is the line formed by the lower edge of a garment
Clothing refers to any covering for the human body that is worn. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of nearly all human societies...
, such as a skirt
A skirt is a tube- or cone-shaped garment that hangs from the waist and covers all or part of the legs.In the western world, skirts are usually considered women's clothing. However, there are exceptions...
A dress is a garment consisting of a skirt with an attached bodice or with a matching bodice giving the effect of a one-piece garment.Dress may also refer to:*Clothing in general*Costume, fancy dress...
A coat is a long garment worn by both men and women, for warmth or fashion. Coats typically have long sleeves and are open down the front, closing by means of buttons, zippers, hook-and-loop fasteners, toggles, a belt, or a combination of some of these...
, measured from the floor.
The hemline is perhaps the most variable style line
A style line is a line or curve in a garment that has a visual effect, e.g., the seam between two fabrics of different colors or textures. For comparison, a nearly invisible seam, such as a dart or pleat, would not be considered a style line...
Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear, or accessories. Fashion references to anything that is the current trend in look and dress up of a person...
, changing shape and ranging in height from hip-high to floor-length. What is a fashionable style and height of hemline has varied considerably throughout the years, and has also depended on a number of factors such as the age of the wearer, the occasion for which the garment is worn and the choice of the individual.
Similar to neckline
The neckline is the top edge of a garment that surrounds the neck, especially from the front view. Neckline also refers to the overall line between all the layers of clothing and the neck and shoulders of a person, ignoring the unseen undergarments....
s and waistline
Waistline refers to:*the waist on a human body — the narrow point of the abdomen between the ribcage and hipsor*Waistline — the line of demarcation between the upper and lower portions of a garment, which notionally corresponds to the natural waist but may vary with fashion from just...
s, hemlines can be grouped by their height and shape:
- floor-length hemlines
- ankle hemlines
- midcalf hemlines
- below-knee hemlines
- above-knee hemlines
- mid-thigh hemlines
- hip-high hemlines
- handkerchief hemlines
- diagonal hemlines
- other hemlines, such as modern-cut hemlines
Dresses and skirts are also classified in terms of their length:
A miniskirt, sometimes hyphenated as mini-skirt, is a skirt with a hemline well above the knees – generally no longer than below the buttocks; and a minidress is a dress with a similar meaning...
- ballerina length
A tutu is a skirt worn as a costume in a ballet performance, often with attached bodice. It might be single layer, hanging down, or multiple layers starched and jutting out.There are several types of ballet tutu:...
- tea length
- full length
Full Length LP is the debut album by the Huntington Beach, California punk rock band Guttermouth, released in 1991 by Dr. Strange Records. It introduced the band's style of fast, abrasive punk rock with tongue-in-cheek humor and sarcastic lyrics...
- Intermission length
In the history of Western fashion
The history of Western fashion is the story of the changing fashions in clothing for men and women in Western Europe and other countries under its influence from the 12th century to the present.-History of fashion by period:...
, the ordinary public clothes of upper- and middle-class women varied only between floor-length and slightly above ankle-length for many centuries before World War I. Skirts of lower-calf or mid-calf length were associated with the practical working garments of lower-class or pioneer women, while even shorter skirt lengths were seen only in certain specialized and restricted contexts (e.g. sea-bathing costumes, or outfits worn by ballerinas on stage). It was not until the mid-1910s that hemlines began to rise significantly (with many variations in height thereafter). Skirts rose all the way from floor-length to near knee-length in little more than fifteen years (from late in the decade of the 1900s to the mid-1920s). From World War I to roughly 1970, a woman had to wear skirts near their currently-fashionable length or be considered almost hopelessly unstylish, but since the 1970s, women's options have widened, and there is no longer really only one single fashionable skirt-length at a time.
Another influence on the length of a woman's skirt is the Hemline index
The Hemline Index is a theory presented by economist George Taylor in 1926. Recent research suggests it is valid.The theory suggests that hemlines on women's dresses rise along with stock prices...
, which, oversimplified, states that hemlines rise and fall in sync with the stock market.