Flute? Flute? Or flute? The image of a musical flute or a champagne flute doesn’t exactly conjure the image of a fluted skirt, but that is what you call this incredibly flattering cut of a skirt: a fluted skirt. Other names it is known by is a mermaid, trumpet (more apropos, right?) or a flared hem skirt.
The fluted pleat on the skirt is universally flattering. It can give shape to a woman without hips and give balance to a woman with a voluptuous curve. There is just something about this cut that makes the traditional pencil skirt even more bombshell. The original fluted shape came into fashion in the 1900′s as skirts became sleeker and more fitted to the body. The fluting at the end made the slim skirting more walkable. In the 1920′s as the demand for danceable dresses and skirts came into fashion with the flapper, fluting came back to fit the bill, this time on a much shorter skirt.
But my favorite versions came along in the 1950′s with the original Rockabilly movement. The wiggle skirts (named because of the lack of movement the tight shape of the skirt created) were so wiggly that in order to walk, there needed to be a flare at the knee. The flare at the knee allowed for extra hugging of the fabric on the hips. That flare allowed for an even more feminine silhouette for the wearer.
This conjures up images of Jayne Mansfield, Bettie Page and other bombshells of the era. I love the complete accentuation on the hips and curviness of the female figure. It was almost brazenly woman and I imagine a woman wearing a fluted skirt in the 1940′s and 50′s would be labeled negatively. It just makes me like it all the more.
To my great delight, I’ve seen a resurgence of this fabulously feminine silhouette and many designers are revisiting the shape. I predict more and more of this for the fall season, so stay tuned. Here are a few that I’ve already spotted that are super cute:
p.s. the Fluted Skirt in the header is by Alexander McQueen and is no longer available ($992 on Net-A-Porter). I know. It’s gorgeous.