Guide to Skirt Lengths

mini skirt style

Minis can work for business as long as they aren’t too short

Skirts can be an extremely versatile part of your wardrobe, as they can be worn bare legged in warmer seasons and with different colored tights in the colder months for a huge variety of looks. However, it is important to choose the skirt lengths that are best for your style and figure.

Mini Skirts

Mini skirts are the shortest of skirts, usually cut around mid-thigh or higher. They come in a huge range of styles, including body-conscious, tight-fitting ones, and skater-style, flared versions.

Who should wear:

–         Younger girls suit the body-con skirt look the best, especially girls with apple-shaped body types.

–         The skater-skirt mini style is a little more appropriate for women of all ages, and is universally flattering for all body types – just keep an eye out for where the skirt hits on the leg. Around three inches above the knee is usually the most flattering length.

Wear with:

–         An embellished top and with heels for a night out

–         Flat sandals and a silky shirt tucked in for a day out


knee length skirt style

Just above the knee-length skirts work for most body types

As the name suggests, these skirts hit right at the knee or slightly above the knee.

Who should wear:

–         Fuller, knee-length skirts can be a more grown-up version of the skater-style skirt mentioned above. Perfect for family functions, church outings, and any time you need to feel a little more lady-like – this cut suits every body type and every age.

–         More form-fitting pencil skirt versions are great for the office and work functions. Hourglass- and pear-shaped girls should consider pencil skirts in a more flexible fabric, like ponte knit, whereas cotton and wool blends work well for rectangle- and apple-shaped girls.

Wear with:

–         Tucked in shirts

–         Waterfall or loose cardigans

–         Heels – wedges for a casual day out or pumps for more formal events


midi length Escada skirt

Midi skirt and sweater from Escada

Midi skirts – skirts that are below the knee or mid-calf – are very fashionable right now.

Who should wear:

–         Everyone can wear some type of midi, though shorter girls should pay more attention to the fabric, fit, and length of the skirt.

  • Fabric: shorter and more petite girls should pick midi skirts in a softer and more flexible fabric, like chiffon or scuba double knit
  • Fit: Skirt should fit at the smallest part of the natural waist
  • Length: The length of the skirt should go no more than 3 inches below the knee; any longer and it can overwhelm a more petite frame

–         Taller girls can be less careful about midi skirts, but should pay attention to the type of skirt:

  • Box pleated and pencil skirts work best on taller hourglass-shaped girls
  • Knife pleated skirts look better on taller pear- and apple-shaped girls

Wear with:

–         Cropped tops

–         A top in a matching fabric

–         A chunky heel

Maxi Skirts

 Painted Threads skirt from Nordstrom

Printed casual maxi skirt from Painted Threads

Maxi skirts can be easily dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

Who should wear:

Everyone can really pull a maxi dress off, but some styles work better on certain body types.

–         Petite girls should take note of:

  • Fabric: choose fabrics that skim the body and are lighter.
  • Style: maxis that cinch at the waist are a petite girl’s best bet – think belted Grecian styles and jersey slub dresses with a waist tie.
  • Length: in heels, the maxi dress should reach no longer than the middle of the heel. In flats, the maxi dress should cover the ankle but not drag on the ground.

–         For taller girls, body shape plays more of an important role:

  • Apple- and pear-shaped girls should consider more empire style maxi dresses
  • Hourglass- and rectangle-shaped girls should consider dresses or separates with maxi skirts that cinch at the waist.

Wear with:

–         For a glamorous night out, pick embellished dresses from materials like crepe de chine and chiffon, and wear with heels and a clutch

–         For more casual days, pick cotton or jersey maxi dresses – strapless and ruched at the bust for beach days, or t-shirt styles with a cinched waist for brunch out – and wear with sunglasses, flat sandals, and even a hat.

Skirts are for every woman!

In general, skirts in any style can fit a variety of body types and heights, but careful consideration must be paid to length, cut, fabric and style for the most flattering fit.

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