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Why Hobble Skirts?

Our Little Black Hobble Skirt is the perfect companion to your RoSa Shoes High Stilettos. Tight skirts and shoes with stiletto heels are made for one another, as our photo below perfectly illustrates. See how the rear curve of the shoe echoes the rear curve of the wearer in her tight skirt?

However, genuine Hobble Skirts with no unattractive splits or vents to spoil the line, narrow and restricting below the knee, are difficult to find in mainstream shops. Companies which mass-produce clothes for the general public fear that not everyone has the patience to wear them. It was therefore logical to meet the demand for truly extreme tight skirts by producing our own collection, made to our customers' own measurements for maximum "hobble" effect.

Sarah of RoSa in 1960s style knee length hobble skirt in black crepe


Hobble Skirts are, as you would expect, more demanding to wear than ordinary straight "pencil skirts". Because the movement of your legs is limited, you walk from the knee, using a more exaggerated hip motion. Practice is needed but the result is devastating!

The restriction of a tight skirt feels less of a hindrance when you wear very high heels because it's really the shoes which effectively shorten your stride. Tight skirts and high stiletto heels were originally designed to work together. When you try on your Hobble Skirt, even before putting on your shoes, you'll instinctively walk on tiptoe, as if wearing high stiletto heels. When you walk in very high stiletto heels, you will be unwittingly shortening the steps you take, even if you are in full skirts or trousers. You might as well be wearing a narrower, sleeker skirt. It all feels natural.

[ Note about the correct use of the word "hobble" in the context of the Hobble Skirt - a woman in a Hobble Skirt does NOT hobble (walk with a limp). It is, however, correct to say that her skirt hobbles her, that she is hobbled by her skirt, or that her skirt is so narrow that it acts as a hobble. It's the skirt which does the hobbling - not the wearer! ]

The Hobble Skirt in everyday life

A woman who chooses to wear the tightest possible Hobble Skirt to enhance her figure and emphasize her movement is a glorious sight. As she enters a room, her skirt pulling taut around her legs at every shortened step, she knows she cannot fail to be the centre of attention. This empowers her, even though her skirt hampers her ability to walk.

Women wear Hobble Skirts for a variety of reasons - to make themselves feel wonderful, to attract male attention, to dumbfound less adventurous rivals, to create controversy, to laugh in the face of ridicule, to antagonize those unfortunate members of the "fashion police" who express outrage at any hint of impracticality or eroticism  in women's clothing - and so on. In short, the Hobble Skirt makes a Statement.

In the world of entertainment, the slow, seductive gait imposed by a Hobble Skirt means that its wearer remains the focus of an audience's attention (or on camera) that little bit longer - one very good reason why a performer, or recipient of a showbusiness award, will often choose to make her entrance and exit wearing a skirt in which she can barely walk. The woman who made the most memorable use of a devastatingly, immobilizingly, figure-hugging dress was probably Marilyn Monroe. Her legendarily late arrival to sing Happy Birthday to JFK has gone down in history and was entirely caused by the tightness of her gown, in which she was almost unable to make her way to the stage at all.

In the workplace, the Hobble Skirt also represents empowerment. A female executive wearing a Hobble-Skirted business suit and high stiletto heels looks the epitome of efficiency. Although her physical capability is greatly reduced, the respect her smart appearance inspires actually makes her life easier - she is obviously not a member of staff who would be called upon to undertake menial or strenuous tasks.

In short, the Hobble-Skirted woman dictates the pace. She cannot and will not be hurried. The world waits for her in fascination, compelled to make allowances for the way her narrow skirt inconveniences her, yet at the same time enhances her personal style, dignity and charisma.  

Sarah of RoSa in 1950s style calf-length hobble skirts in black twill suiting

In a Hobble Skirt, you must move and behave differently. You have to walk as the skirt tells you to walk. It takes practice and patience. Having achieved the necessary skills, you may wish to encourage friends who normally dress down in flat shoes and jeans to join you in adopting the style, so you can all enjoy socialising at a similar pace. Alternatively you may wish to continue enjoying a very unfair advantage!

If in doubt, here's some good news: contrary to the claims of fashion “experts” concerning the clothing requirements of the (allegedly) more active modern woman, life has inadvertently become better-suited than ever to the wearing of Hobble Skirts.

After all, when was the last time you had to mount a high step to climb aboard a bus or train, as women did every day during the tight-skirted 1950s or '60s? Just how difficult is it to drive your automatic to a multi-storey car park and saunter around the adjoining smooth-floored indoor shopping mall, complete with escalators, elevators and mobility ramps? It's so much easier to get around these days. If you do need to move quickly, simply break into a graceful (and aerobically beneficial) Geisha-style trot - and watch those heads turn in admiration!

Once you have grown accustomed to it, we think you will actually enjoy the elegant sensation of feeling hobbled by your skirt. You'll be pleasantly surprised, and occasionally amused, by the reactions it provokes. You'll quickly find that people have no problem at all with the way you have to walk - most will admire your style. As for those few sad characters who don't approve and stare unkindly at you - just be cool, wear big sunglasses and ignore them.

Our "Little Black Hobble Skirts" are a long way from what so many High Street shops sell as “pencil skirts” - those corporate-looking, unexciting, straight, excessively stretchy items of clothing, with their unsightly and unnecessary splits or vents, advertised as offering “freedom of movement”. One wonders what kind of movement the manufacturers envisage – the Can-Can, perhaps, or the Steeplechase?

What the fashion industry and its various commentators currently seem unable to comprehend is that tight skirts are supposed to change how you walk and move. The subtle little manoeuvres you must learn to accomplish in order to go about your daily routine are what makes a restricting Hobble Skirt so eternally fascinating, to both wearer and admirer alike. Your ability to cope calmly and serenely with an item of clothing so obviously impractical and challenging to wear is what defines your elegance and sets you apart from the crowd.

Wearing your "Little Black Hobble Skirt" may occasionally present you with interesting little problems to solve, but once you’ve got your walk and your attitude sorted, you’ll be fine. American fashion journalist Edith Russell successfully escaped the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 despite, as she later described in a radio interview, being almost unable to walk in her new full-length Paris Hobble Skirt (the first item she grabbed from her cabin wardrobe en route to the lifeboats). We're sure you'll survive in rather less demanding circumstances.

Just work that wiggle, accept that you must walk as your Hobble Skirt dictates, and take a little extra care on stairs, which should, of course, be avoided whenever possible (there's usually an escalator, mobility ramp or elevator in most public places these days - unless you really want to show off!)

Less apparent to a newcomer to Hobble Skirts, but more important with regard to personal safety  - going downstairs in a longer skirt which hobbles your ankles is something to be undertaken slowly, carefully and with great mindfulness at all times, so please watch your step, don’t forget those stilettos - and, above all, have fun!