When it comes to higher hemlines, people immediately have negative views on women wearing them. “Oh she’s vulgar,” “She’s revealing too much,” “Slut,” well, even though a part of society are dismayed by women wearing higher hemlines, economist and University of Pennsylvania Wharton School professor, George Taylor, believes higher hemlines go far beyond the negative associations people have with them. Taylor’s hemline index theory suggests that the length of a skirt can be a predictor of the economy.
His study is backed up by previous events in history that seem to align with our first blog post on the history of hosiery. In the 1920’s also known as the “Roaring Twenties” an increase of wealth amongst the population occurred and funny enough - hemlines were also higher than ever before. Women wore shorter skirts and showed off their legs covered with silk stockings. When the economy took a downturn during the Great Depression, women turned back to cheap and plain fashion which meant that women became more frugal when it came to spending on hosiery - so they resorted to lower hemlines. There were a few more events that succeeded in history which enabled market analysts to see the correlation. The very same pattern happened during the millionaire boom in the 1980’s when mini-skirts were the hype. That quickly changed when the stock market crashed in 1987.
Though there seems to be somewhat a correlation between hemlines and the economy, to conclude it as the primary indicator remains to be in question. Obviously, market fundamentals and economic data seems to be more reliable when predicting the status of the economy, but hey, when a man or a woman calls you out for wearing shorter skirts, tell them that it means the economy is doing well. Hopefully, we continue to wear higher hemlines in the midst of (and after) COVID-19 as it can be one indicator to a better and bullish market.
We ask you, what do you think of George Taylor’s Hemline Index Theory? Do you agree or disagree? Do you continue to invest in hosiery regardless of the status of economy? We would love to hear your thoughts!