I woke up this morning, went outside for a walk and saw dozens of beautiful women in skirts on their way to whatever destination they had in mind. Surrounded by this many uncovered limbs in the warm weather, I knew that today must be Rokjesdag. Or, in English: National Skirt Day.
Skirt Day is the first day in spring in the Netherlands when it’s finally warm enough to don a dress or a skirt or a pair of shorts again after a long, cold, depressing winter. Officially, Skirt Day falls on the 22 of April. But really, there’s no exact day. It’s determined by the weather, and by three rules:
- The majority of the women outside are wearing skirts or dresses
- They aren’t wearing tights
- Twitter and Facebook are overflowing with the hashtag #rokjesdag
Skirt Day became a national day for the Dutch when the columnist Martin Bril wrote about it in 1996. Since then, it has become so popular that “rokjesdag” got an official definition in the Dutch dictionary.
But really, Skirt Day is not one day anymore; every day during spring that is hot enough to wear a skirt in the Netherlands (and those are not abundant here) is called a skirt day. And so this beautiful tradition continues throughout spring.
To be honest, I didn’t know about Skirt Day until two or three years ago maybe, when I heard about it on the radio and saw a few posts on Facebook. I’m not originally from the Netherlands, nor have I lived my entire life here. We moved around a lot, so I didn’t have close (Dutch) friends until my late teenage years. But once I discovered skirt day, I was hooked. The only problem? I do have to admit that I am a little attached to wearing black tights.
Now, on skirt days, I use the warm weather to experiment with new looks. Usually, I go with a flared dress or A-line skirt. Sometimes, I mix it up and wear a sheath dress. (Those dresses make me feel like a big deal businesswoman.) Either way, on skirt days, I stride out of the house with the sun finally warming the backs of my calves, happy for weather that’s nice enough to forget about pants.
Ann Eshaw is addicted to science, coffee, and rewatching Friends and Buffy episodes. She believes that vulnerability and kindness are the most powerful tools to create a happier world, which led her to create Let’s Talk. You can say hello on Twitter @Simply_Thinking