Funky Denim Skirt

A few appliques can turn a plain skirt into something striking.

One of the perfect combinations of a casual and feminine look is a funky denim skirt. They come in any number of lengths and styles and, if you are feeling keen, you can even make one yourself.

History of Funky Denim Skirts

Women started wearing jeans in the 1940s when they were doing factory work as part of the war effort. Postwar, teenage girls might wear jeans as play clothes and adults could wear them for gardening or cleaning, but it wasn't until the clothing revolution later in the 1960s that jeans became acceptable daywear for everyone. Many young women practically lived in jeans. And for many of them, when they wanted some variety but didn't want to give up their look, denim skirts were the natural answer.

A long skirt was what was most typically worn by hippies, but as the 1970s progressed, shorter denim skirts and jumpers became very popular. A denim skirt could be appropriate for a number of occasions and it could be made that much more lively with appliques or trim.

In the 1980s, funky denim skirts really hit their stride - it was the rare girl who didn't own a denim mini. While they could be simple, many of them were truly wild, with asymmetrical hems, spangles or lacy flounces. They had a homemade look even though they came straight from the factory, which might have diluted the impact.

The Santa Fe Look

You can't talk about funky denim skirts without talking about the artists' community of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Santa Fe look hasn't changed much over the decades, even though it's individualistic: A long, often tiered denim skirt, with or without some Native American style detailing and worn with a flounced top and a lot of arty jewelry. Sandals or Western boots finish off the look. It's comfortable, feminine and distinctive, shows you for the artistic soul you are, and never goes out of style.

Making Your Own Skirt

Denim skirts from basic to wild are in virtually every shop that sells clothes. If you want something with a bit of character, it takes nearly no shopping effort. But if you really want to capture a unique look, you should consider saving some money on pre-made funkiness and creating something of your own.

That's not to say you want to sew a whole skirt. Even lightweight denim can be hard to work with because it's still a thick fabric and often requires an industrial machine. However, denim's very sturdiness means you can do a lot to and with it and it will hold up.

Many denim skirts in the shops have fringed bottoms, but you can create fringe yourself with scissors. Or you can take a trip to your local fabric shop and buy fringe in any color you like and either sew it on with a strong needle or use a glue gun.

One way to liven up a plain skirt that was popular in the 1960s still works well today - the iron-on patch. Denim is perfect for patches and you can use one or several to give your skirt character. Appliques are also nice touches and easily sewed on by hand.

If you're interested in embroidery, a denim skirt is the perfect item to work on. An embroidered hem is beautiful. And if you make mistakes as you learn, it isn't that noticeable.

When your favorite jeans start to wear out with holes in the knees and more embarrassing places, you have a few options like patches or wearing leggings underneath, but you might consider taking a page from the hippie days and turning those jeans into a skirt. You'll need a good sewing kit and extra fabric, but mostly, you just need some time and a lot of imagination. You'll end up with something funky, fabulous and distinctly your own.

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Funky Denim Skirt