AKA: flared skirt
How to say it: gawr-d skurt
- fitted at the waist and flares towards the hem
- made from multiple gores, or shaped pattern pieces that are narrow at the waistband and widen towards the hem
- can hug the hips and flare from lower down, like a Fit-and-Flare style
…of the style: As the name suggests, a gored skirt is made up of multiple gores, or sections, that are narrow at the waistband and widen towards the hemline. This widening of the gores creates an overall A-Line or flared silhouette and allows the addition of width at the hemline without adding bulk at the waist.
The gores have been in use since at least the 14th century, when they were used to construct the wide skirts on kirtles. Since then, gored skirts have featured in fashion whenever a silhouette required a very full skirt and small waist, or a skirt that fitted over the hips and flared towards the hem. These included the cotehardie in the 1400s, skirts worn over (and under) farthingales in the 1500s and 1600s, and the massive hoop skirts of the late 1800s.
In modern fashion, the gored skirt was particularly popular in the 1930s, when slimmer, hip-skimming silhouettes with flared hemlines were popular, and 1940s, when full, flared skirts and small waists came back into fashion thanks to Dior’s New Look and A-Line collections.
In the 21st century the gored skirt usually has an A-Line silhouette and is considered a universally flattering, staple skirt style that is regularly available – although they are rarely called gored skirts in the modern market place.
…of the name: The skirt is made up of several ‘gores’, therefore it is a gored skirt
The history of Gored Skirts is a little tricky to nail down, you kind of have to follow the skirt silhouettes over the centuries and do separate searches within each time frame to see if gored skirts were common. The Fairchild’s Dictionary of Fashion is a good place to start, but doesn’t offer a lot of detail. I found this Wikipedia site quite helpful in my search.
- in the Middle Ages gored skirts were made of many, many gores, and contained so much fabric and decorations that they could weigh up to 20 pounds.
21st Century Gored Skirts
A search for a gored skirt by name in the modern marketplace may not turn up many options, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Often called after their silhouette, rather than their construction, many of the flared, A-Line and full skirts on the market today owe their shapes to gores.
Eileen Fisher, Warehouse
White House Black Market, XCVI