Types of skirts: How To Pick The Best Skirt Outfits [2021]

types of skirts

In all likelihood, there exists at least one skirt in each woman’s wardrobe. Skirts have been present all throughout clothing history. What’s more, they’ve been worn by both men and women.

Nowadays, skirts are more widely worn by women of all ages. Not surprisingly, there is a huge variety of skirt types, materials, lengths, etc. Some skirts might look better on you than others due to your body shape.

Not all skirts are appropriate for each and every occasion. Some skirts are more formal than others. So, with such a variety, how do you know which skirt is best for you? Do not panic! I’m here to help you.

In this guide, I’m about to share from the basics to the most advanced details as regards skirts. So, if you’re interested in finding the nitty-gritty details, you’re in the right place!

Let’s get started!


What is a skirt

Learning the basics about skirts is fundamental to understand how they have changed. The skirt is a piece of clothing that humans have worn since ancient times. Still, how we wear them today doesn’t have anything to do with how people wore them in the past. 

In this chapter, I’ll explain what’s a skirt. I’ll also comment on skirt parts, and I’ll focus on typical skirt lengths. To finish off this introductory chapter, I’ll share some key details regarding the history of skirts and how they have evolved till recent times. Ready?

What is a skirt?

A skirt is a piece of clothing generally worn by girls and women. It consists of a free-hanging part of an outer garment that extends from the waist downwards. In other words, it covers all or part of your legs from the waist down.

Skirts come in several lengths and types. I’ll explain them in more detail later on. A skirt is a tube-shaped garment that can be pretty versatile. They can make the wearer look sophisticated, stylish, feminine, etc.

black woman wearing a long skirt in the street

A skirt is a draped article of clothing that can be made of just a piece of fabric. But, most skirts are a bit more elaborated. The majority of skirts are fitted to the body at women’s waist or hips. Some skirts also have darts or pleats to boost their fullness. Skirts can be made of several fabrics such as denim, poplin, leather, velvet, taffeta, etc. 

These days, skirts are typically worn by women. However, in some cultures, men can also wear skirts. What’s more, in the past, skirts were worn by both men and women. I’ll talk about men’s skirts more in detail in chapter four of this guide. 

LAYERING outfit ideas for skirts | Fall Winter 2020 lookbook
by Kerina Wang

Skirt hemlines range from micro to floor-length. They differ due to social context, cultures, the wearer’s taste, and fashion, among other things. There’s probably at least one skirt in most women’s wardrobes.

Some skirts will make you look nicer than others, depending on your body shape. But, there’s no doubt they form part of most women’s everyday wear. Besides, a skirt can also be the lower part of a dress

Now that you know what a skirt is let’s talk about its parts!

Parts of a skirt

Not surprisingly, skirts are made of several parts. Not all skirts need to have all the parts I’m about to mention below. For instance, not all skirts have a belt nor pockets. Skirts vary quite a lot these days.

Here are the main skirt parts: 

The waistline

What is a skirt waistline?

A skirt waistline refers to the line that separates the upper and lower part of your body. It is where the skirt starts. It can coincide with your natural waist or not. What’s more, it can vary from below the bust to below the hips.

young woman wearing a pink skirt
Source: Tamara Bellis on Unsplash

There exist different types of waistlines, such as natural, raised, or dorp waist, among others. In case you need to measure your waistline, it’s worth mentioning that your natural waistline is the area between the top of your hips and the bottom of your rib cage.

The hipline

What is a skirt hipline?

A skirt hipline is a line formed by the lower edge of the hips. In other words, the hipline consists of the line of an item of clothing – a skirt – around your hips. The hipline is the line formed by measuring your hips at their widest point.

If you want to measure your hipline, make sure you do so at your hips’ greatest part. A skirt hipline refers to the line of a skirt around your hips. To measure your hipline, you’ll need to locate the widest point around your buttocks since the measurement should include both your buttocks and your hips. 

The hemline

What is a skirt hemline?

A skirt hemline is a line formed by the lower edge of a skirt. It can vary depending on fashion, age, personal choice, culture, shape, weight, and comfort. In other words, a skirt’s hemline ranges from hip-high to floor-length.

woman's legs in mini-skirt
Source: Engin Akyurt on Unsplash

This means that there are lots of skirt hemline types. For instance, floor-length hemline, ankle hemline, handkerchief hemline, above-knee hemline, below-knee hemline, etc. Besides, the skirt’s length allows you to classify it as a mini skirt, midi, tea-length, maxi skirt, etc. 

The seam

What is a skirt seam?

A skirt seam is the join of two or more layers of fabric that are held with stitches. There are several types of seams. For example, plain, flat, bound, lapped, and decorative, among others.

The waist darts

What is a skirt dart?

A dart is a fabric manipulation method. You can use it to provide a three-dimensional contour. All you have to do is fold the fabric and stitch to a point giving the desired shape to a clothing piece.

young woman wearing high heels and skirt
Source: Carmine Furletti on Unsplash

You can use waist darts to emphasize your body’s curves so that the skirt has the correct fit. To design waist darts, you must measure your waist to hip length correctly. Darts are used to create fullness in a narrowed area.

There are two types of darts: single-pointed and double-pointed. Make sure darts on the right and left sides of your skirt have the same length and placement. 

The opening

What is a skirt opening?

A skirt opening, also known as a placket, is placed in the upper part. It is used to easily put on and remove pieces of clothing, such as a skirt. There are different kinds of openings. The most common one for skirts is called the fly opening.

beautiful woman wearing a stripped black and white mini-skirt

The skirt opening usually has a zipper fastener or buttons and buttonholes. The opening is placed horizontally. It’s worth mentioning that women’s garment openings are closed from right to left, whereas men’s are the other way round. 

The belt

What is a skirt belt?

A belt is a band or strap of a flexible material that is used for encircling your waist. It can be either used to hold up your skirt or as a decorative item. Some skirts come with belt loops around the waist, such as most denim skirts. Thus, you can improve your look with a matching belt.

Belts can be made of skirt material or other material. Still, most belts are made of suede or leather. Belts can add a nice touch. If your skirt has belt loops, make sure your belt matches the size of the loops. 

Skinny belts go well with high-waisted skirts, for instance. However, not all women like to wear belts with their skirts. It also depends on fashion and your body shape.  

The pleats

What is a skirt pleat?

