Why Should You Know So Many Types Of Skirts?
This is a long list with a fair amount of detail… So why bother knowing all this, when it's just about some of the many types of skirts that are out there? Well, although the skirt is a simple thing, the shape, cut, and material used can drastically change the look and feel of your outfit. Every skirt on this list has a place, some being more common than others, but think of them as tools in your fashion toolbox that can be brought out when you need them most.
The Right Skirt For The Right Figure
In this article we talked about how choosing the right skirt for your figure is so important, as it can change the way your shape is either flattered or minimized. I recommend refreshing yourself with that first and coming back to this post, as it will give you a better perspective on how these different types of skirts will affect your particular body shape. This is important, as in the end, all skirts fall under the same categories of which flatters which body shape the best – we'll explain this concept more below.
Sewing As A Hobby And Profession
Like anything interesting, sewing is rich and deep with many techniques, styles, tools, and histories too numerous to master in even many lifetimes. Part of growing as an enthusiast, aspiring professional, or even master is the continuous process of learning about your chosen subject. This never-ending process is why hobbies like sewing can be so good for the mind and mental health.
Even if you somehow know that you'll never use more than a handful of types of skirts in your life, you never know how knowing about the great variety of them will help you in your other projects. For example, in seeing the tremendous variety you may learn something about the principles of design and creativity, or how specific styles came from different cultures showing how culture directly affects fashion and art.
17 Types Of Skirts
The following list is ordered alphabetically for your convenience. With the skirts that we already have projects for you'll find links to the free instructions and patterns.
The A-line skirt is a perfect skirt to begin this list. Not only is it one of the most common, but it is also relatively easy to make. The A-line skirt combines a lot of advantages of the other skirts we'll see on this list, but with fewer downsides, making it a good choice for many body types and styles.
- The A-line shape is universally flattering on most body types as it skims over the hips and thighs, creating a balanced and elongated look
- A-line skirts can be dressed up or down
- Since A-line skirts are not too tight around the hips and thighs, they provide more freedom of movement and are generally more comfortable to wear than other types of skirts
- A-line skirts have been a fashion staple for decades
- A-line skirts can still restrict leg movement, making it difficult to take larger steps, climb stairs, or sit cross-legged
- While A-line skirts are versatile, they may not be appropriate for all occasions
- A-line skirts are designed to be fitted at the waist and flared at the hips, if the waist is significantly larger than the hips they may be difficult to fit
- Straight and rectangular body types may benefit more from other options
A-line skirts are generally considered a flattering style for a wide variety of body types. The gradually flaring silhouette of the skirt creates a streamlined look that can balance out wider hips, thighs, or midsections.
A-line skirts are ideal for pear-shaped bodies since they highlight the waist while skimming over wider hips and thighs. They can enhance an hourglass figure by emphasizing the waist while still providing room for the hips and thighs. For straight and rectangular body types they can add curves and create the illusion of a defined waist. And for apple-shaped bodies, they can minimize the appearance of a wider midsection while still providing room for the hips and thighs.
While A-line skirts can be a flattering style for many body types, there are some body types for which this style may not be the most ideal. The inverted triangle or strawberry-shaped body may not be the most ideal as those with broader shoulders and a narrower lower body, as they may emphasize the imbalance between the upper and lower body. While A-line skirts can enhance curves, those with a very curvy body may find that the shape of the skirt is too constricting around the hips and thighs. And on the other side, A-line skirts can sometimes add bulk to a slim frame, so those who are very slim may prefer more form-fitting styles.
As always, almost every article of clothing can be worn well by anyone, so long as it is fitted and paired with skill. If you'd like to try making your own A-line skirt, check out our free pattern here.
An asymmetrical skirt is a skirt that has an uneven hemline, with one side longer than the other.
