• Gored
  • Modified dirndl
  • Circle
  • Inverted front pleat
  • Tulip
  • Godet
  • A-line
  • Hip stitched
  • Open pleats
  • Knife pleats
  • Yoked
  • Trumpet
  • Straight / pencil
  • Sarong
  • Wrap
  • Dirndl
  • Flounced
  • Tiered
  • Thigh stitched
  • Open box pleats
  • Bubble
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A gored skirt has four or more gores/ panels that start at the waistline and end at the hemline.
The style may be straight or A Lined.
A wide centre panel will add width to the centre of the body. The most slimming styles have a center front seam.
Best coordinated with shoes that have a medium heel and a tapered toe.
The lighter the fabric and/or the colour of the skirt the lighter the shoe style needs to be for visual balance.

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Personal Overview

Styles for Ellen

Hemlines attract attention because they are an area where colour contrast often exists (between the hem of the dress or skirt, and the legs). The more your body is divided horizontally by bands of colour, the shorter and possibly heavier you can look e.g., dark shoes, light legs, dark skirt, medium belt, light top etc. If you wish to elongate and slim the lower torso, strive to minimize the number of obvious colour divisions by the careful use of colour. For example, dark shoes and a dark skirt teamed with hosiery that blends the two will create a more vertical and slimmer appearance. Likewise a dark skirt or dress that is a little too short for your body shape or age, may be made acceptable, if teamed with dark hosiery, as the length of the skirt will become less obvious.

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

~ Professional environments require a conservative dress code, therefore keep your hem lengths at or below 5cms (2 inches) above the knee for occasions that require a professional approach.

~ If for any reason you can only wear low heeled shoes strive to keep your feet less noticed by blending your shoe colour with that of your hemline and hosiery. In addition avoid shoe styles that have eye catching (look at me) embellishments as these will attract attention reducing your apparent height and increasing your apparent weight.

~ Shoes with medium to high heels will give you a taller, more slender silhouette and add graceful curves to your legs.


General Overview


Nothing can spoil a woman's appearance quicker than an inappropriate or unflattering hemline.

For professional environments, conservative hem lengths are best. All skirts rise approximately 7.5 cms (3 ins) when you are seated, any hem more than 5 cms above the knee when standing will turn into a mini skirt when seated. Women wishing to climb the corporate ladder are best to be recognised for their ability not their hem length.

Ultra short skirts should be left to the young and slender. Medium lengths work well with most women and long hemlines are most successfully worn by those who are tall. In general, the lower and fuller the hemline, the shorter and heavier you will appear. Skirts longer than 5 cms below the knee can appear matronly when worn by anyone over fifty.

Light coloured skirts often appear shorter than they really are and dark coloured skirts can appear longer. If you are a presenter or trainer think about where you will be standing. If teaching from a stage the length of your skirt hem may need to be a little lower to prevent those in the nearest aisles from seeing too much leg.

Every woman's legs curve in a different place. Regardless of the suggestions in this section never end a skirt or dress at the fullest part of your thigh or calf unless you are thin as these lengths tend to make legs appear thicker.

Consider what you look like from the back as well as the front. Skirts with high splits (mid thigh or higher) highlight the legs and are not a good choice for most women over 40 years old nor professional environments. Inverted 'V' shaped splits at the back of short skirts or dresses make bending over with dignity difficult and are not appropriate for business or professional environments.

A longer than recommended hem length can be worn if a higher heel is employed. The extra heel height will lengthen the leg and add to a person's overall height thus giving the wearer the proportions to wear a longer skirt.

Be wary of unusual hemlines or skirts and dresses with borders if you are not tall or do not own shapely legs as the detailing will attract attention to your legs.

To determine your best lengths for skirts and dresses the following factors have been taken into account.


  • Your vertical proportions.

  • Your horizontal proportions.

  • Your height.

  • Your weight.

  • Your age.

  • Any relevant prominent features.