What Skirt Length Should I Be Wearing?

Our editor’s tricks to wearing (and styling) the most commonly asked question about skirts: “What skirt length is appropriate?”
Six to Sunday

Nowadays, skirt and dress lengths come in all varieties, from mini to maxi. Hooray for choices!

But one of the most commonly asked (and Googled) questions remains: “What is an appropriate skirt length?”

The new think is that there are no rules. So our first piece of advice is that you try, try, TRY different lengths, and decide for yourself what you prefer and what works with your lifestyle.

Ready for more? Have a few different lengths in your arsenal. On this second point, we bring you our top tips for pulling off each option.

How to Style a Mini Skirt

Got great gams? Go for it. The thing about a mini is that you’re showing off your legs (go you!), so let them be the main event and keep the rest of your look classic.

  • Keep your upper half more covered. A mini with a camisole? Nope. A mini with an oversized button-down shirt, knotted at the waist? Yes. A mini with a cozy sweater? Absolutely.
  • Find your length. All minis are not the same length—some are super short, and some hit about mid-thigh. Our advice? Leave the super short styles to the sorority set.
  • Choose footwear that balances the drama. With the leg on full display, the mini can be an attention grabber. When it comes to footwear, skip the sky-high heels and instead wear a flat (a ballet with a mini is so French-chic), a bootie, or—in the cooler months—a flat knee-high boot.

Skirt: Boden ($120); Shirt: J.Crew ($98); Shoe: Sam Edelman ($130); Bangle: Deepa Gurnani ($98); Bag: Tessabit ($255); Skin Tint: Ilia ($48)

How to Style a Knee-Length Skirt

For many years this was considered the “appropriate” length for grown-up women, and not for nothing: It’s flattering on most bodies. As for style, mix it up. Texture? Sure. Color? Great. Print? Hells yes.

  • Look for a flattering flare. Most shapes look great with a little flare. Look for A-line shapes and peek-a-boo slit hems (front or side).
  • If you have curves, don’t be afraid of a pencil. A pencil skirt with a bit of stretch highlights your body while balancing the curves by slimming through the thighs and drawing attention to the skin on your lower leg.
  • Avoid the pump. Unless you are heading to work, avoid looking too office-y by avoiding a pump and pairing this length with a sandal or a tall (heeled) boot.

Skirt: Boden ($150); Top: & Other Stories ($59); Boots: Boden ($330); Lip Gloss: RMS Beauty ($28); Bag: RED(V) ($238); Earrings: Nordstrom ($35)

How to Style a Midi Skirt

Ah, the midi. A Six to Sunday favorite. The length makes it appropriate for any setting, but it’s not so long that you’ll be encumbered with too much fabric.

  • Choose your skirt shape wisely. The midi is great on all bodies—an A-line leaves room for hips, a narrow silhouette elongates a short frame, and a full midi is great for evenly proportioned frames or more slender legs.
  • Define the waist. Our favorite way to wear a midi on any body shape is a tucked-in top layered underneath a third piece that adds some length. Think basic t-shirt underneath a slightly longer blazer or hip-length cardigan.
  • Be mindful of too much volume. Unless you’ve got the height to pull it off, pleats, tulle, and other materials with volume are best avoided.
  • Pair with almost any footwear. Sneakers, flats, and wedges are all a go, and we also like this with a heel.

Skirt: Reformation ($148); T-Shirt: Everlane ($30); Sweater: Gap ($79.95); Sandals: Sam Edelman ($120); Belt: Madewell ($60); Bag: Rebecca Minkoff ($248); Blush: RMS Beauty ($35); Perfume: & Other Stories ($40)

How to Style a Maxi Skirt  

There’s something undeniably elegant and flattering about the long line of a maxi skirt, and when done in a gorgeous color, print, or luxe fabric, it definitely brings the wow factor. While this style isn’t recommended for a day of running errands, or for a festive fete (bridal shower, party, etc.) we think it’s smashing.

  • Try monochrome. Incorporate a fuller skirt into a monochrome color palette.
  • Balance the volume. Our four favorite ways to offset the maxi are: 1) a waistline (half tucks are great), 2) a wide belt, and 3) sleeves cuffed up the forearm.
  • Define the waist. Like the midi, our favorite way to wear a maxi on any body shape is a tucked-in top layered underneath a third piece. In the case of a maxi, the third piece should be short (think cropped biker jacket) to balance the length of the skirt.
  • Shorties should consider a tailor. If you’re short, you need to be mindful of this style so that it doesn’t overwhelm you and drop you to the floor like an anchor—consider hemming a maxi to a tea-length so it hits just above your ankle bone, letting a sliver of skin show.
  • Skip the heels. Avoid getting caught up in all the fabric—we love this length with a feminine flat (think pointy toe) or a chunky flat sandal.

Skirt: Farm Rio ($185); Shirt: Banana Republic ($39); Sandal: Charles & Keith ($56) or Everlane ($85) or Charles & Keith ($56); Bag: COS ($120); Earrings: 8 Other Reasons ($35); Lip Tint: French Girl ($20); Bangles: 8 Other Reasons ($65)


All products featured on Six to Sunday are independently selected by our editors and contributors. We may get paid commissions on products purchased through our links to retailer sites. However, we recommend products based on our independent research and point of view, and the decisions we make regarding the products we feature on our site are always driven by what we believe our community will love, first and foremost.

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