Just as there are plenty of dress shapes and silhouettes to choose from, skirts have their own line-up and applications, too! If it’s your first time making a skirt or you’re just looking for a reference to help research for your next project, we’ve got you covered!
An A-LINE design is a simple one that is fitted at the waist and gradually widens towards the hem of the skirt. With this design, it appears to have the shape of a capital letter “A.”
The length of these skirts varies, but anywhere between mid-thigh and knee-height is common. It’s a flattering look for many body types and is easy to make, too!
The BOX-PLEATED skirt is a rather sophisticated look with its crisp folds and repeated pleats. The shape of the pleats can be maintained from the top to the bottom of the skirt, but this can vary, too, if you prefer the pleats to flow towards the hem of the skirt.
The number and size of pleats across the skirt can be different too—big and small, a few to many!
If you’re looking for a versatile style to work into your wardrobe, consider sewing yourself a tiered skirt! Tiered skirts are designed to highlight layers which are usually gathered to provide mobility and a slightly ruffled appearance. The layers can be either free-flowing or attached.
Tiered skirts are a great opportunity for working with color-blocking, and changing the length of the tiers of your skirt can change your whole ensemble around!
A MERMAID skirt is a more stylized design; the skirt is usually tight and fitted from the waist line to about the knee or lower before flouncing out. The flounce is usually long and asymmetrical and can even have a bit of a train behind the wearer.
These skirts are often made using fabrics with good drape, since this is what likens the flounce to look like the end of a mermaid’s tail! These types of skirts are great for formal gatherings and ballroom occasions.
TRUMPET skirts are similar to MERMAID skirts, but the flounce on the end of the sheathed part of the skirt is usually shorter and has an even hemline. Also, where MERMAID skirts tend to be longer or to-the-floor in length, TRUMPET skirt hemlines are usually above mid-calf length.
Paired with a blouse or a dress shirt, TRUMPET skirts can be great business-casual wear!
PENCIL skirts are classy and stylish! They’re wonderful office wear or for when you want to meet up with friends. A PENCIL skirt is designed to have a straight shape that skims close to your silhouette without being too constricting. Depending on what you pair with it, pencil skirts can look really sharp!
BODYCON skirts are the most fitted design available. They are fitted tighter than PENCIL skirts and are usually made with fabric that stretches to ensure mobility.
BODYCON skirts emphasize a fitted lower silhouette, so they’re often paired with a loose, flowing top or one that shows off one’s midriff!
TULIP skirts are a beautiful and elegant design. Their hemline scoops down a bit towards the bottom and overlaps once in the front to give the appearance of tulip petals folded over each other. This design is sometimes coupled with pleats at the waist to provide drape and flow.
This type of skirt is another great option for office wear or for those days where you want to dress up an extra bit!
Like the TULIP skirt, a WRAP skirt overlaps once in the front, but where the TULIP hemline is a little more consistent in design, WRAP skirt hemline is usually a bit more freeform. You’ll find anything from asymmetrical designs to even hemlines, and many even have ties that wrap around to the front, too.
HANDKERCHIEF skirts are an earthy type of skirt design that slightly resemble TIERED skirts; these skirts utilize the tiers, but they boast a triangular shape that juts loose and easy down from the waistline.
They also highlight the use of many layers with thin fabric for a free-flowing skirt style that won’t risk a see-through mishap! This skirt style is very feminine and is great for casual outings.
HI-LOW skirts are gorgeous and chic. Their design doesn’t stray much, as its focus is on the difference of height between the front of its skirt hem and the back. The back of the hemline is always longer than the front which usually falls around mid-thigh.
While flowing fabrics are common for this skirt design, stiffer fabrics like brocades are an option, too!
SARONG skirts are a style that’s most popular as beach attire! Usually made of loose and unrestricting fabrics, these skirts are comfortable and perfect for lounging and having a good time. They’re like WRAP dresses, though SARONG dresses are usually accent with a flourish at the side, usually starting at the hipline.
SARONG skirts are safest as casual-wear—comfort is their top priority!
The MINI skirt—one of the three basic skirt designs, and the shortest! MINI skirts are popular designs for making with circle skirt patterns. They fall between mid-thigh and knee height and their panels can be gathered or flat. The choice is yours!
A MIDI skirt is the second of the three basic skirt designs. Put simply, a MIDI is a skirt whose hemline falls around knee-height on the wearer. These, too, can be pleated or flat in design, so long as the length is maintained.
Where MINI skirts often hug the wearer’s frame a bit closer (like an A-LINE), MIDI skirts look great with a gradual flare to a wider hem. Take advantage of a circle skirt pattern for this one!
And finally, we have the MAXI skirt! MAXIs are a long style of skirt that ranges from comfy to fashionable! You’ll often find these made of jersey and other stretch knits, but don’t be fooled! MAXI skirts go beautifully with stiffer fabrics like tweeds and sateens, and they’re great for every season!
Don’t be afraid to pair a light MAXI with a midriff tank or a heavy one with a turtle neck. This style is versatile and comfortable, so take advantage of it!
These are the more common skirt designs and silhouettes, but we tried to cover a wide range to help you get started! Which of these is your favorite style? What style will you make for your next project?