The Midi and the Middy

Topshop Photorealistic Print Midi Skirt

Topshop Photorealistic Midi Skirt.

Everyone is talking about the it length, the Midi hem, which falls anywhere past the knees, but a good distance above the ankles. The Midi has always been a favorite of mine, ladylike and pretty with a heel, boot, flat or trainer. Just yesterday, Rachel Zoe showed how to style her favorites, but my fashion blogging buddies (Holly’s Mummy, Wife, & Chaos hereFiona’s Avenue 57 here and again hereAvril’s School Gate Style here and again hereKat’s Does My Bum Look 40 here, and Andrea’s Cous Cous and Cork Wedges here) have been singing the midi-love for months.

When I hear the word, though, I don’t think of skirts.

My Middy, a middy with a Y, was the top part to the Burke’s Middle School uniform, still worn by Burke’s girls today. Made of heavy cotton, ours without a cumbersome neck tie (the distinguishing factor that separates San Francisco school girls, like gang colors only not really), hung loosely over a navy midi pleated skirt, knee socks and sad brown boat shoes (another post, another day).

The original middy blouse made its debut in the mid-nineteenth century, and began to be sold through mail order catalogs as early as 1910. It was a boxy bit, until a few years later when adding a belt became en vogue. But the traditional style, falling straight from the shoulders, hitting at the hips with a sailor collar attached at the neck would stay popular for years to come, just as it was intended to be worn. In my opinion, the poor middy only fizzled out of style after Laura Ashley killed it in the early 1980s.

I suppose it will come back around, just as everything does. It the meantime, I’m all about the midi. Ladylike is back. Middys are only suitable for the school girls, unless Lagerfeld puts one out, and then we’re back in business.

M.

Ever worn a middy? What about the midi?

Eileen Fisher Jersey Maxi Dress

Eileen Fisher. Simple, but wearable.

Donna Karan Collection Fitted Midi Skirt

Donna Karan Collection Fitted Midi. Quite possibly the most beautiful skirt ever made.

Tory Burch 'Amy' Midi Skirt

Tory Burch Amy Midi. This one is pretty perfect, too.

Topshop Moth Print Tube Skirt

Topshop Moth Print Tube Skirt.

Image 1 of MERMAID SKIRT from Zara

Zara Mermaid Skirt.

Burke's Class of 1885. Just realized I have the same hair cut I did when I was twelve.

Burke’s Class of 1985.

  2 comments for “The Midi and the Middy

  1. November 21, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Wow Donna Karan just stole my midi heart with that beauty! Thanks for the mention, I love the school pic. Try the midi!!
    mummy wife and chaos (@madamehols) recently posted…Favourite Replay Boyfriend JeansMy Profile

    • Martha Merrill Wills
      November 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      That Donna Karan is so perfect! Happy to share your post. Love your blog!

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