Some skirts have pleats to add fullness. They usually start from your waist or hips. A pleat is formed by folding fabric back upon itself. Pleats are used to give the skirt wearer more freedom of movement.

woman wearing black skirt with pleats
Source: Laura Chouette on Unsplash

A pleated skirt refers to a skirt which fullness has been shortened with pleats to fit the wearer’s waist. There exist several types of pleats, such as knife pleats, box pleats, kick pleats, etc. 

The pocket

What is a skirt pocket?

A skirt pocket is a small bag that is sewed, attached, or inserted into a skirt. It is opened at the top or side. You can use pockets to keep small items. Not surprisingly, there exist several types of pockets like patch pocket, flap pocket, side seam pocket, etc.

Not all skirts have pockets. However, they can be extremely useful to hold small objects. Pockets can either be visible or hidden. 

Common skirt  lengths 

Skirt lengths vary from micro to floor-length. Fashion is constantly changing what’s in vogue as regards skirt lengths. These days, there is a wide choice to suit your height and body shape. 

However, skirt lengths are relative since not all women have the same height and weight. What I mean is that the length of your torso and legs, together with your weight, does affect the length of your skirt.

common skirt lenghts chart

Thus, your skirt’s length may end up being higher or shorter than intended. Besides, not all skirt lengths are suitable for each and every occasion. For instance, not all skirts are appropriate for work. Let’s comment on skirt lengths more in detail!

Here are the main skirt lengths: 

Micro skirt

What is a micro skirt?

A micro skirt is the shortest type of skirt. It ends just below the bottom, on the top of your thighs. Such a short skirt is usually only worn when there is no need to bend down. You can wear it with dark tights in winter.

blonde young woman wearing an orange micro skirt

This skirt is normally only used by young women. It is not appropriate for all ages, nor is it suitable for a working atmosphere.  


What is a miniskirt?

Miniskirts are short skirts too. This skirt normally ends mid-thigh. It makes your legs look longer than what they are. So, this type of skirt is popular among short women. Mini skirts can either be tight and fitted or full.

Given you’ve got beautiful legs, you should definitely wear a miniskirt. As it happens with micro skirts, miniskirts are more common among young women. They are not appropriate for work. Miniskirts share the idea you’re somehow risky and ungovernable. 

Above knee

What is an above knee skirt?

Above knee skirts, as the name implies, sit just above the bony part of your knee. This skirt length is a bit more formal. So, it’s generally appropriate for office wear. This skirt length is also suitable for short women since it makes your legs look longer than they are.


Women of all ages can wear knee-length skirts. More often than not, this type of skirt looks well on short and long-legged girls. Knee-length skirts are those that finish at the center of the knee bone.

woman in white knee-length skirt

If they are too tight, they usually have a split at the back to improve comfort while walking. They’ll give you an hourglass figure appearance. 


Below-knee skirts look great on women with long legs. They are not so commonly worn by women with short legs. This is because below-knee skirts offer more leg coverage.

You’ll benefit from combining this skirt type with high-heels. As it happens with the previous skirt type, if below-knee skirts are tight, they’ll need a split in the back to guarantee freedom of movement. 

Midi skirt

What is a midi skirt?

A midi skirt is the one that ends at mid-calf, somewhere between your knees and your ankles. These skirts tend to be fuller in design. If they’re straight, they’ll need a split in one or both sides. Midi skirts tend to be worn with heels.

mature happy woman in green midi skirt

Midi skirts look nice on every body size and shape. They are no doubt body-enhancing. Midi skirts are universally flattering since they make your waist look slimmer. The only drawback is that at times it’s a bit challenging to match them with the right top and shoes. 


What is a tea-length skirt?

Tea-length skirts are those which fall three or four inches below your knees. The term tea-length became popular in the 1920s as women used to wear tea-length dresses to tea parties.

tea-length skirt

Tea-length skirts are still popular today. Many people associate the term tea-length with formal styles of dresses and skirts. These skirts can either be fitted or full. Still, full or circle-shaped tea-length skirts are more common as they can make you look elegant and sophisticated. 

Maxi skirt

What is a maxi skirt?

A maxi skirt is the one that finishes just above your ankles. This type of skirt is perfect for casual environments. Maxi skirts are incredibly versatile. They tend to be worn with wedges or sandals.

They’re unquestionably flattering, comfortable, and chick. No matter whether you’re tall or short, curvy or not, a maxi skirt will look nice on you. Maxi skirts length may need to be shortened if you’re too short.

Ideally, maxi skirts should almost dust the floor. On the top, they tend to hit your belly button to accentuate your shape and make you look slim. You can wear maxi skirts for different occasions. You can dress up or down as you wish. 


What is a full-length skirt?

Full-length or floor-length skirts, as the name implies, finish on the floor. Most wedding and formal skirts and dresses are full-length. What’s more, a full-length skirt is the longest skirt possible.

full length green skirt and woman
Source: Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

It is for this reason that full-length skirts are not everyday wear since they are hard to walk in. Women of any size, height, shape, and age look great on full-length skirts as they cover all their legs. 

The history of skirts

Skirts have dramatically changed throughout history. They first appeared in ancient times, and since then, they’ve never stopped evolving. What’s more, skirts have adapted themselves to social changes. 

100 Years of Skirts | Glamour
by Glamour

Despite being worn by both men and women in prehistoric cultures, skirts are worn mainly by women nowadays. They have become essential in Western Europe and American women’s wardrobes.

Romans, Persians, Sumerians, and Egyptians wore skirts. In ancient Egypt, skirts were used by men. They were simple garments, also known as Shendyt. These skirts were mainly made of linen. 

Richer people could afford lighter and thinner skirts, whereas the average people wore cotton loincloths. Women wore floor-length dresses. Men’s skirts were above the knee while women’s were down to the ankle. Interestingly, Roman soldiers used to wear skirts with leather flaps. 

roman soldier wearing an armour skirt

During the Middle Ages, men started to wear trousers. Anyway, skirts were high-waisted, almost from the bust to the ankles. Later on, in the 17th and 18th centuries, skirts acquired more volume to emphasize a thin waist. 

It wasn’t until the 19th century that silhouettes were narrowed again. Women even started to use separates. Skirts offered more freedom of movement since women began to participate in activities such as riding and cycling. They had a more active lifestyle. 

woman wearing a black long victorian skirt

In the Edwardian era, women started to wear separate jackets and skirts, which were less restrictive than Victorian garments. From the 1890s onwards, skirts as a separate piece of clothing gained importance. However, they were still floor-length.

