Wear a Skirt!

Monday, June 9, 2014

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!
button ups, camisoles, crop top, chambray, stripes, sweaters, sweatshirts, maxi skirt, full skirt, pencil skirt,
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!


neutrals, polka dots, chambray, sweater, t-shirt, mix and match, outfit, clothing, wardrobe,
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!
stripes, dots, plaid, sweater, button up, le breton shirt, monochrome, pattern mixing, graphic, fox terrier,
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.
maxi skirt, white T-shirt, jacket, boots, bracelet, layers, outfit, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
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?

20 comments

  1. Great post! I am a skirt fanatic and love finding new inspiration!

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  2. I adore skirts. No problems wearing them at all : )

    So much great information!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  3. I'm not much of a skirt wearer but I want to wear one now! Love the other pieces you picked out too, like the dog jumper...it's too cute! x

    Josie’s Journal

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  4. great article, Kristian!

    I am ALL about dressing up a t-shirt/sweatshirt with a pretty skirt. I think this is such a fun, juxtaposed look. same goes with mixing prints. I think that makes a skirt + top look visually interesting.

    I also have to say one thing I've been playing around with lately is proportions (especially with maxi/midi skirts in style now.) especially since I'm short, I have to be really careful how I style a maxi/midi. I always go with taller shoes and a fitted/tank top when my legs are completely covered!

    ♥ perfectly Priya

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    Replies
    1. That is great advice, especially the tip for wearing the shoes (I always forget about heels, for some reason!)

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  5. Such a great post! I am definitely all for maximizing one's closet space. I haven't tried the crop top look yet though... I'm too prude for that I believe! Haha.

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    1. I'm so on the fence about it! It looks cute with high waisted things like skirts, but I always wonder if A) it is too much for the conservative area I live in and b) is it worth it to get a piece that can be a bit limited in how and when you wear it?

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  6. This was actually really handy because I have trouble pairing tops and skirts with each other sometimes! For some reason certain tops like to lump under thinner material skirts, and I only feel like I can wear crop tops and tie tops with my skirts. I do those tight T-shirts sometimes with skirts but don't really like how that looks on me. However, all that you've written definitely debunks the aforementioned--great write up, Kristian, and I love your diagrams, too!

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    1. I sometimes have issues with some things "lumping" too. One of the reasons I like full skirts, lol. And I definitely would mostly wear a crop top with skirts as well. Glad you enjoyed this!

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  7. I too have a hard time with separates, so this was very helpful! I always default to the skirt with a top and denim jacket look but I really love the idea of pairing a full skirt with a button down or a sweater with a pencil skirt.

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    1. A denim jacket always looks good paired with a skirt though too :)

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  8. I think my old skirt collection wasn't basic enough (all silky material and intense patterns) so matching that intimidated me. I did buy a nice pencil skirt a year or so ago (from reading your blog) and it's easier to pair with! Did it with a button-up today. I'll text you some photos!

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    1. You know, reading other people's comments, it occurs to me that what really is important might be the basic top more than a basic bottom (although I like basic bottoms too....)

      I loved getting the photos by the way, and thought both tucked and untucked looked cute :D

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  9. Skirts are the best! I think your skirts and tops all coordinate much better than mine do though. :D I have too many statement pieces!

    -Rebecca
    Idealism never goes out of fashion
    http://mn2nz.wordpress.com

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    1. Basic tops to really help. I read the blog Into Mind (intomind.com) where the author talks a lot about having a sort of color palette within your wardrobe to help things go together more.

      THough, statement pieces are fun too :)

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  10. I *thoroughly* enjoyed this post- it was so fun to see, visually, how all these pieces really do work with all the different skirts. This post made me think of how I wish I read blogs back when I was in college and just figuring out my style. Something like this would have blown my mind to all the styling possibilities, and it just reinforces that before you start buying the fun, showstopper pieces, you need your basics first! (Again, something that would have blown nineteen-year-old-marlen's mind, haha!

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

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    1. Ha! Now that you mention it, my nineteen year old self would have been blown away at the thought of how basics can all fit together. I was pretty much a jeans and t-shirt kinda gal, but wished I'd read bloggers younger, so I'd have figured out my own style a bit more a bit earlier. Oh well!

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  11. Such a good post, great idea to do it on a topic like this, so many of us get stuck when trying to pair tops and bottoms! Really helpful thanks!

    The Velvet Black // UK Style, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

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