Classic, casual and oh-so comfortable. For me, denim skirts are a wardrobe staple. Not only do they get me out of the house in the morning – looking good – denim skirts get me through the day with style that can be dialed up or down, depending on the occasion.
Notice that I said denim “skirts”, meaning more than one. While some people might dismiss denim skirts as just Levis without the legs, there’s actually a wide range of denim skirt styles out there.
So don’t settle. Instead of choosing just a “generic” denim skirt, make the most of this fashion essential by shopping for designs that look best on your body, and fit your individual fashion style.
Classic Details – Or Not
The classic blue denim work pants created by Levi Strauss have become a symbol of America, and also create a classic template from which to launch your own fashion statement. Pair it with anything from a t-shirt to a cashmere turtleneck, choose an eye-catching belt or let your top skim over the waistband, and you’re in business.
Some women prefer a smooth, pocket-free look, and in this department, denim skirts can also fit the bill. A hidden zipper on the side or in the center of the back make this type of denim skirt the basis of a casual, yet elegant silhouette.
Beyond Blue, Beyond Denim
Denim skirt materials vary, and you can make the most of your outfit by choosing the one that works for you. Heavy denim can be “doctored” with a touch of spandex, or replaced altogether with a stretch twill that provides the denim skirt look, without the bulk. You can also find denim skirts with full spandex waistbands, designed to be hidden under an un-tucked top.
From light to dark blue, to black, to every color of the rainbow – you can find denim skirt styles that “push the fashion envelope” while still giving you the classic, casual look you adore.
Special Style Options
If you – or your daughter – want a kicky alternative to classic, try a ruffle denim skirt, or a tiered cut that takes denim to a new and interesting level.
Denim skirts can also be distinctive on the long and short ends of the scale. Some floor-length denim skirts are built from vertical panels that add style, while flattering fuller figures. If you feel comfortable with a higher hemline, a denim skirt’s everyday appeal allows you the option of pairing it with leggings, colorful tights or – especially in winter – a fabulous pair of boots.
In short (or in long) – denim skirts help you make the most out of what’s already in your closet, by giving you a flexible jumping-off point for fashion, creativity and fun. Enjoy!
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!
Well, the data is in, and it confirms what so many of us already knew. So why aren’t children’s clothing designers – especially the ones who design outfits for our little girls – paying attention?
A team of social psychologists recently published an academic study about how clothing choices affect how children are perceived by adults. According to the study, when children dress in “sexualized” clothing – a general category that includes skin-revealing cuts, as well as garments decorated with provocative images or text – adults are significantly less likely to believe these children to be intelligent, competent, or responsible.
The Numbers Show…
In the study, 162 male and female volunteers from an American liberal arts college were shown one of three images of the same fifth-grade girl, manipulated by computer software so that her clothing was either childlike, somewhat sexualized, or definitely sexualized. In each case, the child was also described in terms of her level of accomplishment – either average, or above average.
No surprise: When participants in the experiment were presented with the image in highly sexualized clothing and the girl was described as “above average”, the response – as reflected in the answers given to a set of standard questions – was: You must be joking.
Teach Kids to Dress for Respect
Most adults understand that they have to dress appropriately if they want to be taken seriously. But for kids, what constitutes “appropriate” is never clearly defined, and this can have serious social consequences.
Full A-line Skirt with Elastic Waist
Even the most responsible parents can be uncomfortable about exerting authority over clothing choices that – in many cases – haven’t truly crossed the line. After all, if parents are seen as obsessing about a hemline that’s too short, or a shirt that shows a little too much shoulder, children are likely to dig in their heels, and insist on just those outfits that push parental buttons.
But if we want children to respect our values, we have to clearly define what those values are. This includes listening to your child, and coming to a workable agreement about what it means to dress appropriately, within mutually-acceptable limits of modesty.
