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A Guide To Casual Skirts

How to be cool and stylish this summer

casual skirtsOne of the best ways to stay cool in warm weather is to skip the shorts or cropped pants and reach for a skirt instead. Not only do casual skirts allow for air circulation, they offer a formality that gets you into all sorts of places where shorts just don’t fare well, like upscale restaurants, religious services, and if you’re traveling internationally, many cathedrals or museums.

So which skirts are best for you? I’ll let you decide.

Let’s start by reviewing a few ground rules that are important for any skirt:

  1. It should fit the body comfortably without bagging because it’s too big or straining because it’s too small.
  2. Unless it’s an asymmetrical style, the hem length should hit the leg at the same height all the way around. No riding up in back, no dipping low in front.
  3. Pleats and gathers add bulk and will make you look heavier. Flat front styles are generally more flattering.
  4. Dark and muted colors will make your bottom half look smaller; light or bright colors will make your bottom half look larger.
  5. Remember that one thing only should determine the length of your skirt during non-working hours: how great your legs are. If you have great legs, show them off. If you don’t, cover them up. Experiment with different lengths to find the ones that make you look long and lean.

Now let’s look at a few different styles:


A-line skirts are called such because they’re fitted at the top and get wider towards the hem. They look great on a variety of figures, including those that are bottom heavy, curvy, have a bit of a tummy, or broad shoulders.

Straight Skirts

Straight skirts, as the name implies, are gently gathered skirts that fall straight from waist to hem. They flatter most figure types except for the wide-shoulder, narrow-hipped V-frame, and look great in a variety of lengths.

Pencil Skirts

Pencil skirts are straight, gently gathered skirts that are fitted close to the body and taper in at the hem. They look good on most body frames except those with wide hips, as the tapering accentuates the hip size.

Wrap Styles

Wrap skirts include sarong styles that either wrap or appear to wrap around the body. They are very forgiving and flatter most body types except the no-discernable-waist H-frame.

Broomstick Skirts

Broomstick skirts are comprised of vertical knife pleats that encircle the body. Because pleats add bulk, these look best on bodies with wide shoulders and narrow hips or those with an H-frame.

Flared Skirts

Flared skirts are either fitted or fall straight before flaring out at the hem. Because they can accentuate curves and offset large shoulders or hips, they look good on most body types.

If you don’t typically wear skirts in warm weather or are having problems finding ones that seem to flatter you, try some of the styles listed here. If you look for skirts that either mimic your own body shape or that offset one of your features, you’re more likely to find success.

Don’t worry about following the latest trend or whether you’re too old to wear a mid-thigh mini skirt (Tina Turner doesn’t worry). If you stick with styles that flatter you and show off your assets (like great legs, firm bottom, or shapely ankles), you’ll turn heads wherever you go, regardless of your age.

About Diana Pemberton-Sikes

Diana Pemberton-Sikes is a wardrobe and image consultant and author of Wardrobe Magic, an ebook that shows women how to transform their unruly closets into workable, wearable wardrobes. Visit her online at Fashion For Real Women. Need some tips and tricks? Pick up a copy of Wardrobe Magic. Visit her site for more information.


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