The maxi skirt also signified the end of the period when it was more common for women to make their own clothes from patterns bought on the high street or offered in magazines. This didn’t last long through as the next era would be one of imported, mass-produced clothing at much reduced price points. So if you need some genuine 70s maxi action, visit a vintage clothing store, and be prepared to find some home-made items on the racks too. That is not to say the design houses of high fashion weren’t as keen as the domestic goddesses were to create these popular full-length garments; just don’t expect everything you discover to give you that commercial quality feeling of confidence that a well known label can bring.
But let’s look at the items themselves. Maxi skirts are hot property right now, so it’s time to search the vintage stores and get hold of a skirt that has stood the test of time and go native. Yes, the newly-made ones are perfectly fine, but can you honestly say you think the ones you’ll discover on the high street will take you anywhere close to the vibe of Penelope Keith or Felicity Kendal in their Good Life roles? No chance. The collective consciousness that existed in the 1970s disappeared in the 1980s, and copies no longer work. The Seventies was not the lost decade of fashion and don’t let anyone tell you so, it was perhaps the Eighties when fashion earned a more shallow and greedy moniker. Okay, you might find something a little more thigh-hugging than 70s designs would have offered, and perhaps the fabric will be more tactile and easier to look after, but you’ll be missing the je ne sais quoi, the authentic period feel that made the 1970s what it was.
And don’t let anyone fool you into believing that the Sixties, when exposed thighs and kinky boots reigned, were the last word in sexy high street designs. Yes, they laid the foundations for a more informal and liberated future, but those fashions only really suited a small part of the population and most people couldn’t really see themselves in those daring designs. Fashion today is a lot more accessible to larger groups, something we learned from the Seventies perhaps. The 70s generation could be the real movers and shakers today, they are the ones who helped widen our horizons and created the linked-up digital world we now enjoy. They were also the generation the 80s was a rebellion against. And they did it all wearing their floral maxi skirts! Live the dream. Enjoy life to the maxi.