The World Before Women’s Skorts: Understanding the History of Today’s Hottest Fashion Staple
Skorts are quintessential in any tennis wardrobe because they offer the perfect mix of versatility and style, but the influence that women’s skorts have had over the years goes much further than the court. Today, women rock skorts as athletic wear and everyday fashion; they are easy to move in, can be styled in a number of ways, and feel comfortable! There’s nothing better than feeling comfy but knowing that you look like a million bucks, and skorts nail that dichotomy every. single. time.
The First Women’s Skorts
The origin of skorts actually goes back all the way to the 1890s and we have female cyclists to thank. Although some cultures around the world saw it as “normal” for women to wear pants, in many western cultures, pants were for men and men only. When bicycling became popular for men and women, it wasn’t long before everyone realized that cycling in a dress or a skirt just wasn’t going to cut it.
First referred to as “trouser skirts,” women’s skorts allowed women to move more freely on bicycles and opened up a sport for the other half of the population. However, at the time, trouser skirts were longer than today’s skorts and they kept getting caught in the bicycle chains, causing all sorts of problems. In a major showing of dismantling societal norms, women began wearing exposing their ankles and shortening the clothing that they wore on their bikes.
Women’s Skorts Becoming “Cool”
Originally worn out of necessity, after WWI, women in France began playing with fashion and reinventing traditional fashion standards for themselves. “Split skirts” became popular, and from that point on, a women’s skort revolution came out in full force. Skorts started to pop up in girls’ gym classes, collegiate locker rooms, and on the street. Dancing was another sport that adopted skorts rather quickly, but tennis was a sport that brought skorts into the modern fold.
The Impact of Tennis Skorts
At the 1931 Wimbledon, Lili Alvarez, a Spanish player, walked onto the court in something that looked like a skirt…but…wasn’t. It was a skort. Though Lili faced backlash for her fashion choices, she openly admitted that this garment was more comfortable than a skirt. Though the skort took a few more decades to appear in everyday women’s fashion, Lili ignited a movement that changed tennis fashion, and more broadly, women’s fashion.
Skorts have gone in and out of trending fashion throughout the years, as with any stylistic piece of clothing. They were popular in the 1960s and 1970s when women were asserting themselves and defining their own standards of femininity. Then, in the 1990s, skorts were an integral part of fashion, and now, they’re seen every day in every setting imaginable. There’s one place the popularity of skorts hasn’t waned since that 1931 Wimbledon match – the tennis court.
At Denise Cronwall, our skorts are perfect for tennis, pickleball, golf or a long morning walk. However you decide to move your body and whatever way you style your looks, you’ll be able to find the perfect women’s skort in our large collection.