What is a Layered Skirt?

Time to spruce up your outfit of the day ensembles and add layered skirts to your everyday outfits. Learn how to wear layered skirts, materials to use and where to get them.

This is a woman fluttering her red tulle layered skirt.
  • Learn how to wear a trendy layered skirt
  • Let us show you how you can fit a layered skirt into any outfit for any occasion
  • Discover the history of layered skirts and how they are still worn today

Whether it’s summer or winter, spring or fall, there are some of us who just cannot go without wearing a dress or a skirt. The good news is you don’t have to go without it. Skirts are always in, and layered skirts are so versatile that you can wear them in so many different ways and whenever you want! Read on to find out more about this wonderfully unique piece of clothing.

What is a layered skirt?

This is a colorful multi-layered tutu tulle skirt.

A layered skirt, often referred to as a tiered skirt, consists of layers of fabric that are arranged one on top of the other. In a layered skirt, these layers aren’t attached to one another and hang freely to create a skirt. The layers can differ in width, length, and thickness and are usually ruffled. Each layer can have a different type of fabric and be a different color. A tiered skirt also has layers, but the layers are joined together and are attached at the hemline, making it appear as if the skirt has several tiers.

Layered skirts can look trendy and stylish in every season and for almost every occasion. Whether you want to enjoy a day at the beach, attend a concert, have a casual day, or look professional at work, there will always be a layered skirt style suited to the occasion!                 

Is the layered skirt in style today?

Some fashion trends seem to be on a loop, and the layered skirt is one of them. Layered skirts of all styles are available and in style today. Ruffles and layers are still in style, and whether you prefer a mini-skirt, a maxi skirt, or something in-between, there’s something for everyone.

Today, layered skirts very much give a bohemian feel to any outfit. If you want to embrace your inner “hippie,” or add a gypsy touch to your wardrobe, then a layered skirt is what you need. Pair your skirt with the right top and the right shoes, and you will be very much in style!

What fabrics/materials can be used to make a layered skirt?

This is a close look at a pink delicate sheer fabric.

Lightweight fabrics are the best option. Cotton, linen, satin, and silk are the best choices, especially if you want your skirt to have many layers without hanging down too flat. Avoid any fabrics that are thick and heavy, as they will weigh the skirt down.

As for prints and colors, the possibilities are endless! A layered skirt can have any print, from stripes to polka-dots to flowers to leopard-print… anything that suits your style and your personality.

Layered skirts can be made in literally any color. Sheer and denim fabrics can be used to spice up the look, and colors may be alternated between the layers. No skirt ever has to look the same as the next!

Different layered skirt styles

There are a few different styles of layered skirts. The style depends on the number of layers, the length of the layers, and the shape of the layers. Some layered skirts can have extra ruffles or trims attached. You can even turn other styles of skirts into layered skirts by simply adding layers. Let’s look at a few popular layered skirt styles.

Short layered skirt

Floerns Women's Striped High Waist Layered Ruffle Hem Mini Skirt White L

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A short layered skirt is like a mini skirt. They can have between 2-5 ruffled layers that end at mid to high thigh. Teenage girls and younger ladies usually prefer this flirty, casual type of skirt. It is a great look for springtime and summertime and adds a playful touch to any outfit.

Long layered skirt

Allegra K Women's Floral A-Line Elastic Back Ruffle Hem Tiered Flowy Midi Skirt X-Small White

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A long layered skirt usually ends just above the ankles or at the ankles. Long-layered skirts are more conservative and can be worn by women of all ages to create a feminine and elegant look. These types of skirts are also appropriate as work attire. They can make any businesswoman appear classy and feminine without compromising on professionalism.

Layered midi-skirt

Free People Women's Zuma Drippy Ruffle Skirt, Size 4 - Red

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Add some layers to a midi-skirt and you have a layered midi-skirt! These skirts range in length from just below the knees to mid-calf. Depending on the color and fabric, a layered midi-skirt can be worn to create both a casual look and a professional look. 

Diagonal layered skirt

SheIn Women's Wrap Tie Side Ruffle Trim High Waist Plaid Short Mini Skirt Black Plaid Medium

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A diagonal layered skirt has layers that are cut at an angle. It draws the gaze from left to right (or vice versa) from the top of the diagonal line to the bottom. Diagonal skirts are usually mid-length or longer skirts.

The degree of the diagonal line can differ depending on the style of the skirt. More vertical diagonal lines tend to be slimming and add length, whilst more horizontal diagonal lines shorten and add width.

Tie front layered skirt

Jeanewpole1 Womens Asymmetrical Ruffle Hem Tie Knot Front Mini Skirt

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A tie-front layered skirt can be any type of layered skirt that has a flattering tie or bow at the front, usually at the center of the skirt. It is a cute add-on if you are wanting a girly, playful look. Larger bows may also be used to create a statement look.

Layered tulle skirt

ebossy Women's Sweet Elastic Waist Tulle Layered Ruffles Mesh Long Tiered Skirt (Small, White)

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Tulle is a great fabric for creating a sheer layered skirt. It can be used to make an interesting ruffled and fluffed outskirt that will create a very chic outfit when paired with the right top and a pair of heels. It is a great option for any season but can be especially comfortable in summer due to its lightweight, fine texture.

Asymmetrical layered skirt

Femiserah Women's Long Rainbow A Line Tulle Tutu Skirts Tiered Skirt Petticoat (Tulle Pink)

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As the name implies, an asymmetrical layered skirt has layers that may be higher in the front, on the side, or at the back. The layers aren’t cut according to a specific pattern. Rather, some of them are more diagonal, some are straighter, some are longer, and some are shorter. These skirts may appear unusual, but their uniqueness makes for a very interesting and beautifully stylish look.

