Midi skirts are trendy, but many of us avoid them due to fear of frumpiness. After all, we’re the vivacious, spirited, self-confident women who invented the mini. And yet, there’s something so appealing about being able to cross our legs or sit like a guy, and not have to think about tugging down hems when we stand up. I’m a pretty picky fashion editor who doesn’t endorse every trend, but this one gets an unexpected five stars. Here are 10 whys and ways we can all get on board

  • item 1 of Gallery image Andie MacDowell and Rachel Ray
  • MacDowell in a midi-dress length just above the swell of the calf; Rachael Ray in a straight midi just below the calves.1. There’s a midi for every body, leg shape and lengthThe term “midi” applies to any length from two inches below the knees to just above the ankles. The easiest lengths for most women are just above the swell of the calf (a couple of inches below the knees) or just below the calves (so that a few inches of ankle show). The most unflattering length is exactly at the widest part of your calf. A good tailor can tweak any midi to hit exactly where it’s best for you. Even an inch can make a difference between beautiful and blah, so go for it.
  • item 2 of Gallery image Diane Lane and Lela Rochon
  • Lane in a pencil midi just above calves; Lela Rochon in a pleated midi that’s inches above her ankles.2. You can always use another new black skirt, right?So, start with a style you usually wear in a longer length — a pencil, pleated, wrap or A-line skirt. The familiar silhouette will enhance the appeal, and it’s pretty risk-free. The worst that can happen is that you shorten it to your normal hemline — but I suspect you’ll be hooked.
  • Yvette Brown in a slim taupe knit midi; Jenny McCarthy in tailored black pencil midi.3. Slim cut midis work like squeeze-free skinny jeans or leggingsNarrow midis in pencil trumpets that fit and flare at the hem, and knit tube skirts provide an elongated tapered base. They keep the outline of your curves in plain sight but don’t reveal thigh or leg proportions (or squeeze) like skin-hugging leggings and jeans do. Trim midis work with any top — fitted or full. Feel free to add tucked-in T-shirts and silky blouses or untucked full-cut sweaters, jackets and tunics.
  • item 4 of Gallery image Carolina Herrara and Peggy Siegel
  • Carolina Herrera in belted flared midi suit; Publicist Peggy Siegal dons a midi.4. Fuller-cut midis provide added flair (and flare!)Fuller midis make an even bolder fashion statement than slim midis and come in A-line or pleated styles. Just keep skirt proportions and your body/leg proportions in sync. (See tip No. 1.) Show a few generous inches of leg at the ankles for balance and some body definition with a fitted top, V neckline or belted waist. For evening, just add a black jacket or white blouse to a generously cut skirt — and you’re done.
  • item 5 of Gallery image Luz Casal and Regina Hall
  • singer Luz Casal in a shirtdress; Regina Hall in an A-line midi wrap skirt.5. Waist definition restores legginessWorried that a long skirt will make you appear to be standing in a ditch? This comes up a lot with those of us 5 feet 4 inches and under, and also taller women with a long torso and shorter legs. The trick is to show the waist and draw attention to it or where your waist would be (sometimes this means cheating with a slightly higher or wider waistband). Look for midis with a belt, elastic cinched or tie-waist, then tuck in your top or add a nipped waist jacket. Any or all of these will create the illusion of a longer lower body.
  • item 6 of Gallery image Inka Friedrich and Melora Hardin
  • German actress Inka Friedrich in a leather midi; Melora Hardin in a pleated A-line midi.6. Midis provide a safe playground to expand your personal styleA longer-length skirt makes everything you own look new. Whether you choose a midi skirt in a solid neutral, a pop of color or a playful print, your same blouses, booties, wedge sandals and ballet flats get reinvented by a simple shift in proportions.
  • item 7 of Gallery image Lorraine Bracco ,Wendy Williams
  • Lorraine Bracco in a lacy midi skirt; Wendy Williams in a belted, pleated, full midi skirt.7. Midis manage show-off and camouflage opportunitiesHave fabulous shoulders but like the idea of comfort and coverage? A midi skirt or dress lets you breathe, eat and move at work, events and parties — without being conscious of what’s going on with your belly, booty and thighs, and while spotlighting your assets at the neckline.
  • item 8 of Gallery image Angela Griffin and Deborah Hutton
  • British actress Angela Griffin and Australian editor and spokesmodel Deborah Hutton are both wearing midi dresses with a slit.8. Select a midi with a slit for an extra flash of legIf you want a little more sass, look for a long midi with a knee-high slit (any higher, and it becomes tacky on real folks). A wrap-style dress and a shirtdress that unbuttons as needed are two good options, but some basic flowing midis offer a slit, too. A peep-toe pump or wedge adds inches to the exposed, leg but sneakers or mules are always a cool option for extra dash.
  • item 10 of Gallery image Kacey Ainsworth and Michelle Yeoh
  • British actress Kacey Ainsworth in a pleated ankle midi; Michelle Yeoh in a black midi skirt.9. Ankle-length midis are edgy — but watch the hemlineThis longest midi works best in slim knife pleats for unrestricted movement and controlled volume. Tailor it to anklebone length if it hits the floor, or top of your shoes for proportion control. It looks contemporary when paired with booties or flats, not pumps.
  • item 11 of Gallery image Martha Stewart and Taraji P. Henson
  • RHMartha Stewart in a white knife-pleated midi; Taraji P. Henson in a full midi.10. A midi has all-weather, all-season, 24/7 versatility You can’t lose. Right now you can wear any midi with tights and boots or booties to get through chilly days. Add a leather jacket to toughen its feminine quality, and a silky, ruffled blouse or sparkly top to glam it up for special nights. Come warm weather, swap your footwear for sandals and enjoy the bonus of breezy bare-leg coverage.
  • item 12 of Gallery image Karin Gist, Renee Lawless, Michelle Yeoh wearing red clothes and accessories


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