The age-old, immensely feminine, and ever-evolving skirt is a staple in the wardrobe of anyone who’s proud to call herself a woman and it comes in more skirt styles than most of us can imagine or certainly name by memory.
When building up your wardrobe and planning for your next sewing project, take a look at some of these timeless and unique skirt styles to see if you can find something you don’t already have –perhaps a skirt style to flatter your particular form or make a slightly different fashion statement.
Rest assured, in one of these styles you ought to see something which gets that pedal foot jittering!
A simple rule of thumb to keep in mind when skirting for a particular body type is this: Maxi skirts will lengthen, fitted skirts will show off a stunning hourglass shape, high waisted and pleated or flaring mini or midi skirts will hide a chubby belly and draw some attention to those gorgeous legs.
Worn at the waist, with fine pleats and a good flare. In effect, this is a circle skirt but with edge stitching or pressed-in ridges.
This skirt is worn at the waist, it’s narrow at the top, lightly touches the hips and thighs whilst fanning out toward the hem. As the name implies, it forms an A shape. It's a modest and versatile style, simple to sew and flattering on most shapes.
Sometimes shorter at the front, long at the back; sometimes short on one side, long on one side. The idea is that it reveals some and hides some, a balance of modest and not so!
A box pleated skirt will have multiple flat double pleats (with the fabric folded down on either side). It will fan out to a mini skirt, mid or full-length skirt.
This skirt fans out and is then gathered in again at the hem, creating a bubble effect. It can hide a multitude of sins in the booty area.
Usually made of lightweight, breezy fabric, this skirt is worn at the waist and cut in a circle. It can come in just about any length.
This is a fitted skirt with pretty draping at the hips, it can be worn short, mid, or full length. It has the effect of widening the hips.
This is also known as a sarong skirt. Think of a full skirt that is gathered, draped, or pleated to one side to make it more figure-hugging.
Triangular pieces are set into the skirt gore seams to add fullness to a flared hem edge.
This skirt can come in various lengths, knee length, full length or mini. They are made out of strips of different fabric and often create a patchwork effect with many colors being used for a real gypsy lady vibe.
A popular option for school uniforms and high street fashion; this skirt has more than one pleat, often many, all facing one direction: left or right.
This fairy-like style is created from various layers of irregular, superimposed fabric. A great option for kids or ladies who are young at heart.
The name comes from the fact that it’s shaped like a mermaid's tail. It hugs the form from the waistline to the knees, below the knee it fans out. It has a lengthening and very sophisticated effect and is usually seen in evening wear, wedding dresses, and in certain ethnic traditional dresses.
Ah, what would we do without this one? A mini is defined as any skirt which leaves the knees revealed. How short you wear yours depends entirely on your taste and confidence, your intention (wink-wink), and the occasion.
Usually worn from the waist and flaring out to below the knee, mid-calf or full length. This skirt will have multiple vertical seams or gores, hence the name: paneled.
This is a pleated skirt that tapers at the bottom, giving the effect of a curvier form, although it's also a good option for hiding certain curves in the hip area, as long as they're not too large. This skirt will usually end at the knee and may or may not have a yoke waist.
This figure hugging skirt is popular in office wear…sexy whilst being modest at the same time. They lengthen the figure, running from the waist down to mid-calf or just below the knee. The effect is one of sophistication and elegance but you'll need to have the figure to pull this one off.
Usually a pencil skirt with a wide frill or ruffle attached to the waist which is known as a peplum, you may also see a peplum at the bottom of a bodice, especially in office wear or high street fashions.
Made of multiple circular layers, this skirt will add serious curves to a slim figure.
Single Front Pleat:
As the name implies, this skirt will have a single pleat in front, for no reason except…it can!
This is a gradually flaring skirt but it flares out like a trumpet, with a curve instead of straight out like an A.
Similar to the pencil skirt, only this one will be made of stretchy, figure hugging material and tend to end just below the knees.
This skirt usually falls to the knees, its folded over in front and slightly pleated, giving the effect of tulip petals, hence the name!
Made of flaring layers to add fullness, often ruffled and stiffened: this skirt is made out of tulle and a mix of other fabrics and sometimes just many layers of tulle. The tulle might be on top or underneath the other fabric and it will be ruffled to add texture and body. The tulle fabric might be replaced with nylon net or any fabric that will give the same textured effect. You’ve seen this on ballerinas and on Carrie in Sex and the City.
These fasten around the waist with a button or tie and wrap around the thighs and waist, often revealing a leg through the slit. They can be worn at any length for a very feminine, laid-back, summery look.
A fitted band at the top of this skirt takes the place of an elasticized waistband, so this will close with a zipper. The fitted band may have a v-shaped or straight appearance and the skirt will flare out from beneath it.
Did We Miss Any?
I think we got most of them but I'm sure we may have missed one or two other skirt styles. Please let us know in the comments below if you know any that we've missed.
Yay this was great! How about broomstick? Is that like a relaxed accordion? And then there’s a style that kind of swirls around and flares at the the bottom, almost like a trumpet but wider and swirly.
