Remember the midi of the mid-’80s? Store buyers banked on it, but consumers balked, refusing to wear shapeless sacks. Like just about everything else in fashion, though, the mid-length skirt is back and reinvented.
“The swing of the pendulum started about a year ago,” said Audrey Slater, fashion director at Redbook magazine.
“From the moment I noticed this trend, I loved it,” Slater said. “It’s extremely easy to wear and flattering. The length, which ranges anywhere from below the knee to above the ankle, works on everyone.”
The most versatile, she adds, is right below the knee where the indent is.
Pair it with a structured, boxy sleeveless or short-sleeve shirt, a button-down shirt or T-shirt you can tuck in.
The important point is to put the focus on the waist, which is more easily accomplished with a skirt that has some flow. A longer pencil skirt is harder to wear because it’s going to highlight the rear end and hips. When the focal point is higher, the look is much more forgiving.
Mid-length pleated skirts in chiffon are very popular, but Slater also likes materials with body, such as faux leather, neoprene and denim.
“You need to wear this length with some sort of heel — a kitten heel or a square heeled sandal,” Slater said.
She said she doesn’t like platforms and that flats are tricky.
“The look starts to wear you if don’t balance it with something light and delicate on your foot,” says Slater.
By all means, avoid the long sheer skirt with a miniskirt underneath that several designers have favored for spring. It may be OK for 15-year-olds, but it’s not flattering on anyone else. Look for designer labels, including Tracy Reese and Michael Kors. If you’re not sure you want to go low, experiment for less at chains such as Zara and online at Asos.
All in all, midis are a nice alternative to form-fitting sheaths and skinny pants for a more care-free and sensible spring season.
Kelly is editor of MyLittleBird.com, a Washington-based women’s view of fashion, design and culture, where this story originally appeared. See other photos and runway ideas at www.mylittlebird.com/2014/the-lowdown-on-skirt-lengths/.
On the runways
• An everyday denim dress that’s anything but everyday from Derek Lam’s spring 2014 runway collection. Love that wide belt.
• A casual sweatshirt is paired with a flowy pleated skirt in Christopher Kane’s 2014 spring runway collection.
• Fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra tweaked the look of mid-length hems with sexy slits.
For your closet
•From Zara (www.zara.com): Midi skirt with belt ($99), accordion pleated skirt ($79) and printed pencil skirt ($59).
•From Tracy Reese (www.tracyreese.com): Figure flattering and feminine Dolce Vita skirt with tulle lining (also available in black) with matching top, $298; and Fly Away Frock ($368). With its mid-length full skirt, this dress keeps the eye focused on the waist.