Don’t Get Caught Unprepared! Types of Skirts to Get Ready for This Summer
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Fashionable types of skirts to wear and to sew on your own
With the warmer days getting more frequent, all we want is to wear the freshest and effortless garments in our wardrobes. Skirts just do the trick. They’re lightweight, allow ease of movement and ventilation to the lower parts of the body. Plus, they’re beautiful and feminine!
Image source: Cristian Newman on Unsplash
Why skirts are better
If some of us like to wear them also during winter, skirts are truly the queens of summer. They reach the peak of their versatility during this season for several reasons:
- skirts can help you to transition smoothly from daywear to an evening look unlike trousers, which are generally either casual or smart, and dresses as you cannot change the top after a long hot day.
- there are many types of skirts to suit everybody’s tastes and all body types: if you don’t feel comfortable wearing a revealing mini skirt you can always opt for a maxi skirt with 70s vibes!
- For all the DIY lovers out there…they’re easy to make! If you’re just starting to try your hand at sewing, a skirt project can be less intimidating than trousers as these have more parts to sew and their fit leaves less room for mistakes.
Image source: The Fold line
You can also find the best sewing tips and tricks that will help you along the way.
In this article, you will discover different types of skirt styles you can pick from for your summer looks or types of skirts to sew next time you’ll sit in front of your sewing machine. You can make some of them even without sewing!
If you aren’t a skirt person, we also have a fabulous guide for different types of pants.
What is a skirt?
Before dipping into all types of skirts, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of this garment.
A skirt is a tube or cone made of cloth tied to the waist flowing or clinging around the legs.
The skirt is the most basic piece of clothing to cover the bottom part of the body. That is why it’s among the first types of clothing we can spot in ancient representations of the human figure.
Image source: British Museum
It doesn’t even need sewing because a skirt could consist of a single piece of cloth tied to the waist. In antiquity, the simplest ways to keep a garment together and fitted to the body were wrapping and knotting.
In ancient populations, the skirt’s length, quantity, colour and the complexity of its pleats could signify class and status.
Only at a later time, in Western civilization, it could indicate gender too. From the 14th century, men gradually abandoned skirts which became an exclusive element of women’s apparel.
Now, you are ready to choose your favourite length and style among the innumerable combinations of types of women’s skirts!
Types of skirts: Lengths
The length of skirts has always drawn much attention and not only the wearer’s or the onlookers’. There’s a theory from the 1920s by Wharton Business School Professor George Taylor that says
“shorter the hemline, stronger the economy”
Regardless of this curious theory, you can pick the length that you prefer from the types of skirts chart!
Here is a guide to help you choose the option that suits you best:
Hemline falls on the upper thighs, just below the buttocks. 20 cm/8‘ long.
Image source: Amazon
Hemline sits around mid-thigh. 28 to 44 cm/11 to 17’ long.
Image source: Amazon
Hemline is slightly above the knee. 58 cm/23’ long.
Image source: M is for Make
Hemline hits the knee bones. 65 cm/25’ long.
Image source: Amazon
Hemline is slightly below the knee. 74 cm/29’ long.
Image source: Walmart
Hemline hits the middle of the calf. 80 cm/31’ long.
Image source: Zalora
Hemline is slightly above the ankle. 86 cm/34’ long.
Image source: Stileo
Hemline falls at the ankle. 90 cm/38’’ long.
Image source: LaRedoute
Hemline sits at the toes. 104 cm/45’ long.
Image source: Flixcart
As you can see the types of short skirts are the micro, the mini and the above the knee length.
Types of skirts that can be considered having medium length are the knee, the below the knee and the midi.
The longer ones often fall under the types of maxi skirts. Maxi skirt is a general umbrella term and there can be confusion around the minimal differences between midi, tea, maxi and full skirts.
Keep in mind that there are different types of mini skirts, different types of maxi skirts and so on. For each length, there are infinite types of skirt silhouettes.
Types of skirts: Styles and Patterns
Once you’ve decided the length of your skirt, it’s time to pick the model!
What are the different types of skirts?
You’ll find many combinations of different styles of skirts out there so this is a selection of the most popular ones.
For each type of skirt, there’s a skirt pattern ready to use or a tutorial to follow so you don’t have to browse the web for countless hours before you find the right ones.
