• Straight
  • Subtle a-line
  • Tapered
  • Full a-line
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A skirt shape that falls straight from the hip to the hemline.

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Personal Overview

Basic Shapes for Ellen

The overall shape of a skirt has a great impact on your apparent height and weight. Here are a few basic ideas to keep in mind: 1.Straight and tapered skirts will make you appear taller and slimmer than A-line styles. 2. Long skirts should be no wider than a subtle 'A' line for maximum height and slimness. 3. If your skirt is wide, your top should be narrow. 4. If you skirt is narrow, your top can be full/wide. 5. Narrow skirts can be successfully coordinated with narrow tops. 6. Full skirts coordinated with full tops are rarely flattering, even on super models. 7. The style, height and toe shape of the shoe you choose will make a big impact on your overall appearance. Don't forget to your shoe recommendations.

Ignore seasonal debates over which lengths are 'in' and go with those that suit the shape of your leg.

~ Skirts in dark colours will be flattering when teamed with a lighter/brighter top. Medium coloured skirts will be flattering when teamed with a medium coloured top. Avoid medium to light coloured skirts with dark tops. For the slimiest appearance tone your hosiery colour to shoes and hemline.

~ Your sway back may cause your hems to rise in the back, hang low in the front and even swing forward at the side seams. Re-hem your garments whenever possible.

~ Your best skirts will be made from flat, finely woven fabric that contains a little stretch. Ensure the fabric is also soft and fluid to flow gracefully over your curves. Avoid boxy styles, stiff fabrics, bulky shapes and horizontal detailing. Wearing shapewear will further enhance your appearance by by firming and smoothing your torso and thighs.

~ As a medium to tall woman with a balanced body and good weight you will have many skirt styles and lengths to choose from. Select fabrics that are medium-heavy to medium-light in weight in anything from solid colours to subtle patterns. Avoid stiff, bulky, clingy or thin fabrics and hem embellishments. When wearing a long skirt balance its length with a medium to high heel shoe.


General Overview

Basic Shapes

Separates are the most versatile items in any wardrobe and should be purchased in the best quality you can afford, especially when they are in a classic shape and a neutral colour.

Comfort and a great look comes from a good fit. Ensure what you wear fits you perfectly. The most critical areas to fit well are the waist and the hips. If too tight the skirt will be uncomfortable, pull and ride up the body on walking, if too loose it will sag. To check you have the correct amount of ease in a straight skirt, pinch one side seam. You should be able to ‘pinch an inch' or 2.5 cms at the side and the skirt should be able to be easily twisted full circle while you are wearing it.

There are two main skirt shapes; theses are Straight or ‘A-line'. Straight skirts are vertical and add height and slimness to the body, e.g. straight skirt, soft-flowing bias skirts and the knife pleat skirt. ‘A-line' skirts, especially when wide decrease height and increase apparent weight. They include flounced, tiered and full dirndl skirts.

Long skirts show less leg and decrease apparent height, while short skirts show more leg and make the wearer appear taller and slimmer. For women in business, long flared skirts exhibit less ‘professionalism' than straight knee length styles, and long straight skirts can get in the way and restrict movement in a busy business environment.

Waistband less styles increase torso length and are more comfortable for women who are short waisted or heavy through the torso. Wide waistbands can be used to visually shorten a long torso and lengthen legs.

Whenever possible purchase lined skirts. Lining not only increases the skirt's life by re-enforcing the back seam but also avoids the challenge of finding the right petticoat/slip.

Your appearance from the back should be important to you. When bending over in a short skirt with a back ‘V'- shaped split you may find yourself revealing more than you would like others to see. Short straight skirts with a flap or inverted back pleat will be a better choice for modesty and business wear.

Fabric type and drape will determine the fall and ‘attitude' of the skirt. A heavy tweed fabric may look too ‘country' for city wear, while soft floaty florals give off a casual, feminine or even flirty image. Gabardines, wool and fine woven fabrics are go anywhere, anytime fabrics. Bulky fabrics, checks, plaids and large patterns give off a casual image and can be used to add substance to a thin body. Linens, gabardines and fine wool will decrease apparent weight.

The length of a skirt needs to be flattering and appropriate to the situation.