What to Wear with a Skirt?

Here is an in-depth instructional and general guide on how to properly wear skirts, what goes together, what clashes, how to pair shoes and even the right underwear.

This is a close look at a woman wearing a green skirt, beige blouse and beige hat.

I absolutely adore skirts. I love them for their comfort, versatility, and femininity. I’ll admit that they can be tricky to wear if you don’t know what to combine them with to create a stylish, cohesive outfit. It wasn’t until I started experimenting with different looks that I realized just how versatile a skirt could be. If you have skirts in your closet that are not being worn because you don’t know how to wear them, rest assured that you are not alone.

What you wear with a skirt depends on the style and look you want to create. Different looks can be made with different combinations, e.g., formal skirts can be dressed down with graphic t-shirts and sneakers. Casual skirts can be dressed up with blazers and formal shoes.

I have created the definitive guide for what to wear with skirts. But remember, rules, especially fashion rules, were made to be broken, so if you have a different idea for how to wear a skirt, go for it! Even the most unlikely combinations can be pulled off successfully with confidence and a winning smile.

Table of Contents

Consider The Type Of Skirt

When choosing what to wear with a skirt to create a stylish outfit, it is essential to consider the style of the skirt. Creating a sense of balance in your outfit is important.

Although there are many different styles of skirts, we can divide them into a few main categories for this section.

  • Voluminous skirts such as pleated skirts, bubble skirts typically look great with fitted tops to balance the outfit. A voluminous top with a full skirt might be a bit too much if you are concerned with figure flattery.
  • Fitted skirts such as pencil or mermaid style skirts can work with voluminous or detailed tops. The volume on top will balance a slim-fit skirt.
  • Short skirts can generally handle more voluminous tops or layers. You can experiment with the length of tops and jackets, and they could be shorter or longer than your skirt hem. Miniskirts look great with blouses and sweaters in the fall and winter. In spring and summer, they can be worn with cute tops and t-shirts. They may not always be appropriate for formal occasions, so wear with caution.
  • Midi skirts look lovely with simpler tops and coordinating shoes. The fuller coverage from the midi skirt allows you to wear it with a contrasting little tank or cropped top in summer.  A blouse that is tucked in at the waist creates definition. Midi skirts can be successfully combined with sweaters and coats in the fall and winter.  
  • Long skirts – these could be fitted or voluminous, so the balance rule should be applied. Often, maxi skirts are made from a light floaty fabric and look great with soft blouses, cropped or tank tops, camisoles, denim jackets, and cardigans. Although we generally don’t recommend volume on volume, a light floaty top can work with a soft, flowy maxi skirt if the top is the right length and style.

What Kind Of Look Do You Want To Create?

A Parisian woman wearing a long skirt with her white blouse and heels.

You can create just about any look you wish just by changing up your skirt and what you choose to wear with the skirt. Pinterest is your friend when looking for ideas to create the look you desire. 

Sneakers and a graphic t-shirt look fantastic with skirts to create a casual fun look. Formal shoes and a jacket will create a more serious look. A pencil skirt with a fitted top accentuates your curves and can look sexy, while a flowy skirt and a soft blouse or flowy top create a lovely romantic look.  

If a modest look is what you’re going for, avoid skirts that are too short or tight and tops that are very fitted or revealing. You can also cover up with a cardi or a jacket.

An edgy look can be created by adding a leather or denim jacket. Capture an artsy bohemian spirit by combining tops and skirts with interesting textures and textiles, layers, contrast, and handmade earthy elements.

How Do You Coordinate Colors With Skirts

Coordinating colors with skirts is no different from coordinating colors with pants or any other items of clothing. Taking some time to understand the color wheel is your key to good color coordination.

  • Analogous colors live next to each other on the color wheel and have a common hue. If you want to add new colors into your wardrobe, take a color that you’re comfortable with and add in one of the adjacent colors to create a subtle, two-color palette.
  • Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. When combined, they create a powerful statement that allows both colors to stand out.
  • Your accessories don’t need to match unless you want them to. They’re a great opportunity to experiment and add a pop of color and interest to your outfit.  
  • Use neutral colors as a base for adding brighter colors, or just wear all neutrals as they almost always work well together.
  • Denim is neutral – you can mix it with any other color, including blue and other denim.
  • For print skirts, choose one of the colors in the skirt to create a coordinated look. The same principle applies to print tops and plain skirts.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix prints. When mixing prints and patterns, match the colors and not the print. The patterns will probably work well together if the colors look good together.

What Sort Of Shoes Do You Wear With Skirts?

A close look at stylish women crossing the street wearing skirts and heels.

Pencil skirts look great with low, comfortable heels or mules. A pencil skirt below your knee can work well with strappy heels, and a short pencil skirt is fabulous when paired with tall boots.

Flared skirts are perfect with heels or pumps, but they are also a great match with heeled ankle boots or sandals with platform heels.

Midi skirts can look chic with a pair of heels or dressed down with a pair of sneakers. Chunky heels are also a great combination with a midi skirt. Maxi skirts are made for sneakers, high heels, sandals, and wedges. They also look incredible with chunky ankle boots. Tall boots, flat shoes, heels, sandals, and gladiators are excellent options for miniskirts.

Of course, all the skirt-shoe combinations mentioned above are simply ideas, and you can wear any shoe with any skirt if you wish.

What Sort Of Underwear Should You Wear With Skirts?

The most comfortable and full cover option for a skirt is a body-hugging, smooth boy-short style brief. This underwear style provides coverage to protect your modesty if you are out and about on a windy day. They can also help avoid awful thigh rubbing and chafing. And of course,

they’re the best for smoothing out lumps and bumps under a fitted skirt.

Are There Other Ways To Wear Skirts?

A blonde woman wearing a white tulle skirt.
  • Wear your skirt as a tunic – pulling the skirt above your breasts with a fitted top underneath creates a cute tunic look. When belted, it creates waist definition and structure.
  • Wear a skirt over pants or jeans – a casual, fresh look which is ideal for change of season and to find a way to make your summer skirts work in winter
  • Wearing a skirt over a dress works well if the skirt is worn over a bodycon dress.
  • Wear a skirt as a top – this is much like the tunic look, but without the fitted top underneath.
  • Skirts over leggings are the best for cooler days or if you want a bit more coverage when wearing a short skirt. Colorful or print leggings add an extra element of interest. Skeggings are skirts that are attached to leggings.

Conclusion

Skirts are wonderfully versatile and can be worn with any number of different items to create stylish outfits for almost any occasion. While there are some basic guidelines of what tops and shoes to wear with a skirt, in fashion, anything goes when worn with confidence.

References:

Petite Dressing: Maxi Skirts

How to Wear Fashion: How to Wear Color Midi Skirts

Our Everyday Life: Dress Bohemian Artsy

Master Class: How to Match Clothes Using Color Wheel

Lookastic: Mixing Prints and Patterns Together

Top of Style: Right Shoes for Skirt Types

My Chic Obsession: Ways to Wear a Skirt

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