Ruffled tiered skirt

HAEOF Women's Boho Elastic High Waist A Line Ruffle Swing Beach Maxi Skirt Pink

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A ruffled tiered skirt is a type of layered skirt where the layers don’t hang freely or separate from one another. Instead, the layers are joined to each other, creating one piece of fabric that appears to have different tiers. Ruffled tiered skirts can range in length from short to long, with the ruffles adding an interesting, feminine touch to the skirt.

How do you wear a layered skirt?

A layered skirt is such a versatile piece and can be used to create a whole variety of outfits. No one will even notice if you wear the same skirt twice in a week, because the items you pair it with can change the whole look!

Here as some ideas on how to make the most of your layered skirt:

  • For a casual, yet classy outfit, pair a black layered midi-skirt with a loose emerald sweatshirt and some ankle-strap low-heeled shoes and add a mini bag as an accessory.
  • If you’re going for an elegant look, pair a neutral midi-skirt with a navy-blue or black military jacket and a pair of heels. Add a beret to add an extra touch of chic to the outfit.
  • Rock that layered skirt during wintertime by pairing a mini- or midi skirt with sheer stockings, your favourite high-heel boots and a cozy long-sleeved shirt tucked into the skirt. You can add a leather or a demin jacket for some extra warmth.
  • For a cheerful springtime outfit you can pair a floral top with a beige or neutral layered skirt, some pumps and a pretty scarf. Accessorize the look with a bracelet and some earrings.
  • Look professional, yet classy by pairing a black layered midi-skirt with a white button-up shirt and black open-toe heels. If you want to appear even more confident and business-like, throw in a blazer to finish off the look.  

What are the pros and cons of layered skirts?

Pros:

  • These skirts are versatile and unique
  • They come in a variety of different lengths
  • Different styles of layering can be used to balance out your figure
  • They add an interesting flare to any outfit
  • They can be paired with all types of shoes, jackets and tops

Cons:

  • Some types of layered skirts do not compliment all body types
  • Not everyone will appreciate the unique style
  • They can look frumpy if styled wrong

There are far more advantages than disadvantages when it comes to layered skirts. These skirts allow you to embrace your femininity and can spice any outfit that would otherwise look dull and boring!

History of layered skirts

This is a woman wearing a floral layered skirt and a pair of flip-flops.

Skirt designs and styles have come a very long way, with layered skirts dating all the way back to the 1850s! If you wanted to be fashionable in the 1850s, then a layered skirt (or dress) with lots of flounces was the way to go. Some dresses had only three to five layers, whilst others could have dozens and dozens of layers with lots of frills and ruffles.

The many layers gave all the dresses a voluminous dome-like shape. The more money you had, the more layers you could add to the skirt of the dress. Different fabrics that were used were silk, cotton, and muslin. A popular trend was to add fringe trim to the layers, along with velvet ribbons and flowers.

At around 1865, layered skirts started to change a bit. Instead of having layers all around the skirt, the emphasis moved towards losing volume at the front of the skirt and adding more layers to the back of the skirt. This fashion trend continued up until the end of the 1880s. The 1890s brought along a full-length straight skirt with an A-line shape.

The layered skirt made a comeback in the 1980s, and was called the “rah rah skirt”. The rah-rah skirt is a short skirt with a few layers and flounces that originated in cheerleading and quickly became a popular fashion trend, especially amongst teenage girls. This trend continued through the early 1980s.

In the early 2000s, the ultra-ruffled layered skirt made an appearance. This skirt had many layers that were different lengths, asymmetrical, and often two tones. The peasant skirt was a type of tiered skirt, usually up to the mid-calf in length. This skirt gave off a bohemian, relaxed, and breezy look. This skirt appeared similar to the style that was popular in the 1980s, with some added ruffles and interesting cuts.

From there, layered skirts progressed into what we see today – a mix of all the different styles and designs throughout their history!

Where can you buy a layered skirt?

You will find that there are many different varieties of this skirt available at the click of a button! You will find layered skirts on online stores when you search for “tiered skirts” or “layered skirts”. Some sites use these terms interchangeably. Some of my favorite sites that offer a huge variety include the following:

  • Etsy
  • Amazon
  • Lyst
  • Zara
  • Asos
  • Thredup

If you’ve been wanting a layered skirt for a very long time, now is the time to finally go and buy it! What are you waiting for?

How much does a layered skirt cost?

The cost greatly depends on the brand, and also the materials and fabrics used to make the skirt. Generally, you’re looking at anything from $10 up to $1500 for a skirt. Also, consider the length and the type of layered skirt when it comes to cost. If more skill and material were required to make the skirt, it will reflect in the price.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many layers can layered skirts have?

There is no set rule in fashion as to how many layers a layered skirt should have. A layered skirt can have as many layers as you want it to have. More layers will add more fullness and flare to the skirt. Longer skirts usually have more layers than shorter skirts, but they don’t have to. It all depends on the look you want to create.

Do layered skirts look good on all body shapes?

Layered skirts with ruffles can visually add weight, making a person appear bigger than they are. This is mostly true for shorter ladies with curvy figures. Skirts with many layers add fullness and generally look best on tall women with a balanced or slim figure.

Women with wider shoulders will look great with a layered skirt, as the skirt will balance out their figure by adding some volume to the lower body. Short, petite, and rounder figures can also wear layered dresses but should avoid too many layers. Multiple layers will create too many horizontal layers and will make you appear shorter.

Am I too old to wear a layered skirt?

Women of any age can wear a layered skirt. Older women would feel more comfortable and appear more flattering in longer skirts in darker or neutral colors. Fewer layers look the best and will give them a sleek, feminine look. Younger ladies may opt for brighter colors and flaunt their legs in a mini-skirt or midi-skirt. They can also wear long, floral skirts for a touch of elegance.

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