I’m pretty sure everyone remembers the skirt length test from high school. You know, the one where you let your hands fall to your sides and if your fingertips fall below your hemline, your skirt is deemed too short. Although this is a simple way to tell whether your skirt length is up to code, it doesn’t help us figure out whether the skirt’s fit is fashion forward.
When customers ask me about the ideal length for their body, I always site Timm Gunn,
“No matter what your size. . .your skirt should never be more than a few inches above the knee and no longer than a few inches below the knee.”
As a licensed skirtologist, I couldn’t agree more. Whether you like your skirt a little shorter or a bit on the longer side, the key is finding that sweet spot for the hemline to rest. Too long and your skirt looks dated and looks dated and can actually make you look shorter and legs look thicker, too short and you might feel like you are showing your goods every time you sit down.
Over the years I have developed a formula of sorts to help the customer and I select a hem length that is perfect. When selecting a customer’s best length, I am looking at 3 main criteria: height, body shape, and personal taste. For every height, I have a pre-determined 2-inch “safety window” that I like to stay within. I pin the hem on the customer where I think it looks nice on their legs, which is typically at the tops of the knees.
Now, remember, although this method works wonders, it does not apply to exercise skirts or tennis skirts, which can always be short and sweet. It also doesn’t apply to knit fabrics. This method applies only to woven skirts including, tweeds, cotton prints, denim, cargo, canvas, wool, eyelet. Off-rack examples are the Number 2 JCrew pencil or the structured skirts sold by Boden.
Believe it or not, I know what you’re going to say next: “Well, I typically wear skirts with [insert particular shoe]...does that change my ideal length?” It always surprises customers to know that the answer is no. The shoe doesn’t change where that skirt is most flattering on your leg. Your leg is the same length and shape regardless of what is on your feet. Your best length works on your body no matter what shoes you finish your look with, as long as you’ve kept those 3 criteria in mind when finding your fit.
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It's best to select the size you most COMFORTABLY wear and buy most often. The size charts are just a guide to show how hips and waist vary in size for each shape.
Measurements reflect skirt lengths and approximately where they fall on your leg. Lengths are not exact, this is just a guide. Lengths will vary according to where you like your skirt to sit on your waist. Use your favorite skirt in your closet as a reference.