The Maxi Skirt

Flattering and forgiving, this length injects an easy, breezy dose of high-style into your wardrobe. Our hints will have you literally sweeping into a room in no time.

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The Maxi

Inspired by: Last spring’s bohemian craze.


Visual trickery: It lengthens the body.


Our eureka moment: As comfy as pants.


Designers who do it best: Alexander Wang, Michael Kors, Milly.

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Why We Love This Look

1. It's equally cool for work and for weekends.


2. It flatters any height, from short to super tall.


3. It can hide a multitude of flaws.


4. It's warm enough to wear all weekend.


5. It gives the illusion of a taller silhouette.

Courtesy of First View

Patron Saint of this Length: Diane Keaton

She has schooled us in style for decades, and we can’t get enough. Secretly, we’d like to be her, or know her, or just sit next to her at a dinner party. But since none of the above has the remotest chance of happening, at least we can dress like her.

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Women Who Made This Chic

1. Cleopatra


2. Suffragettes


3. Edith Wharton


4. Annie Oakley


5. Hippies


6. Cinderella

Courtesy of Corbis

Sole Searching: Shoes That Click

Almost anything goes with this length. Flats? Sure. Wedges? Give them a whirl. Boots? Abso-fabu-lutely. What to avoid? Anything too lightweight. Your shoes need heft and presence to balance the visual weight of this style.



At left: Olive Oyl was an early adopter of the long skirt. Her hair needs work, but the shoes are perfect. 

Courtesy of Everett Collection

Five Maxis We'd Like to Wear

1. Straight and narrow: In leather, suede or corduroy, the look is sleek.


2. Sexy slit: It’s best in back, running straight up the middle or off center. But if you have runway-model legs (see left), you can put the slit wherever you want.


3. Pleated: Tiny, tight pleats in a soft fabric (like cotton jersey) add interest. If you’re hippy, skip this.


4. Floral: Make sure the pattern is small scale; earthy/autumnal colors are best.


5. Menswear fabrics: Think about tweed, herringbone and pinstripes in a column shape.

Courtesy of First View

Skirt Theology

“A good sermon should be like a woman’s skirt: short enough to arouse interest but long enough to cover the essentials.”

—Ronald Knox, theologian-writer


If you love coverage but want to show a little skin, check out our tips for wearing midcalf skirts.


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First Published Thu, 2011-10-27 13:50

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