If you were in your prime in the 60s and 70s, then you were probably the proud owner of a mini or micro-mini skirt – maybe several!
While I think we can all agree that super short mini skirts and dresses are off the table as we enter our own 60s and 70s, it can be hard to choose an appropriate hemline that still makes us feel smart. Are there hemline rules to go with certain ages? Is it still okay to wear your skirt above the knee?
The good news is that you can wear any hemline you like and look fantastic, by following a few simple guidelines.
Firstly, pick a skirt shape that suits your body type
- If you are apple-shaped (widest around the middle) then a high-waisted, flaring skirt that starts at the thinnest part of your torso and skims over your tummy is a good option.
- If you are pear-shaped, with wide hips, then you should go for A-line skirts that highlight the slimmest part of your waist.
- If you are hourglass-shaped – curvy but thinner at your waist – then a pencil skirt will look good on you.
- If you are rectangular (a similar width around your waist, tummy and bottom) then you can wear most styles, but an asymmetrical hemline or a trumpet hem will help to create extra shape.
Next, choose your hemline
The most important element when choosing how long to wear your skirt is the shape of your legs. If your skirt’s hem cuts across the widest parts, which are usually mid-thigh or mid-calf, it will make them look wider and shorter. The secret is to have your hem sit across the thinnest parts of your legs – either just above or below your knee or a little way above your ankle. Also, take into account how tall you are – skirts that sit just above the knee will help to visually elongate short legs. If in doubt, go with a skirt that falls just below the knee, which is considered the most universally flattering length.
Try the scientific method
If you want to get technical, there is a mathematical formula for working out the ideal hem length for your height. It uses something called the “golden ratio” (or “phi”) which is a proportional measurement that occurs in nature, art and architecture – from pinecones to human bodies to the Egyptian pyramids. To find your “golden measurement” get a metric tape measure and record the length of your body from your shoulder to your toe (include the height of the shoes you intend to wear). Divide that number by 1.618 and whatever the result, that is how far your hem should be from the top of your shoulder.