10 Style Essentials – No 10

The Skirt

Here we are at number 10 of the style essentials that will keep you looking good. For some women wearing a skirt is almost a major event. We have all become so used to slipping into our jeans or a pair of trousers. Yet a skirt is possibly the most feminine article of clothing around. I believe that the reason so many women have shunned the skirt is because, as yet, they haven’t found the right one for them.

print flared

Great shape for a flat bottom

There are several areas to consider when choosing a skirt. Firstly there’s the fabric. A creased skirt looks dreadful unless or course it is linen. Contradictory but true. Then there is the style of the skirt. Pencil, A-line, pleated or full? Then one of the most important aspects – the length. Coco Channel once remarked that the ugliest part of a woman were her knees. I’m not sure I entirely agree, however some women do have unattractive knees, even those with fairly good legs. So, what is the most flattering length? In my opinion I believe it is any length that hits at mid-knee. Please be aware that a skirt length that rests on your mid-calf will shorten and thicken your leg. The only exception to this is a fairly tight pencil skirt with either a kick-back pleat or wrap over (to allow easy walking) which can look stunning.

Knit Pencil

Pencil wrap skirt

valentino pink lace

Ultra feminine Valentino

The A-line shape above is flattering for most body shapes. It can hide a large bottom and give shape to a boyish figure. So if investing in a skirt is a new decision for you it may be best to go for this shape.

striped stretch chic

Just the right length

The outfit above demonstrates the importance of proportion. However, the stripes, while looking very chic, can have the effect of widening the hips particularly for those women with short bodies.

navy pleated

Navy pleated skirt – classic

Pleated skirt are very feminine and provided you wear the right top they look good. No flounces or frills please as the pleated skirt requires a simple top.  A note of caution for older women. Don’t be too conservative with your choice of top or accessories. Why? You will look old fashioned! The model above gets away with it as she is fairly young.

pleated blush zara

Pleats by Zara

Should you wear a mini skirt? It really is up to your level of confidence and how good your legs are. If both are not what you would wish I would say ‘no’. And remember that when you sit down wearing a short skirt you may reveal more than is necessary, which is never stylish. Personally I don’t like to see women over fifty wearing very short skirts because I don’t think it looks stylish and can give the impression of being desperate. But as I say it really is up to you. Towards the other end of the scale is the long usually shapeless skirt. The length tends to hover above the ankle by about 2-3 inches. Please resist this at all costs. You will only succeed in looking as if you have joined a strange religious sect. If your legs are heavy and you don’t feel good wearing any of the styles mentioned than go for a long length which skims the floor. This will look equally good with ballet flats or ankle boots, especially if you are tall.  There are some really lovely maxi skirts around at the moment.

white slightly flared


If you haven’t worn a skirt for a while why not make 2016 the year all that changes. Decide on what type of skirt you want and then do your research. It may be helpful to read my article called The Art of Shopping posted last month. A final piece of guidance. Shop with some pins. If the length is too long pin it to the length that suits you best. Then get a good dressmaker to alter it. As I’ve said before using the services of a dressmaker or tailor will make a remarkable difference to how your clothes fit (unless you are a classic size and everything fits you perfectly!).

You now have your 10 essential key pieces. Mix and match to your hearts content knowing you look stylish and chic.

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