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All About Skirts

by Caroline Paris

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A skirt is ultimately one of the most impractical pieces in a woman's wardrobe. It requires as much, if not more styling consideration as a pair of trousers, yet it's definitely much less comfortable. And depending on its length, it can bring a whole host of different problems and issues requiring you to provide care and attention to all manners of existence including one of the most basic human functions - sitting down.

That being said, I've always loved skirts and dresses. As a child, I constantly requested to wear skirts and fought hard against the idea of any form of trousers or shorts. Years later, as I grew into someone ostensibly capable of shopping for herself, somehow new skirts and dresses seemed to constantly find themselves in my wardrobe.

Why opt for a skirt?

The word skirt is somewhat of an umbrella term in the land of fashion. There are tons of different styles and the word skirt encompasses them all. To name a few, there are mini skirts, skater skirts, knee-length skirts, floor-length skirts, flared skirts and the list continues. Whilst the mini-skirt remains a constant trend, other types have become increasingly popular such as the pencil skirt which hits the perfect length - right below the knee where the back of the leg starts to curve in and just before the calf begins. This type is quite synonymous with the past ladylike glamour of the fifties era. Below I dig deeper into each type of skirt, highlighting what I love the most about each one and how best to style them.

The Pencil Skirt

When I think of a pencil skirt, the image of sexy, feminine women comes to mind. There are different ways to wear this type, but perhaps the most popular one is that of the full-on feminine power look. However, in the land of fashion, this might not be the most on-trend way to go about it. If you truly want to be fashionable, you need to think a bit harder, a bit more masculine. A modern take on this outfit is to pair such a skirt with a graphic or logo sweater and wear this to work for a twist on office wear or with a sequinned sweater for a night out. For a smarter alternative, adding a fitted blazer and pencil skirt is a great idea. Although pencil skirts are flattering on different body shapes, I think it is best on those who are not petite but who have slightly longer legs.

The Skater and Flared Skirts

A flared skirt is one that is tight around the waist but then flares out. They can be found in their shorter variety known as the skater style or below the knee which lends a more retro look. The pleated, longer type is highly popular and is great for those body shapes that have wider hips since it mainly focuses on the narrow waist.

The tricky part about mid-length skirts and body shapes is that they can make legs seem shorter, but this will greatly depend on the size and shape of the calves themselves. It goes without saying that lean calves will always look better with this skirt.

On the other hand, a skater skirt typically falls way above the knee, at times being quite short but at others, it can simply rest just a few inches above it. Skater skirts are also generally flouncier and a bit wider. In contrast, circle skirts are very often quite high waisted and very tight around the area, but then flare out quite substantially.

Regarding footwear, I actually love these styles with a variety of different shoes. Trainers can make the outfit casual and fun, ankle boots in winter work well with the shorter skater type and a pair of high heels look good with almost everything.

The Mini Skirt

I'm guessing that the mini skirt needs no introduction. The majority are distinguished for being quite fitted and riding high, well above the knee. These work best on long, lean legs since they are on full display. To downplay the perhaps slightly sexual nature of this skirt, it can be worn with an oversized top or t-shirt. If pure femininity is what you're after, then a fitted top or crop top might work too. The mini skirt is ideal for smaller, petite and lean shapes, yet it is best for apple-shaped women and those with a straighter body type. It isn't a great idea for those with wider hips or thighs since the length of the skirt might enhance the area even further, so opt for a longer skirt. Not sure what's your body type? Have a look at these tips to find out and here is how to dress for your specific body shape.

One way of making a mini skirt appear smarter and perhaps more pulled together is to team it with an oversized, boxy blazer that is actually longer than the skirt. When looking at this outfit from the back, it will not be evident that there is a shorter skirt so the fun part is that it will serve as a surprise when seen from the front, making it quite a playful outfit. I love this specific look worn with ankle boots or flat sandals or a pair of white sneakers. In need of some footwear? Have a look at these shoe shops found across Malta and Gozo.

The Floor-Length Skirt

A floor-length skirt generally follows a similar shape and style to a mid-length one. Traditionally, we have always linked this type of skirt with a glamorous appearance. This might be the case on certain occasions, such as when heels, a lace or sequined top is paired with a long, silk skirt - an outfit fit to take you all the way to an award ceremony. However, you can experiment by wearing the skirt in different ways depending on the fabric and the accessories that go with it. For instance, I really like floor-length skirts worn with trainers and a t-shirt, but in this case, the skirt would be either a denim or a linen one. This option works well on most body shapes but taller women might carry it better as opposed to a petite girl which can seem a bit swamped by it. Ensure that the skirt falls exactly around the ankle bone and don't go for one that is too big. The skirt should fit well around the waist but should be loose around the bum and hips area.

Skirts with Slits

Longer skirts with high slits are becoming more and more popular lately. There are long, looser versions with two high slits at the sites and there are other tighter versions with one high slit called a thigh split. Either way, the idea of what appears to be a more formal look but adds a risque element in the form of a slit is now becoming quite a hot trend. These skirts should generally always be worn with heels - the higher the better. I also like them worn with a fitted top or blazer or perhaps a bodysuit.

With so many different styles of skirts available, it can be hard to figure out which would be the best choice for you and there truly is so much to consider. For this reason, I suggest hitting the stores on a free afternoon. Whist there, try on a couple of different styles to get a feel of what suits you and what you feel most comfortable wearing and make sure to try these on with different shoes. But remember that whatever you choose, wear it with poise and confidence!

Keep on discovering local with Yellow!


Caroline Paris
About Caroline Paris

Caroline is a fashion stylist and writer from Malta, she launched her fashion blog and lifestyle platform in 2011, always with fashion at the forefront of all her endeavours.

Over the years, Caroline has continued to develop her styling career and was awarded the Malta Fashion Awards – Best Fashion Stylist Award three times (the max this award can be achieved) – in 2013, 2015, 2016. She has worked as fashion stylist on many different campaigns and publications including Style Magazine, Sunday Circle Magazine, Venere TV Series, il-Klikka TV Series and Malta Fashion Week. 

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