So you want to make a skirt, but you’re not quite sure what type? Do you want one that brushes up against your knee as you walk to the bus stop, or one that flutters around the ankles as you stroll through town? Do you prefer a skirt that’s tight to your body, or do you like your skirt to twirl out as you spin in circles? Let’s take a look at the common skirt silhouettes, and where you should wear them.
First, let’s go over the circle of a skirt. Basically, there are four types of circles your skirt can have: the quarter circle, the half circle, the three quarters circle, and the full circle. The circle is the pattern of the circle a full, so a circle skirt is simply a full circle. The quarter circle would be a quarter of the full circle, the three quarters circle is three quarters of the full circle, and of course, the half circle is half of the full circle. This affects how the skirt falls, which can change the entire style of the garment you’re creating or outfit you’re putting together.
Now, let’s get into the body of the skirt, starting with the shortest.
The micro mini skirt is not just short, it’s super short. It ends around the upper thigh, leaving lots of leg to see and be seen. Balmain depicts this well in their Resort 2018 line, showing off micro mini skirts with a quarter circle. Micro mini skirts are sexy, showy and seductive, so make sure you’re ready to be the center of attention when stepping out in micro mini skirts of any circle.
Due to the nature of the micro mini, it’s best to wear these to nightclubs and parties. This is not your mother’s mini skirt, so don’t act like it. Pair with leather jackets and knee high boots for an edgy, punk look, or soften the seductiveness of the micro mini with a loose sweater. For a tight micro skirt, try out a vinyl or leather. Or, let loose with a flowy silk charmeuse micro skirt.
The mini skirt is just a little longer than the micro mini. Hitting it’s stride around mid thigh, keep in mind that a full or half circle will blow in the wind in ways you may not appreciate. Dundas details the mini skirt with a slouchy quarter circle, giving this skirt silhouette a very casual feel.
This skirt is more acceptable when you’re out and about town, but it’s definitely not business attire. Feeling flirty and fun? Hit up the arcade bar in a mini skirt and body suit, or keep warm at an outdoor show in a mini skirt, tights and a fringe, suede jacket. Denim mini skirts are always a great option, but play around with different fabrics and circles to find the best mini skirt for you.
Above the knee skirts are, well, obviously they’re just above the knee! Longer than a mini skirt, but still not long, this skirt if super versatile. Nina Ricci displays the above the knee skirt with cocktail dress, but this skirt can just as easily be worn to more casual or formal events.
The above the knee skirt is comfortable anywhere. Lounging on a couch in an exclusive club, enjoying a meal at any 4-star Michelin rated restaurant. Sip tea in an above the knee skirt with a full circle, or sample caviar in a three quarter circle skirt that falls just above the knee. Pair with pussycat bows or button ups, tights or leggings, boots or booties! Basically, do whatever you want in above the knee skirts.
Knee length skirts are another aptly dubbed skirt, as they tend to fall to the knee. Knee length skirts are a modest and mighty skirt, giving just a little peak of the knee, and what’s above it. Lanvin’s dress with a knee length skirt has an innocent appeal in white, while a knee skirt with a quarter circle is a little more provocative.
Wear knee length skirts on breezy summer days, roaming the board walk and letting the sea salt stricken air stick to your hair and glisten on your skin, a full circle skirt shivering in the wind. Or, ponder and peruse desolate art museums in a three quarter skirt, bouncing and bumping on your knee as you slowly make your way down the long, reserved corridor filled with brooding paintings and spectacular sketches.
A cocktail skirt ends just below the knee, and is perfect for, well, cocktail dresses. Ending just below the knee, this silhouette is perfect for quarter circles and formal gatherings. Marchesa’s charming and textured cocktail dress shows off the beauty of the cocktail skirt in quarter circle.
Cocktail skirts can be worn to any event, and are especially well placed at business meetings or in the office. Wear this style to cocktail parties and wine tastings, toasting to old friends and new opportunities. Pair with strappy heals for an elegant look, or let a half circle flutter just below the knee while you take dance lessons in cocktail silhouettes.
The midi skirt stops short at around the mid calf. Sea’s denim midi dress shows off the casual side of this length, but you can also dress a midi skirt up for more formal affairs. In a full circle skirt, the midi skirt gives off a very retro vibe, since it was commonly worn by women in the 1950’s.
Throw a book club meeting in a midi circle skirt, discussing “East of Eden” over espresso and eclairs, or enjoy a moonlit stroll on a frigid fall night, watching leaves fall from tall trees, riding the whispering wind down to the ground and fluttering there, settling in the crevice where the street meets the forest. Pair midi skirts with high heels and cropped jackets, or layer a vintage fur coat over it to really give into that nostalgic feel.
Long skirts surpass midi skirts by just a hair, lingering above the shin. In a three quarters circle, like Joseph’s, the long skirt can be a unique addition to any closet, paired great with button ups and ruffled blouses.
This look is perfect for trips to the aquarium, walking through dimly lit passages surrounded by sharks meandering through the water, your long skirt brushing against your shins as you follow a clown fish down a short passageway. Or enjoy a day at the fair in a long circle skirt with a full petticoat underneath, bouncing against your legs as you run towards the bumper cars. Try a long satin skirt for a sleek look, or experiment with different fabrics for a funky feel.
Maxi skirts and dresses have been making their way around the runway for the past couple of years, especially in Resort lines. Maxi skirts hit right at the ankle, and are the perfect casual look. Valentino’s maxi dress is the perfect beach look, as its light and flowing appearance keeps you covered from the sun but still cool.
Maxi skirts are perfect for a late brunch, enjoying french toast and cocktails while catching up with old friends. Wear maxi skirts with peasant blouses for a relaxed look, or wear with a button up for a cleaner look. Jersey material will make for a soft and supple skirt, while a fabric like taffeta will result in a more structured silhouette.
Evening length skirts are used primarily for evening dresses. Ball gowns and bridal wear often utilize the evening length, as its sinuous drape is extremely elegant and flattering. Elie Saab shows off stunning evening wear in evening length, the hem of the dress cradled by the feet, grazing the top of the heels lightly.
Evening length was made for evening wear. A quarter skirt in evening wear makes for a powerful and provocative look, while a full circle skirt makes for an alluring luster. For a delicate dress, try an evening length gown made of charmeuse, or use taffeta and a petticoat for an authentic ball gown.
Floor length skirts may seem impractical, but they’re actually great for lounging around or sweeping the floor. On a more serious note, floor length skirts make for extreme evening wear, or comfy casual wear, like Carolina Herrera’s floor length skirts paired with tank tops.
If you want to take this skirt to the streets, you’ll definitely want to pair with some high heels. Floor length skirts elevated to just the right height will quiver carefully, caressing the ground you walk on. These skirts give you a powerful, upper class look, so make sure to wear them where you’ll be noticed. Or, tie one side of the skirt and throw on an off-the-shoulder top for a casual and cute ensemble.
I’m definitely a full circle midi kinda gal, but I love a good mini. What about you? Let me know in the comments!