Choosing the Right Skirt for Your Body Type

Plus Size Pencil SkirtGuest post by Lily Bmnt

When it comes to dressing in a way that makes sense for your body type, few things are better than a well-fitting skirt. Coming as they do in every color, length and cut, skirts can play up your best features far more effectively than jeans or slacks. Nevertheless, choosing the perfect skirt can be a daunting task when you are faced with so many options. This article, with its rundown of basic skirt styles and the body shapes they suit best, aims to make the shopping process a little bit less overwhelming.

Pencil Skirts

If you can get your hands on a good pencil skirt, consider yourself lucky; given how closely this style is meant to hug your curves, finding one that fits well can be a challenge. Ideally, the skirt should have a high waist and hit just above the knees; the cut of this skirt is sexy, so the length should be conservative.

With their sleek contours, pencil skirts look especially great on hourglass figures, but they are also fairly easy to adapt to most other body types. If you have a “ruler” shape—that is, small bust and hip measurements and not much of a waist—you can use a pencil skirt to create the illusion of curves; go for thicker fabrics that have detailing like pockets or buttons around the hips and waist. If you’re pear-shaped, with wide hips and a small chest, a pencil skirt will show off your small waist, but make sure to wear a shirt that will balance your upper and lower halves—try a wide, draped neckline, a ruffled bodice or even exaggerated lapels. Bear in mind as well that women with fuller hips and thighs should avoid anything made of stretchy or clingy materials; such skirts leave little to the imagination, including areas that you want to downplay.

A-Line Skirts

It’s hard to go wrong with an A-line skirt; the flared cut flatters practically every body shape, although petite women will want to steer clear of skirts that fall more than an inch or two below the knees, as these tend to make short legs look stubby. With this in mind, however, the A-line skirt offers something for everyone. Plus-size women or women who simply have curvy hips will likely appreciate the way the skirt skims over their rear and thighs, while women who are flat all over can use an A-line skirt to add shape to their figure. An A-line skirt also balances out an apple-shaped figure so that women with larger busts or midsections don’t look top-heavy.

One final word: Although there is some debate over whether skirts with flounces or pleats can truly be termed A-line, for the purposes of this article you should assume that an A-line skirt is any flared skirt that is longer than a mini. This includes everything from fairly streamlined styles to the ample folds of fabric found in knee-length circle skirts. There are of course exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, pear-shaped women should avoid A-line skirts that add bulk—this means pleats, ruffles and tons of extra fabric.


Miniskirts work best on women at the extreme ends of the height spectrum. If you are petite, a miniskirt coupled with a pair of heels will give you legs that seem to go on and on forever. On the flip side, women who already possess long, shapely legs can show them off by wearing a skirt with a shorter hemline.

Miniskirts vary immensely in terms of cut and style but most can be classified as either flared or straight. The rules for miniskirts are similar to those for A-line skirts, but with the added caveat that the shorter length is less forgiving. Women with a boyish figure should choose flared skirts with pleats or flounces, textured fabrics and eye-catching patterns to add interest to their hips, while women with curvier lower halves should stick to slimmer cuts in more subdued colors.

Finally, assuming you are out of your teens, make sure you do not confuse miniskirts with micro-minis. Technically, a miniskirt is any skirt that hits more than an inch or two above the knee; for an adult woman, a good rule of thumb is that your hemline should fall near the point where your fingertips reach when you are standing upright with your arms at your sides. Anything much shorter than this risks taking the sexy look of a mini into tacky and age-inappropriate territory. On Ployvore

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