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Go Way Back

Go Way Back: Skorts

Go Way Back BY maura brannigan 09/05/2014

Turns out, the skirt-plus-short hybrid that is the skort goes back further than your grade-school days—like, a whole lot further. See where it came from and where it is now. 

 

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The Origin: Skorts have their earliest roots in the 1500s as a form of European golfwear. That toe-length skirt that Mary Queen of Scots is wearing? It has shorts built-in. 

 

 

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The Evolution: Things stay pretty quiet until World War II, when our nation’s men head overseas and leave us ladies to run the factories. As immortalized in the 1992 movie A League of Their Own, working women of the early forties begin transitioning from full-on, pleated, knee-length skirts to billowy, skirt-like shorts—gasp, shorts!—forthe work hours. And then they play baseball in them on their own time.

 

 

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In the fifties, tennis players and golfers get in on the fun—well, the pseudo-fun, as the shorts-slash-skirts of this era come in pretty boring colors and materials.

 

 

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But in 1959, Lily Pulitizer—a 21-year-old Palm Beach newbie—changes all that with prints, patterns, and electric hues galore.

 

 

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As we head into the sixties, women get a whole lot more into golf, leading to the development of the famed Leon Levin “Q” skirt—the first official-official skort to hit the market.

 

 

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Do the names Natalie Gulbis and Paula Creamer ring any bells? These two prof golfers become early pioneers of the sport-skort in the mid- to late-nineties. 

 

 

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Children of the nineties—particularly the tomboys amongst us—have fond, fond memories of the skort, especially those of the printed variety worn by Full House’s Tanner sisters and The Cosby Show’s Olivia Kendall.

 

 

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Here comes the activewear takeover: Brands like Athleta and Luluemon start making running skirts slash skorts around 2011 that are as girly as they are breezy.

 

 

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During the summer of 2013, skorts are part of the official fashion-blogger uniform. We Wore What’s Danielle Bernstein (above!) gets into the style, as does The Blonde Salad’s Chiara Ferragni. 

 

 

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The Right Now: Time for the runways to get in on the action. How good is this architectural floral number from Balenciaga’s spring 2014 collection?!

 

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