The Stylists Guide to Finding Flattering Summer Skirts

Colette Werden

Style and Image Specialist

There are so many “traditional rules” around what body shapes can and can’t wear certain cuts of skirts. You’ve read it all before; the standard article about “how to dress for your body shape”. It’s supposed to be easy, but the truth is, we’re not all shaped like a seasonal fruit or geometric substance. Our bodies vary; we all have different assets and different parts of the body that we want to camouflage.

If you’ve been keeping up to date with my articles, you’ll know that I ditch these nonsensical theories and avoid labelling a woman’s body as a fruit or shape. You’ll need to get up to date with The Ratio System™  before you read on; it’ll help explain the reasons why the below styling tips are crucial to help you create the perception of leanness and length (if that’s your calling), when wearing this season’s halo piece.

Now that you’re in the zone, let’s roll with styling five different cuts of skirts for your individual birthday suit.

The Pencil Skirt

High five to Christian Dior for introducing the pencil skirt in the 1940s – it now reigns as one of the most popular cuts of skirts for all seasons. This summer, the midi length (below the knee) is the rage and I can see why – it’s damn sophisticated. Most women think they can’t wear a pencil skirt unless they’re stick thin. I have two words for you – Hell. No. This cut is flattering on so many shapes and sizes, you’ve just got to play with the styling. Ideally, tuck your top in to highlight your waist. Or if you do not have a defined waist (or feel uncomfortable exposing the shape of your stomach), wear a flowing top over it and use a thin waist belt to create one. Or, if you want to camouflage the sides of your thighs, tuck the top in and wear a long-line blazer that falls long enough to cover them. Be mindful here – if you would like to create the perception of length and leanness, avoid letting a top hang over without any waist definition.


Sass and Bide Fringe Factor Skirt $520MINKPINK Knitted Pencil Skirt $103, Altuzarra Wilcox wrap-effect skirt $984

The Maxi Skirt

Didn’t shave the legs? All good, this one has you covered. Victoria Beckham loves the maxi so much that she was snapped wearing it in Manchester in the middle of Fall. Tran-seasonal? Yes. Perfect for Summer? Absolutely. This skirt is perfect for minimizing hips and legs, when styled well. If your preferred maxi is of the pleat variety; ensure that the pleating moves downward, rather than sideward (this creates a lot of bulk). If you’re petite or of a shorter stature, opt for a maxi with a split as this will avoid looking like you’re wearing a tent. Pair it with a cropped blazer for a smart touch, or slip it on with a tee and flats and call it a brunch date. One question I asked regularly when styling the maxi is; what shoes do I wear? Opt for open toe – gladiator sandals and strappy sandals are perfecto.


Spell & The Gypsy Collective Lionheart Maxi Skirt $283, Clayton Sarah Skirt $114GANNI Glenmore  paneled maxi skirt $309,

The Mini Skirt

If your legs are your asset, then this skirt is definitely for you. How short do you go? Good question. Remember, a horizontal line is drawn right around where the skirt ends (creating width) – ensure this line goes across a flattering part of your thighs.  Or, you can try this tip to ensure the length is suited to your proportions; go no shorter than the length of your middle finger when standing straight with your arms by your side. Nifty, right? As a lot of skin is exposed when wearing this sexy little number, you can keep it tasteful of a daytime by pairing with a long sleeve top.


Maje Janki Skirt $610 , Dodo Bar Or Blair Skirt $680, Proenza Schouler Cotton-twill wrap mini skirt $932

The Flare

This skirt has received more publicity this season than “Kimye”. Spring Racing in Melbourne saw many punters celebrate this skirt by the race track. Some played it well with brilliant styling, to ensure it didn’t create a frumpy silhouette. As this skirt has a large proportion of fabric, it’s important that whatever it is paired with is tucked in – always – to highlight the waist and avoid the resemblance of a hot air balloon. Crop tops are great if you’re happy to flaunt your mid-section, otherwise a fitted/structured top is ideal; the less flow the better. Hail the 1960s.


KENZO Midi Flare Skirt $476,  Erdem Tiana Printed Skirt  $2021 , Zimmermann Painted Hearts Skirt $1250 

The Fit & Flare

Also known as the trumpet skirt. Or, the flare is also referred to as a frill. Now that we have the technicalities out of the way, let’s talk about how to style this season statement piece. This style shows off the derriere, so you need to be comfortable playing up your curves (work it!). The skirt can also help build up your rear view if it’s on the flatter side. Pair it with a top or cropped blazer that sit no longer than the waist (or tucked in), if you’d like to avoid looking bulky. Due to the heavy proportion of this skirt, thin heels are ideal to elongate the legs. The moment is now yours.


Staple The Label Lace Skirt $99.95 | EDIT Asymmetric Peplum Skirt $361 | MINKPINK Marseille Lace SKirt $116


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Feature image via pinterest 

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