Knee-length skirts haven't spent much time sitting next to the words ‘sexy’ or ‘extravagant’. That’s something we plan on correcting today, alongside other perceptive mishaps such as outdated sentiments towards the terms 'mid-length skirt' and 'below-the-knee skirts'. Dolce & Gabbana, for their Spring/Summer collection of 1995 stated, "forget glamour, we call it elegance". Now firstly, this was a collection where a black knee-length skirt featured in almost every look, secondly, Dolce & Gabbana is now famous for its Sicilian-style glamour. One tight knee-length black skirt modelled on the already famous bottom of Monica Bellucci is not what we call demure, but Mr Gabbana had a point. It was, and still is, very elegant. The point is, the two are not mutually exclusive, elegance does not take away from allure! This, we suppose, is what Stefano was getting at, and possibly what the magic of the 'mid-length skirt' is all about.
The strange mythology of a secretary-inspired, knee-length skirt has caused a whole host of silly gender stereotypes and ideas around practical work attire that have been difficult to shed. No, you won’t look 'dowdy' or accidentally fall into the frustratingly ridiculous role of 'Money Penny' by wearing a 'below-the-knee skirt'. Just like all garments we put on our bodies, the fit, the fabric, the cut, the fun – these apply to knee-length skirts just as much, but no more. At the other end of the stereotype spectrum, being a sex-bomb at work, well that’s just a wildly unfair judgment to put on a skirt. Let's just say that feeling attractive and empowered when you get dressed in the morning, is a good line of thought, and just like picking the right trousers, a perfectly-fitted, knee-length pencil skirt can give you a boost of confidence.
Obstacle or inspiration?
For bigger hips, look for bell shapes that nip in higher than the natural waist point and are clipped short either an inch above the knee, or two inches below. Don’t be afraid of knitwear – a cashmere knee-length skirt can be a friend on so many occasions, and a complimentary one at that, you just need the right underwear underneath. Some of our favourite icons, from then and now, used their hourglass shape in knee-length skirts to create a beautiful silhouette. For bigger calves, a wrap shape that shows more of the whole leg can balance proportions, think an exposing split, tighter fit or an asymmetrical length. Narrow hips and/or little calves, go with it, think Gabrielle Chanel in her boxy, straight white knee-length skirt or try a knee-length A-line skirt. Like everything, sometimes the opposite is true, so falling in love with a style that breaks body shape rules may only need a rethink on how and what to wear it with. This is really one of the reasons why we love fashion so much – it’s far more democratic than it might seem.
High expectations for medium lengths.
Of course it's not just in the office that a knee-length skirt dominates. High fashion has always had a staple medium hemline between the short, long, micro and floor-sweeping trends. We have noticed lately, that fashion, let’s generalize and say as a whole, is going through a more significant, modest, medium-length moment. Miuccia Prada, being the powerful influence that she is, as well as trend movers like Leandra Medine, are pushing the way we think about fashion, turning tastes on their head and make them hyper-desirable. Miu Miu has only about a million knee length-skirts for next season that we'd kill for (but luckily don’t have to because we know a pretty good place to shop...). So now that we have clarified the misappropriated ideas around the terminology, we are free to peruse that absolute heaven that is our mid-length skirt section. Starting with one extravagantly soft leather knee-length pencil skirt by Miu Miu, heading towards a sexy knee-length skirt by Balmain and finishing indefinitely. The moral of the story? You can learn a thing or two from Dolce and Gabbana.