If you dress modestly, you know that modest skirts are the workhorses of your everyday wardrobe. But do you really know how to shop for skirts? By paying attention to just a few basic principles, you’ll have an easier time when you next go skirt shopping at the mall. You’ll also have an easier time finding the look that matches your body – and your lifestyle.
The Hips Have It
The drape of a skirt begins at your hips. That’s why – when it comes to skirts – your particular hip-shape is crucial to making the right fashion choice.
Fuller-hipped, curvy women should look for A-line skirts that flare out toward the hemline. This de-emphasizes the mid-section, and creates a more streamlined, elegant line.
Straight-hipped women who wish to emphasize their curves are better served by pencil skirts. Gently hugging the hips and becoming narrower toward the hemline, pencil skirts define an hourglass silhouette that – if it’s not taken to an extreme – can be elegant, tasteful and 100% modest. If you want to further accentuate the pencil skirt’s hourglass effect, try tucking in your top, or wearing a cinch belt at the natural waist.
Hemline – How to Decide?
Skirts that fall just below the knee are universally flattering. But if you choose to go lower – to a midi or maxi length – here are some things to keep in mind.
While undeniably modest, for some women, midi skirts can be a fashion failure. That’s because they tend to fall right on the widest part of the calves. If your legs are thick rather than lean, or if you’re of below-average height, midi-length skirts may not be the best choice for you.
How about shopping for long skirts? Again, short women – as well as Petites – should be extra careful, because maxis can make you look even smaller than you are – to the point of even looking “stumpy” (and nobody wants that!). To avoid this pitfall when shopping for maxi skirts, choose one that fits snugly around your hips and thighs. This makes it more likely that you’ll achieve a look that is both modest and elegant.
When shopping for long skirts, remember: your goal is to dress modestly, not to disappear! Rather than choosing skirts that fall to the floor, try a hemline that reaches to the thinnest part of your ankles. This creates the flattering illusion of slim legs in the context of a modest outfit.
Starting a new grade in elementary school? Heading off college? No matter what stage our daughters are at, they want to have fun, make new friends, and… look fabulous.
And why not? There’s nothing wrong with making a fashionable statement based on eye-catching outfits that express your daughter’s spirit within the boundaries of modesty. So moms, when you head out to the mall to update your daughter’s wardrobe with some back-to-school shopping, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Let your daughter take the lead about colors and styles – while you set the tone about what constitutes “kosher” coverage. You’re sure to find solutions that will make you both happy, and have a good time shopping, too.
Back to School With A Smile
Here are ten tips to get you started:
- A flattering jean skirt is essential for every girl’s wardrobe, but skirts don’t have to be boring, or look like a stuffy school uniform. Look for fun appliqués or flounces (for younger girls) or a sophisticated drape (for high school and college students). Because they go with everything, jean skirts are the foundation of flexible and modest dressing.
- Stock up on casual pencil skirts in a variety of solid colors. This will give your daughter inspiration in the morning, so she can mix and match to create fun new looks.
- Even non-dressy girls appreciate a comfortable dress that slips over the head and gets her out of the door fast. Whether it’s made of tee-shirt material or a more substantial fabric, look for a dress that’s simple enough to be dressed up with some jewelry or a wide belt, or dressed down (a baseball cap worn fashionably backwards and high-top sneakers?).
- Speaking of flexibility, you’ll want to buy more tops than bottoms when you’re shopping with your girls. Pair your school skirts with elegantly casual tees with ¾ length sleeves, or a boat-neck collar. Button-down shirts that skim over the skirt’s waistline are crisp and fashionable choices for fall days on campus.
- If your daughter’s looking for fun fashion, relax – you can afford it. Along with simple colored shirts, stripes and plaids, stock up on bright and inexpensive logo tees that will give your daughter a chance to express her personal style.
- Want to vary the look? Add more interest to a basic top by adding a stylish vest – denim is a good choice to match those jean skirts. Every girl should have two or three outer garments for layering as fall turns to winter, whether it’s a hoodie, pullover, or long sleeve button down cardigan.
