The most important rule when selecting clothes is to accept your body type as-is and dress your body shape for proper balance. This guide will help you embrace your body type and celebrate your favorite features, offering tips on selecting the proper hem length to fit your body’s shape.
Skirt types – tips on picking the right skirt length
We can breakdown hemline length broadly into four categories (by length). The mini skirt or short skirt falls at least a few inches above the knee. A mini skirt looks best if it does not end at the thickest part of your thigh – choose a length either slightly above or slightly below. Also, consider the occasion – mini skirts have their own time and place. They are fine for nightlife and midnight parties but not so much for formal occasions or conservative events.
At the knee skirt
An at-the-knee skirt is the most flattering type for most people. As the name implies, an at the knee skirt hits just above or below the knee. They are acceptable for nearly every type of event with the potential exception being nightlife where an at the knee skirt could be considered too conservative (shop at-the-knee and above-the-knee hemlines).
Midi or Tea Length skirt
Midi skirts or Tea Length skirts hit at the widest part of the calf. Visually, they shorten the length of your legs. This can be offset by pairing a midi skirt/dress with high heels or nude shoes to help elongate the look of the legs. These skirts are a great alternative for events that would normally require a floor-sweeping gown.
Maxi skirt or Maxi dress
A Maxi skirt reaches just above the ankle bone or all the way to the floor. Since the maxi skirt covers the entire leg, the look can be balanced by showing some skin on top. They work exceptionally well for tall women (shop maxi hemlines).
Choosing a flattering hemline based on your height
Best skirt length for short stature/petite women
For ladies 5’4” or less, a mini skirt that falls no more than just above knee shows more skin, making the legs appear longer. If you don’t like your knees, choose a skirt with a tight hem that falls just below the knee. Flesh tone shoes will further elongate the legs.
A-line skirts that are high-waisted help elongate the look of the waist while the slight flare makes the legs look slenderer. Envelope skirts are another great option. Their diagonal cut also helps elongate the look of the legs.
Petite framed ladies should avoid midi and maxi skirts, especially if you have short legs. Skirts that reach the ankles can overwhelm. However, this can be overcome with a slit skirt that lets you show some skin.
Best skirt length for average height women
For an average height lady, knee-length A-Lines are the best option. They offer the perfect balance between skirt and leg.
Best skirt length for tall stature women
Women with a taller stature should opt for long, flowing dresses – at least knee length but preferably longer. However, even a midi skirt will look good given a taller lady’s long legs.
Choosing a hemline based on your body type
Best skirt length for thin boned women
Thin boned figures should avoid long skirts that will overwhelm your look. If you do go with a long skirt, one that fits the hips and thighs will work well. Your best option is a skirt that falls one or two inches above your knees. You can add layers to your outfit or opt for thicker materials to add bulk.
Best skirt length for athletic build women (rectangle or straight shape)
Athletic builds work well with mini skirts that highlight well-toned legs. If your calves are large, a longer fit-and-flare skirt with a hemline that falls just below the knee can make thick calves appear slimmer. Midi skirts that land at the thick of the calves make them look larger which works well if you have thin calves.
Best skirt length for women with wide hips and thighs (pear or triangle shape)
Wear hemlines that fall a couple of inches above or below the knee in order to balance the legs. Your best option is an A-line skirt that is not too full. A mini skirt may help fuller legs appear elongated and slimmer. You can also add width to your top with horizontal stripes and bright colors while keeping the bottom half dressed in dark colors.
Best skirt length for women with a wide mid-section (full waist or apple shape)
Wide mid-section silhouettes should avoid mini skirts that draw attention to the mid section. You want to elongate the appearance of your torso and draw attention away from the waist. Full length skirts look great but avoid thick belts around the midsection. Skirts with zippers on the side elongate the look too. If pleats are chosen, make sure they start below the stomach to avoid adding extra bulk to the mid-section.
Best skirt length for plus size (curvy) women
Plus size women should avoid baggy skirts. Instead, go with a knee-length skirt with a little stretch (sleekened, not squeezed). Look for prints that elongate your look (e.g. pinstripes, pleats).