Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Food, Fitness, Fashion is moving

Not only is this blog moving, it's changing its name! Please join me at Fitness, Food, and Fashion (http://fitnessfoodandfashion.com), a new site hosted on WordPress.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How to wear this season's maxi skirts

Long skirts are back again! We haven't seen this trend for summer clothing since the late 60s into the very early 70s. (Remember this?)

This encouraged me to pull out some long skirts that I'd bought for costuming and folk dancing and try to re-imagine them for more casual wear.

Here's what I discovered:
  • Long, loose tops don't work with long skirts. Be careful with any top that is longer that the "high hip." With maxi skirts, proportions are key. If your lower half is completely swathed in skirt, something on top needs to look exposed or the overall effect is "burqa." To work with a maxi, a top has to be short, and should also have one of the following: a low or wide neckline, little or no sleeve, or a fairly tight fit. Fortunately, it only has to be one of those! I've been favoring either the low V-neck or a sleeveless top. You can also tuck in your top (how long has it been since we've tucked in anything?)
  • High heels don't work with maxi skirts for daytime or casual wear. You risk looking like a hooker, or at least like someone who got dressed up for the prom when everyone else was going to a cocktail party. Boots are great with maxi skirts, though they risk pushing them in the direction of a costume. Especially for the summer, go with flats. This is a great time for cleverly detailed or strappy flat sandals or minimalist flats (think cutouts or "toe cleavage").
  • We are not talking mid-calf skirts, by the way. Maxi skirts are down to your ankles (slim ones) and down to the ground (A-line or fuller, tiered skirts).
  • Look to the steampunk fashion trend for ideas on how to wear long skirts for casual wear. Steampunk favors twill, denim, and an "out-of-Africa" look.
  • Play with the idea that you're using the top to turn the ensemble into a dress. This can be done with a necklace or scarf that echoes the fabric of the skirt. Or a top of the exact same color but a very different fabric (plain jersey skirt, elaborately knit silk sweater).
I googled "how to wear a maxi skirt," thinking I'd be able to give you tons of great illustrations, but most of the sites showed idiotic high-fashion getups (a bulky, cropped sweater paired with a see-through chiffon maxi skirt— yeah, right).

I did find a web page with some decent examples, and that's Star Central. You might also check these user-created sets on Polyvore. (What? You don't know about Polyvore? You're in for a treat.):

Desert Nomad
Free People
Senza Titolo

Finally, browse the maxi skirts on sites like Nordstrom and The Sundance Catalog. They're shown as parts of very wearable outfits because they want you to buy them!