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Dress skirts are tricky. It’s the one element of a suit that can differentiate us from men but at the same time, it can cause us to stand out for the wrong reason. And nobody wants that. So here are some pointers to make sure you look uniquely feminine and professional in your dress skirt:

Pointer #1: It should be an appropriate length, especially when you sit down.

  • Sitting down is a little trick that’ll let you know for sure if it’s too short. If your skirt goes past mid-thigh when you sit down, you need a longer skirt.

Pointer #2: You should be able to walk normally.

  • This one seems obvious but if you cannot walk unless you do a catwalk, your skirt is probably too tight. Get one that gives you more room between your legs to walk, normally.
  • If it has a slit by the side or back, this also should not go past mid-thigh when you sit down.

Pointer #3: It should sit comfortably between your belly button and your lower waist.

  • Again, if you sit down and you feel tightness, a pinch, can’t breathe or your skirt pulls up several inches, it’s too small.

Pointer #4: It should flatter your figure.

  • You know your body best. If your tummy is your weak area, get a skirt that takes attention away from your midsection. If you have a wide waist, get a skirt that will not further accentuate it.

The goal with a skirt is to show form but not flaunt what you have. It’s a tricky balancing act. But once you’ve seen what’s right on others, it’ll help narrow down what you’re looking for. Here are some visual aids:

This skirt is on point! Doesn't she look sharp?

This skirt is on point! Doesn’t she look sharp?


This skirt is too short – not appropriate. Imagine her sitting down…

Here are some more pictures of good dress skirts…

I hope this clarifies skirts for business formal – it’s also just good practice even for casual skirts. Next topic…dresses! My personal favorite.