MI­CRO TREND

The miniskirt is mak­ing a wel­come come­back, says Phoebe Watt

Fashion Quarterly - - Inside -

The miniskirt makes its re­turn

From trans­gen­der models land­ing ma­jor beauty cam­paigns to a greater va­ri­ety of eth­nic­i­ties rep­re­sented on the cat­walks, fash­ion has, in re­cent years, come a long way in ad­dress­ing its deep-rooted diver­sity is­sues. If the SS18 shows were anything to go by, how­ever, sizeism is still ram­pant; ‘plus-size’ models are still more novelty than norm. Gen­er­ally speak­ing, we’re not here for it. There was, how­ever, one teeny, tiny item we weren’t so sad­dened to see sashay­ing down the spring run­ways over and over again, and that’s the miniskirt.

Yes, short hem­lines are back, and as the tem­per­a­ture rises and the of­fice air con sud­denly goes ka­put, de­spite freez­ing us to death all win­ter, we couldn’t be more ex­cited.

Let’s back­track a minute though — miniskirts in the of­fice, you say? I don’t work at a gentle­men’s club, or a sex­u­al­ly­charged law firm in the late 90s à la Ally McBeal. Nor do I have a gentle­men’s club-wor­thy bod, or look like late-90s Cal­ista Flock­hart. To which we say, get with the pro­gramme. Not only are there so many ways to style a mini that make it of­fice ap­pro­pri­ate, they are a bil­lion times more flat­ter­ing than that ma­tronly midi-skirt you’ve been hid­ing un­der of late.

It’s all about cre­at­ing an op­ti­cal il­lu­sion. Un­like the afore­men­tioned midi, which tends to cut you off at the thick­est part of the calf, the mini is prob­a­bly go­ing to end at the slimmest part of your thigh. Of course, if you’re less con­cerned with looks, and more with pro­pri­ety, we hear you. But just be­cause the last time you wore a miniskirt you paired it with a flimsy cami and called it a day (RIP toned teenage arms), doesn’t mean this is the only for­mula you can fol­low. If anything, you should for­get ev­ery­thing you once as­so­ci­ated with the item — in­clud­ing Ni­cole Richie, pre-makeover. The miniskirt might be back, but it comes with a few more rules.

Num­ber one? Pay at­ten­tion to pro­por­tions. You’re go­ing to be show­ing a lot of leg, so keep things cov­ered else­where. A loose, light­weight sweater, a per­fectly pressed silk shirt, or a sleeve­less top with a high neck are all on-point choices for work, as well as af­ter work ac­tiv­i­ties.

As far as fab­rics, anything goes, but you’ll want to de­tour around Cheapsville. Our picks are leather (or a con­vinc­ing pleather), collegiate in­spired tex­tures like cor­duroy and hound­stooth, or for a party-ready op­tion, play­ful prints with

fun em­bel­lish­ments (faux-snake­skin! Se­quins!), as long as they look ex­pen­sive — think Monte Carlo, not Ve­gas. The same goes for what­ever you wear up top; luxe nat­u­ral fi­bres like silk, cash­mere and cot­ton are your best bets.

Still sound­ing too ca­sual for your work­place? Con­sider then, tak­ing a leaf from the Princess Diana fash­ion bi­ble in a for­mal yet still fem­i­nine skirt suit. Hey, it was good enough for Buck­ing­ham Palace, and the dusky pink sep­a­rates that local la­bel Ruby has put for­ward for SS18 cer­tainly get our royal seal of ap­proval. Al­ter­na­tively, chan­nel your inner WASP in a boucle twin­set that would have made Coco Chanel proud. You’ll score ex­tra points with Coco’s suc­ces­sor, Karl Lager­feld, for mod­ernising this en­sem­ble with Per­spex footwear.

For the week­end, a denim mini is a fresh al­ter­na­tive to the dis­tressed denim cut offs you’ve been de­fault­ing to for far too long. Make yours high-waisted to avoid the skirt-belt look favoured by Paris and Ni­cole circa The Sim­ple Life, and el­e­vate the look with some­thing el­e­gant or edgy — think a well-cut blazer or state­ment sleeves.

The miniskirt’s re­vival is not about you re­liv­ing your glory days, af­ter all. We don’t sup­port ageism any more than we do sizeism, but the fact of the mat­ter is you’ve evolved over the past 10-15 years, and so (we hope!) has your per­sonal style. You’re no longer driving a Toy­ota Star­let and your cof­fee or­der is no longer a white choco­late mocha Frap­puc­cino with an ex­tra choco­late swirl. You’ve moved on to an or­ganic cold drip cof­fee which sits nicely in the cup-holder of your Lexus (okay fine, Prius), and it looks a whole lot bet­ter on you — just as your miniskirt 2.0 will.

Which isn’t to say you can’t have fun with this trend. Re­mem­ber that Supré ra-ra skirt you once loved so much? Zim­mer­mann just put out the grown-up ver­sion, and if you take your styling cues from the Aus­tralian brand’s SS18 run­way, you’ll be for­go­ing the bor­ing, racer-back sin­glet that used to form a key part of this look in favour of a frill-over­load. Flirty ain’t your thing? Try some­thing sporty by Mag­gie Mar­i­lyn, sexy by Jac­que­mas, or grungy by Saint Lau­rent — brands whose current col­lec­tions also prove that the miniskirt isn’t the only item on the re­bound this sea­son, with short shorts and mini dresses also hav­ing ma­jor mo­ments. For the lat­ter, a long­line coat, cardi­gan or ki­mono will pro­vide vis­ual bal­ance and trans-sea­sonal warmth, while the for­mer paired with a match­ing jacket can make for a cute suit, or with a cropped cami, a more age-ap­pro­pri­ate romper.

If such a thing ex­ists, that is, but to be hon­est, if we were go­ing to be ageist about any gar­ment, this would be it. You were rock­ing minis when you were a teen but you wore a romper when you were two. Time to move on… mmkay?

PILE ON THE SASS Miniskirts have al­ways been about fun. Whether you’re go­ing for girly frills or power-dress­ing with a mini suit, you can play with scale by adding a large hat or a nano bag to the en­sem­ble.

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