Skirt the Issue

Your skirts are a versatile part of your wardrobe. You can create an almost infinite number of outfits by wearing your suit skirts with other jackets for a more formal look, and/or with tops, blouses, and sweater sets for a business casual look. With other separate solid or patterned skirts, you can mix and match them with tops, sweaters, and jackets to achieve similar looks. By selecting solid skirts in the neutral colors of your palette, you will have the flexibility to create combinations with all the colors that complement you.

Best Possible Fit

Since the skirt is such an important element of your wardrobe, be certain it fits properly. A good fit means the waistband is loose enough to insert two fingers allowing it to turn easily; it does not crease or pull across the break of the leg and it hangs from the buttocks in a straight line and does not curve under. If you wear pleats, they should lay flat and not pull open. If the skirt has pockets, they must remain closed. Any tightness in your skirt spoils the total look and sends a careless message; it also draws people's attention to your waist or thighs, which is not where you want it in a business situation. 

When Short Is Too Short

professional dress women skirtThen comes the critical question of how short is too short for business? Most fashion magazines, movies and TV shows proclaim that the emphasis for working women is not on power shoulders but legs. This is a risky approach. Fortunately, women no longer allow themselves to be dictated to by the fashion industry about how long or short they should wear their skirts. Even the designers themselves have stated that fashion is no longer a matter of hemlines. This freedom allows women to select a hemline that is comfortable and flattering for them. Today almost any length is fashionable, and short skirts do have a place at the office...with some limitations. How women who wear mini-skirts will be viewed and reviewed by their male and female managers sometimes sets the stage for sexual harassment. In addition, a mini-skirt can be distracting and they are not user-friendly; it is very difficult to sit comfortably at a desk and it is almost impossible to bend over under any circumstances.

The Right Skirt for You

When selecting a short skirt, remember that when you sit down your skirt shortens three inches. Therefore, a skirt that stops around the knee is appropriate for the office. To pinpoint the exact length on you that is both flattering as well as professional, stand up and make a circle with your two thumbs and index fingers and locate it around your kneecap. Any length at the circle, inside the circle or lower than the circle is appropriate. A hemline that is higher than the circle is probably too short and will draw people's attention to your legs instead of to your face where powerful eye contact occurs.

When wearing short skirts, combining them with matching stockings in semi-opaque styles gives you a more professional look; sheer skin-colored and patterned hose draw undue attention to the legs. If your legs are not an asset and short skirts do not appeal to you, you can minimize attention there by wearing longer, flowing hemlines with matching hosiery. Taller women look great in longer lengths if the skirts are not too bulky. Very full, long swirling skirts are too social or casual for the office. If you like this style, try one cut on the bias which will give you the movement without excess volume. Long pleated or semi-pleated skirts are a better option. When selecting a long, narrow skirt, walk around the store and experience how comfortable it is. One of the latest trends is a long skirt with a slit. The height of the slit should be measured the same as you do the short skirt since once you sit down, that is how high your skirt will open. 


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