wearing them without underwear, though this cannot now be verified. By the early 1970s the microskirt was less favoured, the 'Hot Pants' having become popular. Skirt lengths tended to become longer until the 1990's and into the 2000's. Many are now wearing microskirts but they have not yet (2011) reached the heights of the late '60s and early '70s, though the trend appears to be for shorter skirts again.

Miniskirts were very popular in Japan, where they became part of school uniforms, and microskirts came to be worn within the kogal subculture [4] and by young girls practising panchira, a form of exhibitionism.

The microskirt became common on European catwalks after 2000, especially after Tom Ford, the stylist at Gucci, made a statement in September 2002 forecasting that microskirts will feature in the spring/summer 2003 collections."[5]


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