Ask Our Style Techs | Too Old for Miniskirts?

Q: I’m over 40 and in great shape, but am not sure that I should still be wearing miniskirts? Your thoughts on this would be much appreciated. – Tanya W. 

A: This a great question and one we hear frequently. An important factor to consider when you’re trying to decide if a skirt is the appropriate length for you is how do you want to be perceived. If skirts are too short (after all there are miniskirts and there are MINI, miniskirts!) on anyone regardless of age you run the risk of looking trashy for lack of a better word. And, when we reach a certain point in our lives, and perhaps even more especially when we become mothers, we want to be considered classy, not trashy.

This said, we are big fans of the miniskirt, but here are a few of rules of thumb and styling tips to keep in mind.

A | If you sit down in your skirt and people across the room can see your underwear (or lack thereof) your skirt is too short. If you bend over and we can see London and France, your skirt is too short. While this seems like common sense, we witness this more often than we’d like to… not attractive.

B | If you have great legs and like things on the short side, go for it within reason but cover up on top with a tailored blouse or jacket. There’s nothing like a strapless top and miniskirt to say “I’m-available-and-trying-to-look-like-I’m-still-18” particularly when you’re over 40. Save this look for your next life when you are reincarnated as Madonna. If you uncover one half, cover up the other.

C | Tights are another terrific way to add polish to a mini-skirt and there are so many great patterns and colors to choose from now. Tights also help immensely when trying to prevent the situation in Rule A.

D | Skirts with sheer-paneled or mesh bottoms are a terrific way to get the effect of a miniskirt, but add a little coverage.

E | Watch the height of your heels in proportion to the length of your skirt unless you’re headed to Vegas for a bachelorette party — where frankly nobody cares because “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” unless your picture gets posted online that is… Menswear oxfords, chunky heels and flat boots are all on-trend and give shorter skirts a downtown vibe vs. “I’m on the prowl.”

F | If you’re worried about skirts looking too short, just go for the skirts that don’t hit any higher than mid-thigh. Plus, there are so many gorgeous and sexy pencil skirts and midi-skirts available right now — and both are more sophisticated than minis.

G | If you have a daughter and you wouldn’t want to see her in what you’re wearing now or when she grows up your skirt is too short. Like it or not, we are role models for our kids and the “do as I say, not as I do” is problematic when you’re a parent trying to make a point.

H | Finally, if you’re uncomfortable or questioning the appropriateness of what you’re wearing it shows. Clothes have the power to make us more confident — use and channel this power!

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L to R:

1 | Skirt, 3.1 Phillip Lim // This one is on the short side, but if you have the legs and attitude to pull it off, pair it with tights and boots as they did here to ground the look. We like it with a sweater or jacket on top to add sophistication and polish.

2 | Skirt, No. 21 // The length of this skirt is perfect for a classy look that still let’s you rock the trend. Bonus! This cut is super flattering on most figures.

3 | Skirt, Jonathan Simkhai // Sheer panels provide coverage, but channel the look of a miniskirt.

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