As we know from this post, I have some fairly conservative ideas about skirts lengths for work. I’ll wear a heavy satin maxi skirt, or some confection made of chiffon, but if I wore something above the knee I felt deeply uncomfortable. So colour me surprised when AW2017 dawned, and with it an intense interest in short skirts.
It started with dabbling last winter when I bought a black wool mini skirt from Glassons, which I loved with black tights and ankle boots, chunky jumpers and basically every basic b*tch outfit combo ever recorded on Pinterest. Slowly but surely, long skirts with black tights began to feel a little boring – even dowdy – when worn unrelentingly through the darkest months of the year. So this year, I decided to find a few skirts that rise above the knee that, unlike my black wool friend, I could wear to work.
As we all know the Hemline Index suggests that hemlines rise as share prices rise; that is, when the economy is good, skirts are short (and thus, parties are improved all round). However, hold off calling the Reserve Bank, since two of my new skirt acquisitions were picked up from Marcs in the closing down sale. This little textured, navy and black number, is from Forever New.
How do you get away with a short skirt in a work environment? I’m not overly concerned about being taken seriously at this point – my employer has given me plenty of responsibility so I suspect they don’t think I’m an idiot, and I imagine any potential harassers in my workplace have filed me under “strange woman who seems to always be striding about like she’s about to start a war: possible lesbian”. However, I’m keen to maintain my own sense of how chic I am and apart from anything else, I don’t have time to hoick my skirt down every time I sit down. Basically, I bought this skirt ‘cause I like it and I don’t want to play myself by feeling uncomfortable in it, psychologically or physically.
For me, the skirt must be longer than your fingertips when your hands are by your sides. It will still ride up when you sit down, because it’s fitted, but nobody will be able to see up it. My cardinal rule for work dressing is: I don’t want to see up it, down it, or through it.
I also think tights are the best. I strongly strongly recommend Bonds comfy tops in opaque or very opaque. They are a miracle – no horrible waistband that digs in and disrupts your digestive system. Plus, in the highest denier they are (a) warm(ish) and (b) maintain your dignity. Slap on a pair of high, high block heels and watch yourself transform into someone much more gamine than you ever anticipated; wear some ankle boots and feel a bit tough. Similarly, I’m all about a high necked, fitted jumper or a chunky, tucked in knit on the top half. Apart from anything else, you need to retain whatever body heat possible since your legs are out and merrily radiating all the heat they can. Get a great coat.
Finally, buy your short skirt in a good fabric. Something woven like a jacquard, or a dense wool, will look much smarter than a thin cotton or viscose blend at this time of year. Try to channel Paris or Berlin in winter (early winter, before it gets so freezing that style goes out the window…). However, please remember that a beret is a look that requires a lot of confidence.
Skirt: Forever New, available now. Coat: Wilson Trollope from years ago, but ohmygod check out this season’s offerings (*dies*). Merino jersey: last season at Glassons, they stock this stuff every year and it lasts surprisingly well even if you machine wash it with your towels by accident. Shoes: Minx, I bought these at SaveMart but these and these are gorgeous options on the site now.