- Asymmetrical skirts are not the norm, so they can make a statement and draw attention
- They can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion
- The uneven hemline adds visual interest to an outfit and gives a more flowing look
- Flattering to the legs
- Can be difficult to style and pair with other items
- May not be appropriate for certain occasions or dress codes
- Can limit mobility due to irregular hem, especially if you're not used to it
- May not be as flattering on certain body types, such as those with wider hips or shorter legs
An asymmetrical skirt is a unique style that can add visual interest and dimension to an outfit. They can accentuate an hourglass figure by highlighting the waist and adding volume to the hips and thighs. They can balance out a pear-shaped figure by drawing the eye away from wider hips and thighs. As well as add curves and create the illusion of a defined waist for those with a straight or rectangular body shape. Asymmetrical skirts can add the illusion of length to a petite frame, especially if the hemline is longer on one side.
There are some body types that may not find asymmetrical skirts as flattering. They can draw attention to the midsection, which may not be the most ideal for those with an apple-shaped body. Asymmetrical skirts may add extra volume to the hips and thighs, which can be overwhelming for those with a very curvy body. Also, they may not be the most ideal for those who are very tall, as the varying hemlines may look unbalanced on a longer frame.
A bubble skirt is a type of skirt that features a fitted waistband and a gathered, puffy skirt that tapers in at the hemline, creating a “bubble” effect.
- Have a unique and playful look
- The puffiness of the skirt can help to create a balanced silhouette, making it a good option for those with wider hips or narrower shoulders
- Generally made of lightweight, flowy materials, making them comfortable and easy to move around in
- not as common as other skirt styles, which can make them a statement piece in an outfit
- Can add volume to the lower body, so they may not be as flattering on those with wider hips or a pear-shaped figure
- Generally seen as a more casual or playful style, making them unsuitable for most professional environments
- Can be difficult to style, as they require the right balance of fitted and loose items to create a cohesive look
- Can appear juvenile or too young for some wearers
A bubble skirt is a skirt that has a characteristic puffy or bubble-like silhouette, typically created by gathering or ruching the fabric at the hemline. Generally, bubble skirts look best on body types that have a defined waistline and smaller hips
Women with an hourglass body shape have well-defined waists and hips that are about the same width as their shoulders. The puffy silhouette of a bubble skirt can accentuate their curves and create a feminine, playful look. Women with pear-shaped bodies have wider hips than shoulders and smaller waists. A bubble skirt can add volume to the waistline and create a balance between the upper and lower body. Someone with an apple-shaped body carries their weight in their midsection and has a less defined waist. A bubble skirt can create the illusion of a more defined waistline and draw attention away from the abdomen.
A circular skirt is a type of skirt that is cut in a full circle, with a fitted waistband and a flowing, flared shape.
- The circular cut of the skirt allows it to flare out, creating a balanced and flattering silhouette on many body types
- Comfortable to wear, as it allows for easy movement and doesn't constrict the legs or hips
- Can be dressed up or down
- Is a classic style that has been popular for decades
- May not be the best option for those with wider hips or a pear-shaped figure, as they can add extra volume to the lower body
- Because of the circular cut of the skirt, it can be challenging to hem and alter the length without affecting the flow and shape of the skirt
- The flared shape of the circular skirt can limit the types of footwear that can be worn with it, as it may not pair well with certain styles of shoes
A circular skirt, also known as a circle skirt, is a classic silhouette that is fitted at the waist and flares out into a full circle at the hemline. The circular skirt accentuates the curves of an hourglass figure and creates an hourglass silhouette that is both feminine and flattering. Women with pear-shaped bodies carry more weight in their hips and thighs. The circular skirt can help to balance out the lower body and draw attention to the waist. Women with apple-shaped bodies have larger midsections and slimmer legs. The circular skirt can create the illusion of an hourglass figure by emphasizing the waist and flaring out at the hemline.
Body types that a circular skirt may not fit best include: Women with a rectangular body shape have a straighter, less defined waistline, and their hips are similar in width to their shoulders. The circular skirt can add volume to the lower body, which may create an unbalanced look. Women who are petite may find that the fullness of the circular skirt overwhelms their frame, making them look shorter and smaller. It's important to choose a circular skirt with a shorter length that hits above the knee to avoid this issue.
A gathered skirt is a type of skirt that features a fitted waistband and fabric that is gathered or pleated to create volume and flow in the skirt.
