Fun fact: Since Joseph Altuzarra’s debut collection for Fall 2009, the designer has sent out more than 200 slitted looks (that’s over a nine-year period, for those of you doing the math at home). He’s the master of the skin-baring phenomenon known as “Angelina Jolie leg.”
But who doesn’t love a slit? No one, it seems. Searches for the edgy, sexy-yet-chic detail are way up on Pinterest; saves for “side slits” have increased by 147 percent over the past year, according to the photo-sharing platform’s latest trend report.
Of course, you don’t have to be a data scientist to recognize that arty flashes of skin are in. At the Spring 2018 shows, we caught glimpses of legs, thighs, midriffs and shins at, yes, Altuzarra, but also Esteban Cortázar, Chloé, Paco Rabanne, Dries Van Noten, Christian Dior, Trussardi, Fendi, Versace, Michael Kors, Monse and Proenza Schouler, to name just a few.
Slits are all about hinting at what lies beneath without being overly “look at me, look at me.” In the winter, when we prefer more coverage, slits are especially useful — a front slit on a dress or a tunic instantly improves a modest, layered look, whether or not you’re actually baring any skin. With every shift in body movement, your outfit takes on a new shape, new life.
Not to mention a well-placed slash maximizes the comfort level of curve-hugging pencil skirts. Pants with slits — especially those that run down the front seam — flatter and elongate the leg and allow your statement shoes to show themselves. And while we’re on the subject of layering, slitted tunics and midi dresses add a tinge of sex appeal to the ever-popular dress-over-pants look (they reveal just enough midriff to draw attention, but not early-2000s references). And, as demonstrated time and time again by Demna Gvasalia, midi and maxi slit dresses also look killer with mega-high boots, another oh-so-current trend.
Generally speaking, when slits are involved, you want to play with lines. One easy, eye-grabbing option is to reach for a cool graphic dress wherein the slit is nearly lost in the pattern, then pair it with shockingly white (or red) heels. Or you could go the Monse route and do straight-leg jeans with a top with an off-kilter neckline that complements its strategically slashed hemline. Or, per Proenza, add edge to 5-to-9 suiting by pairing a breezy, center-slit skirt with nothing but a blazer up top (buttoned once to mirror the cut of your bottom).
Street style soothsayer Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert also believes in the “peep show up top, peep show below” look — note how she tones down her skin-flashing leather skirt with a delicate pussybow blouse made slightly less prim by its own chest-baring slit.
As with all things, balance is key. The more skin you show on your lower half, the less you want to show below. For instance, a slit-to-the-waist, deep-V maxi dress calls for wide-leg pants. Alternatively, you can also offset the va va voom factor of an ultra-revealing skirt by lining its hem with peekaboo lace or ruffles. Cute, no?
Ahead, 20 fun slitted pieces to get you started.