Great Style: The Skirt

To wear a skirt in great style, get a perfect fit. If you have skirts that spin around and shift when you walk, you have a skirt that doesn't fit you. A properly fitting skirt will anchor itself at your natural waist and stay in place all day. If the waist is too large or the cut of the skirt is too cylindrical, the skirt will anchor on your hips, which is why it spins around with every step you take.

Women with bigger hips have a bigger problem with this. A skirt that is large enough to fit their butt and thighs will have a waist that is too large. There won't be enough friction between the skirt and your waist to keep it from spinning.

Your natural waist is located where your waist is narrowest, which may or may not be where your navel is. Everyone is different, and everyone's waist is in a different spot. If you're not sure where your natural waist is, stand and bend from side to side while nude. The deepest part of the bend is where your natural waist is. Some people's waists can be very high - even right below their ribcage!

An OTR solution that sometimes works is to only buy bodycon skirts and ignore any measurement but the waist. Hopefully, the material will stretch enough to work on your thighs and behind. This means a steady diet of miniskirts and tight-fitting pencil skirts, but that's not the worst thing in the world. But if you are amazingly curvy, you might not be able to find a skirt with enough stretch to make this work.

A better and more general solution is only using your hip and thigh measurements when buying skirts. This will make the waist too big, but a sewing machine or a trip to the tailor to add a couple of darts will fix that.

If you add the darts yourself, space them evenly in the back, placing them over the fullest part of the butt, one on each cheek. The darts will take in the most fabric at the waistband and go down to zero where your hips begin to widen. It's not a tricky alteration, but it takes a bit of skill. A tailor will probably charge you around $25.

Common skirts and how to fit them

Below are some common skirt types and some of the issues you might run into. If you have one I don't mention here, remember that any skirt needs to fit you perfectly at the waist and hips to work right. The rest is just your taste.

Dealing with Zippers.

Some skirts have zippers on the side or back. These zippers sometimes develop a big bump that looks horrible. The most common cause of this is using different materials for the skirt and the zipper tape. If the skirt is cotton and the zipper tape is polyester, the cotton will shrink when you wash the skirt. This causes the polyester tape to bunch up and wrinkle. The only fix is replacing the zipper with a cotton tape version. Here's some more zipper info for you.

Another cause of bumpy zippers is manufacturing defects or using the wrong zipper. I've seen both. Manufacturers sometimes use invisible zippers on skirts, and there couldn't be a worse choice. It might look great disappearing into the side seam of a skirt, but side seams are major stress points, and invisible zippers are too weak to handle them. They will forever pull, wrinkle and bunch up. So unless you are planning on paying to have it replaced, don't buy a skirt with an invisible zipper.