- The gathered skirt has a feminine and flirty look
- The gathered fabric allows for easy movement and comfort
- Gathered skirts can be dressed up or down
- The gathered fabric can create a balanced and flattering silhouette, particularly for those with narrower hips or smaller waists
- The gathered fabric can add volume to the lower body, which may not be ideal for those with wider hips or a pear-shaped figure
- Gathered skirts can be difficult to style and may not combine well with common wardrobe items
- The gathered fabric can create extra bulk around the waist and hips, which may not be appealing to all wearers
The gathered skirt can vary a great deal in length and fullness, so it is difficult to say which body type it favors. Modifying the length and fullness can either elongate the figure or round out the hips, whichever is desired.
Check out our free and easy summer gathered skirt if you're interested in a shorter and light design. If you want to do more work with skirts like this, you'll find good value in our tutorial on how to gather fabric and add ruffles.
Godet And Gored Skirts
A godet skirt is a type of skirt that features triangular-shaped panels of fabric (called godets) inserted into the hemline of a flared or A-line skirt. A gored skirt is a type of skirt that is made up of triangular-shaped panels of fabric (called gores) that are sewn together to create a flared shape. I've combined them together as they are both relatively rare and quite similar (and difficult to get good photos of).
- Godet and gore panels add an interesting design element to the skirt, making it a unique and eye-catching piece
- The panels can add extra volume and flow to the skirt, making it suitable for boxy or rectangular physiques
- The flared shape, flowy fabric, and extra space made by the panels make the skirt comfortable and easy to move around in
- The godet panels can add extra volume to the lower body, which may not be ideal for those with wider hips or a pear-shaped figure
- Due to the unique hemline created it can be challenging to hem and alter the length of the skirt without affecting the flow and shape of the skirt.
- May be difficult to style
- More difficult to make and modify
I don't have much experience with either one of these skirts, but from the general silhouette and types of materials used, I think it would follow a similar recommendation to the A-line and gathered skirts.
A handkerchief skirt is a type of skirt that features a hemline with points that resemble the corners of a handkerchief. The skirt is typically made up of triangular panels of fabric that are sewn together to create a flowy and asymmetrical look. They are a subtype of asymmetrical skirts but are unique looking enough to have their own place.
- The uneven hemline of the handkerchief skirt can create an illusion of longer legs, making it a flattering choice for most body types
- It is a potentially more formal-looking asymmetrical skirt, with the right choice of fabric and style it can be dressed up and down to suit the occasion
- Can be comfortable to wear because they typically have a loose and flowy design, which allows for easy movement
- May not be appropriate for all occasions, such as formal events, conservative workplaces, or cold weather
- Due to the unique design of the handkerchief skirt, it may be challenging to pair with certain tops or shoes, which can limit styling options
- The uneven hemline of the handkerchief skirt can make it challenging to iron and fold, which may require extra care and maintenance
The handkerchief skirt can look good on the usual hourglass, pear-shaped, and apple-shaped body types as long as it is fitted well. The Athletic type, in fact, is one that benefits particularly well as it can add some flowy movement and femininity.
In general, very curvy or inverted triangle types will struggle with the handkerchief skirt, as the flowing fabric and emphasis on the low hemline will struggle to balance out the proportions.
A high-low skirt, also known as a mullet skirt, is a type of skirt that has a shorter front hemline and a longer back hemline, creating a dramatic asymmetrical look. Like the handkerchief skirt above, it is a subtype of the asymmetrical skirt.
- High-low skirts can be dressed up or down and can be worn in any season
- The high-low hemline of the skirt can elongate the legs and show off the shoes, making it a flattering choice for most body types
- Counters many of the traditional disadvantages of long skirts
- Due to the unique design of the high-low skirt, it may be challenging to pair with certain tops or shoes, which can limit styling options
- The uneven hemline of the high-low skirt can make it challenging to iron and fold, which may require extra care and maintenance
The high-low skirt doesn't really change enough compared to the other long skirt styles to bring any special advantages or disadvantages to the body types.
