Let’s start looking at the mechanics of the garment by looking at the different lengths of skirts that are available.
We start with a disclaimer: this is only a general guide, because not all brands use these descriptions, not all skirts come in all these lengths, and so on.
Mini skirts are a good example. Here, I’ve distinguished between a micro skirt and a mini skirt, but not all brands and designers will do that. The lengths that one brand will call micro the next brand will call mini, even though they’re exactly the same length in practice.
But at least by understanding the different lengths that are available, when you come to buy them – especially if you start off by buying your skirts online, rather than buying them in person in a shop – at least you know what you are getting into. Literally.
We distinguish here between micro skirts and mini skirts. In general, a micro skirt is very short, often described as being around 10″ to 17″ in length. Typically a micro skirt will finish just below the crease of the thigh and bum, whereas a mini skirt might finish just above the knee.
Knee length skirts
These are probably the two most obviously named lengths. Knee-length skirts finish at the knee, and below-the-knee skirts finish just below the knee. Some brands may refer to lengths like these as ‘midi’.
Medium length skirts
A midi skirt generally starts around, or just below, the knee; and will finish around, or just above, the ankle. Maxi skirts are, umm, ‘longer than midi skirts’. This is not an exact science, you know. A midi skirt is generally just below a ‘just below the knee’ skirt and a maxi is just below that, but above the ankle.
Again, fairly obvious descriptions. Ankle length skirts will finish around the ankles, i.e. just above the shoes; floor length skirts will cover the shoes and normally rest on the floor whilst the wearer is standing still. Sometimes, maxi length skirts can reach the ankle, but they don’t typically reach the floor.
So; that’s your crash course in the different lengths that skirts come in, and the caveats that come with them. In my experience, mini, midi and maxi are the most common terms used, and so your takeaway here is:
- Mini skirts will finish above the knee
- Midi skirts will finish between the knee and the mid-calf
- Maxi skirts will finish between the mid-calf and the ankle
In the accompanying article, we’ll look at some of the common styles that are available, and there are a lot.