The skirt hike is an interesting body language cue because it happens completely subconsciously with little, and usually no awareness at all. It is so subtle though that only those looking specifically for it will actually see it.
The “skirt hike” happens by fingering and play with the bottom ridge of the skirt. Other times, the skirt hike happens in a more pronounced way by grabbing the bottom of the skirt and pulling it up a few inches or more, to reveal more leg. This motion is usually done toward a man of interest and followed by eye contact, but other times like the parade, happens as advertisement of the woman’s availability. If she catches someone else notice this gesture which she isn’t interested in, she will quickly force it back down and break eye contact.
Any gesture like the skirt hike that exposes more skin can be a sexual signal. We are all familiar with the cliché scene in movies where the woman suggestively says that she’ll return in something more comfortable. As always, she reappears in sexy lingerie. Most times, men don’t get such an obvious cue of interest but women still remove clothing to peek interest. Removing a heavy shirt or jacket to be more comfortable, or loosening buttons from a shirt, or even removing shoes or dangling the shoes from the toe, all show comfort at worst, and interest at best. “Shoe play” is also a great indicator of the level of comfort experienced between a man and women and is a way for a woman to get noticed because movement draws attention. Movement is the opposite to the fear-freeze response when people are scared. While in conversation, if the man does something to startle the woman, she’ll pull her shoe back on in short order! It’s also a good way to measure a cold approach because she’ll slip her shoe back on immediately if she doesn’t like the approach. She’ll make her displeasure more salient by slightly or fully turning away, holding a fixed gaze with her friends or across the room or pretend to be distracted. Her movements will also minimize so as to become less noticeable in the hopes that her “male predator” moves onto new prey.