Yes! I think the flared skirt you’re talking about is called a Banana skirt because the panels are shaped somewhat like Bananas
Thanks for the fun finding so many styles
Did you muss out the straight skirt – not as narrow in the hemline as a pencil skirt?
Thank you for such an informative article.
I’ve just learnt a lot, thank you so much!
Welcome Danny, I read our profile intro by any chance would you be able to make those white boards storytelling drawings? If you can send me an email and will have a chat.
It’s good to see all these options together like this. (It’s Carrie, not Casey, from Sex and the City, by the way!)
Ah yes! Indeed it was wrong, thanks for pointing that out. Cheers!
I think you find the most interesting subjects that I have never thought of and you don’t spare a detail in presenting them. Thank you.
Thank you, if you think of any other let me know.
How do I get the free pattern?
What pattern are you after Pam?
Bell shaped skirt. i don’t know how else to describe it! It’s like a full skirt but it doesn’t flare all the way out when you twirl–it’s more like a bell. If you’ve ever seen the Longmire episode “Election Day” where Cady and the Ferg cut a rug–she’s wearing that type of skirt and I’ve never been able to find a pattern!
I haven’t seen the episode but I know what you mean, I am going to draft the pattern and make the skirt and share it when I finish, let you know.
I am curious about this type of skirt. Where are you Mayra with drafting it?
Cool beans! 🙂
Great article – I would just like to add hitched hem, handkerchief hem, high-low hem, and faux petticoat (a little net or tulle is added to the lining hem so that it just peeks out below the hemline of the main fabric).
Yes I agree that is a lovely touch. Thanks for the other skirts will add them as soon as I can.
Nice overview and I appreciate seeing it. I would like more information as to which skirts are most suitable to various figure types. Again, thank you.
Great idea Sue, I can break this subject in 4 articles to accommodate the four basic figures. The only other article I have addressed body shape is not sure if this is any help to you but give me some time and I will compail a list of outfits for the diferent shapes.
I have learned something new again! Who knew there were so many skirt styles and NAMES for each style!? Thank you for the education. I so enjoy this newsletter.
If you read some of the comments you will know there are a few missing. One day I will around to it add them, so happy you enjoy the newsletter.
Very very interesting – thank you!
Loved seeing all the skirt styles named!
Light-weight skirts are great for the hot summers in Florida. I have found they can be more comfortable than shorts and often more attractive. You have given me some new styles to consider.
You are most welcome, Pamela. The key is to know your shape then take advantage of it. I do agree they are more comfortable in hot humid climates.
I love the various styles, the tulip and pencil skirts are amazingly cute.
I’m not able to take the test as there is no link to it.
Hi Nikomii, thanks for letting me know. We removed the quiz feature so I have now changed the article to reflect that.
Scored an 8. T’was fun but as an oldie seen many fashions in skirts come and go.
I missed one and I guess I had never known what the name of the gypsy skirt was but had seen it before. That was the one I got wrong.
Nice to know that I know my skirt styles. 8 out of 8. Very nicely done.
Wanted to take quiz, but it won’t load?
I have tried reloading the page, closing window then reopening it, putting it in different browser, still won’t load. I delete my cache daily, hummmm?
YOu must have some kind of pop blocker blocker. Check your in your browser.
Your browser may also be blocking plugins… Chrome does that
Loved the little quiz but would have like to have a summary of which looks best on what body type.
This list is so comprehensive that what looks best on different figures would have to be another 1 or more posts. But I do agree that knowing what is most likely to look best on your figure narrows down the choices a little (sometimes a lot). I know from experience but some people need help.
I got 8 out of 8 thanks. Would you allow us to print this please for our fashion and fabrics class at school? i am sure my clever teenagers can figure out how if you allow!
Hi Jeanette, yes, please go ahead. I’m glad to see you have teenagers learning to sew. That’s great to hear.
I’m definitely someone “who’s proud to call herself a woman”, but I do not own a single skirt. I don’t like having to pay attention to stuff like “sitting like a lady” all day, so I prefer trousers. Now that I started sewing I’ve started to wish I’d like skirts, because they are just soooo much easier to sew than a pair of well fit trousers!
What a fabulous list of skirt types! Very comprehensive, thank you!
Note I’m REALLY looking forward to a tutorial on making one of those “Carrie” tulle skirts. ?
Godget? What the heck is that?
Hi Jen, should read “Godet”. Thanks for letting me know.
it’s French meaning a triangle piece is inserted to add drape/flair.
Not ‘godget’ but godet, which is a triangular piece of fabric inserted into a garment to give ease or flare. A very common godet piece is the fabric insert in a pair of 501Levis type blue jeans legs to make continuity of fabric for a skirt.
7 out of 8 that was fun
This was fun. Got an 8. boo hoo LOL
I got them all right and it was fun. But the answer choices covered the skirts so it was hard to see the details. Thanks for the fun and the review of styles. It is going to become more important than ever for women to know this information if most shopping will be online.