Have you ever thought about what your skirt length says?
Many women have skirts in their wardrobes that end at unflattering lengths for them. It’s commonly because the skirt is made for someone with longer legs than they have (particularly for the short legged and petite). The other common reason is the skirt is from another time, when that length was the fashionable length, but now that time has passed.
So what are your skirts saying behind your back?
For the young only – they say I’m young rebellious and have great legs and I’m going to show them off while I have them. Not work appropriate, whatever your age. This length says you are risky and don’t think through choices well (in the workplace).
Just above the Knee
This is a great length if you have shorter legs proportionally as it gives the illusion of a longer leg (most calves are longer than thighs). This is work appropriate.
Another great length that can be worn by all, long or short legged at all ages.
Just below the knee
Great for longer legs, not so good for shorter legs.
This can look ladylike when worn with heels and worn by the more youthful among us. As we become more mature it can easily look old fashioned and ageing. Must be worn with a heel.
Unless you are really hip and happening, avoid this length at it is right in the middle of frumpyland. It says you have an inability to deal with change as these old skirts have been with you for a long time and you are not current or updated, you are old-fashioned.
This works in a more casual environment, or creative workplace, not for the corporate world. Wear with a wedge or a jewelled sandal.
Further Reading about Skirt:
6 Things to Look for When Choosing Dresses and Skirts for Relaxed and Casual Environments
I wear the length I am comfortable with which is a bit above knee but not a mini (similar to the photo at the top) for skirts in the winter. In dresses, I will wear to at knee or above, as the ‘line’ is longer, you are so right about the midi , awful (and I steer away from mid knee on coat length). I think the tough one with skirts is the balance of what is worn with it to keep the proportions working.
What about mermaid skirts?
Technically they’re about the same length as maxi skirts, but does the length in itself make them hip and boho in the same way that maxi skirts are? Maybe they’re outdated.. Except for a below-knee pencil skirt I don’t really wear skirts now, but remember finding mermaid skirts very comfortable in my 20’s – and so have thought of maybe trying to find one. Maxi skirts usually suffer from an abundance of fabric and I’ve stopped even trying them on.
Mermaid skirts are out of fashion these days. They are in a way like the mullet skirt that is also now out of fashion (fortunately) there are some maxi skirts without so much volume but harder to find.
Well.. I think this means I shall be looking for a sleek maxi skirt 🙂
I’ve tried for some time to understand the point of mullet skirts.. but I believe the lack of spectacularly attractive knees probably disqualifies me beforehand, since framing the knees seem to be the main feature. I might be wrong though. Some things I’ve discovered lately point me in a new direction. Lighter, pliable fabrics with more layering seems both more comfortable, more flattering.. and more me. Will complement the longer hair style I’m aiming for. I’ve been wearing too stiff and masculine (and safe and boring) outfits for my slight frame and (admittedly) soft expression and body language. A new skirt or two might be just the thing. Have a nice weekend!
It matters what hosiery you wear with it, no? I wear above-knee skirts at work but with opaque tights.
Also, question about “Just above the Knee – this is a great length if you have shorter legs proportionally as it gives the illusion of a longer leg (most calves are longer than thighs). This is work appropriate” — My calves are actually a bit shorter than thighs, what then?
Thicker hosiery can make a difference as to how much leg we see, but still for work, only just above the knee, anything shorter is not work appropriate. As far as leg length, above the knee will make your legs look proportionally longer.
Thanks for the wonderful article – maybe you could also make sometimes a post in which you post which clothes are not fashionable anymore. Then we might think – yes – this garment should definitely go out of my wardrobe.
All the best,
Hi Tina – check out this post https://insideoutstyleblog.com/2012/11/when-is-it-time-to-let-go-of-the-trends-you-love.html
What kinds of clothes are you wondering about?
Can you elaborate in this post or another one about skirt lengths for tall women or women with long legs. I am an X with a short waist and all my height comes from my legs. Very often I can’t get skirts long enough and the just above the knee skirts become 4 or more inches above the knee. 🙁
You may need to add a false hem to skirts to make them suit your long legs proportionally
What is the best length, not maxi, if you are petite with ‘fat knees’?
I also wonder: if your knees aren’t great, what’s a good length? I have shorter legs in proportion to my height. On the knee?
Either on or just under the knee if you want to hide them. As we look “down” at skirt lengths, stand in front of a full length mirror to decide your best length as you will be looking at an angle (not front on – as nobody is crawling round on the floor looking at your knees!)
Hmm – my rarely worn high-ankle length skirts just say about me that I no longer have attractive legs.
They don’t say – I’m a cool chick who wear’s maxi dresses?
Ah thanks Imogen, I need to re-vamp my body image.
Never too late to be a cool chick ;D
I guess I am missing the difference between midi and mid calf? I like a bit longer than just below knee because I work with children and when one bends over or sits it is good if they take into account what is showing in those postures. I want to be more discreet than my counterparts and I don’t see the point of trying to be sexy in front of children. That is inappropriate at best and, well, disgusting.
Midi can be often just below the knee – whilst mid-calf (which is also sometimes referred to as midi) is definitely – below the widest point of your calf.
Can you give me a skirt suggestion? I’m either an I shape or a slim V, and I have balanced proportions which are shorter in the middle. I have long very slim legs – both my thighs and calves are slimmer than average. Of the two, my calves are longer than my thighs.
Anna – have a read of these posts: https://insideoutstyleblog.com/2015/06/body-shape-bible-understanding-how-to-dress-v-shape-bodies.html https://insideoutstyleblog.com/2015/02/the-best-skirt-for-your-body-shape.html and this about proportions – https://insideoutstyleblog.com/2009/06/body-proportions-explained-balanced-with-short-mid-body.html