- Don’t forget workout clothes. If your daughter’s school has a specific policy about “Phys Ed” fashion, you can probably rest assured that the girls will be steered toward appropriate and modest active wear. But if the school doesn’t supply the dress code, you can step up to the plate. From long basketball shorts to covered sports skirts with leggings, there are a lot of options out there. Find something colorful and comfortable, and your daughter will probably find fashionable uses for them outside of gym class.
- Accessories are make-or-break items for casual back-to-school fashions, but you don’t have to break the bank. Set limits and ground rules with your daughter, but let her do her own shopping in this department. You’ll be surprised how many hair ornaments, belts and bangles she finds that bring her in under budget!
- Shoes, did anyone mention shoes? Before you head out to the store, take a back-to-school inventory. For growing girls, a new pair of school shoes is essential. Your daughter will also need sneakers for gym, boots for wet/snowy weather, and a pair of Mary Jane’s or dressy flats.
- Finally, find the accessories your daughter needs to keep organized. For younger kids, consider purchasing a roller backpack or a backpack with straps. A cute lunchbox will make your daughter feel special, and might even encourage her to eat her vegetables!
I recently attended an appointment at a local public school. I must admit, I have not stepped foot in one (for various and sundry reasons) in a very, very long time. From the second I walked on to the school grounds, I was SHOCKED!!! Never mind school uniforms; I think a music video allowed to play only after 10 pm featured more modest clothing than what the people at this particular school were wearing. In the first ten steps, I saw belly-bearing tank tops, super micro mini shorts, an A line skit that was more of a no line skirt and jeans hanging so low to the ground; I had to physically restrain myself from pulling them up! And these were just the teachers!
I, myself, attended public school in the somewhat distant past (after the dinosaurs but before cell phones). While there was no school dress code, there was a broadly accepted, unspoken line that was not crossed. We did not wear anything that was more appropriate for the beach than for the classroom: no shorts; no sleeveless tops, no bellybutton baring t-shirts. It wasn’t that we dressed more modestly because we had some higher consciousness that dictated our clothing choices. We did not call it modest clothing, we just called it appropriate school clothing. We simply did not have the blurred line between the appropriate and the x-rated.
I had the biggest urge to call an emergency assembly in the school auditorium and give the kids (AND teachers, AND the administration) some fashion tips. Girls! If you want to attract attention, put on a comfy cotton t-shirt, a classy knee-length skirt and leave a little to the imagination. Boys! A short sleeve polo shirt and a nice pair of khaki pants makes you look polished and smart. Teachers! Dress respectfully and age-appropriate and watch your students take you just a little more seriously. Maybe we don’t need a school dress code for the class, but school clothing with some class!
My oldest daughter just started first grade, and let me tell you- I’ve completely forgotten the rules and regulations that accompany attendance at elementary school. In addition to purchasing a very specific type of notebook, a backpack with a certain number of pockets, a precise number of pencils, markers and crayons, I also had to fill her closet with a sufficient number of school skirts that cover her knee but still give her enough mobility to play actively- and to look adorable at all times.
I guess I should mention that we have 3 daughters, so I was hoping to find quality school skirts that would service my girls for the next few years. After failing at the most obvious chain stores, I began to ask around about specialty stores might carry the treasure I was hunting. One of my friends suggested Kosher Casual…and, I’d like to say that the rest is history.
Velour School Skirt
I loved the black velour school skirt so much that I actually bought one for my second daughter as well. And at $10, a probably should have bought one for daughter #3! The girls love wearing them to school and for special events because the fabric can be dressed up or dressed down. (I just love them because they’re easy to wash and don’t pill or tear even after dozens of uses).
Another favorite of the girls was the knee-length tiered denim skirt, which makes a great girls school skirt because it keeps their legs warm during the winter and is loose and cool in the summer. My daughter loves the tiered denim skirt for another reason as well- it enables her to wear pants under her skirt on gym days without having to change for gym during the day.
Although the girls schools skirts that I purchased from Kosher Casual are only a few months old, I’m thrilled that they are still looking fantastic- and that the girls still love wearing them. I know that next year when I need to buy skirts in the next size I’ll know exactly where to go. Which, of course, will give me more time for finding the exact writing implements that my children’s teachers request!