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How to Wear Medium-Length Skirts

by Jennifer Blair

When it comes to skirts, mini, knee-length and maxi styles seem to get all the attention. Medium-length skirts that end right around the middle of the calf are often overlooked in terms of style potential. But while these skirts are a little trickier to wear, they can make a big statement -- particularly if you're not tall enough for an ankle-grazing maxi. The key to wearing a medium-length skirt is pairing it with pieces that help create a balanced look for your silhouette so all of that extra material in the skirt doesn't throw off your proportions.

Get Tight

When you’re wearing a medium- or midi-length skirt, it helps to balance the extra volume in your lower half with a snug shirt or a top that shows a little skin. At the office, pair a black, medium-length pencil skirt with a fitted, cobalt button-down blouse for a polished, professional outfit. If you’re headed to a cocktail party, go a little sexier by topping a lacy, medium-length circle skirt in navy with an ivory, satin, corset-style top. For a casual weekend look, dress down a khaki midi skirt with a form-fitting, white V-neck tee or tank top to keep your look balanced.

Crop It

If you plan to wear a jacket with your medium-length skirt, choose a cropped style that won’t compete with the skirt’s length and volume. At the office, a cropped charcoal blazer works well with a white silk shell and a black, medium-length pencil skirt for a twist on a traditional suit. When you’re going out for the evening, wear a flowy, medium-length chiffon skirt in blush with a cropped, black leather jacket to create an outfit with an ideal mixture of girly and edgy. For a casual daytime look, slip on a navy and white striped medium-length skirt and then layer a cropped denim jacket over a red tank to give the traditional nautical look a twist.

Belt One Out

A medium-length skirt can sometimes throw off your figure’s proportions, so pay attention to defining your waist and creating an hourglass shape. Adding a belt to the waist of your skirt can help give it a more flattering shape. Cinch a red, patent-leather belt over a white button-down blouse and a medium-length, black pencil skirt to spice up your office look, or wear a brown braided belt with a medium-length, khaki A-line skirt, finished with a white tee and denim jacket. In the evening, a belt embellished with rhinestones can help jazz up a simple, black satin skirt combined with a camisole.

Heels, Heels, Heels

Since a medium-length skirt cuts you off at an unexpected spot on your leg, it can sometimes make you look shorter and wider than you are – so slip into a pair of heeled shoes to help you look longer and leaner in your skirt. In particular, look for heels that expose the top part of your foot to extend the line of your leg. At the office, try your medium-length pencil skirt with basic black pumps to look taller and slimmer. For an evening out, choose strappy metallic stilettos or velvet peep-toe pumps for a touch of the flirt. If you’re wearing a medium-length skirt during the day, wedges are an ideal option.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo Credits

  • Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images