How to Wear Skirts Without Looking Frumpy (with 3 printable PDF guides)

This mommy blogger walks through the basic rules for wearing skirts correctly, from what tops to pair with various skirt lengths to whether leggings can be worn under skirts. Personal examples are included as well as three PDF guides to help explain the rules visually. Never feel unsure about what looks right after reading this every day guide to wearing skirts! // How to style skirts // How to pair skirts // What shoes to wear with skirts // Skirt outfits // Mom fashion // Budget fashion // Tips, tricks and rules to wearing skirts // Free PDF printable guides

Today I am bringing you tips about wearing skirts along with Samantha from Upon a Lovely Little Life. She is also sharing her insights on styling skirts correctly so be sure to go check it out! (Hold down CTRL + click on link to open in new tab without changing windows. Free tip, 'cause I'm so techie like that.)


Skirts are wonderful for all seasons. Paired with tees in the spring/summer and boots in the winter, they make for an easy mom outfit all year round! But there are certain fashion pauxs associated with wearing skirts that you want to avoid. My hope is to lay out some basic rules that will insure you look beautiful and not frumpy every time you pull a skirt on! 

I was feeling the third-trimester pregnancy sleepies when I snapped the photos for this post, and it kind of shows on my face! Maybe I should have just taken a nap instead ;) But believe it or not I am SO excited to share everything that I've learned about styling skirts correctly! 

Here's how we mamas can look our very best in any kind of skirt!

 

Basic Rules for Wearing Skirts

 

Balancing Proportions: Skirt Length

What skirt lengths look good on your will largely depend on your height. Tall ladies can wear most lengths. Average height ladies may need to avoid midi (calf-length) skirts but can wear other lengths. Petite ladies are most flattered in either mini skirts or long maxi skirts (to elongate their frame).

Midi length skirts (calf-length) should either be worn with shirts that are defined at the waist or tucked in (and optionally belted). Alternatively, one can hem a midi skirt to end at or above the knee. 

I'm 5'6" and midi skirts tend to look awkward on me. An exception might be a midi pencil skirt worn with heels, but I have yet to try one. 

In the outfit below this lovely summer skirt looks awkward at it's usual length. 

Because it has an elastic waistline, I simply rolled it a few times to shorten the skirt. Alternatively, you could hem your skirt. Voila! Balance!

 

BALANCING PROPORTIONS: Skirt volume

If you're wearing volume on the bottom you want to counter that with less volume on the top. Defining the waist is important when it comes to long or full skirts. Otherwise the combined loose top and skirt make you look wide and frumpy because you've lost your curves.

If you're wearing a shaped skirt or mini skirt, you can sometimes get away with a loose-fitting top. However, you always want to at least partially tuck loose fitting tops so they don't run over the skirt. 

The outfit below has a baggy, shapeless look because I paired a flowy top with a flowy, midi-length skirt.

The outfit below is also missing shape. It's not terrible, but could be improved.

Option 1 Wear a fitted top. Being preggers, this is the only option of 3 that I can personally demonstrate today. :-) See how simply wearing a fitted tee with these skirts helps balance the proportions of a fuller skirt and a long maxi skirt? 

Option 2 Tuck your top. Because ma' belly doesn't allow for tucking right now, see an excellent example of this at the lovely "Always Amber" blog.

Option 3 Wear a shorter top. I don't mean midriff! You don't need to show skin to get the benefits of a cropped top: namely a good balance with your long or full skirt. Simply wear a shirt that is fitted and ends about where your skirt waistline starts. Or tie a knot into the shirt to bring it up to the skirt's waistline. 

Option 4 Pair a loose top with a fitted skirt or mini skirt. The low volume of shaped skirts like pencil skirts and short skirts like mini skirts balance the higher volume of a loose or baggy top. The key with this pairing is to either partially or fully tuck the top so that your waist is still defined. 

The infographic in the summary section below helps illustrate Options 2-4.

 

What Shoes to Wear: Heels, flats and in between

The quick rule of thumb is to shorten the shoe height as you increase the skirt length. But of course there are exceptions to the rule. Here's a guide laying out all the best shoes to pair with the four most common skirt types: mini, knee-length, midi and maxi.

 

Leggings: How to pair them correctly

A couple common mistakes when it comes to leggings is wearing them under midi or knee-length skirts and/or wearing them without boots. They tend to drag the whole outfit down, often creating a frumpy look when not paired correctly. Read on for your three options when it comes to leggings.

Leggings in the outfit below tend to weigh it down and look awkward.

Option 1 Lose the leggings.

Option 2 Wear boots over leggings in the fall/winter.

The outfits below look more balanced, fresh and stylishly appropriate.

Option 3 Leggings under mini skirt. 

I don't currently own a mini skirt to illustrate Option 3, but I put together an infographic to illustrate all three options for leggings.

Infographic: Guide to Leggings & Skirts

 

In Summary

Phew! That was a lot to take in! Here's what I talked about in summary.

Balancing proportions is key when it comes to styling your skirts. Flowy or long skirts generally look best with fitted tops. Shaped or mini skirts can be paired with either fitted tops or a looser top.

And when it comes to leggings, avoid them unless wearing them with boots or a mini skirt!

This infographic pulls it all together! 

Affordable Skirts Online

Congrats mama! You are now equipped to wear skirts like a fashionista! Whether you wear them every day or only on occasion, I truly hope this guide has been helpful to you.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below!

Be sure to check out Samantha's post at Upon a Lovely Little Life!

And don't forget to download these printables to keep as reference.

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This mommy blogger walks through the basic rules for wearing skirts correctly, from what tops to pair with various skirt lengths to whether leggings can be worn under skirts. Personal examples are included as well as three PDF guides to help explain the rules visually. Never feel unsure about what looks right after reading this every day guide to wearing skirts! // How to style skirts // How to pair skirts // What shoes to wear with skirts // Skirt outfits // Mom fashion // Budget fashion // Tips, tricks and rules to wearing skirts // Free PDF printable guides