Don’t forget to personalize your skirt with your custom woven labels! Even if your creation is a gift for someone else, a label is always a unique keepsake of your creativity.
On SuperLabelStore creating your personalized labels and hang tags is fast, easy, and affordable!
1. Wrap skirt
This is a simple type of skirt that softly hugs your forms. There are no zippers so it’s easy to put on and to adjust to your size.
Image source: The Fold line
If you’re making it yourself: it works best with woven fabric and you can easily modify its length.
To make your wrap skirt, check this free pattern with instructions included or this tutorial for a no sew wrap skirt.
2. Tube skirt
This is a basic skirt as well as it goes down straight. It’s often tight-fitting so it’s usually made of stretch fabrics.
Image source: pinimg
Here’s a tutorial to make a tube skirt both by upcycling an old t-shirt without sewing and by sewing raw fabric.
3. Pencil skirt
This is similar to the tube skirt but it’s wider at the thighs level and it narrows at the end. It necessitates slits to allow movement. Both knit and woven fabrics work well with this style of skirt.
Image source: Boden
You can download a free pattern with instructions included on Sewmag to sew your pencil skirt.
4. A-line skirt
As its name describes well, this skirt is shaped as an A: tight at the waist and extending diagonally. An A-line skirt looks similar to a flared skirt, but it flares out less than a flared skirt.
Image source: La Redoute
Have fun creating A-line skirts with this free pattern that gives you three ways to personalize this style.
5. Circle skirt
This type of skirt creates a circle when twirling around. It is perfect for your pirouettes and it has a vintage 50s vibe!
There are different types of circle skirts. They differ on the fullness of the circle. The ¼ circle skirt is the most form-fitting, while the full circle one is…well, the fullest! The waist sits at the center, where there is a waistband.
Image source: Amando
Constructing a circle skirt is simple and beginner-friendly. There are two free patterns you can put to the test.
Here you will find a complete sewing pattern to make a full circle skirt.
The Littlest Studio instead offers an alternative way to proceed which might be even simpler for budding sewists. You can also benefit from a thorough guide to make your full circle skirt.
Need help to find the right top to match your fantastic skirt? Read our blog on types of shirts.
6. Accordion skirt
Pleats, pleats, pleats!! There are different types of pleated skirts like Knife-pleated skirt, Inverted pleated skirt, Box pleated skirt, etc., but in this particular one the continuous ridges open and close with movement and remind us of the instrument.
Image source: Pinterest
Creating these precise and narrow pleats can seem tricky but the truth is you only need a bit of patience.
Pleats are easy to make and you can even use a fork to make the process faster…it’s incredible how any room in your home can hide an unexpected sewing tool!
Before purchasing an expensive sewing tool that you will use only once in a while, think whether you can use another object you already have at home. A plate from your cupboard, for example, could help you modify necklines and armholes on your pattern with no need to buy a French curve.
7. Tulip skirt
A tulip skirt, known by various names such as a bubble skirt or balloon skirt, is a skirt with ample volume that features a hem that is tucked back underneath, resulting in a “bubble effect” at the lower portion.
The tulip skirt owes its name to the panels that overlap on the front, looking like tulip petals. This skirt can also have this recognizable shape thanks to strategic pleats at the waist.
This type of skirt could seem analogous to the wrap skirt, but the tulip skirt doesn’t have strings and presents an invisible zipper on the back or on the side.
Image source: Pinterest
Are you intrigued by this flowery variation? On Sew Different there’s a free pattern size 12 that you can adjust to your size with few moves.
8. Mermaid skirt
This skirt looks like a mermaid’s tail! Up to the knee is similar to the tube skirt as it clings the thighs. Below the knee, it expands into a flare.
The wider the flare the more dramatic and smarter the skirt!
Image source: Pinterest
In this picture, the skirt has panels that run from top to bottom. Some other mermaid skirts, instead, have different pieces for the flare with stitches running horizontally.
Following this tutorial, you can learn how to draw the pattern of the mermaid skirt version with the panels. You need to take your measures and trace them graphically onto paper. Once you’re finished, you are ready to sew your personalized mermaid skirt!