By the early 20th century, skirts started to be narrower. Skirts underwent many changes as regards lengths and types. In the 1920s, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel designed a shorter and wider skirt to provide more freedom to women in their daily activities.

woman wearing a voluminous mid-calf length black skirt

However, skirts became longer again in the 1930s. In 1947, Christian Dior popularized voluminous mid-calf skirts. And, in the 1960s appeared the most controversial skirt of all times, the miniskirt. 

It was introduced by Mary Quant. It was a style which has never been seen before. That’s why it was so revolutionary. For the first time, women could show their bodies if they wish. 

In the 1970s, peasant skirts became popular because of hippie fashion. It was in the 70s too when women started to wear trousers and jumpsuits. In the 1990s, the miniskirt reappeared with youthful designs.

hippie young woman wearing a skirt outdoors

These days, skirts are unquestionably popular among women. They range from mini to maxi-lengths. They are made of lots of different materials. Women just select them based on their own preferences, fashion, and style. 

Now that you know what a skirt is, its parts, lengths, and history, it’s time we move on to the next chapter, where I’ll focus on types of skirts. To select the best skirt for each occasion, you’ll first need to know the types of skirts available. 

Keep on reading to make the right decision and leave everyone astonished!

Types of skirts

Skirts are highly functional. You can look either professional, elegant, or casual, depending on the skirt you choose. There are skirts in lots of styles, lengths, and shapes. You can use them to emphasize your waist, hide your legs, and much more to create the perfect look.

Different skirts suit different body shapes and fashion styles. Not sure which skirts would look great on your body nor when to wear them? You’re in the right place!

In this chapter, I’ll deal with types of skirts. Since there is a wide variety, I’ll provide an extended list. I’ll also comment on which skirts are suitable for different occasions. And, I’ll share some advice as regards which skirts fit different types of women. 

Here is the complete list of skirt types:

A-line skirt

The A-line skirt forms a triangular shape when laid flat. That’s why it’s named after the capital letter A. It flares from the waist. So, it doesn’t need slits to walk. This skirt emphasizes your waistline.

young woman wearing a long a-line skirt

It’s ideal for pear-shaped, apple-shaped, hourglass-shaped, and curvier women. What’s more, you can either use it for formal or casual occasions. It is one of the most common types of skirts since it’s got a waist-narrowing effect. 

There are lots of styles. You can find A-line skirts in silk, cotton, wool, etc. Usually, it is knee-length. Though, you can also find it calf-length and ankle-length. 

Asymmetrical skirt

Asymmetrical skirts are those which have unbalanced or asymmetrical lines to create different levels of hems. An asymmetrical skirt has a hemline that is higher on one side than the other.

For instance, the right side of the skirt might be shorter than the left. Asymmetrical skirts have different lengths. The best way to achieve this effect is by cutting a diagonal across the body. You can put on this skirt for casual wear. Besides, you can also use it for beachwear and pool parties.

Asymmetrical skirts look great on tall women. However, it’s not the best option if you’re too slim or flat-chested. You’ll find asymmetrical skirts in various fabrics like laces, brocade, satin, silk, or linen. 

Bell-shaped skirt

A bell-shaped skirt resembles a bell. It flares from the waistline and then falls to your knees. What characterizes this type of skirt is that it creates a curvy, princess-like shape.

Since it adds volume to your hips, the bell skirt creates a narrowing effect on your waist. It can either be knee-length or calf-length. You can use it to attend formal events, such as weddings. 

Bell skirts are appropriate for evening wear. Typical materials are brocade or silk. A bell skirt is usually made of heavier fabrics not to lose its shape. 

Box pleat skirt 

young woman wearing a nice pleated skirt

A box pleat skirt is a variation of pleated skirts. The so-called box pleat is made by folding two pleats which together form the box part of the pleat. The same pattern is repeated all throughout the skirt’s waistline. 

These skirts tend to be made in thicker fabrics to increase volume and support the skirt’s shape. Depending on the skirt, you can wear it for formal or casual occasions. As regards length, it can be knee-length, below knee-length, full length, and even above knee-length.

Bubble skirt

A bubble skirt is fitted in the waist, then flares out near the hips and becomes fitted again at the hemline. It has the form of a bubble. Thus, it makes your hips look wider and fuller than what they are.

For this reason, a bubble skirt looks great on very slim women or hourglass women with toned legs. These skirts can be pleated or not. Bubble skirts usually have two fabrics, a straight skirt on the inside and a gathered portion on the outside of the skirt.

You can either wear a bubble skirt for prom-nights, casual wear, or youth parties. You’ll find bubble skirts in materials like silk, linen, or satin. They are above knee-length since they are quite voluminous. 

Bustle skirt

victorian bustle blue skirt

Bustle skirts are a modern adaptation of crinolines which women used under their dresses during the Victorian era. Back then, women used bustle skirts to create a voluminous and crinkled shape. 

These days, you may want to wear bustle skirts with corsets or crop tops. Bustle skirts can be knee-length, ankle-length, or calf-length. They’re ideal for apple-shaped and pear-shaped women. As regards materials, these skirts can be made of laces, satin, silk, and brocade, among others. 

Broomstick skirt

Broomstick skirts are wrinkled, long skirts, normally ankle-length. They’re perfect for casual wear. They resemble a broom. Broomstick skirts have a narrow waist with a flared shape. They provide freedom of movement.

A broomstick skirt is typically made of lightweight and breathable fabrics, such as cotton or linen. It usually has an elastic waistband. It offers high-coverage and deemphasizes your curves. Thus, it is perfect for pear-shaped, hourglass, and very slim women. 

Circular skirt

stylish red circular skirt

A circular skirt, as the name suggests, makes a perfect circle at the hem. It’s got a thin waistline and then flares like in A-line skirts. It takes a lot of fabric. It can either be above-knee, knee-length, or calf-length.

Circular skirts have a narrowing effect on your waistline. They can be pleated or not. You can put on this skirt for formal and casual wear. It is mainly used by dancers and for tennis skirts. 

This skirt is great for slim girls but also for pear-shaped and hourglass women. It can be made of silk, satin, lace, linens, cotton, etc. 

