You might know your maxi from your mini, but do you know your peplum from your dirndl? When you're looking for one more skirt to finish off your perfect office or night out wardrobe, do you know what you're looking for? It's not always easy to distinguish between the vocab used to describe skirt types; sometimes they're referring to length, sometimes shape, and some retailers take terms to be interchangeable. That's why we've put together this nifty little slideshow that describes the most popular skirt styles. We've thrown in a couple of classics and gimmies, just to make it all crystal clear.
By now you should be well acquainted with the maxi skirt, so called due to its sole-skimming length. A major trend brought back to life from the 70s, we love casual jersey knit maxis for casual weekend jaunts. Throw on a pair of tights and boots underneath for extra warmth or wear sandals during warm summer days.
$34.20 at ASOS.
Fit and Flare
Fit and flare is a subjective term in the fashion world that can mean a variety of lengths and shapes. Add a ruffle and it can be billed as a "ruffle" skirt. Shorter versions are often called "circle" skirts. We're more literal with our interpretation. It's snug on your waist and/or your hips and then flares out to a full mid and bottom section. Think of it as a catchall name to describe shape.
$800 at Stylebop.
This is specific. The tulip skirt is shaped like the bud of a tulip upside down. Usually it flares out at the hips, such as this confection, and then tapers inward at the hem. Some tulip skirts have one layer of fabric overlapping another with an upside down "V" opening at the front, mimicking the flower's petals.
$19.80 at Forever21.
Click on the link and you'll see this is called a "circle" skirt, which is a common alternative to the more specific term, dirndl. Dirndl skirts are German in origin and it's the term rather than the shape that's become a recent trend. It's basically a long fit and flare that has a hem hitting just below your knees.
$1,115 at Matches.
You know this one, but it's a classic. The slim-shaped pencil skirt is workwear legend. We love this vegan leather version from Tinley. Affordable and chic.
$59.99 at Piperlime.
Think of a trumpet skirt as one that starts out as a pencil and with the addition of a flared ruffle hem takes on the shape of a band instrument.
$38 at Max Studio.
You can't mess this term up, as it means the same regardless of length. Party in the front, business in back. Both loathed and loved by fashion editors, the hi-lo skirt allows you to show some leg by being shorter in front than in back.
$68.41 at ASOS.
The midi can be any shape, the name is about length. Most often it's a pencil shape that happens to hit below the knee.
$73.50 at Nicole Miller.
The peplum gives you hip action either in the form of two separate additions of fabric adorning each hip, or as a kind of tiny little short skirt sewn on top of a mini or midi pencil.
$2,450 at Neiman Marcus.