It’s not an easy way to say this, so here it goes: the dress is dead, long live the skirt. I know. We have been here before.
Last year, fashion observers announced that the easy-to-wear dresses we’d all been wearing since lockdown were behind us and there was a popular revolt. Fashion editors were brought in front of television presenters and asked to explain this attack on British women’s wardrobe and their right to a quick and easy solution. And in the end, the midi dress that would last all day won a stay of execution and everyone was happy.
But the relentless tide of fashion cannot be held back indefinitely. You can keep your skinny jeans because you like them, and one day they just won’t fit.
You can keep your black tuxedo and then wear it to a party where everyone is dressed in scarlet velvet or peacock blue and suddenly you feel like you’re an undertaker.
You can still wear the really useful three-quarter sleeve dress, but as of now, it’s crossed the line from “nothing to see here, just a normal dress” to “Oh, that looks a bit like that.” . . old’.
SHANE WATSON: It’s not an easy way to say this, so here it goes: the dress is dead, long live the skirt (pictured: Naomi Watts)
Emily Ratajkowski in a denim pencil skirt paired with a leather trench coat and knee-high boots
Every once in a while in fashion you have a ‘ding-ding, everything changes’ moment, and this is one of those. You can ignore it, but you may find that the switch to skirts gives your wardrobe a boost.
And skirts, although not as simple as dresses, allow you to play with proportions: the difference between looking elegant and current or not.
So how to make it easy? First, the skirt has to be midi, because it is the easiest length to wear and gives you the most options.
The look that’s really gaining traction is a pencil skirt (think a slim skirt to mid-calf, not a skirt that closes to the knees) worn with a light sweater or a dressy cardigan over a collared blouse. round.
The underlying problem most of us have with skirts, aside from the annoyance of knowing what to wear them with, is the fear of straining the waist.
Just make sure you don’t buy the tight skirt and then let the sweater or cardigan cover your waist a little or cover it a few inches.
Otherwise, you can layer a jacket over it (unbuttoned, it will still provide significant coverage); loosely tuck in a silky blouse; Or wear your pencil with a cotton blouse with puff sleeves and a defined waist or a cropped open-neck sweater. Voila, the simple spring skirt suit.
And the thing is, with a skirt instead of a dress, you can make the proportions work for you: a big tucked-in striped shirt for daytime; a top with less volume and a tight waist for the night.
Jennifer Garner is seen outside the ‘Today Show’ on April 11, 2023 in New York City
A pencil shape works well for the office, but a subtly flared A-line skirt or a straight-cut cargo style are good alternatives. Cargo skirts don’t need to have pockets, it’s more of a utilitarian style: think of a jean skirt style with four pockets and a fly in the front.
But don’t necessarily be intimidated by thigh pockets: they don’t have to be bulky and can add a certain military touch.
Hush makes a smart khaki cargo skirt with stylish mid-flap pockets (now £35, hush-uk.com) that has a smart, uniform feel, and Jigsaw has a nice wool utility skirt with a belted D-ring. High patch pockets and front slit (£175, jigsaw-online.com). Tucked in with a men’s shirt or a black sweater and black heels, this is a perfect elegant office piece.
A-line skirts come in many fabrics, including corduroy (£190, cefinn.com) and denim (now £115.50, wyselondon.com), and denim is a particularly tempting option this year. It works in all climates, whether on vacation with sandals and a T-shirt, or during the day, with a blazer, boots and a fur coat on top.
This season, the denim skirt comes in literally every style, but the ones that will get the most wear are those with a subtle flare or some variation on the straight/pencil shape. Marks & Spencer makes a nice straight midi with a modest front split, in black or mid-wash blue (£29.50, marksandspencer.com).
It doesn’t matter which wash you choose, what counts is what you wear it with.
For a stylish look in the coming weeks, opt for knee-high heeled boots and a polo-neck sweater or a tweed jacket over a plain shirt. A belt with a shiny gold buckle will always score smart points.