Fashionable Full Skirts for Every Figure
If You Have a Tummy
Look for: A flat-front, high-waisted skirt, which masks any sign of bulge but still defines your shape, says Kit Li-Perry, the general merchandise manager for Anthropologie. Printed or textured fabrics also camouflage the middle.
Avoid: A low-riding waistband or any shiny or clingy fabric, such as satin or jersey.
To buy: Simply Vera Vera Wang polyester skirt (with elastic waistband), $24, kohls.com.
For a Tummy: Strenesse Gabriele Strehle Skirt
To buy: Polyester-and-silk skirt, $650, Pamela Robbins, 914-472-4033
For a Tummy: Heidi Merrick Skirt
To buy: Silk skirt, $248, heidimerrick.com.
If You Have a Petite Figure
Look for: Shorter hems, which make the legs look longer. You don’t have to go to the extreme of thigh-high minis: at the knee or a couple of inches above is enough. Cuts that sit higher on the waist will elongate the bottom half, too.
Avoid: “Voluminous 1950s styles and tea lengths, which can drown a small frame,” says celebrity stylist and eBay fashion contributor Annabel Tollman.
To buy: Billy Reid cotton skirt, $375, billyreid.com for stores.
For a Petite Figure: Edme & Esyllte Skirt
To buy: Cotton skirt (with built-in slip), $98, anthropologie.com.
For a Petite Figure: Theory Skirt
To buy: Stretch-silk skirt, $245, theory.com.
If You Have Thick Calves
Look for: “A knee-length silhouette with plenty of volume, to give the illusion of thinner calves below,” says Jeannie Mai, the host of How Do I Look?, on the Style Network. Embrace details that direct the eye up and away from the lower half, such as inverted pleats or an interesting waistband.
Avoid: Below-the-knee hems. “They cut the legs off at an unflattering point and can make them appear shorter and wider than they really are,” says Li-Perry.
To buy: Agnès b. cotton skirt, $295, agnesb.com.
For Thick Calves: Lands’ End Skirt
To buy: Cotton skirt (also avaliable in petite sizes), $49.50, landsend.com.
For Thick Calves: Harvey Faircloth Skirt
To buy: Silk skirt, $495, Pied Nu, 504-899-4118.
If You Have Full Hips and Thighs
Look for: A style that sits at the natural waistline, to accentuate the smallest part of the body, says Mai. Further downplay curves by sticking with dark tones and making sure the fabric lies flat against the hips, then graduates to a flare toward the hem.
Avoid: Above-the-knee cuts and hip-slung skirts; they can widen the lower body. Also “steer clear of boxy shapes and pleats, which make a curvy body look matronly,” says Tollman.
To buy: Madewell silk skirt with roomy front pockets, $158, madewell.com.
For Full Hips and Thighs: Rafaella Skirt
To buy: Cotton-blend skirt, $58, Lord & Taylor, 800-223-7440 for stores.
For Full Hips and Thighs: Karen Walker Skirt
To buy: Cotton skirt (available only in solid gray), $165, karenwalker.com.
What Works Best With a Full Skirt
What can be paired with a full skirt so the results aren’t frumpy?
“First of all, avoid any volume on top—you’re making that statement with your skirt,” says Kit Li-Perry of Anthropologie. Instead, balance things out by showing off your waist with a tucked-in shirt, a slim top, or a belt. Heels make anyone look long and lean, but flats can also add charm to a shorter skirt. Check out more suggestions below.
With a pleated above-the-knee skirt (near right): Slip on a close-fitting boatneck sweater or a snug tee with ballet flats to get that classic gamine look.
With a voluminous at-the-knee skirt (center): Tuck in a blouse and add a blazer and pointy heels for an updated take on retro glamour.
With a flowy midcalf skirt (far right): Channel a laid-back vibe with a tank top and wedges, and throw on a chunky bangle or two to subtly dress it up.
2 Full Skirt Problems Solved
“Stylish and flattering full skirts above a size 12? Impossible to find!" Not so. These fashionable retailers come to the rescue.
- Alight: Sizes 14W to 28W, alight.com.
- Asos Curve: Sizes 16 to 22, asos.com.
- Forever 21+: Sizes XL to 3X, forever21.com.
- Jessica London: Sizes 12 to 28, jessicalondon.com.
- Madison Plus: Sizes 14 to 26, madisonplus.com.
“Oh, no! My skirt hem has fallen.” Can’t make it to the tailor? Try these easy no-sew ideas.
For a temporary fix:
- Tack up the hem with double-sided, masking, or clear packing tape. Even a Band-Aid will do in a pinch.
- Clip it up with a safety or bobby pin.
- Stick on adhesive Velcro dots.
For a long-term solution: