Longer is better?

In the early 1990s, I was obsessed with long skirts. My (all girls) school allowed pupils in the sixth form to wear their own clothes but, in order to maintain some sort of lady-like decorum, we were forbidden from wearing trousers of any kind. However, this meant that we all fully embraced the oh-so-dainty alternatives of ‘tiny skirt with thick tights and massive stompy boots’ or ‘ankle-length grungey hippy skirt’, much to the frustration of the Head Teacher. I remember owning a wonderful floor-length patchwork circle skirt that I’d found in some Camden-esque store in our town, and a full tiered blue gingham skirt from River Island that I really wish I still had. For me, the entire 90s was filled with what are now ubiquitously called maxi-skirts. I loved them because they looked elegant, fully covered my pasty white legs, and allowed me to wear a skirt with flat shoes without looking frumpy. Once the decade ended, finding longer length skirts became increasingly tricky and so, eventually, I gave up.

Then I grew up. My style has evolved and the 70s-style maxis that can be found in every high street store this summer are just not my thing. The late 1940s to early 1960s, from where I draw much of my style inspiration, was more about the midi length and there are many of those sorts of skirts around at the moment too. However, midi is not something that flatters those of us with short frames and rounded calves. Maxi really is the only way if you aren’t blessed with waif-like elegance, but that has its own problems, even if you find examples that eschew the 70s trend. “So why are all so suddenly flummoxed by the idea of wearing a longer skirt?” asks Imogen Fox in the Guardian this week. Er, because most shops make them way too long for anyone under 5′ 7″ to even consider, and because they kinda look a bit too summer-y and/or evening-y for the office on a cool spring day.

And don’t even get me started on ‘colour blocking’. Great look, but that phrase is as teeth-grindingly awful as ‘bang on trend’.

Image via colodio‘s Flickr photostream.

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