Fashion Fads are nothing new but the hobble skirt is really strange from 1910 – this is why it became popular

Hobble Skirt

One short-lived fad around 1910 was the hobble skirt. A hobble skirt was a skirt with a narrow enough hem to significantly impede the wearer’s stride. Parisian fashion designer Paul Poiret designed the restrictive skirts.Hobble skirt from Wikipedia

 Mrs. Hart O. Berg

It is thought he may have been influenced by observing the behavior of Mrs. Hart O. Berg when she took her first aeroplane flight in October 1908 with Wilbur Wright she tied a rope around the bottom of her skirt to keep it from blowing up during the flight. After Wilbur and Mrs. Berg landed, she walked away in a ‘hobble’ fashion until she could remove the rope from her skirt.

One newspaper writer from Bessemer, Alabama thought the fashion so ridiculous that he wrote the following article in his paper.


Bessemer Weekly September 1910

Girls do not wear hobble skirts, we beg of you. To put it plainly don’t make fools of yourselves. The merchants who offer them for sale laugh at the silliness of the women who buy them.

One prominent Birmingham merchant said to us: – “They are horrible things, but the women are demanding them, so we must offer them for sale.”

Girls don’t wear a garment which makes men turn and look at you on the streets and laugh. Don’t wear anything which attracts (or) its conspiciousness (sic) and ugliness. Be dainty and neat, have a little independence of your own, and above all, be refined.

VINEGAR OF THE FOUR THIEVES: Recipes & curious tips from the past

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She cohost the Podcast: Alabama Grist Mill and developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and

All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble.

She has authored numerous genealogy books.
RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE)
is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2)
is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series)
Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1)
is the continuation of the story. .

For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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