While skirts are a popular go-to in the summer, they can also be versatile pieces in a women’s wardrobe staple all year round, providing nearly endless outfit potential.
Pair a knee-length skirt with fall layering pieces like a turtleneck, blazer and tights, or combine a bright mini skirt with a strappy sandal in the summer — either way, skirts offer a comfortable, easy option to look polished for any occasion.
Skirts are defined by their hemlines, from thigh-grazing minis to calf-hitting midis and floor-sweeping maxis. In addition to the hem, the silhouette, fabric and detailing also are essential in choosing your favorite type of skirt.
Basic Skirt Lengths
Since the 1960s, the mini skirt has seen many different iterations. Falling somewhere along the mid-thigh, this type of skirt can make quite a statement — but it doesn’t have to. For a mature mini skirt look, choose a neutral color and use accessories for statement pieces or pops of color. Mini skirts are great for sports or other activities that require movement, as well as a night out.
This universally flattering style, with a length that hits at mid-calf, is the ultimate layering piece for all seasons. On warmer days, choose lightweight fabrics like linen, cotton and poplin in a vibrant color or fun pattern. Pair with a simple bodysuit, a graphic tee or sandals for a casual look. When the temperatures dip, wear a midi skirt to the office with a turtleneck sweater and knee-high boots. (Try an asymmetric style with the Kiya Tomlin Handkerchief Skirt.)
Another seasonless skirt that is a breeze to dress up or down is the maxi skirt, which falls somewhere between the ankle and the floor. As the perfect anchor for any ensemble, a maxi skirt can create a breezy boho style with patterns and tiers, or offer a more streamlined silhouette. Keep it casual on the weekends with sneakers, a tee and a denim jacket, or opt for a formal look by selecting an elegant jewel-tone maxi skirt in flowy fabric with a complementary top (try this Kiya Tomlin gown skirt).
Pleats — folds in the fabric that are stitched or pressed into place to provide a garment with its shape — allow a skirt to flow and have a voluminous look, even amid a tight structure. An accordion pleat skirt, with narrow, parallel folds that extend from the waist to the hem, is a sophisticated and quintessential style. Pair it with a crewneck sweater and heels for a versatile look that can be worn anywhere.
This type of skirt typically falls at the knee, or an inch above or below. A pencil skirt’s clean, hip-hugging lines with a crisp structure make it a business casual wardrobe essential — however, this style can easily go from the conference room to the café. Look for fitted, but not tight, silhouettes that highlight your shape. Pair with a flowy blouse or draped top to ensure a balanced proportion.
Casual with a high waistband and a flared shape, a circle skirt is aptly named because it will form a circle when laid completely flat. The shape creates just enough volume and movement to flatter everyone. Balance this volume on the bottom with a fitted or tucked in top, or pair with a cardigan and a belt to accentuate your waist.
Fitted at the hips, this silhouette gradually widens toward the hem — in the basic shape of the letter A. The key to styling an A-line skirt is to look for fitted tops that draw attention to your waist.