This type of skirt is often found in wedding dresses. Check out our guide on different types of wedding dresses.
9. Tiered skirt
The tiered skirt is also known as the “Layered skirt”. This type of skirt is not formed by two pieces of fabric stitched at the sides but by a variable number of tiers. The tiers’ length can be the same or vary gradually from top to bottom.
It can also be called ‘gypsy skirt’ or ‘prairie skirt’ when it has a maxi length. You can heighten or tone down these connotations with accessories, it all depends on the final effect you are looking for!
Image source: Everly B.
With a little bit of math, you will be able to sew a maxi-tiered skirt that fits you. Have a look at this tutorial to guide your process.
10. Gathered skirt
The gathered skirt is another one of the essential types of skirts as it can consist of just two panels sewn together.
What makes a difference is that these panels are at least double your measurements so that the fabric in excess gathers and creates dense and random pleats, unlike the sharp ones in the accordion skirt.
Its simplicity makes it easy to experiment with different fabrics, lengths and additional details like front buttons, external or internal pockets and so on.
Image source: Sessun
This is a skirt that you can make over and over again once you learn how to do it!
Following this tutorial, you will learn the basic steps to make a simple gathered skirt with a waistband and a tie belt.
Keeping track of the care instructions of the different fabrics you are going to use for your skirts will be difficult!
Why don’t you insert care labels in each skirt to have them always at hand?
Discover how easy and fast it is to create your personalised care labels on SuperLabelStore!
11. Draped skirt
This type of skirt is an umbrella term for a variety of draped skirts. There aren’t specific features because the drapings of the skirts can be quite different from each other.
On the side, on the back, on the upper half, or on the bottom. The styles are infinite.
Image source: Marni
You can find or make a draped skirt with the drapings placed at a strategic point to enhance your forms.
Among all the different types of skirts, this is the one that requires more advanced skills. A common way to create a drape is by the homonymous technique called ‘draping’. This means adjusting the piece of fabric directly on a dummy, pinning and then sewing into place.
Making a dress by draping means that it cannot be cloned. To make the same dress again you need to draw a pattern.
It is not common to have a dummy at home, so if you want to create a draped skirt with a paper pattern follow this tutorial. It will help you in adding the draping detail to a skirt block pattern.
12. Yoke Skirt
A yoke skirt is a unique fusion of skirt styles. It combines a fitted upper section with a fuller lower section below the yoke. The yoke’s fitted nature makes it particularly flattering, as it often embraces any dart shaping applied to the waist area.
Yoked skirts offer endless style possibilities, as they can come in various lengths, shapes, and silhouettes, allowing for versatile and creative outfit choices.
12. Asymmetrical Hem Skirt
An asymmetrical hem skirt is characterized by one side being higher than the other. While commonly chosen for formal occasions, there are also asymmetrical skirts that are suitable for casual days.
Pairing an asymmetrical skirt with a t-shirt creates a relaxed and effortless look. Alternatively, to achieve a business casual ensemble, you can elevate it by adding a button-up shirt.
The versatility of asymmetrical skirts allows for both stylish and comfortable outfits across different settings.
Tips for what to do next
Now that you have an overview of the different types of skirts, here are few tips for what you can do next:
- Create your own skirt
- Purchase your skirt from sustainable and ethical brands
- Donate, upcycle or recycle the skirts you no longer wear
- Discover other types of skirts patterns and mix together the different styles for a unique model
All this talking about skirts made you craving for a nice dress instead? We have that topic covered too!
Read our blog on different types of dresses.
Frequently asked questions
How do I determine the appropriate fabric for a skirt?
When choosing a fabric for a skirt, consider the occasion, style, season, and care requirements. Opt for formal settings with wool or crepe, while cotton or linen are great for casual wear. Consider the climate and comfort, and choose fabrics that align with your preferences and desired look.
What are some popular prints or patterns for skirts?
Popular prints or patterns for skirts include floral, stripes, polka dots, animal prints, geometric designs, plaid or tartan, paisley, tie-dye, gingham, and abstract prints.
How do I choose the right length for my skirt?
To choose the right length for your skirt, consider your body proportions, the occasion, your comfort and confidence, balance and proportion, and try on different lengths to see what looks and feels best on you.