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Hemlines 101: How to wear fall's skirt lengths

updated 7:54 AM EDT, Fri November 4, 2011
Make sure your skirt is at least an inch longer than your cardi. Make sure your skirt is at least an inch longer than your cardi.
Mini Straight
Mini A-Line
Mini Full
Knee Straight
Knee A-Line
Knee Full
Midi Straight
Midi A-Line
Midi Full
Long Straight
Long A-Line
Long Full
  • Try new hems with straight, a-line and full cuts
  • A knee length hem is a universally flattering length that is the most office-friendly
  • Heels are generally best with a midi length skirt

( -- MINI: Short skirts are all about showing some leg, but as with so many things, less is more: Tall boots, opaque tights, and even socks send a more subtle message than bare skin and stilettos.

STRAIGHT: Make sure your skirt is at least an inch longer than your cardi.

Cardigan: Wool, H&M, $40; for stores.

Shirt: Cotton-modal, Leroy & Perry, $280;

Skirt: Wool, Harvey Faircloth, $295; 212-575-1500.

Boots: Leather, Daniblack, $325;


Sweater: Felted wool, Lauren Moffatt, $275;

Skirt: Cotton, APC, $210; 212-966-9685.

Socks: Acrylic-cotton, Hue, $14;

Boots: Leather and shearling, Matt Bernson, $275;


Jacket: Cotton and wool-acrylic, IRO, $820; 212-966-3626.

Blouse: Polyester, ASOS, $54;

Skirt: Wool, Opening Ceremony, $290; opening

Tights: Nylon-spandex, Hanes Silk Reflections, $12; for stores.

Lace-ups: Patent leather, Kate Spade New York, $325; 10 hairstyles that are always in style

KNEE: This universally flattering length is also the most office-friendly (read: conservative). But don't be scared to add your own spin. Try a swingy style with ballet flats, or choose lace-up ankle boots for a dose of cool.


Dress Silk, Robert Rodriguez, $345; 213-629-2800.

Bracelet Gold plate, La Petite Princesse, $228;

Heels Suede, Missoni for Target, $40;


Sweater: Cashmere, Inhabit, $322; 516-496-7764.

Shirt: Silk, Madewell, $110;

Skirt:Wool, DKNY, $295; at Lord & Taylor.

Ankle Boots: Suede, Juicy Couture, $325; 212-796-3360.

FULL: Spotlight (or fake) a tiny midsection by tucking a shirt into a voluminous skirt.

T-shirt: Leather, Veda, $385;

Skirt: Wool-silk, Hanii Y, $450; 512-472-5951.

Flats: Velvet, Pretty Ballerinas, $229; 50 best fashion tips of all time

MIDI: When the bottom of your skirt grazes your calves, it's crucial that you highlight your waist to create shape. Tuck in your blouse or opt for a top that hits around the midriff. Heels are generally best with this length, though not a must.


Jacket: Denim, American Eagle Outfitters, $50;

Tank: Cotton-linen, Covet, $42; 804-622-3876.

Skirt: Silk, Suno, $600;

Socks: Cotton-elastane, Falke, $22;

Sandals: Leather, Derek Lam, $790; 212-966-1616.


Sweater: Cashmere, Schumacher, $491; 504-899-4118.

Skirt: Wool, Michael Michael Kors, $110; 866-709-5677.

Ring: Gold plate, Low Luv x Erin Wasson, $76;

Boots: Suede with leather, Rebecca Minkoff, $375;

FULL: Paired with feminine fabrics, oxfords are subversively sexy.

Shirt: Silk and cotton, 3.1 Phillip Lim, $250;

Skirt: Silk georgette, Club Monaco, $150; 212-459-9863.

Brogues: Leather, Paul Smith, $510; 646-613-3060. 10 ways to glossy hair

LONG: Maxi lengths are best on taller figures, but a full skirt shape will flatter even petite types. Whatever your height, pay attention to proportion: Balance a flared bottom with a slim-cut top and vice versa.


Cardigan: Cashmere, Autumn Cashmere, $350; 212-206-0036.

Tanks: Silk crêpe de chine (black), Kolae, $174; Polyester-cotton (gray), Nation LTD, $69;

Skirt: Cotton-viscose, French Connection, $148;

Necklace: Diamond and rhodium with sterling silver, Laura Lobdell, $895; for info.


Boots: Faux leather, Mossimo for Target, $35; at select Target stores.

Sweater: Linen-viscose, BCBG Max Azria, $158;

Skirt: Leather, Sportmax, $1,495; 212-674-1817.

Boots: Suede, Delman, $425;

FULL: Pleats and platforms will elongate your silhouette.

Cardigan: Cashmere, Qi, $130;

Dress: Silk, Tibi, $946;

Belt: Suede, American Apparel, $34;

Pumps: Suede with satin, Pour la Victoire, $250; 12 easy ways to look thinner by tonight

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