We will start this article off by talking about one Lanvin flamenco gypsy skirt. It hits the ground at the back, kicks up in ruffles at the front, and defies you to bask in its presence without fantasizing about how exotic your new life, in your new long skirt will be. Long skirts conjure up some romantic ideas, 'will I wear it on the back of a camel for that Moroccan tour this year?' 'Do you think I can get away with wearing the pleated maxi skirt with my bikini top at St Barts?' If you ask our opinion, we think a big yes to both questions. A bohemian dream, swishing about lofty artist studios drinking black coffee and wearing a ruffled and heavily printed chiffon maxi skirt by Etro, bare feet and no make-up. You can see how easy it is to associate maxi skirts with a great lifestyle.
Head out of the clouds, long summer skirts and their shorter cousins, midi skirts, are actually very adaptable items for warmer climates. A pair of simple sandals and a well-fitting T-shirt is all you need to accompany a full midi skirt or a long skirt that has volume. In this case the skirt does the hard work, the rest, including hair and make-up (and stress levels) can stay at a minimum. It’s an easy breezy way to do holiday chic, especially for the paler amongst us, an elegant option for beach or low-key destination weddings, and completely achievable for dinners out on hot nights. Wrapped and waist-tied long skirts for women are making a great comeback after a short maxi skirt hiatus. Skimming the hips and tapering towards the ankle, a little like how a traditional kimono would fit, this long skirt shape has an Old-world feeling that disguises very well in a modern lifestyle. Experiment with fabrics – Rosie Assoulin, a number one fan of long skirts, manipulates sculptural fabrics to create silhouettes that are elegantly classic, and refreshingly modern.
Modern day fairy-tale
Midi skirts stormed the stage some years ago, dominating a style change, alongside jeans cropped to the same length, and changing quite considerably how we dress. More focus was put on shoes, whether a kitten heel pumps, a sneaker, a flamboyant ankle-tied sandal or a pair of stilettos that could double as works of art in your home. More consideration of the lengths of jackets, or coats has to be taken. Much like a 1940s suit, cropped at the waist or long past the hips, it’s a chic shape which, after mastering, is a game changer. The very Parisian shape of the late 1940s, at the hands of Cristobel Balenciaga's, mastered tailoring was the long pencil skirt of X that kicked out ever so slightly at the hem, matched with a jacket that nipped in above the natural waist. Its design has inspired countless outfits, and every prominent designer since. For the pencil midi skirt, there was no bigger muse. The full midi skirt, again a Parisian icon, stemmed from Christian Dior's 'new look' the hyper feminine response to post war Europe, that took, eventually the entire world by storm. It is still an absolute pleasure to put on a voluminous white midi skirt or a sculptural pink midi skirt, the princess feeling, no matter how hard you try to fight it, becomes indescribably strong. To prevent looking like an actual Disney character, designers have come up with multifarious ways to tone down the Cinderella for day-to-day. Fashions favourite storyteller, Dries Van Noten, uses fabrics that appear like they have been ripped from the Château de Versailles, but with a sly peppering of modernity and a splash of casual that make his long skirts socially acceptable outside of a castle.
The Damsel in denim
If girly is not your go-to, don’t fret, there are plenty of long skirts and midi skirts to compliment a multitude of tastes. For the minimal amongst us, a long black skirt, a pair of loafers and a heather grey t-shirt will keep you architecturally happy. Long denim skirts with centre splits, crocheted bikini tops and gladiator sandals is Californian surfer girl supreme, a leather midi skirt and heels has serious sex appeal and a midi denim skirt is the kind of wardrobe staple for any personality type. So whether on the back of a camel through Morocco, painting in a loft, sleeping in a castle or simply picking up the kids this afternoon, a longer skirt will make it a story.