I’m not much of a skirt person. It seems the older I get, the less flattering they look. I don’t like the way they cut me across the midsection and emphasize that my waist isn’t as whittled as it once was. For me, dresses are just easier. In addition to finding them more flattering, figuring out which top to wear with a skirt can add an additional step that can be avoided when wearing dresses. But it is nice to change things up and to find skirts that actually work.
I have also observed that when skirts are popular dresses take a backseat and vice versa. We have definitely been in a dress cycle for some time now and nothing all that new was happening with skirts. Perhaps it is the change in pants silhouettes of late that has put skirts back in the spotlight, but lots of new skirt trends have been emerging for spring. Check out five of them and some outfit ideas for wearing them for work.
SKIRT TRENDS FOR SPRING AND HOW TO WEAR THEM TO WORK
Skirt Trend #1- The Belted Skirt
The belt is back and not only are women contemplating wearing belts with their pants again, belted dresses is another emerging trend (see tomorrow’s post). Waists aren’t just rising in pants but they seem to be in skirts, as well. This makes the trend of a belted skirts not all that surprising.
I styled this belted camel cotton skirt from J. Crew with a white short-sleeve button-down from Madewell and finished the look with red block heel sandals and a chunky two-tone chain necklace from ALLSAINTS.
Skirt Trend #2- The Slip Skirt
In last week’s post about 90’s trends, I talked about the dangers of slip skirts and dresses (the Ziploc bag analogy) and as someone who has had cellulite since the first time these skirts were popular, there is no way I will ever put one in my closet. My feeling is this is a young trend, but it’s a big world out there.
Just a quick note about slip skirts and dresses: Often these styles are cut on the bias to give these skirts a clingy, drapey look. If you have ever hung something cut on the bias over long periods of time, you may have noticed that the hem of the garment became uneven or the fabric started to bump on the side seams. When a fabric is cut on the bias, the fabric is turned so it is cut on the 45 degree diagonal and when you cut fabric this way, it becomes super stretchy and as a result, grows. This is why the hem becomes uneven and/or sideseams start to bump. The easiest way to tell if a fabric is cut on the bias is to look closely at the grain. Here is a visual to explain.
The top graphic shows how a fabric is typically cut. You have the straight grain or warp that runs up and down and the weft yarn/cross grain that runs left to right, like a grid. When fabric is cut on the bias, the fabric is turned, as seen in the graphic on the bottom, and then cut into pattern pieces. When you do this, the fabric becomes incredibly stretchy. You can test this out yourself on any woven fabric if you turn it and stretch it from its bias. The benefit of bias fabric is how it moulds to the body without a lot of seaming or darts. The negative is this fabric will continue to grow long after the fabric has been constructed. Interestingly, in the 1920’s, when bias-cut dresses were invented and then widely embraced by the 30’s, designers used to stretch the fabrics completely out on the bias before they would use them to ensure the fabric wouldn’t grow once the garment was sewn. One of my fashion design professors at FIT would talk about how Madeline Vionnet would hang bolts of fabrics on the bias for long periods of time in her studio to fully stretch the fabrics out. However, nowadays, with the immediacy of manufacturing and the cost that would come from stretching out fabrics on the bias before using them, manufactures no longer take the time for this and, as a result, your bias cut clothing will stretch out from hanging in your closet.
So how do you avoid fabrics cut on the bias from stretching? You never hang them. That’s right, you heard me. Don’t hang your bias-cut clothes. If hanging in your only option, never hang the garment from the top of it, like from the shoulders if it is a dress or the waist if it is a skirt. Instead, fold the garment over the bottom on a hanger, similar to how you hang pants. It’s not a perfect solution but the lack of tension caused by hanging a garment from its waist or shoulders will help.
Skirt Trend #3- The Pleated Midi
Okay, back to skirt trends. I can’t say that the pleated midi is completely new, but trends don’t usually splash on the scene even if they sometimes seem like they do. It takes time for trends to reach critical mass and the pleated midi certainly has. My personal feeling pleated midis aside (I don’t like them), this style can offer a range of movement and comfort that other skirts don’t offer. They can also be soft and a bit passive looking so I don’t recommend them for work situations where you need to make a strong impact.
I styled this printed midi skirt from Boden with a fern-colored blouse from M.M. Lafleur and, yes, midi skirts often require tucking which is why they can be so unpleasing. I finished this outfit with soft pink flats from M.M. Lafleur.
Skirt Trend #4- Leather Skirts
Leather for spring? What is this nonsense? I know it sounds weird but they’re everywhere for the season and incredibly wearable. Leather is a year-round fabric (no, I wouldn’t choose leather during a heatwave) and a leather skirt is definitely easy to wear in warm weather.
I styled this Ted Baker button-front skirt in deep red for spring with an ivory knit detail top from Reiss and finished the look with tan slingback pumps from Pelle Moda and a tortoiseshell print necklace from Ann Taylor.
Skirt Trend #5 The Wrap Skirt
If you remember the 90’s then you remember having at least one wrap skirt. You would need to find the interior button and button hole and, God forbid, that button would pop off. I’d bet money that at least one of you used a safety pin to secure the interior wrap of one of your skirts. Well wrap skirts are back, better make sure you have an ample supply of safety pins on hand.
I styled this black wrap skirt from Vince with a grey short sleeve sweater from J.Crew and finished the look with white sneakers like all the kids are doing with their long skirts these days (did I just say that out loud? I’m so freaking old), and a chunky necklace from PONO.
Skirts, Yes or no?
Where do you stand on skirts? Do you love them? Are you looking forward to adding some styles to your wardrobe this spring? What styles do you particularly like? I’d love to hear about it.