Cowl skirt 

A cowl skirt adds additional fullness to the skirt just under the waistband area. You can make a cowl skirt by cutting bent lines from three set apart focuses. Once the focuses are marked, they are curved and altered accordingly.

The cowl skirt is made of soft flowing fabrics, such as wool or linen cotton. This skirt is fastened at the waist with buttons and internal press studs. It’s an easy-fitting style. Besides, it’s pretty simple to make adjustments as time goes by. It’s a durable piece of clothing. 

Denim skirt

young beautiful woman wearing a denim skirt

A denim skirt is a skirt made of denim. It comes in different styles and lengths. Some denim skirts have belt loops, and back pockets as jeans do. Others have elastic waists, a column of buttons, or closures on the side or back.

There exist denim skirts in varied shades of blue. Like in jeans, the darker ones are more for winter. Denim skirts are suitable for triangle-shaped and hourglass-shaped women. They’re best for casual wear.

Dirndl skirt

A dirndl skirt is assembled at the waist. Thus, making your waist look somehow bulky. In other words, dirndl skirts have a tight waist and a wide and circular bottom. It has its origins in the traditional Austrian grab.

It’s above the knee or knee-length. It’s made of cotton, velvet, silk, satin, or linen with lace. It’s ideal for very slim and hourglass women. You can find dirndl skirts on semi-formal and casual occasions.

Draped skirt

A draped skirt is also called a sarong draped skirt. It’s characterized by having fullness gathered on one side of the skirt. It provides an extremely slimming effect. It looks fantastic on very slim, hourglass, and small-busted women.

You can use it for party-wear and formal and semi-formal events. You can usually find it in silk, woolen, satin, and linens. It’s not a great choice for very curvy women. 

Flared skirt

flared skirt

A flared skirt is fitted at the waistline and hipline but then spreads till the hemline. It’s appropriate for both formal and casual events. You can find it in several lengths, such as knee-length, calf-length, and ankle-length. 

Likewise, flared skirts can be made of lace, satin, silk, linens, cotton, and more. This skirt can have a flounced hem. A flared skirt is perfect for short/petite girls. 

Gathered skirt 

gathered pink skirt

A gathered skirt is gathered onto the waistband. It can be any length from short to full-length. Its fullness depends on the amount of fabric used. In other words, a gathered skirt is a skirt whose fabric is drawn together around your waist. 

Most gathered skirts consist of a straight piece of fabric with the top edge gathered. It can either be with an elastic waistband, plain fitted waistband, or a drawstring waistband. Gathered skirts should be avoided by women with a heavy torso as a gathered emphasizes your waist. 

Godet skirt

A godet skirt has a triangular piece of fabric added to the skirt’s body to boost its fullness. Godet skirts flare so that they provide lots of movement to the skirt’s wearer.

Godet skirts belong to the A-line type. Thus, they are voluminous skirts. Godet skirts draw attention to the hem. They look well on pear-shaped, apple-shaped, and hourglass women.

A godet skirt can be any length. Not to mention that it’s appropriate for both formal and casual wear. You can find them in silk, woolen, cotton, linen, etc. 

Gored skirt

young woman wearing a gored skirt in the snow
Source: Jasmin Chew on Unsplash

Gored skirts are cut with an extra flare. They may either flare from thigh-length or knee-length, which gives the skirt extra fullness. A gored skirt is made by stitching various triangular fabrics that expand towards the hem. 

A gored skirt differs from a godet skirt in that gored skirts have pieces of fabric that start from the waistline to the hem. However, in godet skirts, the pieces of fabric stitched go from the midway of the hem. 

Gored skirts look nice on pear-shaped and hourglass women. Besides, you can wear them for beach and pool parties as well as casual wear. You can find them in lots of fabrics like leather, denim, polyester, and more. 

Gypsy/Tiered skirt

Gypsy skirts, also known as tiered or hippie skirts, consist of ruffled and wrinkled tiers of fabric attached to the skirt’s hem. Gypsy skirts are long, generally ankle-length, multi-tiered, and flowing.

Such skirts provide the wearer a bohemian look. They draw attention to the hem. Pear-shaped, apple-shaped, and curvier women can perfectly wear gypsy skirts. 

They are easy to make by hand. You can find them in lots of materials such as silk, cotton, and Georgette. Gypsy skirts are crinkled in nature. You can use them for casual wear. What’s more, gypsy skirts somehow suit all kinds of body shapes quite easily. 

High-waisted skirt

blond woman wearing a high-waisted skirt

High-waisted skirts are intended to flatter your waistline. They are generally tight and buttoned at your waist. These skirts have a high waistband which is usually decorative.

High-waisted skirts can either be short or long. What characterizes them is a high waistband that can be elastic or flat. In these skirts, the waistband is not only higher but also wider than in other skirt types.

A high-waisted skirt looks fabulous on hourglass women. You can use high-waisted skirts for formal and casual occasions – depending on the skirt. You’ll find high-waisted skirts in various materials like linen or cotton, among others. 

High-Low skirt 

A high-low skirt has different hem lengths in the front and back. More often than not, there’s a shorter hem in the front and a longer in the back. The difference between the front and back of the skirt can be somehow subtle or quite dramatic.

Many people confuse high-low skirts with asymmetrical ones. However, they are different. A high-low skirt differs from the asymmetrical one since the asymmetry is at the front and back, whereas the cut is diagonal in asymmetrical skirts.

High-low skirts are made of flowing fabrics. They allow you freedom of movement. Still, high-low skirts can be quite elegant. Thus, you can see them in formal and casual wear.

Handkerchief skirt 

woman wearing a white handkerchief skirt

Handkerchief skirts are skirts with points hanging down. They drop down from your waist. A handkerchief skirt has to be cut in a rectangle or square shape to achieve asymmetric hems. It resembles a handkerchief held by the center. 

These skirts are made with lighter fabrics such as silk or chiffons. Otherwise, they would have a lot of unwanted volume. A handkerchief skirt is generally worn for dressy occasions. Although, you can wear them for both formal and casual settings.

Handkerchief skirts are knee-length or ankle-length. Their flattering style characterizes these skirts since they look well in almost nearly all body types. 

Layered skirt

young woman sitting wearing a pink layered skirt

As the name implies, layered skirts are made of ruffled fabric layers arranged one after the other to form a skirt. Each layer peeks out from under the previous. Thus, layered skirts are pretty voluminous. 

