Skirt Style Guide
Let’s admit it — we all love skirts. They’re comfortable, easy to slip into and just so cute and chic! Whether your style is more feminine or more grunge, more classic or more modern, there’s a skirt out there with your name on it.
At My Sister’s Closet, we have a rotating inventory of some of the classiest, retro and trendy women’s skirts around. Our goal is to ensure every woman looks good and feels great. We also understand that while skirts look cute, we all sometimes struggle to make them look perfectly styled.
With this skirt style guide, you’ll learn the common issues we run into with skirts, the many different types of skirts and how to style them for the freshest, chicest look possible. Let’s begin!
Avoid the Struggle of Women’s Skirts
One of the most common struggles with women’s skirts is that they don’t fit right. We believe everyone can wear nearly any style. With a few helpful tips on fabrics and style pairings, you’ll be able to rock the same look you saw on the runway, in a magazine or on the girl walking by you downtown.
Another area of hesitancy is which skirts are appropriate to wear, well, where. It is true that some women’s skirts are made to be worn in professional settings while other ones are for more relaxed settings. This guide will help you understand the difference in the types of skirts and the most appropriate circumstances for wearing them.
Finally, there’s the belief that you can only wear skirts in warm temperatures. Guess what? The skirt you wear in the middle of spring can be the same skirt you wear at the beginning of winter! We’ll share some easy styling tips to keep rocking your skirts all year long, no matter the temperature.
Types of Women’s Boutique Skirts
When it comes to categorizing the more than dozen skirt styles, it’s best to split them into three separate length groups — short skirts, knee-length skirts and long skirts. Each of these can be further broken down according to their silhouette and shape.
The first category of short skirts has hemlines that rest above the knee. Some of these can be very short while others fall to mid-thigh. The most popular short skirt styles are:
The bubble skirt is a very fun style. What gives it its “bubble” name is the double-rolled hemline. This skirt is often made from a soft and silky material. As the bottom hem gets tucked underneath, there is a natural puffing out that gives this style volume and bounce with every step.
Everyone knows about the infamous mini skirt. Despite pop culture’s obsession with the “mini” factor, the mini skirt generally rests about halfway up the thigh. While some women prefer to leave their legs bare, others may find that leggings or tights provide a more modest spin to this fashionable skirt.
Skater skirts are like a shorter version of an A-line skirt. The waistband of this skirt sits naturally at the waist while flaring out gently. Many young women love this style, so you don’t have to worry about it going away any time soon!
The last component of the short skirt category is the skort. Though the skort rocketed to fame in the 90s and early 2000s, this style has never entirely gone away. Generally worn by women in an active lifestyle, this is a comfortable fit for a daytime, casual look. The asymmetrical cut of the skirt fabric gives an alternative edge to a standard pair of shorts.
Knee-length skirts are exactly as the name suggests. You won’t have to worry about tripping over fabric or having an accident in the breeze outside. These knee-length skirts are some of the most versatile and fun options to wear all year round:
The A-line skirt is perhaps the single most popular design, thanks to its silhouette for both skirts and dresses. Its triangle shape emphasizes the waistline and then gently flares out. Maybe the most lovable perk of this type of skirt is that it doesn’t cling to the thighs or hips, making it an ideal option for everyone.
Bell-shaped skirts are like A-lines but without the oomph. Resting at the waist, a bell-shaped skirt flares out slightly over the hips but then falls straight down, as opposed to continuing to flare. These skirts are typically made from heavier fabrics to hold their bell-like shape.
Denim skirts are alive and well! Made from denim, these jean skirts typically have a rigid structure that is extremely casual. Denim skirts are also adaptable depending on the wash — dark denim appears more polished whereas light-wash denim matches a laid-back atmosphere.
The fit-and-flare skirt is also similar to an A-line skirt in its silhouette. The key difference here is the sheer amount of volume offered — a fit-and-flare silhouette is the princess-like “twirling” skirt. When you want a skirt that combines vintage femininity with modern fun, think about the fit-and-flare.
The pencil skirt was initially designed for the professional woman, though it has seen some flexible adaptations to stay trendy in the fashion world. Its straight and narrow silhouette provides a clean, tailored line that professional settings appreciate. But don’t let the professionalism push you away — you can often find pencil skirts in bright colors and fun patterns!
The final popular knee-length style is the pleated skirt. Most commonly associated with school uniforms, pleats have seen their breakthrough moments in modern trends. The smaller the pleats, the less likely we are reminded of restricting uniforms. While the knee-length pleated skirt is most common, you can also find this style in mini, midi and maxi lengths.
The third category of skirts contains some options that women tend to be the wariest about — the long skirts. Long skirts extend past the knee and fall anywhere from mid-calf to the ankle. We’ll begin by talking about each type and how they differentiate from one another. The most popular long styles include:
The high-low skirt is a somewhat recent trend that continues to climb in popularity. The high-cut front playfully contradicts the low-hemmed skirt in the back and sides. It started as a fun and trendy alternative to the full-coverage maxi skirt, allowing smaller women to feel like the fabric wasn’t swallowing them. High-low skirts are great for a variety of occasions and create an elegant look when flowing in the breeze.
