A question cam through to me on Twitter today from @ClothesAtticd wanting to know how she can wear a black maxi skirt without looking frumpy. I would imagine many people want to know the answer to this so I thought I’d blog about how to wear a black maxi skirt vs. just answering her.
Okay, so black isn’t my favorite color to wear. I have said before that I don’t wear black at all, really. However, I know it is a staple for many so, here goes…
First, a black maxi skirt can be just as uninspired as a black pair of pants. If you don’t do anything to make it exciting and just throw on some boring top on with it, you’ll be hitting the “fashion snooze” button before you know it. Black maxi-skirts need an entire look built around it or it falls flat. Also, when it comes to a maxi-skirt in general, it is important to avoid looking like one of the wives in a polygamist household.
Here are some looks showing how to wear a black maxi skirt
This first look is a sleeker and more modern look that can be worn day or night. I chose this skirt because it has some shape and is figure flattering with the fit-and-flare silhouette. Often, maxi-skirts can be so wide and diaphanous that a woman can look frumpy and short in them. This one solves that. I like the idea of belting a crisp white shirt with a maxi-skirt because I think proportion-wise it is important to define the waist. Using a belt, like this one by Anthropologie (one of my client’s favorite belts), adds some details in addition to some definition. Because of the detail around the neck, I went for a pair of chandelier earrings instead of cluttering up the neckline with a heavy necklace Lastly I chose these booties by Ann Taylor which add some sexiness to the whole look.
This second look is a great black pants replacement. I kept it simple and more casual so it could be worn to work, for plans with friends, etc. This time I went with a fuller skirt. In cases of full silhouettes, waist shaping is crucial and I loved just pairing the skirt with a simple, slim grey turtleneck, something most of us already have in our closets. Next, I chose a riding book in black and happened to love this versatile boot by Jessica Bennett. Lastly, this look needed a pop of color and, yellow being so popular (in addition to looking amazing with grey), I chose this fun pendant necklace from Kenneth Jay Lane. To finish it off I chose a black leather cuff as not to distract from the yellow accent, but to complement it.
The last look is a complete departure from the rest. In this case, I made the black skirt a background player to the warmer colors of the outfit. This is how I would play black in my wardrobe. You see, just because you’re wearing black does not mean that your outfit has to be black-centric. You can use it as a backdrop against the warmer caramel shades that are so rich and hot right now.
In this case, I chose a slim black skirt. When you do that you can be a bit more relaxed on top. It’s all about proportion. I fell in love with this belted cashmere wrap, chose a pair of tan suede booties and then imagined accessorizing it out with long gold necklaces, gold bangles and this fun fedora for kicks.
This look comes with a warning, however. If you are petite I’d go with a shoe that matches more closely to the skirt. The contrast in color will make you look shorter. Truth is, if you are very petite you have no business wearing extremely long maxi skirts in the first place. I’d go for a midi-skirt instead. You can still have fun with these looks, just make sure the skirt length works for you instead of against you.