Manhattan has been invaded by the Japanese schoolgirl look. Little denim skirts with Ugg boots; pleats and knee-socks; corduroy and sneakers. My knee-length skirts looked prim and tired, no longer sleek. So I gave in and forked out for my first garment in months. I bought a miniskirt at Urban Outfitters. It cost $38. It’s black, made out of a kind of sweatshirty material, and is exactly the kind of thing I lived in when I was nineteen. I thought I’d wear it with the flat Miu-Miu boots I’d rescued from storage.

It looked good.
It looked ridiculous.

My legs are my best feature, in my own vain and unreliable estimation. Only because I live in the first century in which western humans ignore good evolutionary sense and exalt slim and knobbly over dimpled knees. Fine by me. Legs are a good long-term investment. Patella and femur and achilles tendons don’t betray women over the long haul like other body bits, and better yet, they don’t come with a bimbo tag, which can’t be guaranteed if you suffer from fine hooters or a button nose. I almost always wear trousers, in case I have to escape, but a well-turned ankle is a reserve weapon.

In spite of faith in my limbs, as soon as I got the skirtlet on I had an attack of mutton-dressed-as-lamb panic. An A-line skirt with flat boots makes us all look short and squat, and I wasn’t sure all this thigh was really necessary. The skirt was overt, and I’m not. But I remembered when the Prada shoes I later coveted looked ugly to me, and hoped my style eye just hadn’t adjusted yet.

I launched my new look on the fashion-forward 2 train. Immediately the old man opposite hunched forward and muttered lasciviously until I had to move. On the street men stare at minis like toddlers stare at Teletubbies, especially after a decade of deprivation. It’s not that short skirts look better, or sexier–they don’t–but they are unmistakable signifiers. I felt like Paris Hilton. Not in a good way. I wanted to crawl back into my Kedey Island boilersuit. Instead I changed into age-appropriate sweatpants and pensioned off the overt skirt.

3 thoughts on “Miniskirts”

  1. Here’s some good news, as long as you’re in a mood to adopt stupid local customs: last Thursday the _Daily News_ devoted its whole “THersday” spread to–avert your eyes–the conspicuous display of thongs and how utterly nasty it is.

    I was never sure if this look was intentional in the first place, but it seems that it is, or was, and that finally some women are starting to come to their senses and reject it.

    If you’d passed through NYC a week earlier, though–woo!


  2. India, I saw that article last night–linked from Gawker–and was going to blog it. Then I realized that having wittered on about my teeth and legs for a thousand words I’d revealed enough of the shallowness of my depths for one night.

    I once wore thongs. I don’t wear thongs any more. There’s nothing big or clever about them, as our teachers used to say. Now it’s Cosabella boy shorts–well below the waistband of the jeans–all the way. If I never see another butt floss triangle on the subway, I won’t be sad.


  3. Clueless “japanese digital mobile girls” who have to hit you with the 2×4 of their sexuality aside,

    ankle is sexier than thigh if you’ve got the confidence to back it up (and usually if you don’t.)

    Remember, we’re talking about the same people who brought us vending machines of “used panties” and breast scarves.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: