Do you ever find yourself struggling to describe the skirt you want? We’ve put together the Types of Skirts below to help you identify the many different skirt styles out there. Most of these names are based on the shape of the skirt and so they can be quite intuitive. But with such a large variety of skirt types to choose from, we wanted to create this Skirts infographic to help you master the terminology… You’re welcome!
Have a look at our Skirts Infographic, the Style advice below and our THEN AND NOW shop where will find a perfect Skirt for your stylish outfit.
The skirt is the ultimate feminine staple. With so many cuts and shapes available, it can be a minefield to pick which one suits you. As trends come and go, deciding can be made even harder. With this guide, we will explain each skirt’s trend status and how you can wear it, helping you find the styles that suit you!
A line skirt
The A line skirt – simply named after it’s A-like shape. It sits narrowly at the hips, and flares out at the hem finishing at the mid or upper thigh. A classic in shape, it found its fame in the swinging sixties worn by the rebellious teens and young adults of the decade (not to mention being a favourite of style icons Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton). Nowadays, it is seen worn by the likes of Alexa Chung and Taylor Swift. It became a major part of the fashion scene in 2014 thanks to Louis Vuitton and Gucci filling their shows with the short A-line shape.
Today, the style is still a go-to staple, however it hasn’t been as heavily featured upon the catwalks. Because of its simplistic, classic style it is, however, easy to wear for any occasion. Tuck in a classic T-shirt or high neck blouse for a refined image, or layer a sweater for a more relaxed look. With its transitional properties it is a perfect staple to have in your wardrobe for simple and effortless outfits.
A Tube skirt is a tight fitting skirt sitting below the knee, made from a single piece of fabric – fitting like a tube! The shape is straight, and fits almost like a pencil skirt (explained later). The material has some stretch, whilst tightly hugging the figure. It is very similar to its pencil skirt sister, however this variation is usually worn for laid back casual occasions, due to its relaxed stretchy material and comfort. As they tend to be lightweight, they are a great piece to wear to add some easy elegance for warm summer days. As a favourite slinky style staple of Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner, its figure hugging shape oozes sex appeal. If you prefer a more sophisticated approach, elegantly co-ordinating twin sets of knitted tops and skirts are high on the street-style radar, and are suitable for numerous occasions depending on how much you accessorise. If a co-ord isn’t for you, simply pair with a sweater and sheer tights to make for an easy and simple outfit.
A circle skirt is a wide flowing skirt, which sits tightly at the waist and flares out to the hem. It was a huge trend iconic to the 1950’s where the most popular length was mid to ankle. Nowadays more popularly known as a Skater skirt, it is worn short as a vintage-inspired staple, timeless classic and figure-flattering essential. The flirty style was a major street style influence in 2012-2013, being constantly worn by celebrities Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Olivia Palermo, however today it is not a major high-fashion trend. Making appearances on the runway back in 2012 at Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton and Valentino, it hasn’t re-emerged on the high fashion scene just yet! The silhouette is very girly and feminine, making it perfect for every occasion be it daywear, parties and eveningwear. For a glamorous look, pair a velvet, metallic or satin skirt with a tight top, accessorising with statement jewellery and killer heels. For a daytime look, keep the accessories minimal and team with a relaxed denim jacket, sticking to neutral colours and muted patterns to balance out its full silhouette. Don’t be afraid to buck the trend and try this forgotten style, dare to be different – it may just be the next big thing…
Another figure-hugging fitting piece is the pencil skirt. Radiating elegance the mid length skirt emphasizes the hips, narrowing the waist and lengthening the legs. It is the satorical choice for sophisticated work-wear (a style staple for former Vogue Paris editor in chief Carine Roitfeld). It is flawless if chosen in a black, navy or grey and worn with a crisp white shirt or high collared satin blouse. For a glamorous look outside of work, go for a tighter-fitting leather version and throw on some heels. Or for extra elegance try an embellished or metallic skirt and team with a silk camisole or tight fitting top to pull the look off with effortless ease. When it comes to daywear, this look is not strictly out of bounds. Selecting a softer colour such as blush pink, pale camel or dove grey, and pairing with a basic tee or sweater, makes the look instantly more relaxed yet still sophisticated. Keep in mind: this piece is not necessarily a super on-trend piece, but more of a timeless classic.
The Accordion skirt – more commonly known as a pleated skirt, comes in mini, midi and maxi lengths. The concertina pleats are thin and narrow, great for leg lengthening in longer length skirts. Drawing the eye from the waist to the ankle, it gives the illusion of a long-limbed figure even when worn by the shorter woman. Thanks to its simplicity, it works in a range of colours from bubble-gum pink, elegant ivory or classic black. Gucci brought the style back to the forefront of the high-fashion trends in 2015, layering with oversized sweaters, tucking in button up blouses and combining with matching pleated tunic tops. Still a huge trend today, try picking a bold colour, vibrant print or sparkling metallic and team with a T-shirt or simple sweater. If daring isn’t your thing, match a leather pleated midi with a cropped sweater for laid-back chic. With this preppy piece, the rules are up to you – sophisticated simplicity or crazy clashing, all will work depending on the look you want!
With the hemline above the knee, this skirt is referred to as the mini. High waisted or sitting on the hips, this skirt shows off plenty of leg. It can be easy to pull off, ensuring you don’t reveal too much. To avoid the trashy look, do not let the skirt’s hemline go any higher than half way up your thigh. Keep it to a ¾ for optimum safety, or just over half way if you’re feeling flirty. It is a popular piece amongst the teeny tiny street style stars; they opt for leather minis with a modest knitted jumper, or classically tucking a T-shirt into an A-line denim mini. When it comes to footwear, what you choose makes all the difference. For an effortless casual look, a white plimsoll or flat sandal is a perfect daytime pairing. For a more dressed up style, add pointed toe pumps or high-heeled ankle boots. The rules are simple when it comes to pulling this look off every time: 1) Do not clash a patterned skirt with a patterned top (matching twinsets are acceptable), 2) Keep the top modest, you do not want to risk looking vulgar, 3) it is either legs or cleavage – never both, 4) keep it simple and let the legs do the talking.
The knife-pleated skirt may initially scream school, but the classic style is actually one of fashion focus. It is similar to the pleated skirt, but with sharper and wider folds leaving a crisper finish. Seen at Gucci, Hermés and Bottega Veneta last season, this tailored style is perfect for creating a quirky and individual look. This season the look didn’t fully transpire onto the runways, however there is no reason you should not carry on wearing the confident piece. For an effortless geek-chic outfit, take a pleated skirt and combine with a fine-knit sweater, peeking a shirt or blouse collar from the neckline. Chelsea boots, brogues and loafers are the perfect option to complete the traditional look. If the preppy appearance is not for you, try wearing a cami top and heeled pumps for cool sophistication. To complement the look for any style, try adding a satchel bag for a versatile accompaniment.
A wrap skirt is just that, a skirt that wraps around you in two asymmetric layers. From light and floaty, rigid and structured, to demure and elegant this is a style anyone can adapt to. A major runway trend of Spring 2016, the looks filtered onto the high street in a big way. Think midi and mini, both are lengths which have been seen on the fashionistas. Alexa Chung wore her navy midi with a pale blue shirt and ankle boots for a sophisticated uniform take on the style. Be inspired, and match your skirt with a blouse of the same hue for an ultimate co-ord look. Fashion blogger Pernille Tessaback followed this cue, and layered her oversized oatmeal turtleneck over her ivory pencil style wrap. If you want the skirt to do the talking, pick a lengthy one with a high leg-revealing slit or find one with extra layers and details. Don’t worry about dressing the look up or down, a change of shoes is the key- with trainers and heels being completely acceptable styles depending on the occasion. Keep the rest of the outfit refined, and let the standout skirt be the focus of your look.
The drape skirt is a style where the fabric is draped at different angles and layers to create texture and volume. It can be draped from a short to long to create an asymmetric look. Other ways the fabric is manipulated is by layering and knotting the material, creating folds and ruches. The flattering drapery conceals and creates curves, while the asymmetry elongates the leg. Helmut Lang began the obsession by filling the Spring Summer 2012 show with draped dresses, skirts jackets and tops. Balmain headed the trend in Spring 2014, adorning Kim Kardashian and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley with the figure hugging silhouettes. The style may have disappeared off the catwalks for now, but it still remains a strong classic look thanks to the street style and celebrity stamp of approval. To wear the look for daytime opt for a slinky vest top, mini cropped tee or long-sleeved plunge neck. For an elegant evening look, take a silk pussy-bow blouse or tight fitting top, and wear with killer heels or ankle boots. To add further luxe to the outfit, add some statement cuff bracelets, chunky necklaces or oversized earrings.
The gypsy skirt brings back images of 00s throwbacks; a boho era some of us would rather forget. The long skirt is made up of horizontal panels of fabric, which ruffle and ruche for a floaty texture. Nowadays, it’s not such a no-go zone with the shapes being refined, lessening that over-enthusiastic bohemian craze.
The gypsy style has now translated into laid-back festival wear, for a stylish take on the bohemian trend popular amongst the festivalgoers. The casual flare of the skirt brings a cool look of relaxed individuality, as worn by Miranda Kerr, Vanessa Hudgens and Hailey Baldwin. To try this summer-chic piece, pick crochet, lace and lightweight fabrics in muted colours of white, grey and khaki, accessorizing with jewellery of colourful beads and stones. Wear it with a mini vest top, cropped tee or a knotted shirt to create that bohemian luxe. To finish the look, add a pair of gladiator sandals and wear your hair relaxed and wavy to achieve that beachy cool feel.
