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The hemline is perhaps the most variable style line in fashion, changing shape and ranging in height from hip-high to floor-length. What is a fashionable style and height of hemline has varied considerably throughout the years, and has also depended on a number of factors such as the age of the wearer, the occasion for which the garment is worn and the choice of the individual.
- floor-length hemlines
- ankle hemlines
- midcalf hemlines
- below-knee hemlines
- above-knee hemlines
- mid-thigh hemlines
- hip-high hemlines
- handkerchief hemlines
- diagonal or asymmetric hemlines
- high-low hemlines, usually short in front and dipping behind
- other hemlines, such as modern-cut hemlines
Dresses and skirts are also classified in terms of their length:
In the history of Western fashion, the ordinary public clothes of upper- and middle-class women varied only between floor-length and slightly above ankle-length for many centuries before World War I. Skirts of lower-calf or mid-calf length were associated with the practical working garments of lower-class or pioneer women, while even shorter skirt lengths were seen only in certain specialized and restricted contexts (e.g. sea-bathing costumes, or outfits worn by ballerinas on stage). It was not until the mid-1910s that hemlines began to rise significantly (with many variations in height thereafter). Skirts rose all the way from floor-length to near knee-length in little more than fifteen years (from late in the decade of the 1900s to the mid-1920s). From World War I to roughly 1970, a woman had to wear skirts near their currently-fashionable length or be considered almost hopelessly unstylish, but since the 1970s, women's options have widened, and there is no longer really only one single fashionable skirt-length at a time.
Another influence on the length of a woman's skirt is the Hemline index, which, oversimplified, states that hemlines rise and fall in sync with the stock market.
See also 
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