These skirts tend to be knee-length, calf-length, or above knee-length. They look great on hourglass or slim ladies. However, apple-shaped and pear-shaped women should avoid them. 

Layered skirts are appropriate for casual and party wear. You can find them in silk, satin, lace, linens, nets, etc. 

Maxi skirt

Maxi skirts are ankle-length and loose-fitting. In other words, a maxi-skirt is a long skirt whose hem is below the middle of the calf but above the ankle. These skirts tend to be used for casual wear. 

A maxi skirt is ideal for tall women. Hourglass women also look great on maxi skirts. You can find them in many materials like cotton, chiffon, lace, and linen. Not surprisingly, you can wear maxi skirts all year long. 

A maxi skirt allows you to achieve a bohemian appearance. It’s a timeless garment in which you’ll always look chic. You can wear a maxi skirt for work, street fashion and casual wear. There are different types of maxi skirts, such as pleated, flowy, form-fitting, etc. 

Mermaid/Fishtail skirt

A mermaid or fishtail skirt is featured by being slim-fitting in the hips. However, it flares out just above the hem. This skirt emphasizes your hips. What’s more, it creates an hourglass shape. 

You can use mermaid skirts for formal wear, such as wedding gowns. You should pair them with a fitted bodice to highlight your body shape. Mermaid skirts can even have a train at the back.

These skirts are calf-length or ankle-length. You can use them for formal, cocktail, and party wear. Not surprisingly, you can find them in elegant materials like Georgette, silk, and linen. This skirt is ideal for looking elegant. 


green short miniskirt

A miniskirt is a very short skirt. Roughly speaking, it’s 10 to 17 inches in length. There exists a shorter variation called micro mini skirt, which is 10 inches in length. Mini skirts can either be fitted or flared.

These skirts are typical for party wear, casual wear, and a friends’ night-out. You’ll find them in a bunch of materials. For instance, denim, cotton, linen, corduroy, lace, etc. Since miniskirts are above knees, they look great on apple-shaped women. However, if you’re very tall, you’d better avoid them. 

Miniskirts became famous in the 1960s. It’s an iconic type of skirt which is many young women’s favorite. Depending on the skirt, you may want to pair it with high boots to emphasize even more your legs. Although, you can also wear a mini skirt with sneakers if you wish. 

Midi skirt 

 A midi skirt is a skirt whose hem ends between your knees and your ankles. Thus, calf-length skirts are a type of midi skirt. What’s more, midi skirts are universally versatile, highly favorable, and you can wear them for almost any season and occasion. 

Midi skirts are incredibly flattering on almost all body shapes, sizes, and styles. This is due to the fact that midi skirts make your waist look slimmer than what it is. And, they hide part of your legs, so many middle-aged women adore them. 

However, midi skirts are not for grandmas. Any woman can wear them. It’s a trendy piece of clothing for any age. You can find midi skirts in pleated fabrics, flowy fabrics, sheer fabrics, etc. 

Peasant skirt

A peasant skirt is a long skirt that is inspired by the culture of peasants and working-class women. These skirts are made with pleats and layers, or they can be made of rugged fabric.

What characterizes peasant skirts is that they de-emphasize your curves. Most peasant skirts are high-waisted skirts. Thus, they look well in any body shape. Peasant skirts are ankle-length. 

You can put on a peasant skirt for casual wear. You’ll find them in cotton, wool, linen, etc. Besides, there’s lots of variety. You can wear peasant skirts with stripes, floral print, etc. Above all, make sure you pair them with the right shoes and something more fitted up on the top. 

Pencil/Tube skirt

woman walking on the street wearing a pencil skirt

Pencil skirts, also known as tube skirts, are typical in the business world. Apart from office wear, they are also appropriate for party and formal wear. Pencil skirts are cut straight down. That’s why they need a slit at the back or side to improve freedom of movement, especially with heels.

A pencil skirt is fitted from the waist to the hips. It usually has darts. It can be made in stretchy fabric. Standard materials are linen, silk, and cotton. This skirt draws others’ attention to the lower part of your body.

Pencil skirts look great on hourglass-shaped women. They can be knee-length, calf-length, and ankle-length. These skirts intend to show off your hipline. 

Pleated skirt

two beautiful women wearing pleated skirts

Pleated skirts are those which have vertical pleats all over the skirt. There exist pleated skirts of different lengths and different sizes of pleats. Thus you have knee-length, ankle-length, and calf-length pleated skirts.

Regarding the pleats, there are knife-pleated skirts, inverted pleated skirts, box pleated skirts, etc. Pleats follow the same pattern all around the skirt. These skirts are generally made of synthetic fabric so that pleats do not go out when washed. 

Pleated skirts are quite flattering in all body types, except for very plump women. You can either use them for casual or party wear. Pleated skirts are comfortable since they allow freedom of movement. 

What’s more, they deemphasize your curves. You’ll find pleated skirts in lots of different styles. They can be short or long. They’re also great for school wear. Common materials for pleated skirts are cotton, silk, satin, linens, etc.  

Peplum skirt 

peplum black skirt

A peplum skirt consists of a basic underskirt (usually a pencil skirt) and a peplum attached to the waist. The latter is decorative. But, it makes you look fabulous no matter your body shape.

Peplum skirts highlight a narrow waist, hide your hips, or make you look as if you had curves in case you’re too slim. Thus, peplum skirts are figure-flattering. These skirts add elegance to your look. You’ll find them in semi-formal and formal wear.

Peplum skirts can be made of sheer materials, tulle, and lace, to name a few. Believe it or not, the truth is that when the peplum is correctly placed, it can redefine your natural body shape. 

Poodle skirt

Poodle skirts have a poodle sewn into the skirt. They draw attention away from the hips and have a narrowing effect on your waist. It’s a great skirt option for petite or hourglass women. 

This skirt can be knee-length, calf-length, or ankle-length. As regards when to wear such a voluminous skirt, you can pick it for party and formal wear. You can find it in cotton, linen, silk, etc.  

Sarong skirt

young woman on the beach wearing a blue sarong skirt

A sarong skirt refers to a wrap around the wearer’s waist. It is tied at one side. It can be any length from above the knee to ankle-length. You can use it for pool parties and beachwear. Thus, it’s a must-have for holidays on hot summer days.

Typical sarong skirts materials are cotton, natural fiber fabric, and even silk or satin. You’ll show your legs on one side. Any woman can wear a sarong, but best if you’ve got a well-toned waist.

