Skirts remain a fashionable favourite and there is a wealth of different styles to choose from.
Here’s your A to Z guide to help you identify the different shapes, fabrics and textures that you’ll find online, in store, already hanging in your closet …
A-line skirt – in the late 70’s the midi length A-line skirt came to the fore … and it’s currently experiencing a resurgence, according to Brisbane fashion stylist, Binda Singh. The name arises from the shape of the skirt – wider at the hem than at the waist, like the letter “A”.
Asymetrical skirt – the length of the hem is asymetrical, with its tailored styling making it suitable for office wear and smart casual (think cocktails on the terrace).
Bubble skirt – This was an 80’s favourite! A full skirt, usually above the knee and made of taffeta or other lightweight if not shiny materiabl, is drawn in at the hem to resemble a bubble.
Bobby soxer skirt – a version of the circle skirt (see below), made popular by the bobby soxers in the 1950s, and still adored by retro chic enthusiasts.
Cargo skirt – the skirt version of the military inspired cargo pant; popular now in knee length or just above.
Circle skirt – if the fabric was laid out, it would be a perfect circle, with a smaller circle cut out for the waist.
Dirndl skirt – can be any length – when the hemline is above the knee, it is called a skater skirt. Flared out at the hem.
Denim skirt – is any woman’s wardrobe complete without a denim skirt? We think not! From mini to A-line to pencil, you’ll find a denim skirt to suit you.
Drawstring skirt – usually straight, although often found in gypsy style and boho skirts too. Great for casual and beachwear, the skirt features a drawstring at the waist which is tied to fit.
Empty – we came up empty for this category, so do let us know if you think of something!
Flared skirt – a skirt that has a lot more volume at the hem, and sits flat at the waist (ie no gathers). Not as full as a circle skirt.
Gathered skirt – The skirt is gathered where it is attached to the waist line.
Gored skirt – Fitted at the waist, the gored skirt falls into soft folds thanks to triangular inserts (“gores”), which are widest at the hemline. The gores may start from near the waist, or only a few inches above the hem, and anywhere in between.
High waisted skirts – In vogue only a few years back, but less so now.
Handkerchief skirts – So named, because the hemline features numerous points like the corners of a hanky.
Ice skater skirt (or just skater skirt, yes we cheated so we could have a listing under “I”) – A flared, above the knee skirt though probably not quite as short as what ice skaters wear.
Jumper – Americans call a pinafore a jumper; and a jumper is a sweater. To an Australian, that’s just plain confusing! Whether you call it the American “jumper” or Aussie “pinafore”, it’s a skirt that is almost like a dress, except it is designed to be worn with a shirt underneath.
Kilts – Inspired by the Scottish kilt, today it comes in a range of styles and not just the traditional pleats. However, whether it’s A-line, pencil or maxi, it is always in tartan (though not necessarily traditional tartans).
Leather skirt – Get in touch with your inner rock chick in a straight black leather skirt – a style classic!
Layered skirt – Mostly seen on formal gowns or wedding dresses. Usually consists of many layers or ruffles which cascade over each other down to the hemline.
Mini skirt – This above the knee style has been a fashion favourite since the 60’s, when they were made famous by the Brits – designer Mary Quant and model Jean Shrimpton.
Maxi skirt – An ultra long skirt, reaching to the ankles or even longer.
Mullet skirt – Higher in the front, with more length in the back. Rose to prominence a few years ago and still frequently spotted out and about.
Net skirt – Also known as a tulle skirt, this look is inspired by the tutus worn by ballet dancers. Once strictly for evening, formal and bridal wear, today’s fashionistas have made it their own, and are not afraid to toughen it up with Doc Martens, a tee, and denim jacket.
Oh no it’s another empty category!
Pencil skirt – a chic classic. Usually knee length or slightly longer, pencil skirts are straight and narrow. They usually incorporate a small split or kickpleat at the back of the hem, to allow for freedom of movement.
Pleated skirts – Accordion (finely) pleated skirts have recently seen a revival, especially in satiny fabrics; while wider box pleats remind us of our old school uniforms!
Petticoat skirt – a skirt with a faux petticoat underneath, that is slightly longer than the skirt itself. Very popular in the early 80’s.
Quite a shock that we couldn’t find anything starting with Q!
Ra-ra skirt – Another 80’s throwback! It’s a short full skirt, with multiple ruffles or tiers, and best worn by sweet young things.
Ruffled skirts – A ruffled skirt may be straight or full or in between, with a ruffle (gathered layer) at the hemline.
Straight skirt – Similar in style to the pencil skirt, with more room around the knees.
Sarong skirt – Take one sarong. Tie it around your waist. Voila – you have a sarong skirt.
Tube skirt – Made of stretch material, tube skirts are a clingy version of the pencil skirt but much more versatile and hassle free due to the knit fabric. Can be ultra short to ultra long, a more casual look.
Tulip skirt – So named because they resemble an (upside-down) tulip, with the fabric draped and overlapping like petals. Do they flatter any body? We think not.
Tiered skirt – A skirt that becomes fuller as it gets longer, with two, three or four tiers. Sometimes called a “peasant” or “gypsy” skirt, as they have strong associations with the hippy look.
Ugh it’s another blank category.
Victorian style – It might have a hoop, bustle, or other design features straight out of the days of Queen Victoria herself.
Wrapped or wrap around skirt – this darling of the late 70’s is still found today, usually with a bit of a boho vibe.
Xtremely disturbing that we couldn’t think of anything for X either!
Yoked skirts – Show off a neat figure in a yoked skirt – which is fitted from waist to hip (the yoke), before falling into gentle folds, gathers or pleats.
Zipped skirt – A skirt that is zipped up. Duh.
And that’s a wrap (skirt)!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our A to Z guide to the various skirt styles – and welcome your feedback if you can help us out with suggestions for the letters “E”, “O”, “Q” or “X”.