Skirt

A skirt is the lower part of a dress or gown, covering the person from the waist downwards, or a separate outer garment serving this purpose. The hemline of skirts can vary from micro to floor-length and can vary according to cultural conceptions of modesty and aesthetics as well as the wearer’s personal taste, which can be influenced by such factors as fashion and social context. Most skirts are self-standing garments, but some skirt-looking panels may be part of another garment such as leggings, shorts, and swimsuits.

In the western world, skirts are more commonly worn by women; with some exceptions such as the izaar which is worn by Muslim cultures and the kilt which is a traditional men’s garment in Scotland and Ireland. Many fashion designers, such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Kenzo and Marc Jacobs have shown men’s skirts. Transgressing social codes Gaultier frequently introduces the skirt into his men′s wear collections as a means of injecting novelty into male attire, most famously the sarong seen on David Beckham. Other cultures traditionally wear skirts.

At its simplest, a skirt can be a draped garment made out of a single piece of material (such as pareos), but most skirts are fitted to the body at the waist or hips and fuller below, with the fullness introduced by means of darts, gores, pleats, or panels. Modern skirts are usually made of light to mid-weight fabrics, such as denim, jersey, worsted, or poplin. Skirts of thin or clingy fabrics are often worn with slips to make the material of the skirt drape better and for modesty.

  • A-line skirt, a skirt with a slight flare, roughly in the shape of a capital letter A
  • Bell-shaped skirt, flared noticeably from the waist but then, unlike a church bell, cylindrical for much of its length
  • Circle skirt, a skirt cut in sections to make one or more circles with a hole for the waist, so the skirt is very full but hangs smoothly from the waist without darts, pleats, or gathers
  • Culottes, a form of divided skirt constructed like a pair of shorts, but hanging like a skirt.
  • Full skirt, a skirt with fullness gathered into the waistband
  • Pleated skirt, a skirt with fullness reduced to fit the waist by means of regular pleats (‘plaits’) or folds, which can be stitched flat to hip-level or free-hanging
  • Short skirt, a skirt with hemline above the knee
  • Straight skirt or Pencil skirt, a tailored skirt hanging straight from the hips and fitted from the waist to the hips by means of darts or a yoke; may have a vent or kick-pleat set in the hem for ease of walking
  • Wrap or wraparound skirt, a skirt that wraps around the waist with an overlap of material