High Waisted Skirt
High-waisted skirts are a type of skirt that sits above the natural waistline, usually at the belly button or slightly above it.
- Can make the waist look smaller and create an hourglass shape, making it very suitable for apple-shaped figures
- Can be dressed up or down and come in a variety of lengths
- Have been a popular fashion trend for decades
- Can create the illusion of longer legs
- Variety of materials
- May not be suitable for all body types, such as individuals with a shorter torso or a pear-shaped body
- May be challenging to pair with certain tops
- Can feel constricting or uncomfortable for some individuals, especially if the waistband is tight
Mermaid Or Fishtail Skirt
Fishtail or mermaid skirts are a type of skirt that is fitted through the hips and thighs and flares out at the bottom, resembling the shape of a fish's tail.
- The fitted top of the skirt and flared bottom can create a flattering silhouette for many body types
- Fishtail skirts can look elegant and feminine, making them suitable for dressier occasions.
- Like most skirts, they come in a variety of lengths and materials, from casual denim to formal evening wear.
- The fitted shape of the fishtail skirt can be uncomfortable or restrictive for some people, especially if the material doesn't have any stretch
- Because the bottom of the skirt is flared, it may limit your movement, making it difficult to walk quickly or take large steps
- Fishtail skirts may not be suitable for all occasions, as they can be seen as too dressy or formal for casual events
- Depending on how long the tail is, this part can become dirty and wear out easily
Mini skirts are skirts that typically have a hemline above the knee.
- Are often seen as a fashionable and trendy items, and they can help you create a youthful and playful look
- Can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion
- Can elongate the legs and make you appear taller
- Come in a variety of materials
- Are not suitable for all weather conditions and may leave you feeling cold or uncomfortable in colder climates or seasons
- Depending on the workplace and dress code, mini skirts may not be suitable for a professional setting
- Some people may find mini skirts uncomfortable to wear, as they can ride up or require frequent adjustments
A pencil skirt is a classic, fitted skirt that is designed to be narrow and straight from the hips to the hemline, typically ending at or just below the knee.
- Can be dressed up or down, making them a versatile addition to your wardrobe. You can pair them with a blouse and heels for a professional look, or dress them down with a t-shirt and sneakers for a more casual look
- Are designed to be form-fitting, which can help to accentuate your curves and create a flattering silhouette. They are especially flattering on those with an hourglass figure
- They are a classic piece that will never go out of style
- Depending on the fabric, pencil skirts can be comfortable to wear. Stretchy fabrics, such as spandex or elastane blends, can provide some give and allow for ease of movement
- Can be restrictive, making them uncomfortable to wear for extended periods. This can be especially true if the skirt is made from a fabric with little stretch
- Can limit your range of motion, making it difficult to walk or climb stairs. This can be especially problematic if you have an active job that requires a lot of movement
- May not be the best choice for everyone. Those with a pear-shaped or apple-shaped body may find that a pencil skirt accentuates areas they would prefer to hide
- Often require ironing or steaming to keep them looking their best
A peplum skirt is a skirt that features a flared or ruffled fabric around the waist, typically starting at the waist and falling just below the hips.
- Are designed to create the illusion of an hourglass figure by cinching in the waist and flaring out at the hips. This can be a flattering look for many body types
- The flared fabric around the waist of a peplum skirt can create a feminine and playful look. This can be a great choice for a romantic or girly outfit
- Can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion
- Depending on the fabric, peplum skirts can be comfortable to wear. The flared fabric around the waist can provide some give and allow for ease of movement
- Those with a wider waist or pear-shaped figure may find that the extra fabric around the waist accentuates areas they would prefer to hide
- Can be a bit limiting when it comes to styling options as the extra fabric around the waist can make it difficult to pair with certain tops or jackets
- Can be difficult to fit properly, as the extra fabric around the waist can sometimes cause the skirt to ride up or become uncomfortable
Pleated skirts are a classic style of skirt that features pleats or folds in the fabric. They can be made from a variety of materials, from cotton to silk to leather, and come in a range of lengths and styles.
