After seasons of extremes (mini and maxi, both of which are still apt choices) knee-length skirts are returning to favour, and I’m finding a great deal of joy in this middle ground.
Not traditionally considered the most “flattering cut”, that is part of the charm they’re a bit tricky, challenge
Of course, what’s knee-length on one person may be a midi on someone else, so for the sake of ease, I’m expanding this to include skirts that hit somewhere in the vicinity of the knee.
A knee-length skirt is a pleasing visual balance. It allows you to layer and play while also allowing for plenty of space to display a print or other interesting cut, something Miuccia Prada has proven over the decades. Her designs were even featured in an exhibition in 2006.
Skirts that reach right below the kneecap look great. A midi skirt, which is slightly lower and less formal, is more flattering. It still shows a little of your calf. If you prefer a mini-skirt, a little higher and ending it just above the knee-cap can be a practical alternative. It still gives plenty of leg.
Skirts can be printed on a variety of materials, as Miuccia Prada has shown for decades. Her skirts have even had their own exhibition. Waist DownFrom 2004.
Regular wearers of a knee-length skirt include Vogue Editor Gabriella Karefa Johnson and Emma Chamberlain are internet people. Designer Thom Browne is also a designer and model. Bella Hadid often takes the utility route (cargo pants, denim, and vintage Prada Sports), which is an emerging trend in the category.
Locally, the most well-known skirt wearer is Viva Contributor Chloe Hill offers some wise advice. “Figuring out skirt styles you feel most comfortable in and that work for your body and wardrobe can make shopping for a skirt so much easier. For me, a midi skirt is a really easy piece to pair with boots and a sweater or T-shirt and always feels chic.”
Vintage is a great place for starting, with this cut at the knee popular in 1990s and 2000s.
The recent preppy revival has knee-length skirts at its foundation, and there’s an earnestness to be found at Margaret Howell, gentle irony at Sandy Liang, and both at Thom Browne.
On a lighter note, with summer upon us, vibrant, hyper-saturated colours and dizzying prints can screech “Holiday!” and the simplicity of a knee-length skirt presents so many outfit opportunities for warm-weather dressing; pair with a swimsuit and shirt, or layer tube top and singlet.
Party skirts make the most of the garment’s cut, using jangling sequins, jersey with clinginess, and other textures to create a magnetic atmosphere on the dance floor. Carrie Bradshaw hailing taxis in Norma Kamali, the queen of party dresses, no matter what hour.
My opinion is that walking is the best way to transport skirts. It’s hard to find a better look than a well-cut, straight-cut skirt.
Summer calls for shorter hems, and there’s nothing easier — nor with more opportunity — than a knee-length skirt.
Spend a little more: Gucci skirt $3275