From Worst-case Scenario to Best Results
Modest dressing is often presented to children in terms of avoiding danger. We all want to keep our children safe, and it is unfortunately true that too-provocative clothing may in some instances invite dangerous, inappropriate attention.
But one of the best ways we can protect children is to teach children about the powerful, emotional impact that our clothing choices can have. Scientific research has confirmed that it’s possible to dress – not just for success – but for respect.
You want to dress your little ones in cute, modest clothing. Your kids just want to dress themselves. Encourage their independence AND guarantee a matching, modest outfit. We’ll tell you how.
To pretty much guarantee your children can pick out their own clothes all by themselves AND look presentable and modest, I have two words for you: Neutral bottoms.
This is a great trick I discovered years ago. With plain bottoms—knee-length denim skirts or jeans are a great example—your kids can spice it up with colorful tops, but still coordinate. (Though my daughter does have an interesting habit of pairing neutrals with neutrals. “If I wear a brown skirt, I should wear a brown shirt.” Yes, if you are dressing up like dirt.)
Tips for Easy Self-Dressing
- Avoid “outfits.” Stay away from any skirt+ shirt or pants + shirt combo. I dislike “outfits” because the colors and patterns are designed to look good only together, so you can’t pair them with a different top or bottom. This is limiting! I protest! And it’s a morning fashion disaster waiting to happen, because you just know one of the pieces will be AWOL. (Tip: It was used as a blanket for a stuffed animal, fell behind your child’s bed when they were “cleaning up” and is serving as the local community center for a population of dust bunnies.)
- Knee-length denim skirts. Many schools require modest length skirts for girls. Or maybe you just hate the child-in-a-miniskirt look. Either way, there are plenty of knee-length denim skirts (or longer lengths) to choose from. Denim, truly, is a girl’s best friend—it goes with anything, and during the colder months, it looks great with a cute pair of leggings underneath.
- Sport skirts. For a change from denim and a softer feel, go for a versatile and functional knee-length “sport” skirt. Sport skirts are made of a soft knit material and move easily. In shades of blues, brown, black or gray, your daughter can pair it with a brightly colored shirt and be ready for an action-packed day.
- Jeans. Like the denim skirt, a good pair of jeans is a must-have for boys. It’s easy to coordinate with shirts and very comfortable. A dark wash of jeans could even be appropriate for a more formal occasion. (Really! Try pairing a dark pair of jeans with a button-down shirt and see how debonair he looks. Sunglasses not included.)
What are your tried and true kid-dressing tips?
The school year is about the end, and summer is just around the corner. Hooray! No more rushing to prepare school lunches and waking up at the break of dawn for carpool! Now it is my time to relax. No wait, I almost forgot that it is time for summer camp! Usually during this time, I panic about the preparations for my kids‘ summer camp. My eldest kids usually go to sleep away camp for nearly 2 months, so I have many things to organize and buy. I have to be especially prudent and plan ahead of time, so I don’t wind up in the same unfortunate situation as last year. Last year, I left buying all the summer camp clothing at the last minute, which resulted in not finding everything and my kids throwing fits. This year, I’m very proud of myself. I put together a list with the help of my kids, listing all the things we need to buy for camp.
At the top of my summer camp clothing essentials were casual and sports skirts. Camp is all about casual and comfort is the key. Knee length casual cotton skirts are great for summer camp as they are very cool and comfortable. Playing sports can be tricky while wearing modest clothing, but there are athletic skirts that are comfortable, flexible, and modest.
I originally forgot to include sports skirts on my list. Luckily, my daughter reminded me to about getting a couple sports skirts, since laundry is not done that often in camp. The mesh sports skirt is fun as it looks just like mesh basketball shorts. The French terry Lycra one has some stretch and is great for running, walking, and sport. Modest running skirts are also on the list, but hard to find, so start looking early. I bought a running skirt with built — in leggings which is super comfortable. Now my daughters can enjoy rock climbing and playing sports without any fear of being exposed!
Enjoy an active summer!