Appropriate hem lengths for different occasions

If you look back through the annals of fashion you’ll see that there have been some drastic changes over the years concerning skirt hem lengths. Up until the early 20th century women were expected to wear floor length skirts all the time and it wasn’t until around 1915 that shorter skirts came into fashion. Of course, there have been periods in fashion where longer skirts have been the in-thing again (take the maxi skirt, for example), and one of the best things concerning the rise and success of feminism is that women can now wear whatever they want.

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However, there are still social conventions that you’ll need to stick with when wearing skirts. For instance, you wouldn’t wear a miniskirt to a funeral or a job interview, so it’s important you know what kind of skirt to pick for certain occasions. However, it isn’t just the occasion that you need to think about – when choosing your skirt for a specific occasion you should also consider these factors:

Dress for your height

One of the keys to looking great in a skirt is dressing for your height. Generally, shorter ladies should go for shorter skirts (although the occasion may limit the overall shortness of it) and taller ladies should go for longer skirts. Either option will complement the frame well and ensure the skirt looks just right.

Dress for your age

This one can be a bit of a touchy subject for some, but the fact is that older ladies generally can’t get away with shorter skirts. However, it really all depends on the kind of skirt older women choose to wear. There is a definite shift in fashion past the 40-year-old mark, at which point ‘younger’ fashions should be avoided, but this doesn’t mean older women can’t still be stylish. As long as you wear it right, a mid-thigh skirt can look amazing in your mid-forties or fifties.

Dress for your size

Even if you’re going on a night out, wearing a miniskirt might still not be appropriate. You should always dress to suit your shape and, unfortunately, if you have larger hips a mini skirt will only emphasise this part of your body even further. Similarly, if you feel self-conscious about your legs you shouldn’t go for a bodycon miniskirt that will show them off to all the world – instead choose your skirt strategically so you can wear something short that doesn’t make you feel on display.

And finally… Dress for the occasion

Dressing for the occasion can be incredibly tricky, especially if there’s no set dress code available. Here are some ideas for you:

Wedding – you could get away with a mid-thigh skirt at a wedding, although go for knee length if you want to err on the side of caution.

Funeral – never wear anything above the knee at funerals – you need to be considerably conservative in this setting.

Cocktail party – for a cocktail party you could easily go for anything between mini-skirt length and knee length, it just depends on how casual a party it is.

Dinner party – this occasion is another calling for the knee length skirt, although mid-thigh skirts would also be suitable.

Corporate party – in this setting you’ll want to look as professional as possible, so choose knee length or mid-calf length skirts (as long as they suit).

Job interview – knee length again! Try not to wear anything too clingy though, as this may be uncomfortable and cause difficulty.

First date – for a first date you could wear almost any length of skirt, but remember not to go too short otherwise it may give the wrong impression!

What length of skirt would you wear for these occasions?

This post was contributed by Christina Jones a freelance writer specialising in women’s fashion such as maxi dresses and party dresses

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