Some say that when fashionable skirt hemlines go up, so do stock prices. The popularity of the miniskirt is not dependent on the economy, however, but on the fact that it shows off a lot of leg. Who would argue against it?

The mini is a skirt whose hem falls noticeably above the knee. Fashion historians (apparently they exist) credit designers Mary Quant and Andre Courrèges both when naming the "inventors" of the miniskirt. Really, some girls were wearing them already, the designers just noticed and popularized them in the 1960s. Quant sold minis at her popular London boutique, and Courrèges adopted the short skirt as part of the "Mod" look that he created with his designs. Soon, minis were an international fashion craze, so popular in fact that they caused a revision of British tax law -- skirts were formerly taxed by length, but under that system minis were tax-exempt, and so changes were made to properly charge women for the privilege of keeping up with the trends.

Okay, so...

Why Wear a Miniskirt?

While sometimes considered a trendy item, the mini can be the centerpiece of a warm-weather wardrobe. Personally, I love the things, and I'm no fashionista. Wearing a mini is as comfortable as wearing nothing at all, if you get the right one. Make sure it's not so short as to leave your bottom hanging out, and not so tight as to necessitate wearing a thong all the time (some women swear they're comfortable in them; I maintain that they're liars). I have a stretchy denim mini that I've worn nearly to death -- it keeps me cool, it looks cute, and I even wear my sneakers with it.

You can also wear a mini to be in style, of course. Times have changed since the 60s, but the miniskirt is still around in the world of high fashion, making a big comeback on runways fairly regularly. Because of this, you might not choose yours based on the comfort factor alone (although I really recommend not buying anything that you're going to fidget in constantly). And so, a few hints on...

How to Wear a Miniskirt

The mini puts the focus on a woman's legs, so if you're going to wear one it's nice to keep that in mind and play up your legs in other ways. If it's early spring and you're concerned about looking fishbelly white, slap on some sunless tanning lotion (safer than the real thing) to look your summer best. Tights or stockings can be worn with a dressier mini, although please, not with sandals as well. For a more playful look, some knee-high socks can capture the schoolgirl feel of a mini. And most important are your shoes: high heels, flats, boots, sandals... anything goes, depending on how you feel, but they're going to be more prominent with a miniskirt than with pants or a long skirt, so slip on a pair that are worth showing off.

Other tips: One rule to live by is that a skirt shouldn't be shorter than it is wide. Also, remember that a teeny little mini can limit your range of motion a bit, if you're modest about showing off your undies. After a long winter of jeans it can be easy to forget what you're wearing until a crowd gathers to watch you get in and out of your car.

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