The other day, a friend of mine recounted that she used to have some skirts in college, but now mainly wears dresses because she could never find tops to go with the skirts. Now, I love dresses (which are delightfully easy things to wear. One items on and you're done!), but skirts are my favorite things. And it rather puzzled me too, because (almost) every shirt will go with skirts. Don't believe me? Read on!
Let's break out some style secrets here-You don't need fancy blouses to wear a skirt. There are some shirts that will go with anything. Actually, most tops can be paired with most bottoms- skirts, shorts, pants or anything else you can think of. These are some of my most trusted shirt choices, and each would work well with any of these three different types of skirts!
Knits: pair it with jeans for a relaxed look, or any skirt up to and including a tulle one for a feel of casual elegance.
Button Ups: White button ups are always, always, always going to be in style. Wear it hiking, to the office wherever. Here's the great part though- it doesn't have to be white. Buttons ups in stripes, polka dots, gingham, chambray, and plaids will also always be in style, go with almost everything, even other patterns. Button-ups can be a challenge for bustier women, but button placement and tailoring can help that.
Camisoles: they go with ever skirt every. And they can be great for layering as well. Pick up one now. Heck, pick up a dozen in all sorts of colors!
Sweatshirt: A sweatshirt was once relegated to the gym and can be tricky to pull off with a skirt. But the juxtaposition of the relaxed with the more lady-like can create an edgy visual. Choose one with a fun graphic or text to add to the edginess.
T-shirts: Long or short sleeved, plain or with patterns (Stripes are timelessly in style), these will work with skirts- except the ones you got for things like being a counselor at a summer camp; those are always invariably ill-fitting and often made of stiffer material. Make sure the T-shirt fits you. It should skim the line of your body but not cling so tight we see every tiny movement.
Silk or Silk-like material shirts: These types of shirts drape and can change the way the fall as you move. You should consider choosing material other than silk if price and ease of cleaning are concerns.
Crop Top: Alright, this is definitely a Trend with a capital T this summer. But paired with something higher waisted (and skirts do tend to be at their most flattering when sitting at your natural- and therefore higher- waist), this can be fun and still pretty modest. Don't believe me? They were even around in the forties!
I'm a strong advocate of making what you have in your closet work with (most) everything else in your closet. So multiple tops should be able to work for a skirt (and multiple bottoms should work with a single top). As you can see, that might mean going with neutral colored tops, but it doesn't have to. Long term, it is probably a good idea to buy things in colors that go together, and that might mean black and white and browns, but it equally could mean a lot of things in the closet are in reds and blues that would pair nicely, or in pastels. Always choose colors that make you happy.
Don't feel like solid colors are all you have to go with either. A shirt or sweater with a graphic on it can add interest. An unexpected color combination could be the eye catching idea behind an outfit- thing monochromatic, perhaps, or color blocking. Likewise, pattern mixing can seem intimidating, but is easy to do. If you're unsure starting off, try making one of the patterns either stripes or dots. Those go with literally any other patterns or graphic. Below you can see how each of these strategies could work- and with just five pieces you can get 10 outfits!
What about the skirts themselves? Stores have managed to come up with every possible way to categorize skirts under heaven, but to break it down for you, you can categorize by length and by type. The three most common length descriptions are: Mini, which is short; Midi, which is knee-length hems to about mid-calve length; and Maxi which are long skirts. Types get a bit more tricky. You have pencil skirts (the straight ones), A-line skirts (which, as described are shaped like a letter A), and full skirts, sometimes called Skater skirts or circle skirts ( Techniocally, circle skirts also be laid flat into a perfect circle, so they are very full indeed!) There are a few other types- bubble skirts, drop-waists or mermaid skirts, for example but let's be honest. Most of these types tend to be fad-ish. Ignore fads.
A lot of ladies can wear many types of skirts, but some feel that one type or anther might fit them better. This is crucial: get what looks good for you. Today's stores also use a dizzying array of sizing scales. Find what fits- not too tight nor too loose- rather than worrying about the tags. A good rule of thumb to is find skirts that sit at your natural waist because that is usually the smallest part of you and will be the most flattering. Also find proportions that fit your body. This can be tricky for women who are taller or more petite. Shorter women sometimes worry about visually cutting their bodies in half, or creating the illusion of stumpier legs than normal. Once again, find things that sit at your natural waist (not higher, though it may be tempting. You short-waist yourself, making your top half look disproportionally smaller and wider than it is!). Both taller and shorter women may find hem stop elsewhere than the designer meant it to, but a hemline is generally not hard to alter, either.
Sometimes you've paired a skirt that looks great on you with a shirt that works, and things still feel a bit- blah to you. Perhaps the truth is, your outfit isn't so much "blah" as unfinished. Layering can go a long way to polishing a look, be helpful in changing weather or in transitioning the same pieces to different situations, and exponentially adds to the number of outfits your closet can make! Layers could mean adding a light jacket, a blazer or sweater, but don't stop there. Perhaps what would punch up an outfit is an accessory? Jewelry, scarves and even hats might be just what the (style) doctor ordered.
Hope this helps you, dear friend, and all of your too readers! What other tips (or troubles, if you have them) do you have about wearing skirts?