Fashion & Beauty

Eeny Mini, Midi, Maxi

June 7, 2022

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Short, longer and longest skirts from Lands’ End, Everlane and Farm Rio.

By Janet Kelly

IT ALL started last week when a Wall Street Journal article reported on the reappearance of mini skirts.

Whaaaa? Could you, would you, should you—wear one? we asked. You answered. Thanks!

An Annapolis, Maryland, reader said she was game to wear a mini with dark tights and boots. And that’s a spot-0n way to wear the trend—in winter—but given the number of hot summer days in our future, maybe now could be the ideal time to hoist our hems. After all, many of us are baring—at least the lower part of their legs—in cropped pants and Bermuda shorts. Plus, sportswear sites and catalogues, such as Lands’ End and Athleta, are filled with skorts, swim skirts and the like, all of which should be getting one’s eyes accustomed to seeing more leg. If you’re brave enough to put on a bathing suit . . .

One Pittsburgh reader—in her late 70s—is brave enough to put on a mini with bare legs: “I still wear short dresses and skirts with sandals in the summer. I’m not sure they’re like the minis I wore in the ‘60’s and ’70’s, but I think they look okay—I have slim legs.” Another Pittsburgher says her over-60, buff niece looks terrific in the very short skirts. As a recently retired Philadelphia lawyer wisely observed: “It’s all a question of how you feel in your own skin. If you feel like wearing a mini, go for it.”

A couple of you preferred to wear your skirts just above the knee. “It’s a flattering length on me,” said the Philly lawyer, while a DC-area denizen liked the length “because they’re much cooler” than long skirts. Also, she said finding skirts that fall just below the knees is difficult.

After searching sites for above-the-knee and below-the-knee skirts—looking for ones that not only met the length requirements but also were fashionable—we concur. Pickings were slim, but we did spy a few cute examples from Gucci, Boden, Halsbrook and Zadig & Voltaire.

On the other hand, if midis and maxis are your ideal length for skirts/dresses, guess what? The options are many—in a range of prices—from the likes of Frank & Eileen, Farm Rio and Hill House Home.


LEFT: Athleta advertises its All-Day Skort ($59) “for commuting, work and travel.” Although we can’t imagine it being appropriate for all but the most casual workplaces, it’s sure to feel cool, thanks to a lightweight, stretchy fabric. Built-in shorts eliminate the flash factor and a back zip pocket keeps your smartphone secure.

RIGHT: Mini skirt lengths range from between about 10 and 20 inches long. This Board Skort Swim Skirt  gives you a choice in how high you want your hemline (it’s available in 10-, 14- and 20-inch lengths). A UPF50 protective fabric and three pockets—two in front and one hidden in the waistband—are details that add to its practicality for the beach and beyond. It sells for $64.95 at Lands’ End.

LEFT: An online retailer focusing on high-quality garments for the 50-plus market, Halsbrook curates its clothing collections from more than 100 American and European designers, such as this crisp-but-feminine Aqua Cotton Dress ($415) in that coveted just-below-the-knee length.

RIGHT: The airy, lace-trimmed hem on Zadig & Voltaire’s floral-print skirt ($348), worn together with suede cowboy boots, could make the mini-skirt-averse a convert.

LEFT: Hitting at that sweet spot just below the knee, Gucci’s Drawstring Printed Skirt with text that reads as a love letter to California is delightfully original but requires deep pockets. It sells for a budget-busting $2,100 at Farfetch.

RIGHT: Gentler on the wallet, Boden’s cheery red linen skirt is a perfect length for some and an almost-there for others. The slight flare at the hem puts a bit of a swish in your walk. Hidden pockets and concealed zipper streamline the silhouette. It sells for $98.

LEFT: Made of tissue-thin voile, Frank & Eileen’s midi shirtwaist  (reduced from $288 to $172.80 in this cobalt color) with its lean look and easy-to-roll sleeves is a breezy but polished choice for summer when you want to feel cool but look put together. And, it doubles as a swim coverup.

CENTER: Oliphant Design is known for bold prints and interesting silhouettes, such as this below-the-knee diamond-print caftan, made from cotton voile and appointed with punchy turquoise tassels. It’s $248 and will be available soon, according to the Halsbrook website.

RIGHT: In mid-weight ponte (a tightly woven fabric that holds its shape and appearance), this mini geometric dress, also from Halsbrook, is unfortunately sold out in popsicle orange, with limited size availability in periwinkle, as well as a floral print. Add to your wish list on the site in case it comes back in stock.

LEFT: Easy is how Everlane describes its Button-Front Skirt with pockets, ruffled waistband and side slits. We couldn’t agree more. It sells for $78 and comes in other colors, including black, pewter green and white.

RIGHT: Trademarked by lifestyle brand Hill House, the Nap Dress® is a riff on the house dress—remember those? They’ve been around since at least the 1950s, maybe longer (the style supposedly originated from a Victorian gown), but they’ve recently enjoying a renaissance. Anyway, this midi-length, girly Ellie Dress ($150) is way too cute to nap in. The watercolor design is based on vintage floral prints, in case you were asking.

LEFT: Svelte but structured because of the collar and lean silhouette, the Rory Lived In Linen ($308) dress in denim from Frank & Eileen is only available in limited sizes as are most of the other hues. Linen lovers, rejoice. If you’re on the sidelines about the wrinkles, this dress is not for you. Constant ironing is not a smart solution for summer.

RIGHT: Made from breezy Swiss-dot-cotton voile, Farm Rio’s Jungle Flow Maxi Skirt with a tropical print pattern is made for floating into summer garden parties and barbecues. It’s $195 at Saks Fifth Avenue.


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