Debunking the Hemline Index
(Bloomberg) -- What do inflation data and microscopic beaded skirts have in common? They both show the economy is heating up.
At least that’s what the Hemline Index would have you believe. The theory was developed in the 1920s and posits that the length of dresses can be an indicator of where the economy is headed, with shorter cuts pointing to good times and longer ones signaling a downturn.
While the index has often been debunked as too simplistic, history is filled with examples that fit. There was the ubiquitous miniskirt in the postwar boom of the 1960s, which gave way to the oil crisis and a penchant for longer smock dresses and tunics. A century ago, the flappers of the 1920s wore knee-length skirts that were considered daring at the time. But the stock market crash pushed hemlines back down.
So what do dresses and skirts look like now as the world slowly emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic? Watch our story on how women’s fashion is disproving the century-old idea.
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