Chi Ha Inventato la Gonna a Matita?

Who invented the Pencil Skirt?

I think I know the answer. It was definitely a man.

No really, hear me out. I’ve done my research.

exhibit A: “The predecessor to the pencil skirt is the hobble skirt of the early 20th century, which is a full-length skirt which seriously impedes the wearer’s walking.” – Wikipedia

I bought a pencil skirt, they’re in style now. And you know what? They’re hard to walk in. I know what you’re thinking – but it wasn’t a tight pencil skirt. I actually bought one that was a size bigger than my normal size. But seriously, I have a strong-american-woman gait. I take big confident steps. I walk with a purpose.  . . . Except in a pencil skirt. In a pencil skirt its more like a strong-american-penguin gait.

exhibit B: “The pencil skirt feels different from looser types of skirts, and can take some adjustment by the wearer in terms of movement and posture in order to manage it successfully. Walking needs to be done in short strides” – Wikipedia

Know what the result of that is? I had to walk at double speed to keep up with a 6ft+ coworker on the way to lunch.

exhibit C: “entering and leaving a car gracefully takes practice; and when sitting the legs are held close together which some can find restrictive . . . Activities such as climbing ladders and riding bicycles can be very difficult in a pencil skirt.” – Wikipedia

Know what else is hard to do gracefully? Ride a motorino. Actually, it’s impossible to ride a motorino gracefully in a pencil skirt. I had to hike my skirt up, and then pull my jacket down over it. Which sort of worked – except that I noticed that in order to stop, I had to put one leg out, which opened up my jacket. I definitely saw a man leaning over in the driver’s seat trying to see up my skirt.

Pencil skirts rose to fashion following World War II as men tried to reign in Rosie the Riveter, Rosie tried to tighten her hold on the work place, and the men said “ok, as long as we can looked up your skirt”.

Seems like an open and shut case to me!

Guess I’m going to need an extra pair of shorts next time I want to wear a pencil skirt to work.



Filed under Culture

3 responses to “Chi Ha Inventato la Gonna a Matita?

  1. Katharine

    Sounds like learning to ride side-saddle is in you future.

  2. Elaine

    Ha, ha.

    Should I bring a pencil skirt when I come to Rome?

  3. Christine

    You should be happy you can wear a pencil skirt! Most body types can’t pull it off :)

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