Skirts are a staple of every woman’s wardrobe. From midi skirts to minis and maxis; A-line skirts to pencil skirts, they’re a key piece whatever your taste. But there are some styles that are more suited to specific body types than others, and whilst we’re all about dressing in whatever you like, it’s worth having a few tricks up your sleeve to really flatter your silhouette. We’re all about making you look and feel great (not to mention comfortable!) in whatever you’re wearing. So, for a little sartorial know-how, here’s our guide to finding the best skirt styles to suit your shape.
Those with an hourglass figure have a well-defined waist that’s smaller than their bust and hips; their shoulders and hips are about the same size. Celebrities with hourglass figures include Kim Kardashian, Eva Longoria and Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe.
Showcase your tiny waistline in a tailored pencil skirt; it’ll accentuate your curves and skim your thighs for a flattering fit. Wrap pencil skirts or designs that have a slit in the centre are good options too, since they’ll give you a little more room to move. Pair a sultry pencil skirt with a cropped top or blouse (à la Kim K) to really show off that stomach!
Pear-Shaped (or Triangle)
If you’re pear-shaped, your hips will be wider than your shoulders and bust; in fact, your hips are probably the widest part of your body. You’ll also have a slim midriff. Beyoncé, Shakira and Rihanna all have a pear (or triangle) body shape.
A-line skirts are oh-so flattering on those with pear-shaped body types. They showcase your slim waistline and skim over your hips, which balances out your top and bottom halves. Avoid peplum skirts as these will add bulk to your hips, and opt for skirts that are slightly flared, rather than bodycon styles.
Characteristics of an inverted triangle body shape include shoulders that are wider than the hips and a bigger bust. If the top part of your body is larger than the bottom and you usually wear a bigger size on top, you can safely assume that yours is an inverted triangle figure. Many celebrities and models have an inverted triangle body shape, including Demi Moore, Rene Zellweger, Naomi Campbell and Teri Hatcher, making it especially desirable.
The skirt types best suited to inverted triangle figures are A-line and pegged, but asymmetric designs can also work wonders. They can perfectly balance your image from bustline to waist, giving a proportional effect that’s both chic and sophisticated. Steer clear of tapered styles as they can upset the perfect balance you’re going for.
Athletic (or Rectangle)
If you’ve ever been told that you have a ‘strong frame’ or asked if you play a lot of sports, you’ll most likely have an athletic body type. Usually on the straight up and down side, this type of figure is so fun to dress. It looks great in almost everything, and people with an athletic body type can flaunt or conceal as much as they feel comfortable with. Balance is easily obtained like yin and yang with this figure.
A well-chosen skort skirt is one of the best options when it comes to styling an athletic body shape. Not only will it accentuate your waist superbly, but you can also look forward to showing off your perfectly toned legs.
Apple (or Oval)
Apple-shaped women tend to be fuller around the middle. They usually have a bigger bust as well as being broader in the upper arms and shoulders. As an apple, you’ll want to emphasize your strongest points (your bust and legs), while at the same time keeping your overall figure well balanced. Since the idea is to draw the eye toward those parts of your body that shine, you’ll naturally want to show off your great legs.
If you’re in the office, the shortest your skirt should be is just above the knee, but if you’re out for the evening, there’s no harm in going a little higher. A-line skirts are also great for showcasing off your natural assets. If you’re apple-shaped, don’t be afraid to be a bit more daring with your skirt choices; we promise they’ll pay off!
Petite doesn’t necessarily mean short and slim; in fact, it’s a tricky shape to categorise because it spans all body types: you can be petite with long legs, short all over, have a big bust, or be blessed with curvy hips. In short, petite women come in all shapes and sizes, which is why it’s important to consider height AND shape when it comes to skirts.
Pencil skirts are the go-to if you’re a petite woman, as they complement your body type and blend in perfectly with most other outfit choices. However, if you want to mix things up a bit, opt for an overlay design to add texture and show that short can still be effortlessly stylish.
If you’re a tall woman, you may be used to a challenging dressing-room experience. Ironically, fashion designers use tall models because they believe that this body type is best for showing off clothes; however, it can be tricky to find garments for those with taller proportions, since labels tend to appeal to women of more average height. But that doesn’t mean finding the right skirt for your tall figure is impossible. Far from it.
The skirt styles that suit a tall girl are flared, gathered, pleated and tiered. Any of these styles will help create a more refined look complementary of your figure. Avoid anything too short as it can throw off the balance of your entire look, and you don’t want that.