Vintage Skirts

"How to Wear Vintage Skirts"


A flood of exciting vintage skirts are today being reinterpreted on the catwalk. Thanks to 50s glamour, 60s pop culture, 70s hippies and disco music and 80s Cyndi Lauper. It wasn't until the 20th century that skirts started being made in different cuts and shapes.

.. Many of the trendy skirts you have in your wardrobe are nothing new and are just recycled from the past!

Vintage skirt pattern, courtesy of Queensofvintage.com
Courtesy of Queensofvintage/Patterns of vintage skirts

If you're looking for ideas on what real or vintage-inspired skirts to add to your closet, here are my suggestions on what you should include and how to wear them:

80s Vintage Skirts - era of Cyndi Lauper and Madonna

Tiered Skirt

Tier vintage skirt Dolce & Gabbana spring 2010
RTW SS 2010 D&G
Look for tiers and flounce - they're fun and flirty! They pair well with simple tights or bare legs. The tiers will do all of the talking.

Here are some fashion tips on how to wear it:

    Tone down on the cute and flouncy vibe of the skirt a bit, and pair it with something casual like a basic tee or a denim shirt along with a waist belt to make it look interesting. Inspired by Dolce & Gabbana's American West Spring & Summer collection in 2010.

    If you want to avoid adding pounds to your body frame, look for tier skirts with a waist that is slightly higher and fitted. And also pay attention to how those tiers are placed on your hips.

This type of skirt is especially ideal if you're bottom-heavy as it will disguise your curves. Just make sure it flares out slightly (not tapered) at the hemline to avoid emphasizing your rounded bottom. If you have slim hips then a tiered skirt will help balance out your body shape and add more curves.


Bubble Skirt

Bubble vintage skirt by Phillip Lim spring 2011
RTW SS 2011 Phillip Lim
This skirt has a balloon style silhouette (also known as "tulip") and is designed to billow out on the bottom and sides. Bubble skirts are a playful piece of addition to your wardrobe.

Like tier skirts, they emphasize (as well as add) curves to your lower body, so pay attention to your body proportions to make it look right.

Here are fashion tips on how to wear it:

    Add a touch of class to this 80s vintage skirt with a fitted button down shirt.

    Go casual and tuck in a plain tank top or t-shirt, or a body suit to streamline your silhouette.

    If you're on the shorter side (short height or short legs), stick to right above/on or right below the knee length to keep your silhouette looking long and lean. That's because of the voluminous hips that expand horizontally which will only shorten your body.

Wide and rounded skirts can make you look stumpy and your legs shorter, so if you have problems with that I suggest that you always add a pair of heeled shoes to counter the shortening effect.


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70s Vintage Skirts - Disco Balls and Hippies

Midi

Midi vintage skirt by Diane von Furstenberg spring 2011
RTW SS 2011
Diane von Furstenberg

Mid-calf skirts (midis) were an expression of the youth of the 60s who matured away from the minis but didn't want to sacrifice style. A very popular midi skirt style was the pleated A-line which created a flattering silhouette on many body shapes - skimming past the curves and creating a slim look.

Here are some fashion tips on how to wear it:

    Sport the sporty Diane von Furstenberg look by wearing a fitted midi and a loose shirt. Very chic.

    Take a pleated midi skirt and pair it with a fitted v-neck t-shirt. Top it off with a statement necklace.

    Tall women or women with average height and slim legs look best in these than petites. If you're petite and/or have short legs and want to try it out, keep your feet equipped with heels. The slightly fitted midi (around the hips and thighs) works best on you to avoid adding width to your body. Width = shorter.

    The ideal length of the midi skirt to keep your legs lean-looking is right below the calf.


A midi skirt gives you a vintage inspired sporty look, but too be honest, I'm not a big fan of these type of skirts as most of them hit the thickest part of your legs making you look stumpy, unless you have slim calves! However, I've seen many women pull it off by adding some heel to slim their legs - and not least going for the slim-fitted style.


Long

Tier vintage skirt by Fendi spring 2011
RTF SS 2011 Fendi

Long skirts (also known as maxi skirt) that barely touch the ground are very vintage which creates a noticeable style impact. It's not that city friendly but it's an elegant look - perfect for lounging night out, day picnic or a simple stroll in town or along the beach.

Other popular versions of the long skirt are: uneven hem, flowy evening skirt, hippie print skirt and the printed circle skirt.

Here are some fashion tips on how to wear it:

    Keep your ankles and calves looking slim by wearing a long skirt that fall right above the thinnest part of your ankles OR past the thinnest part of your ankles, skimming over your ankle knuckles.

    If you're short and/or want to look taller I suggest selecting a long skirt that is slightly fitted around the butt and thighs to streamline your silhouette.

    Work on the proportions by wearing a short top or shirt. Tuck it in for a laid-back look. And add something unexpected like a pair of high heels :-)


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60s/50s Vintage Skirts - Glam and a Pinch of Conservatism

A-line

A line vintage skirt by Vena Cava spring 2011
RTW SS 2011 Vena Cava
It's basically a skirt that is fitted at the hips and gradually widens towards the hem - giving a visual impression of a capital letter A.

The term A-line was popularized by Christian Dior in 1955 and became the skirt trend of the 60's because of its flattering cut that skimmed over the bumps and hips, as well as faking a thinner waist line. It is among other vintage skirts, the most popular and commonly used skirt style in fashion designers collection.

Here are some fashion tips on how to wear it:

    An A-line skirt looks best right above or right below the knees length to avoid overwhelming your body, especially if you have short legs or are short in general.

    It looks chic with a fitted shirt to balance out the wide shape. Show off some shoulder for a feminine and flirty appeal... and I think you know how I feel about heels ;-)



Full Skirt

Full vintage skirt by Bottega Veneta spring 2011
RTW SS 2011
Bottega Veneta
A full skirt (also known as circle skirt) began to appear in fashion magazines back in the 50s and until early 60s and were inspired by the feminine and conservative Victorian era - which was a time of floor-length and fluffy fashion. And being chubby had its sex appeal ;-) It lost its touch through the decades but was revived in the 50s. They even got shorter!

I believe that A-line and full skirts are the closest clothes you can get to vintage skirts as they exude a look of a charming and glamorous past - a must if you want to hook some vintage to your outfit.

Here are some fashion tips on how to wear it:

    The same guidelines or A-line skirts apply here as well. So if you're short or want to appear taller, select the right length which is usually right on or above the knee. Anything longer will pull your height down.

    A very chic way to wear this skirt is to wear it high on your waist with a skinny belt along with a fitted shirt.


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Related Content:

Vintage Fashion Style Tips - How to Wear Vintage How to Define and Develop Your Eclectic Clothing Personality How to Create and Define Your Personal Fashion Style The Best of 80s Fashion - How to Wear 1980s Clothing
The Best of 70s Fashion - How to Wear 1970s Clothing How to Stretch Your Style Envelope - Experiment with color combos and new proportions Guide to Achieving Bohemian Style Where to Buy Vintage Clothing - Online Vintage Fashion Shops



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More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
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