The maxi skirt provides the fullest coverage, though not in a restrictive way. Maxi skirts are often loose and flowy, offering a full range of movement. These skirts are perfect for summer days and nights but can also be effectively worn through the winter, thanks to its layering abilities. Another option within this style is the jersey maxi skirt, made of stretchy jersey cotton for a more form-fitting look.
A midi skirt falls to the mid-calf section of the leg. Many women still refer to this style as the tea-length skirt because of its formal and elegant shape. While it certainly has a fun and sweet look, it is often reserved for wearing at fancy events and get-togethers.
How to Style Boutique Skirts
After seeing the differences between the types of women’s skirts, it’s easy to begin discussing the best styling options for each. While there are some general “rules” to follow, the three crucial elements you need to consider are the skirt style, the top you wear and the shoes you choose.
When you’re choosing a top to wear with your skirt, you should consider the overall shape of your outfit. You want to avoid looking too flowy and loose all over; likewise, you don’t want your silhouette to look too straight and narrow. Cinched waists should pair with fitted tops or blouses that are slightly tucked in. Hemlines that flare out should balance with the shirt’s volume. You generally don’t want a top that isn’t tucked in, unless it’s a crop top with a high-waisted skirt or a top whose hem falls just along the skirt’s waistline.
The key thing to remember here is that each skirt will look different on you — just because you bought a fitted tank top to match one skirt does not mean it will look the same with another!
A second general rule concerns the shoes you pair with your skirts. Any hemlines that hit the knee or rest above the knee are very versatile — flats, sneakers, heels and boots all fit well, based on the skirt style. When you wear a skirt that hits below the knee, however, you’ll want to opt for heels or a platform of some kind — mid-calf hemlines tend to shorten the length of your leg, and a heel will give the illusion of a longer line.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Floor-length skirts like maxis can pair with sandals for beachy and relaxed vibes. If your everyday style is to bend the rules of fashion, then go with it and be confident!
Here is a breakdown of some of the go-to choices when you don’t know how to style a skirt.
Styling Short Skirts
With short skirts, you can go one way or another when choosing a fitted top or a loose tee. For example, a skater skirt pairs well with both options. A fitted top that tucks into the waistband contrasts beautifully with the bounce and flare of the hemline. You can also choose a slightly oversized tee that’s partially tucked in or wear a cropped tee for a breezy fit that balances the skirt’s flare. The same can be said for mini skirts — it’s all about how comfortable you want to feel!
For a bubble skirt, you’ll want to choose a tighter-fitting top so as not to create a silhouette with too much volume. Tucking in a shirt with this style will help create structure and balance. With a skort, a looser tee or knit sweater can contrast the closer fit of the skirt.
Are you thinking about wearing a mini skirt in the wintertime? It’s all about style! Make sure to incorporate some tights or leggings underneath the skirt to keep warm. Then, add a pair of tall boots to minimize the amount of exposed skin and complete the look with a cropped — but warm — bomber coat. Instant chic!
Styling Knee-Length Skirts
Knee-length skirts are generally the options for more professional or formal occasions, meaning creating the right look can feel much more daunting. With these skirts, you can’t go wrong with wearing heels, wedges or booties — extremely versatile between work and school!
Almost every skirt style in this length looks best with a super fitted top or a softly billowed blouse tucked in. A fuller skirt, such as with A-line and bell-shaped skirts, often requires a less voluminous shirt to avoid looking or feeling too dull. These two skirt styles also cinch at the waist, so make sure to choose a top that won’t get clumped around your midsection.
A pencil skirt is a very narrow silhouette — add a top that doesn’t overpower or shift the balance of your outfit. Because you’ll often pair a pencil skirt with a suit jacket, you’ll want a blouse that remains sleek. Denim and jean skirts have a less tailored look and more casual appearance than the pencil skirt. While you can always pair a denim skirt with a basic tee or tank top, try a layered look for a little edge — match a graphic knotted at the side over an untucked, rolled-sleeve button-up. Sophistication meets grunge!
Styling Long Skirts
Long skirts tend to look best when paired with tucked in fitted tops. High-low skirts can be worn for casual daytime strolls or nighttime parties, but their flowing, breezy nature means you’ll want a more contained fit on top. Midi or tea-length skirts are often only worn in formal settings, so a tucked in blouse is the ideal fit for this style.
Maxi skirts have the benefit of going either way because of their casual and formal nature. For example, a typical maxi skirt is loose and flowy — think along the lines of strolling along the boardwalk at the beach. With this beachy, relaxed vibe, you’ll want a fitted tank top that tucks into the waistband for an ideal outfit. With a jersey maxi, the fabric clings a little more closely for an elongated silhouette. A loose blouse or graphic tee here rests perfectly overtop the stretchy waistline.
Still thinking about how to wear your skirts in the winter? Pair your favorite maxi skirt with your go-to oversized sweater! Adding a chunky-looking sweater with a longer hemline is the perfect bundled up look for cold weather.
Buy Women’s Boutique Skirts Online
Women’s boutique skirts are essential items for adding feminine flair and modern style to your wardrobe. Shop My Sister’s Closet today for some new skirts of all lengths — and don’t forget to accessorize with statement jewelry and trendy footwear!