- Are a versatile addition to any wardrobe, as they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion
- Can be flattering on many body types, as the pleats can help to hide problem areas and create a more streamlined silhouette. They can also add volume and movement to the skirt, which can be a flattering look for many
- They are classic pieces that will never go out of style
- Depending on the fabric, pleated skirts can be comfortable to wear. The pleats can provide some give and allow for ease of movement
- Can be difficult to clean and maintain, as the pleats can easily become misshapen or flattened during washing. This can make them more difficult to care for than other styles of skirts
- Can limit your range of motion, making it difficult to walk or climb stairs
- Those with a pear-shaped or apple-shaped body may find that the pleats accentuate areas they would prefer to hide
- Depending on the material, pleated skirts can be bulky and add too much extra volume to the waist or hips
A sarong skirt is a type of skirt that is made from a long piece of fabric that is wrapped and tied around the waist. They are typically made from lightweight, flowy materials such as cotton or silk, and are often associated with tropical or beachy settings.
- A versatile piece of casual and everyday wear can be paired with a blouse and heels for a more formal look or dressed down with a tank top and sandals for a more casual look
- Made from lightweight and flowy materials, which can make them comfortable to wear in warm weather. They are also easy to move in, which can be ideal for outdoor activities or summer events.
- Can be flattering on many body types, as they can be wrapped and tied to fit the waist and hips perfectly. They can also create a long and lean look, which can be flattering for those who want to elongate their silhouette
- Are a unique and eye-catching addition to any wardrobe, and can add an element of interest to an outfit
- Because of their unique design, sarong skirts can be difficult to pair with certain tops or jackets. They can also be difficult to layer with other pieces, which can limit your styling options
- Are often associated with beachy or tropical settings, which can make them less appropriate for more formal or professional settings
- Can be difficult to wear in colder weather
- Because they are often made from lightweight materials, sarong skirts may not be as durable as other types of skirts. They may be more prone to tearing or snagging
Tiered And Layered Skirts
Tiered skirts are a style of skirt that features several layers of fabric, each of which is slightly longer than the one above it. Layered skirts are a style of skirt that features several layers of fabric, each of which is a different length, texture, or color, creating a visually interesting and unique look.
- They can add volume and movement to the skirt, which can be a flattering look for many
- Wide range of color combinations to choose from
- Many options in regard to the kinds of layers or tiers that you can choose from
- Depending on the number and size of the layers, layered skirts can be bulky
- Depending on the fabric, layered skirts can be difficult to clean and maintain, as the layers can easily become misshapen or flattened during washing.
- The many layers or tiers are more difficult to make than other types of skirts as they must be straight and proportional
A wrap skirt is a type of skirt that wraps around the body and is fastened by overlapping fabric panels that tie together at the waist. The fabric panels typically create a slit at the front or side of the skirt, allowing for ease of movement while also providing a stylish and feminine silhouette.
- Many people find wrap skirts to be comfortable, as they are typically made of soft, breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, or silk.
- Can be adjusted to fit a wide range of body types, as the overlapping fabric panels can be loosened or tightened to create a customized fit
- Unlike some clothing items that require a lot of effort to put on, wrap skirts are easy to wear and can be put on quickly
- The need to adjust the wrap skirt to fit properly may be considered a con by some people. If the skirt is not adjusted properly, it can cause discomfort or even become unwearable
- The overlap of the fabric on a wrap skirt can limit the range of motion of the wearer, especially if the skirt is long and flowing
- Depending on the length and cut of the wrap skirt, there is a risk of exposure, especially in windy conditions or if the wearer is engaging in physical activity
So Many Different Types Of Skirts! Where Do You Begin?
You might be feeling a little overwhelmed after seeing just a portion of how many different types of skirts there are. Fortunately, aside from the patterns that have an unusual hemline or multiple layers, the basic principles of skirt-making are the same.
If you want to get started right away, check out this shortlist of some of our most popular, and easiest free skirt patterns.
Thank you for the wonderful article. How many costumes are grounded on the type of skirt that forms it. Also history costumes are based on the skirt.