On this day in history : 2nd December 1966 – The miniskirt is banned from the Houses of Parliament….

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Jersey minidress by Mary Quant, late 1960s – Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation CC BY-SA 4.0

The short skirt, regarded as a symbol of the Swinging Sixties, had taken London by storm…. For some, wearing it was a form of rebellion against the oppression of women…. To wear a miniskirt was often not just to follow a fashion trend but as a statement of female empowerment…. Women were seeing liberation in many different areas of their lives; the availability of the contraceptive pill was seeing young women express their femininity as never before….

Mary Quant, often credited for bringing us the miniskirt, had started experimenting with shorter skirts in the 1950s – when designing for her King’s Road boutique…. Her inspiration came from the memory of seeing a young tap dancer in a tiny skirt over thick black tights….

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Mary Quant wearing a minidress of her own design, 16 December 1966 – Jac. de Nijs / Anefo CC BY-SA 3.0 nl

Quant had a love for the Mini Cooper car – and so named the skirt after it…. She claimed car and skirt complimented each other – both being ‘optimistic, exuberant, young, flirty’….

At the time of the skirt’s ban from Parliament n 1966 there were just 26 female MPs….

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