Fun Fact from a Hundred Years Ago: Short Skirts Are Healthier

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, September 27, 1912:  Nothing to write.

1912 dress
“Short” skirt for walking (Ladies Home Journal, July 1912)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share some fun information I found in a hundred-year-old book about how short skirts—that is skirts which were five inches from the ground—were healthier. Who would have guessed?

The present vogue of having the walking skirt five inches from the ground is an excellent one, as it not only considerably diminishes the weight of the skirt, but it interferes much less with the forward swing of the leg in walking.

The chief exertion in walking is caused by the raising of the foot and lifting it to the point at which it goes forward and downward. By any artificial shortening of the step, such as is caused, for instance, by long skirts, it requires much more muscular effort to walk the same distance. Besides which, there is the additional friction of the skirts, which is increased by the slightest wind.

Another most important reason for not wearing long dresses on the street is that they stir up the dust and collect microbes, and thus contribute materially to the dissemination of the germs of disease and subject the wearer and her family to the risk of infection.

Personal Hygiene and Physical Training for Women (1911) by Anna M. Galbraith

5 thoughts on “Fun Fact from a Hundred Years Ago: Short Skirts Are Healthier

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