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Why Hobble Skirts?

The Little Black Hobble Skirt collection now has its own online shop

Genuine Hobble Skirts have no unattractive splits or vents. They are narrow and restricting at (or below) the knee and are difficult to find in normal shops. Companies which mass-produce for the general public fear that not everyone has the patience to wear them. It was therefore logical to meet the demand by producing a collection of Hobble Skirts, made to the customer's own measurements for maximum effect. This has proved so popular it has now developed into an independent business.

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


Hobble Skirts are, as you would expect, more restricting 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. The result is very attractive.

The restriction of a tight skirt feels more manageable when combined with high heels, which are best worn by taking shorter steps. Tight skirts and high stiletto heels were originally intended to work together. When you try on your Hobble Skirt, even without shoes, you'll instinctively walk on tiptoe, as if wearing heels. It just feels natural.

Concerning the persistent misuse of the word "hobble" in the context of the Hobble Skirt  (fashion historians and commentators - please get it right!) - a woman walking correctly in a Hobble Skirt does NOT hobble (verb intransitive). This conveys an unattractive idea, quite contrary to the elegance of the garment. Her narrow skirt acts as a hobble (noun) around her legs - so it's the skirt which hobbles (verb transitive) the wearer, not the wearer who hobbles in her skirt.

The Hobble Skirt in action

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

In the world of entertainment, the seductive gait imposed by a Hobble Skirt means that its wearer remains the focus of an audience's attention that little bit longer - one very good reason why a performer will often choose to go onstage wearing a skirt in which she can barely walk.

In the workplace, the Hobble Skirt 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 reduced, the respect commanded by her dynamic appearance makes her life easier - she is obviously not a member of staff who would be called upon to undertake menial or strenuous tasks. She is dressed for success.

The Hobble-Skirted woman dictates the pace. She cannot and will not be hurried. The world waits for her. Her narrow skirt inconveniences her, yet simultaneously enhances her personal style, dignity and charisma.  

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

The "Little Black Hobble Skirts" are not what many shops call “pencil skirts” - those are just corporate-looking, stretch fabric garments with unsightly and unnecessary splits or vents for “freedom of movement”. (One wonders what kind of movement they mean – the Can-Can, perhaps, or the Steeplechase?)

In a Hobble Skirt, you must move and behave differently. You have to walk as the skirt tells you to walk, either gliding with short quick steps, or sauntering suggestively along if time is on your side. You don't just wear a Hobble Skirt, you perform in it. You can play on the elegance, the comedy or the sexuality - your choice. This takes practice, skill and patience but it always looks delightful - and the results are worth any inconvenience.

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, it's the 21st century. When was the last time you had to climb aboard a bus or train? Just how difficult is it to drive to a multi-storey car park and walk around a smooth-floored indoor shopping mall? Need to go up to the next level? Use the escalator or the lift - or even the mobility ramp! It's so much easier to get around these days than in any previous era when restricting skirts were considered the norm.

If you do ever need to move quickly in a narrow skirt, simply break into a graceful (and aerobically beneficial) trot. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, the sight of smartly-dressed women running to catch buses or trains and elegantly hopping up those high steps in their tight skirts and stiletto heels was the highlight of the daily commute.

Once you have grown accustomed to it, we think you will actually enjoy the sensation of feeling hobbled by your skirt. You'll be pleasantly surprised, and occasionally amused, by the reactions it provokes. 

Wearing your Hobble Skirt may occasionally present you with interesting problems to solve, but once you have 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 immobilized by her new full-length Paris Hobble Skirt (allegedly 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, keep your steps short, accept that you must walk as your Hobble Skirt dictates, and take a little extra care on stairs!