There are some clichés in fashion, as there are in anything, and one of the strongest has to be the idea of wearing florals in the springtime. I know I said “forget florals and join me in wearing clothes that remind you of the ultimate lesson of lemons: even if you’re a bit sharp for some tastes, you can still be a MVP in the right combination”, but let’s not be too hasty. Some florals are stylish and avoid falling into the old clichés.
This skirt is from New Zealand designer Charmaine Reveley, and I picked it up from her store in Dunedin a few weeks ago (her website is here for those who aren’t Dunedin-adjacent!). Initially I thought the flowers were hydrangeas, but on closer inspection I realised they were chrysanthemums. Not your usual springtime floral, and a particularly lovely example of the wonderful variety and beauty in nature. So many petals! So many interesting uses.
Not only is the floral pattern in this skirt of itself fairly unusual as a spring motif, the colours are not the obvious spring time shades of pink and pastel. The (dare I say) dingey background colour allows the chartreuse, blue and purple to lift away from the overall print. It is an amazingly textural print, executed on my favourite of faves – a swishy, swishy fabric. At first I was slightly worried I might have bought a skirt that I had nothing to wear with, but this is outing two and I haven’t even cracked into the most obvious pairing I can think of in my wardrobe. The variety of colours and the tones used make it really wearable for me (plus, always an easy cheat, the print includes black!).
As we know, I am a somewhat diminutive lady, so this skirt is rather long on me. Time for three tips around wearing midi-length skirts successfully? Sure!
- Proportion is key. Here I’ve gone for a fitted top in a cropped length, and a pair of shoes that are (a) high and (b) low cut in the front, to elongate what bit of leg is visible
- Maximum swish is my preferred partner to a midi-length. That movement will mean the skirt will be “alive”, rather than a dead shell obscuring your body.
- Crack out a beautiful pattern or texture – anything to get you away from that school uniform look. Plus, a midi length means more fabric on display, so it makes sense for it to be as beautiful as possible!
Midi-skirts have become much more popular in recent times, and I think there’s two things in that for me:
I work in an office – I want to be able to sit on my chair without feeling concerned about my hem length, so I can use that cognitive energy to, y’know, be good at my job. Perhaps one day our society will enter the next stage of its Pokemon lifecycle and hem lengths won’t be a thing that women feel awks about in the workplace, but until that day, I’m definitely thinking about it when I buy skirts and dresses. In this vein, I would be fairly unlikely to wear a crop top to work, but this is a good option with really high waisted skirts and trousers, or if you're getting a bit flashed up on the weekend!
In a connected point, the internet reckons it’s because of the growing market of consumers for modestly designed clothes. I can see there’s something in that, and certainly as I race through my 30s the days of overt sexiness are few and far between. I knew the turning point had come for me when I happened to be walking down Courtney Place on a Saturday evening at about 11.30 (I’d been at the French film festival, tells you everything you need to know right there). Instead of going “ooh, cute outfits!” as I walked past a group of young women sorting their night out on the footpath, I was thinking “oh my gosh, you must be freezing your tits off” and was legitimately concerned for their wellbeing. Who even am I.
What do you think? Is the internet right?