Skater skirt

black skater skirt

A skater skirt is a type of A-line skirt. More often than not, it’s above-knees or knee-length. It’s got a narrowing effect on your waist. Most skater skirts are high-waisted. 

This skirt typically provides a sporty casual look. It’s an excellent choice for apple-shaped women. You can use it for skating, everyday wear, and cheerleading. You’ll find skater skirts in varied materials such as linen, cotton, denim, etc. 

Skorts skirt

stylish woman wearing shorts skirt

Skorts somehow resemble a skirt. In fact, they are a combination of shorts and a skirt. What I mean is that skorts offer the coverage benefits of shorts and the elegance of a skirt. 

There are two types of skorts. The first looks like a skirt on the front and shorts on the back. Whereas the second type has shorts on the inside and a skirt surrounding the shorts on the outside. 

You can wear skorts for casual wear. For instance, swimsuit bottoms, tennis dresses, cheerleader uniforms, or regular clothing. Skorts are the perfect sports outfit for women. They’re above knees or midway thighs. They’re ideal for apple-shaped women. You can find them in cotton, linen, chiffon, etc.  

Straight skirt

straight blue skirt

Straight skirts have a rectangle shape. They are tight at the waist and hip area but create a straight line down the wearer’s body. Thus, they are not as close-fitting as pencil skirts. They don’t emphasize your lower body. 

They can be knee-length, calf-length, or ankle-length. Straight skirts look best when worn with heels. You can use them for all occasions: party-wear, casual and formal wear. As regards materials, there are straight skirts in cotton, satin, lace, nets, etc.

Trouser skirt

A trouser skirt is a pair of pants that resembles a skirt. It is knee or ankle-length. In other words, a trouser skirt is a pair of trousers that flares in the shape of a skirt. A trouser skirt looks excellent on hourglass-shaped women.

You can wear trouser skirts for casual and beachwear. Standard fabrics you can find them in are linen and cotton. Trouser skirts are incredibly comfortable and flattering. You can either pair them with sandals or flats. 

Tutu skirt

woman wearing a tutu skirt in the woods

A tutu skirt consists of a tulle skirt with an elastic waistband. It’s generally made of lots of layers of tulle resembling traditional ballet costumes. Tutu skirts narrow your waist and deemphasize your hips. 

Apart from tulle, tutu skirts can be made of nylon, gauze, tarlatan, muslin, or silk. Modern tutus can reach the calf or the ankle as the traditional romantic tutus. Otherwise, they can be short and stiff. 

A tutu skirt adds volume below the waistline. It’s perfect for pear-shaped, hourglass, and inverted triangle women. As regards when to wear a tutu skirt, the best choice is for party wear. 

Trumpet skirt 

A trumpet skirt is close-fitted from the waist to the bottom of the hem. Then, it flares outside near the hem. It’s a stylish piece of clothing. It’s popular among bridal gowns. You can find it in different lengths. 

They are generally made of stretch fabric. It’s worth mentioning that the mermaid skirt is similar to the trumpet skirt. But they’re not exactly the same. In trumpet skirts, the flounce of the skirt is shorter, and it has an even hemline. 

Mermaid skirts tend to be longer than trumpet skirts. The former are usually floor-length, whereas trumpet skirts are above mid-calf length. You can wear trumpet skirts for business-casual wear.

Tulip skirt 

tulip pink skirt

A tulip skirt is a skirt that resembles an inverted tulip flower. Thus, it’s got an irregular hem edge. What’s more, the edges of the tulip skirt overlap in the front. This makes the tulip skirt wider in the middle than it is at the hem or waist.

This skirt draws attention to the hemline and slims your overall contours. It looks fantastic on hourglass and slim women. Tulip skirts are knee-length or above knee-length. 

You can use them for formal and semiformal wear. You’ll probably find them in linen, silk, and satin, among others. Not surprisingly, it’s a voluminous skirt. 

Yoke skirt 

Yoke skirts have two parts: the yoke above and the skirt below. There are different yoke types: triangular, asymmetrical, and round. The yoke sits around your hips. And, the skirt below can be pleated or gathered.

More often than not, yoke skirts are above knee, knee-length, or calf-length. You can use them for casual, semiformal, and formal wear. They look well on almost any type of woman. And, you’ll find them in varied materials, such as linen, cotton, etc. 

Wrap skirt 

wrap blue skirt and red high heels

A wrap skirt is a one-piece skirt that is wrapped around the wearer’s body. This skirt overlaps, and it’s fastened with ties or a button. Thus, it draws attention to your waist. Wrap skirts come in different lengths and are unquestionably flattering.

What I mean is that wrap skirts are appropriate for all body shapes. You can use them for beachwear and casual wear. They almost fit any occasion, except for very formal settings. You’ll find them in silk, linen, and satin. 

And, that’s all for skirt types. Now, you’re familiar with the most common types of skirts. You’ve also learned when to wear each skirt type and whether they suit your body shape. Thus, it’s time we move on to the next chapter, where I’ll focus on traditional and historical skirts. 

Carry on reading to find out more!

Traditional and historical skirts

In this chapter, I’ll deal with traditional and historical skirts. Skirts have been a unisex garment for the majority of their history. These days, they are more widely used by women. Many cultures all around the world have used skirts to cover themselves. 

Let’s have a closer look at traditional and historical skirts around the world!

Egypt, the shendyt

The shendyt was a kilt-like garment worn by men in ancient Egypt. There were various models made of linen or silk. It was worn around the waist, wrapped on the front with cloth ties. 

egypt shendyt skirt

Some even have decorations or embellishments. It was mostly above-knee length. Yet, the longer the skirt, the richer the wearer was as he could afford more fabric. Besides, wealthy people wore shendyts of finer materials.

The wealthy had well-woven pleated skirts while the average person wore basic versions. Some people wore a broad belt together with the shendyt. What’s more, some shendyts even had a slit in the front to facilitate the wearer’s movement. 

The Egyptian military wore an item of clothing similar to the shendyt. However, these were tighter at the waist and looser at the bottom to allow more freedom of movement while in battle. 

Mesopotamia, the kaunakes

The kaunakes was a type of wrap skirt worn by the Sumerians. It extended down to the knees, but it could also be mid-calf length. Both men and women used it. The kaunakes was made of tufts of petals, feathers, or fur. 

