The hobble skirt was an unfortunate fashion trend in the early 20th century. Women’s skirts were tied very tight at the hem, preventing them from running or even walking fast – hence the nickname “speed-limit skirt.”
This design supposedly had an adventurous origin: one of the first women to fly in a plane (Edith Berg) tied her skirt down to prevent it blowing up in the wind. A fashion designer spectator saw the look and turned it into a trend.
The hobble skirt prevented anything except a slow walk. Forget about climbing up steep stairs or onto public transport! In fact, New York and Los Angeles commissioned streetcars specifically designed to be hobble-skirt-accessible. There are a couple of recorded deaths by hobble skirt – one poor woman tripped and fell off a bridge – but they didn’t die out until World War I.