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Types Of Skirts: Our Guide to the Long and Short of It All

Ah, the skirt. How is it possible that this unassuming wardrobe wonder is the obvious option for so many occasions? If you’re heading to the office, a pencil skirt offers a dose of professionalism in a flash. Have you received a wedding invitation to witness your nearest and dearest recite their vows? A midi skirt with a hint of volume will have you twirl-ready for the dance floor. Trying to decide on a new uniform staple for a lecture on campus? Reinvented plaid minis are always a fashion do. The question isn’t whether you can wear a skirt. It’s where can’t you? Let us be your style guide as we break down the most popular types of skirts.

Skirts are defined by their hemline, from thigh-grazing minis to calf-hitting midis and floor-sweeping maxis. But it’s not only about where your hem hits. Silhouette, fabrication and unique detailing are also essential in determining the type of skirt you’ll want to reach for. It’s all in the details. Skirts are the blank canvas to dress up or down any ensemble. Here are our top styles that have year-round appeal.

Types of Skirts by Length: Outfit Inspiration for Every Hemline

Let’s start the breakdown of our skirt guide with length. The defining detail for different types of skirts starts with where your hem hits. From short to long lengths, the options are endless. You’re in charge and get to decide how much leg you want to show. A skirt to put your signature spin on everything from activewear to formalwear.

The Miniskirt

This type of skirt works well for activities of all sorts. It’s well-suited for the wide range of movements that sports demand. Ready to pick up pickleball? Style a white pleated tennis skirt with a performance polo and sneakers. Pop on a cable-knit sweater for an après-tennis lunch date with a preppy twist.

Or, perhaps you’re looking for an option to wear for a night out. Channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw and give balletcore a whirl in a tulle miniskirt. Consider a dose of edgy style when thinking about what type of tops to wear with a miniskirt. Pair your little tulle number with a fitted ribbed knit tank, combat boots and a vegan leather jacket. Round out your nighttime ensemble with colorful enamel hoop earrings and a crossbody clutch. Serving up this look to paint the town red gives a whole new meaning to attitude.

The Midi Skirt

Next up is the midi skirt. This fashionista go-to style has an ideal length that hits at mid-calf. Originally a 70s fashion essential, modern interpretations of this skirt are making a comeback and are here to stay. The mid-length makes it a dream for all seasons. On a balmy day, rock a midi over a swimsuit for a trip to the beach. Or, for chilly winter weather, wear a flared skirt in a midi length to the office with a knit turtleneck sweater and knee-high boots. This demure length is a match made in heaven for bohemian trends like cottagecore or cabincore. Universally flattering on every shape, this type of skirt is a must-have in every closet.

While a midi is the type of skirt you can reach for any time of year, this silhouette gives us serious warm-weather vibes. When the mercury rises, choose lightweight fabrications like linen, cotton and poplin in an array of vibrant colors. Balance bright hues like scarlet and tangerine with soft neutrals and pastels. Take the summer by storm in a tiered-hem midi with ruffle details. For a laid-back look, add a graphic tee and lace-up sandals. This ensemble does double duty, giving vacation-ready vibes fit for sandy beaches or city streets. Wherever your travels take you, pack a midi.

The Maxi Skirt

Are you ready to put your sartorial spin on this classic? Trade in your trusty lounge pants for a soft knit maxi for sofa Saturdays or running errands. Final flourishes? Add platform sneakers, a boxy tee and a denim jacket for a casual-chic look. On the other end of the spectrum, make your mark in a maxi for formal occasions. Are wedding invitations piling up? If you’re pondering what attire to wear to all the weddings you’ll be attending, start with a skirt. Style an elegant jewel-tone maxi skirt in flowy silk chiffon for weddings with any number of dress codes. Keep it simple and elegant for a formal or semi-formal event with a matching skirt set. Go ahead and make a statement with cascading drop earrings for the finishing touch.

The Pencil Skirt

If you’re debating what type of blouse to wear with a pencil skirt, we’ve got you covered. Wondering how a blouse differs from a basic top? Often made with flowy fabrics, they offer a little drape that adds proportion to a fitted skirt. Wrap blouses highlight the waist, and the neckline is ideal for a few delicate layering necklaces. Or, complete your look with a tie-neck blouse. Tailor your top with a billowing bow or a simple knot and let the ties hang just so—a styling match made in heaven. For a more streamlined approach, wear your pencil skirt with a tucked-in Oxford. From plaids to floral patterns, pick a shirt that packs a punch and makes a statement.

The Pleated Skirt

One of the most classic types of skirt is a style with pleats. Before we get into all the different types of pleated skirts, let’s start with the basics. A pleat is a fold in the fabric that is stitched or pressed into place and provides a garment with its shape. These rigid folds allow the skirt to flow and have a voluminous look amid the tight structure. There are many kinds of pleats, and some of the most popular are accordion, knife and box pleats.

A-line Skirt

When styling your A-line skirt, look for tops that are sure to draw attention to your waist. With the drape of the skirt, a fitted top is often your best bet. Reach for soft knits or tucked-in Oxford button-downs for a chic look. Don’t be afraid to play with proportion and don a slightly oversized sweater or blouse. Just be mindful of your waist. To keep balance and proportion, you’ll want to choose from cropped sweater styles or do an elegant French tuck with your top. This will ensure a harmonious aesthetic and lengthen your overall look.

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