Skirting the issue

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PUT your jeans in storage, the skirt is the summer separate to be seen in.

Don’t panic if your pins aren’t considered to be your best asset because this season sees the introduction of a variety of new skirt styles that don’t require excessive leg flashing.

Designers went to great lengths on the catwalks to make skirts this season’s go-to staple, from short pleats at House of Holland to sweeping maxis at Topshop Unique and the new in-between midi at Chloe.

“Subversively alluring, skirts are spring’s coolest look,” said stylist Georgie Pincus. “They come in a plethora of beautiful fabrics, from feminine chiffon to frills and fringing and the chicest of lace.”

Yes, it’s true skirts require more styling thought than a dress but that makes them more versatile too - teaming with a pretty blouse or casual tee will give you two entirely different looks.

Pick your favourite length and begin your summer flirt with the skirt.

Pleat perfect

Flirty pleats are this season’s skirt detail of choice, particularly in above-the-knee styles.

Forget visions of school uniforms and prefects, these delicate pleats are all about summery floatiness.

“For a soft way to add volume and texture to your outfit, go for a pleat,” Pincus advises. “Pleats worn on a skirt will add elegance to an outfit and, when worn in the right places, will flatter any figure. Pleated skirts will balance out your frame if you are slightly bigger on top as well.”

Beware, shorter styles can be flippy in surprise gusts of wind. A long-line blazer or jacket should add weight and prevent indiscreet moments.

The in-betweener

The calf-length midi skirt is the new kid on the fashion block.

Inspired by romantic ballet references - think Natalie Portman in Black Swan - this skirt length can be trick to master.

“Mid-calf styles don’t suit everyone. The length doesn’t flatter short women,” warns Pincus. “On the other hand, it can be a perfect choice for tall women and for those who wish to camouflage thick legs.”

Keep things simple and opt for a high-waisted style in a plain colour.

Adding height is all important to strutting like a graceful ballerina. Employ the highest heels in your wardrobe and stick to nude tones to elongate your legs.

Maxi-mum coverage

The maxi never goes out of vogue, especially as summer approaches, but this season skirts are the floor-skimming alternative to the long dresses we’re used to.

Mini skirts, be scared. A major shift in proportions is taking place.

“A maxi skirt is a great way to lengthen the body,” says Pincus. “Maxis have become airier, lighter, and more flowing, but if you have a curvy figure, opt for more of a fitted skirt to show off your womanly figure.”

Avoid trips and add towering wedges or platform sandals if you’re lacking in the height department.

Give great maxi by underplaying everything else to let the flowing length do all the work, especially if you’ve opted for a print.

Anti-skirt?

Don’t despair if the tomboy in you can’t bear to be spotted in a skirt. Playsuits and shorts are the androgynous option - with a subtle feminine edge.

Pincus says: “Playsuits with floaty legs can give the illusion of wearing a skirt but you’re still in your comfort zone of the two-leg category!

“Long full shorts are another option - which can be worn more like a skirt as well.”