How To Style A Skirt: Minus The School Uniform Vibes

Tips from a skirt hater

Me again. Just to checking in to moan about skirts again. Yes, I know I’ve bleated on about it many times before, but it seems no matter how hard I try to prise myself out of a pair of jeans, I just can’t seem to make anything else stick. I’ve had mild success with dungarees, and I’m getting there with cigarette trousers, but skirts and dresses? I’m still working on it. I’m writing in today because I have managed to get somewhere with this Topshop Faux Leather Skirt. It was a bit of a bargain and a mere drop in the ocean compared to the leather ones I had on my wish list, so I took a punt and actually we’ve surprisingly become pretty good pals. I can’t pretend that I’m wearing this every single day *looks longingly at jeans with saggy knees from so much wear hanging in the wardrobe*, but we’re getting to know each other a bit better and I can see myself coming round to the idea of getting my legs out on more than a once a year basis. Here’s how…

Test ’em out in winter. Where I always go wrong with skirts, is that I often deem them a summer-only item. The sun makes its clammy appearance and I go wild on & Other Stories buying thigh-skimming skirts left, right and centre, only to be reminded at their arrival on my doorstep that the reason why I hate wearing skirts, is because I hate having my bare legs out. This stems from 15 years of living with Psorasis patches on my shins, which in the grand scheme of things are hardly noticeable – but I do get asked why I look like I’ve been bitten by a plague of mosquitoes at least once a day whenever I go sans trousers. Thankfully a trip to the GP has cleared them up a little, so in order to prepare myself to really embrace skirts this summer, I feel like a good way to dip my toe into the water is to brave digging them out in winter. That way I can get used to incorporating them into my wardrobe with the safety of tights; concealing my Psoriasis spots and without having to worry that I’m exposing my who-ha to the world.

Stick to slim styles. Over the years I’ve tried a fair amount of styles. When I was 16 I lusted after a Miss Sixty skirt that was so short that it had pants build inside. How grim is that? I’ve also given midi-lengths a go (I like them, but feel they look best with a heel) and a-line styles a try (not my bag as they look a little too school-girl on me). I’ve decided that the ones that I feel most comfortable in and therefore win in my books, are a slim-style. Not necessarily tight per se, but just something that’s pretty straight up and down and kinda mini in length. I guess that works in with the silhouette that I prefer in all my clothing – something with minimal fuss (and thankfully no built-in pants are required for this Topshop number).

Keep it casual. The other mistake I usually make whenever I go to wear a skirt is that I feel the need to transform into a boho babe circa 2004. Just call me Nicole Richie. I think I need to wear something that is floaty, floral and maybe I should just go dust off my cowboy boots whilst I’m at it, eh? This time round I’m trying to pair my leather mini with an outfit that I’d wear normally, just with denim. Like here I’ve gone for my Sezane Chunky Knit and my Acne Studios Jensen Boots. See? My usual uniform. This way I feel like me, I feel comfortable and it’s just like my usual get-up, but with a leg baring twist. Boho babe I am not.

Cool kicks. If I ever wear ballet flats with a skirt I feel like I should be gearing up for third period after the mid-morning break. I mean of course I never had ‘cool’ ballet flats when I was actually in school, as my Mother insisted that I wore the clumpiest, most ankle-supporting school shoes that Clarks sold, but one day I dreamed of donning sleek ballet pumps. So for me when it comes to wearing shirts 15 years later, I try and steer clear of black flats. Instead I love ’em with a boot – these leopard ones would look fab – or my chelsea boots that I’m wearing here. Or I like wearing something real casual on my feet, like my Vans or Converse. That way I never feel like I’m chartering into school uniform territory, plus as both options aren’t too high, I never feel like I’m having a Julia Roberts moment either.

Unsurprisingly my top picks are ALL black, with the majority of them being leather actually – I pin this on the fact that I can’t stop wearing my Mango Leather Trousers because I’ve finally stretched them to the point of not cutting me in half every time I sit down, so I can actually wear them to eat a meal in which is very exciting. This & Other Stories Asymmetric Belted Leather Skirt is a good option if you fancy something that hits below the knee. Plus it’s belted, so you’re able to loosen and adjust depending on whether you’ve just eaten pasta or not. If a shorter style is more up your street, then the & Other Stories Belted Leather Skirt might be what you’re after. There’s also this Warehouse Leather Look Skirt, which is sort of-inbetween the two, being above the knee in length, but also with an asymmetric cut. If denim is more your style then I’d point you in the direction of the & Other Stories Denim Skirt which I actually have in one of the paler washes and got a fair amount of wear out of during the summer months, despite my bare leg aversion. Just size up or else you’ll spend 10 minutes in the toilet attempting to pull it up and leave to a sea of suspicious stares.


Photos by Lauren Shipley

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