The kaunakes is associated with ancient Mesopotamia and Persia. This tufted fabric, named by the Greek, extended from the waist to the knees. Richer people had extended versions from waist to ankles. 

In the beginning, it was made with sheepskin. Though later, they used woven woolen fabric and sewed tufts into the garment. This skirt-like garment had a ritual symbolism. It was worn for hundreds of years. 

Tibet, the Lhoba skirt

The Lhoba women wear earth tone skirts made of sheep’s wool together with narrow-sleeved blouses. Besides, they also tend to put on a straw skirt on top to protect the skirt inside. Women go barefooted but carry several waist ornaments, such as silver coins, shells, iron chains, or bells.

tibet lhoba skirt

This heavy ornamentation is a symbol of their wealth. Women are proficient weavers and make fabulous coats and blouses. Lhoba women also use waistbands that serve as belts.

However, waistbands are not only used to bundle clothes but also to hang ornaments, knives, or fire-makers. Skirts are tight and barrel-shaped. Women also wear earrings, necklaces and bambu plugs to compliment their outfit. 

East Africa, the kanga

The kanga is a colorful garment used by East Africa women. It’s a printed cotton fabric used as a skirt, apron, head-wrap, pot-holder, towel, etc. People give it as a gift on special occasions like birthdays or to mourning families.

The center differs from the borders as regards design. It is sold in pairs. The earliest pattern of the kanga was with dots which gives it its name. Besides, it’s worth mentioning it’s rectangular shaped and made of cotton. 

Millions of women wear it on a regular basis. It originated in the mid 19th century. These days, there are lots of different designs. Kangas are highly versatile. There exists even a traditional wedding kanga. The latter can either be white, black, or red. 

Indonesia, the sarong

The sarong is a large tubed fabric wrapped around the waist. Both women and men wear it. The sarong usually has woven plaid or checkered patterns. Most modern sarongs have printed designs. It’s brightly colored.

It can be used as an everyday garment or for formal occasions. There is a lot of variety as regards the fabrics it’s made of, such as woven plaid, silk plaid, batik, warp ikats, etc. The wearer has to step in the sarong and secure it at the hips. It’s ankle-length. Women might wear it as a dress.

Scotland, the kilt

The kilt is a knee-length skirt with pleats at the back. It’s typical of Scotland. It’s a piece of tartan that is worn around the waist. It originated in the Highlands and was worn by Gaelic men. 

scotland kilt skirt

Nowadays, it’s used for formal occasions such as weddings, Scottish dances, and Highland games. It’s made of woolen cloth in a tartan pattern. It’s a symbol of patriotism. Kilts are usually accompanied by a sporran which is a small bag that’s worn around the waist. It’s similar to a purse. 

There is a lot of variety as regards Scottish kilts. Each tartan represents a specific region or district in Scotland. Women have also used kilts to practice sports, though they are more popular among men. 

Sudan, the rahad

The rahad is an apron-like skirt typical of Sudan. You need a fringe or cord to tie it around the wearer’s waist. It can be made of leather or straw. Bari women traditionally wore it. This skirt is painted with red oiled ochre.

China, the Dong skirt

The Dong skirt is worn by women from the Dong community in China. It consists of a black waistband together with green strips. The latter are embroidered with sun, dragon, and fish motifs.

It’s got tassels at the end, which are made of chicken feathers. The Dong people have no written language. Thus, they record their culture in traditional clothing. Females wear lots of ornaments such as silver hairpins, ear pendants, and earrings. 

This ethnic group has a long tradition of craftsmanship. Skirts have embroidered decorative patterns. Some women also wear colorful belts. The finest versions are saved for special occasions. 

That’s all for traditional and historical skirts. In the next chapter, I’ll comment on skirts for men. Doesn’t it sound interesting? Keep on reading to find out more about how men wear skirts.

Skirts for men

In this chapter, I’ll tell you all about skirts for men. I’ll start by talking about men’s skirts throughout history. Then, I’ll focus on men’s skirts in fashion. And, finally, I’ll share some skirt outfit ideas for men.

Ready? Let’s get into the nitty-gritty!

Men’s skirts through history 

There was a time when both men and women wore the same clothes to keep warm and cover their bodies. These days, it’s quite the opposite. Back then, making clothes was more complicated. Skirts were not only practical but easy to make. 

traditional scotish man wearing a kilt

The different clothes that men and women wore throughout history developed to serve different needs. Body structure also had a say. But above all, males and females started to wear different garments when they took part in different activities. Still, millennia ago, both sexes wore similar clothes. 

In ancient civilizations, both men and women wore skirts. For instance, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Many ancient costumes were skirt-like since skirts were easy to make. Besides, skirts allowed freedom of movement while fighting, farming, or worshiping.

Ancient Sumerian men wore a skirt called kaunakes. It was made of sheepskin. However, later on, they used woven woolen fabric. What’s more, Egyptians wore a skirt called shendyt, which was made of linen. They wore it wrapped around the lower body.

ancient greek statue of hypocrates

Greek and Roman men also put on skirts. The Greeks wore a skirt called a chiton. Romans followed the Greek as regards dressing. Even soldiers used to put on skirts. Celts and Germanic men wore chitons too. This fashion continued up to the Middle Ages.

It was in the 14th and 15th centuries when everything changed. With tailoring evolution, it was possible to design trousers or garments that started to look like them. These became fashionable among men. 

With a phenomenon called the “Great Masculine Renunciation,” skirts were considered a feminine item of clothing. Thus, men were expected to wear only trousers. Skirts for men are only taboo in certain cultures, especially those Western-centered. But, from India to Japan or Southeast Asia, skirts remain acceptable among men.

japanese couple wearing traditional yukatas

In the 1960s, there was somehow a revival attempt. The unisex fashion movement tried to eliminate the dressing code differences between men and women. This meant women started to wear men’s clothes, and some men started to wear velvet trousers, floral shirts and had long hair.

Later on, in the 1970s, David Hall advocated men to wear skirts since they were a lot more practical for warmer weather. What’s more, famous designers, such as Jean-Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani, and Kenzo, among others, created male skirts.

Celebrities like Mick Jagger, Anthony Kiedis, Axl Rose, and Robbie Williams have been photographed wearing dresses or skirts. However, in the western world, skirts are still considered female wear by most of the population. 

