Long skirts, also known as maxi skirts, have been sweeping the runways for the past couple of years and they only seem to be gaining in popularity. These skirts are so long that they will brush the tops of your feet when you wear them. They come in gathered, billowing versions made in bright, patterned cotton and they come in sleek, black jersey versions that hug your curves. They also seem to come in every style, color, and pattern in between. While long skirts can make you look tall and thin, paired with the wrong shoes and top, these long skirts can also make you look like you have sister wives or like you are traveling to a Phish concert by way of the Marrakech Express. While you may be interested in a bohemian look, you probably do not want to look like you are wearing a costume. There are a handful of tricks you can learn to style your long skirt to achieve exactly the look you were going for.
Choose an Understated Top
Even the most plain, black, long skirt is still very dramatic. Until very recently, most American women only wore ankle length skirts to very formal occasions. It still is not common to see women wearing such long skirts in casual circumstances. Maxi skirts are by their very nature eye catching. Maxi skirts in very bright colors or maxi skirts with patterns or decorative details are even more striking. Since you already have so much drama going on in your skirt, you should really tone down your top. Nearly every long skirt looks good when paired with a plain white tank top on top. If you are wearing a gathered, belted long skirt, then try pairing it with an ultra thin, men's style, button up shirt in a neutral color like black or plain white. If you live somewhere chilly, maxi skirts also look great with long sleeved tissue T shirts. Unless you are very thin and you have a small bust, you probably want to avoid anything that adds volume to your top when you wear a very long skirt.
You will look taller if you choose a top that just reaches your waist. This will make your legs look very long. If you pick out a long top to go with your long maxi skirt, you risk making your body look long waisted and disproportionate. Wearing a long top over your maxi skirt can also make you look like you have a belly.
Choose the Right Underwear
A lot of the hottest maxi skirts available in stores right now are made in clinging jersey fabrics. These figure hugging skirts look great and seem to both reveal and conceal your legs at the same time. Unfortunately, many of these skirts are made in fabrics that are not only clingy, but also very thin. This combination almost guarantees that your panty lines will be visible. Make sure when you wear your maxi skirt, your underwear is not on display. Have a friend check you both indoors and outside in natural light. Sometimes these thin materials look okay inside, but then become transparent outdoors. Since jersey skirts can be so revealing, you are going to want to wear seamless underwear or even bicycle shorts underneath of your long skirt to avoid panty lines.
Think About Your Shoes
In a lot of the advertisements you see for long, flowing maxi skirts, the models are bare foot. That is because it is difficult to match these skirts to shoes. Maxi skirts nearly always look good with a matching pair of ballet flats or with flat sandals though. You can wear them with flip flops or something a bit fancier like gladiator sandals. If you want to wear your maxi skirt with a high heel, however, or a closed shoe, you are going to have a harder time finding a match. Some maxi skirts look cool with flat lace up boots. You might end up looking like a prairie school teacher in the wrong combination, though. Some look alright with wedges, especially if the wedges are sandals. If you want to wear your maxi skirt with heels, though, you are going to need a longer skirt. The skirt will look better if it brushes the tops of your toes, just like a formal gown would. You should also avoid wearing pumps with maxi skirts. The length of the skirt already looks dressy and if you combine the skirt with a dressy shoe, you will end up looking like you are going to some sort of casual Academy Awards.