Is There Truth in Miniskirt Economics?

      April 23, 2007 08:47

      Miniskirts are getting shorter this year, shrinking to a mere 23 cm, the span of a large hand. Besides the micro-miniskirts, even shorter hotpants are hitting the shops. Mango and Corcaroli stalls in the Shinsegae Department Store main branch are selling micro pants measuring between 21.5 cm and 22 cm, which makes them the effectively vanish under a longish top. Then there are mini dresses with a hemline at least 10 cm above the knees. A Shinsegae staffer says 20-cm long miniskirts will be on the market soon.

      ◆ Why Are Miniskirts the Fads?

      The main reason is that miniskirts are now fashionably worn with leggings, allowing women to show off shapely legs without worrying about the side effects of wearing very short skirts. Many women consider the combination both cute and comfortable.

      There is a popular belief that skirts get shorter in a recession. Women, so the theory goes, subliminally seek male protection by showing off their femininity in an economic slump. A Hyundai Department Store staffer said micro miniskirts and mini dresses are selling well due to a social mood that stresses femininity. Miniskirts became popular between 2003 and 2004, when the recession started. If the saying is true, it follows that Korea has been in a recession over the last few years. But some argue the trend just follows global fashion and is unrelated to the local economy.

      In a straw poll of 183 female customers in their 20s to 40s conducted by Hyundai Department Store on April 20 and 21, some 47.5 percent of respondents agreed with the saying that skirts get shorter in recession, while 50.8 percent answered "It's just a fashion." Asked about the reason for the micro-mini fad, the majority pointed to positive factors -- self-esteem, youth, result of losing weight, individuality and self-expression. A Shinsegae staffer said, "Fashion trends are directly affected by global trends. In the case of mini dresses, they were a fad in the U.S. before becoming popular here."

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