The skirts our ancestors wore were not at all seen as womenswear. Back then, skirts were easier to construct and more practical for the time. Fabrics were heavy, and it was complicated to manipulate and polish them. Our ancestors were more open than we are.

Men’s skirts in fashion 

The skirt is a piece of clothing men have resisted for decades. However, today it’s being integrated into high-end designers’ collections. If a man wants to wear a dress, skirt, tunic, or kilt in 2021, he should be free to do so, don’t you think?

fashion man wearing skirt

Among recent advocates, it’s worth mentioning Harry Styles, Harris Reed, and Wales Bonner, to name a few. The latter appeared on the cover of Vogue not long ago. What’s more, celebrities like Tommy Dorfman, Ezra Miller, Sam Smith, Billy Porter, and Daniel Levy have been seen wearing skirts too. 

The aforementioned are just examples of leading men who enjoy wearing skirts and are not afraid to do so in public. More often than not, people support them. However, there are those who still live in the past and do not like it when men wear skirts.

Men wearing skirts is not only a trend, it’s a reality in the latest runway shows. This trend is not that new; designers such as Raf Simons and Rick Owens were into it a decade ago. 

Back in 2010, Kanye West performed wearing a kilt. Marc Jacobs is another skirt wearer. Actor Tommy Dorfman posted a picture of himself wearing a frock on Instagram, and he was highly praised. 

These days men want to wear skirts not just because they’re comfortable, but also because they feel free and cool wearing them. Want to give it a try? Read the next section and get outfit ideas for yourself.

What is the best skirt for your body shape?

Finding the best skirt can be tricky. This chapter will show you how to choose the best skirts depending on your body shape. Not surprisingly, not all skirts look well on everybody. Knowing your body shape matters to make better decisions and select outfits that’ll look great on you.

Below, I’m about to share key details as regards the most representative body shapes. I’ll also walk you through the process of choosing the right skirts for your body. 

different women wearing skirts

Here is a list of women’s body shapes:

Apple body shape

Apple-shaped women have a wide torso, broad shoulders, and a large bust. However, they also have narrow hips and a full midsection. Besides, these women tend to have thin arms, legs, and hips.

When apple-shaped women gain weight, it usually goes to their waistlines. Their ribcage and back tend to be wide. And they have a little or undefined waist. Yet, their bust size tends to be average to large.

If you’re apple-shaped, how should you dress? Well, first of all, you need to make sure your body type is apple-shaped. Once this is clear, the best advice I can give you is to draw attention away from your middle body. 

You can either emphasize your bust or show off your legs. As regards what skirts you should wear, you need to pick a skirt that flatters your figure. A-line skirts are ideal. You could also go for high-waisted skirts. Even asymmetrical skirts will look fabulous on you.

Any of the three options mentioned above will help you draw attention to your legs and not on your waistline. Trumpet skirts and skirts with a bias cut are a great option too.

Hourglass body shape

Hourglass-shaped women are those whose shoulders and hips are almost equal width. But, their waist is clearly defined. That’s to say, it’s narrower than both their hips and shoulders.

hourglass body shape woman

Hourglass women are considered to be proportionate. Their shoulders might be rounded, and they are likely to have rounded buttocks. Most hourglass females also have a large bust. They tend to see themselves as curvy.

If this is your case, you should go for high-waisted skirts but fitted on the hips. Pencil or tube skirts are an excellent choice for hourglass-shaped women. Since A-line skirts are generally flattering on most women, they’re a great option too.

Rectangle body shape

Rectangular body shape is also known as athletic or straight. It applies to women whose shoulders, bust, and hip measurements are quite uniform. Their waist is straight instead of curvy.

Rectangle women tend to have a flat bottom. Their bust is likely to be small or average. And their shoulders and hips have a similar width. Still, this body shape generally comes with sexy legs.

If this is your body shape, you should definitely wear pleated skirts since they accentuate your hips’ upper part. Multi-layer and poodle skirts are flattering because they highlight the waist and increase the size of your hips. 

What’s more, tulip skirts are fantastic too. Not to mention the A-line skirts, which are also good for creating curves. A knee-length pencil skirt might look good as it’ll add some curves. It would be wise you use belts to create shape at your waist.

Pear body shape

Pear or triangle-shaped women are those whose waist is wider than their bust. They have narrow shoulders in comparison to their hips. These women have a clearly defined waist. The latter is pretty narrow in comparison to their hips.

Pear-shaped women have a slender waist but prominent butt and thighs. Since pear-shaped women have narrower shoulders and busts than hips, they should do their best to balance their figure.

pear body shape woman

This can be easily achieved by emphasizing their top half. This way, they’ll draw others’ attention upwards. As to skirts, pear-shaped figures look amazing in A-line and fit and flare skirts. Such skirt types will make them look slimmer and more proportionated. 

Besides, knee and ankle-length skirts are ideal for pear-shaped ladies. Yet, these women must avoid skirts that are too tight-fitting. 

Inverted triangle body shape

Women with inverted triangle body shape are those whose shoulders are the broadest part of their bodies. Shoulders might be straight, squared, or strong-looking. Their bust can range from small to big. Still, a large bust is more common.

Inverted triangle women’s waist has little to no definition. Inverted triangle women often have great legs. However, their button can be rather flat. 

To balance their broad shoulders, these ladies should go for skirts that somehow add volume to their hips. That’s to say, any kind of flared or pleated skirts will work. Besides, maxi and midi skirts can create movement, so they’re suitable too.

Above all, these women must avoid tight-fitting skirts. However, skater and tiered skirts will do the trick. Try to pick clothes that draw attention to your legs. And, if possible, choose styles that add volume to your hips.


That’s all for types of skirts. Now you know more about skirts and how to wear them. You’ve learned about their history and the types of skirts available these days. We’ve also talked about men’s skirts and which skirts look better based on body types. 

As you’ve seen in this post, the skirt is an item of clothing that has always been present. It’s still widely used by many women nowadays. Skirts are not only comfortable, but they also allow us freedom of movement and have a flattering effect.

Which is your favorite skirt type?

What skirts do you usually wear?

Have you got any questions about this post?

Is there anything important I forgot to mention?

Let me know by leaving a comment below!

2 thoughts on “Types of skirts: How To Pick The Best Skirt Outfits [2021]”

  1. Thanks for sharing the informative article with use. Before selecting a skirt for yourself, consider the body shape that help you make the decision easier.

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