21 comments on “Dying to be fashionable. 1911.

  1. I don’t know if you’ve heard of one of our popular programmes called the Great British Bake Off? All very good and they’ve just sort-of jumped on the bandwagon and brought out the similar ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ which is all about sewing… Competitive sewing-to-the-death sewing… You could have guessed.

    Anyway one reviewer complained that the programme was too basic as they actually explained what an A-line skirt was as EVERYBODY knows what an A-line skirt is. I didn’t, and was grateful for the computer graphics explaining it. So it’s safe to say I’d never heard of a hobble skirt and, looking them up, I find what I imagined you’re your description but also that Wikipedia has a picture of a lady wearing one from 1911!


    • Speaking of jumping on the bandwagon, a new series is about to start here called, unsuprisingly, The Great Australian Bake-Off. Not like they thought of it themselves, is it….

      I haven’t heard of the sewing bee one though and I can’t imagine that it would make for must-see tv. I am sure the world of sewing is a very interesting one, but not everything translates to tv does it? I can see it now, lots of creative editing, a manufactured bad guy, an insanely built up climax… No season 2.

      The hobble skirt fashion is an interesting one, all good if you are standing still, no good at all if you actually want to do anything (or get an honest answer to the question “Does my bum look big in this?”). I found lots of articles about the damage done to the wearer by hobble skirts, and even one lamenting the loss of jobs in Parisian fashion houses due to the lack of fabric and labour needed to make this new style!

  2. Dear me. Hobble skirts are not only dangerous, but also silly looking, in my humble opinion.

    • Dangerous indeed, I can’t imagine walking like that would do your knees or ankles any good either.
      As I said to FM above, you are never going to get the answer you want to the question “Does my bum look big in this?” when you are wearing one either! 😀

      • Don’t you wonder if the wearer of these contraptions ever looked back and thought if they looked exceptionally ridiculous? I can’t imagine, even then, wearing the hobble skirt or wearing the corset in such a way it caused internal damage. Fads are hardly worth sacrificing comfort just so one can look like an ostrich. 😉

        • They probably did, although I look back to the things I wore in the eighties and think the same thing!! Fortunately none of those bad fashion choices did me any physical harm, although my current favourite shoes aren’t worn as much as they should be because of the risk of ankle damage when walking on uneven services… That could be more of a comment on my innate need to be prepared for anything rather than the shoes though.. 😀

          One article I found referred to a man who, upon seeing his daughter in a hobble skirt for the first time, commented that she looked like a giraffe in a barrel. I think the article was about the incurable hiccups the laughter caused from then on! (I might have to do a post about that one)

  3. Apart from the mini-skirt way back when, I’ve never worn anything too ridiculously uncomfortable… except on my feet. Four inch stiletto heels ring any bells? Or two inch platforms? Or the body piercing that’s all the rage? Sadly we are slaves to fashion, until it kills us one way or the other.

    I wonder what those sisters thought as they sank for the third and last time?

    • I wonder if the thought crossed their mind to undo the knee belt?

      I’m the same, practical clothes but I do have a pair of beloved black (studded, buckled, laced and zipped completely unnecessarily) high platform heels that are unsafe on uneven surfaces. 😀 As I said to JG above, their lack of wear is more me being practical rather than the shoes being ridiculous though. 😉

      • lol – Funny you should say that about your platforms. I’ve kept all my highest, sexiest stiletto shoes even though I know I’ll never wear them again! Sometimes I just like taking them out and patting them….or fantasizing about how I’ll brain a burglar with them!

        • You could knock him out with them and then strap them on to him while he’s out.
          He regains conciousness and you chase him out of the house with a broom. It would take him some time to work out why the ground was heaving below his feet and even longer to recover from the ankle surgery 😀

  4. Walking around New York City right now, you’ll see the 21st Century version of Dangerous Fashion everywhere. Shoes with both high, stiletto heels AND a platform. It’s madness. One or the other girls, but BOTH!

    I sprained my ankle last September walking at my usual super fast pace in boots with modest heels. The edge of the heel caught in an irregular dip in the pavement and I went down. An ambulance — complete with two cute, young paramedics , saw me fall. They stopped to check me out. Since nothing was broken, they went off without me. Boo Hoo!

    It turned out to be a very bad sprain. Weeks and weeks and weeks….

    The girls walking around NYC, with its dips and holes and cracks in the pavement, while wearing dangerous shoes might as well be wearing hobble skirts.

    • The extreme high heel is made purely for walking on an even surface. Any variance and you are teetering on the brink of disaster, and that pretty much means everywhere doesn’t it! Only good if you are a decoration, and not actually useful…

      Glad to hear your footwear disaster was minor, pity that you didn’t get a little more attention from your knights in shining ambulance though.
      My platform heels have that typical curved up toe and I have very small feet so unfortunately that means there is more curve than flat to walk on! The problem is that every time the ground starts falling away I start tipping forward because the height of the heel is sending my entire body… aaarrgghh!!! down the hill……!!!!
      I went out for lunch one afternoon and then picked up the kids from school on the way home while I was wearing them. The front gate of the school is at the bottom of a fairly steep hill which was ok going in but when I was walking out it was completely ridiculous! I was clutching Number 1’s arm to keep from falling over in the crowd and the kids thought it was a huge joke. 😀

      They are completely silly which is probably why I don’t wear them much. I have even resorted to making sure I take another pair of shoes in the car when I go out in them just in case I can’t bear walking in them any more 🙂

  5. I still have, for posterity not for wearing, an 80’s strapless dress with hobble skirt. It was my B&S dress, black fabric that you could spill a drink on and not even notice, shove in a bag, wash, dry in a couple of hours and wear again. I have no idea how I walked and ok, possibly sometimes staggered in it. I would not wear it boating 🙂

    • There is a time and a place isn’t there? Inappropriate clothing and a B&S (and staggering) go hand in hand! 😉 Boating though… Well that calls for something a little more practical!

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