It appears that skirts are getting longer for next season and it’s a trend that is likely to continue.
For some body shapes and some skirt shapes this can look great. But it requires a lot of care. Much of what is coming into fashion can look dangerously mumsy or fancy dress-like.
This length is all about proportions. To avoid getting it wrong, you need to be sure that there is enough space between your ankle and the hem of the skirt. If your height is mostly in your torso, long skirts need careful appraisal and alteration to get the length right for you. One way is to not to wear a skirt that is mid-calf, but instead to choose one that is just below the knee and taper it which gives the effect of a longer skirt, but doesn’t foreshorten the bottom part of your leg.
In summer, I think this quite a difficult look unless the skirt is pencil slim and you’re wearing a high heel; and in winter, in my opinion, unless you have been blessed with good legs, it looks better with boots with a small heel.
As I’m working on collections a year ahead, I can see that the trouser suit is making a big comeback and I think one reason for this is that it is a safer option than the dilemma that a lot of women face over the length of their skirts.
Nevertheless, from what I’ve seen on my travels, the skirt that is the most successful falls just below the knee and is gently tapered. And for optimum chic, the knee does need to be covered for this summer and next winter.
For next season skirt suits will be more popular than trouser suits, so I’ll start with skirts. Here are my tips:
A straight skirt with an interesting back split is the most flattering shape on most women and the most versatile of all shapes. Unless you have a really good figure, do not attempt an a-line, pleated or full skirt. Whatever a shop assistant tells you, wide skirts will make the vast majority of women look wider – so stick to straight. The length and tapering can be adjusted to suit the legs and the fashion. A straight skirt also looks good with most shoes.
- Straight skirts are more forgiving when they’re made of a fabric with some stretch in it – for example 96% wool and 4% lycra – to give you ease of movement and are less likely to split when you stretch to get into a taxi
- Very short skirts are best left alone since few women over the age of 35 have knees good enough to expose. Save them for summer holidays or discos.
- Equally, long skirts should be left to religious sects for the time being. In the office they tend to look very mumsy; and I would advise steering clear of long skirts for evening as well. Evening trousers are a more modern option if you want to cover your legs.
- Make sure there is no detailing that will conflict with the buttoning of your jacket. For example a skirt with a plain front panel will look much better with your jacket as it will not conflict with the buttons.
- Colour – if the jacket and skirt are different colours, make the skirt darker than the jacket: you’ll find it has a useful slimming effect. If you’re buying a skirt which you want to wear with a jacket of the same colour make sure that one part is in a textured fabric and the other a flat fabric.
- If you are uncomfortable in skirts because you have some worry about your legs, I would suggest investing in opaque tights in a dark colour which hide a multitude of sins, especially when worn with knee high boots which is fashionable most seasons. Many shoe designers have created comfortable heel shapes and heights this season as they know women are going to be wearing more skirts and will need the shoes to complement them.