The bubble skirt is a voluminous mini skirt, with a gathered tucked hemline to create the rounded ‘bubble’ effect. It was seen in the 1950s by Christian Dior, but received most of its popularity in the 1980s – until it met its demise in 2000’s. Yet, last spring summer, Louis Vuitton brought the shape back into high fashion, parading the bubble down the runway. More relaxed in shape and fit, the skirt had a feel of everyday cool. As demonstrated by Selena Gomez, who wore hers in white with a black openwork crochet top. Follow the rules laid out by Louis Vuitton, and keep the colours muted and fabrics lightweight. Avoid silky and bold colours – you don’t want to look like a tacky throwback. With its fun bouncy silhouette, keep the top slim and simple, refining accessories to minimal. For an everyday look, try teaming with a black leather ankle boot to balance the femininity of the outfit. To dress up the look, a single strap heel sandal will complement the ensemble with ease.
The layered skirt is made up of different layers of fabric, usually in horizontal rows and sometimes abstractly placed, to create a standout defined piece.
This season Gucci opted for the horizontal layering, applying the style to maxi lengths and bold patterns. Chloe headed for a more wearable approach, with shorter asymmetric layers making a frothy look. Isabel Marant crafted the layers at clashing angles to create romantic soft folds. With so many ways of layering, the options are endless. Choose the skirt for the occasion: longer, high detailed skirts are best for a dressed up look. Shorter, relaxed fabrics are ideal for the daytime, combined with sandals to create an easy summer time outfit. When it comes to choosing which top to wear, blouses, shirts and T-shirts work best to let the skirt be the main focus.
The Godet skirt incorporates extra panels to create volume and flare to the silhouette. It is classically a mini skirt, or can be added as a bottom panel to knee length skirts creating an interesting silhouette. It trended on the runway in Spring Summer 2014 with Balmain launching mini godets and midi skirts interpreting the element in flowing panels. Giambattista Valli filled their Autumn Winter 2014 show with mini skirts and dresses, using the godet to add exaggerated definition to the outfits. To wear this added flounce, keep tops tight and tucked into the skirt. To give the look some sophistication, wear the skirt with a chain or buckled belt, and throw on a relaxed-cut blazer. This look may not be on trend now, but has made its way into the classics. Wearing this unique piece is set to create a perfect fun and confident look.
The mermaid skirt or fishtail skirt is tight fitting and maxi in length. It hugs the figure from the waist to the ankle, where it flares out to skim the ground. A look worn for events or the red carpet, it oozes elegance and glamour. A favourite of Beyoncé, Kendall Jenner and Eva Longoria it is a sleek, elegant silhouette for upscale events. Givenchy championed the shape in its 2010 Couture collection, paving the way for its high status appeal. Moving from its far-fetched swanky reaches, street style fashionistas have adapted it for day-to-day wear. It has most recently been trending the real world, adorned from top to bottom in sequins. The looks from the street have it paired with sporty sweaters, T-shirts and trainers, to contrast the sparkling opulence. If it is high-luxe glamour you are coveting, stiletto sandals will elevate the look. Wear with a luxury silk cami, and metallic clutch to complete your haute image.
The tulip skirt is a wrap over skirt, where the overlaying fabric creates the look of a tulip. Its rounded, curvy fit is a go-to choice to enhance any figure with ease. Designer brands Altuzarra, Isabel Marant and Simone Rocha have all had their take on the romantic style this Spring season, altering the skirt’s style in their own way. From midi and belted, to mini and loose the looks were relaxed, yet flirty. All of the designers combined the flattering shape with blouses and shirts, to create refreshing daytime outfits. Changing the lengths, the skirt can be instantly transformed from youthful to classy. A firm favourite of the celebrity ‘it’ girls, Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, to stars Nicole Richie and Jenifer Lopez, it is a look suitable for any style. Thanks to its thigh-revealing split, the skirt lengthens and flatters the legs creating that desired elongated figure. With the aid of a boot or heel, the look can be converted from tomboy grunge to feminine elegance.
The ruffle skirt is made up of layers of fabrics, creating a bouncy skirt with a flowing shape. The tiers of fabric can make up the entirety of the skirt, or be panelled in other positions such as around the bottom of the skirt for a flirty detail. It was a major trend last year, and is still happening now. Think oversized, large, major frill effect – cutesy fluffy ruffles do not quite make the cut. Altuzarra, Rodarte and Prabal Garung all chose chunky modern frills to add drama to their looks. Fashion blogger Nicole Warne wore her austere ruffles adorning the hem of her sleek navy pencil skirt, pairing it with a sweater and pointed pumps for a coy take on the flamenco style. When it comes to this trend, every length is accepted: maxi, midi and mini. To try the trend in its full force, go for the asymmetric ruffle cut of a super short skirt flowing to a full-length ankle-hitting style. For ultimate flounce, wear with a ruffle top (large billowing sleeves, off the shoulder frills, asymmetric flowing panels). If you want to pair back the look, pick a skirt with a single or double ruffle. Teaming it with a simple shirt, tee or vest top will do the trick, ensuring that you are fabulously on trend.