Belgium · Britain · Spain

Spam the Hemline – The Mini

Short skirts have been around since women started wearing clothes. The modern mini, however, appeared in the early sixties. In 1961, an innovator named Mary Quant ran a boutique on Kings Road in Chelsea. She looked around at local street style – saw short skirts on the young women – and decided to raise the hemlines of her mannequins above the knees. It was said she named the style after her car, the Mini. Over in Paris the elite couturier André Courrèges was designing a couture collection featuring short skirts for his 1964 collection. It was an idea whose time had come.

Definitions of how much thigh must be exposed to define a skirt as a “mini” differ. Since royals tend to be more demure in public, our definition will be the range from two inches or so above the knee and above.

Trust Princess Margaret to try something new and different, right? Here she shows off a little royal knee. And, yes, that is Anne in her own mini, peeking into the corner of the frame.

Embed from Getty Images

We tend to forget that Princess Anne was an all-around swinging sixties and seventies chick, don’t we?

Queen Letizia has been known to rock the mini. She typically saves it for vacation, arty-type events, and private affairs. Very occasionally, we’ll see it at an official event.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Early in her career, the Duchess of Cambridge was fond of the style.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

The York sisters inherited their mother’s excellent pins, and they have both been known to wear a mini with style.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

When Queen Mathilde is feeling sassy, she pulls out a mini. That makes her our most surprising mini-wearer, particularly since she will typically pair the style with thigh-high boots.

Embed from Getty Images

The most famous royal mini dress ever.

Embed from Getty Images

Don’t be shy! Show us your favorite minis!