In the frugal postwar climate of 1947, when narrow, utilitarian silhouettes for women prevailed, Christian Dior’s bold New Look turned the fashion world on its head. With a focus on the waist, lowered hemlines and new skirt volumes, Dior concocted a “direct, unblushing plan to make women extravagantly, romantically, eyelash-battingly female,” wrote Vogue in a 1957 tribute. Dior’s designs were soon embraced by women desperate for a little femininity and frivolity after the gloom of the war years.
Thankfully, the modern girl doesn’t have only one skirt length to choose from, but it’s so nice to land somewhere in between. Classic ’50s-influenced skirts—anywhere from just below the knee to calf-grazing—are back, oh-so-flattering and ideal for the warmer days of spring. For hard-to-find fabrics and retro detailing, think vintage. Or pick up a contemporary version as a new basic. Either way, you’ll find yourself going to great lengths—and looking amazing.
Sweet Pleats: Whether you’re into girly prints or more subdued hues, it’s easy to love the pleats and easy swing of this floral skirt and its contemporary denim counterpart (both below).
Circa ’50s skirt, $75, Life of Manek, Toronto.
Comrags skirt, $230, comrags.com.
Calf Length: The classic midi-length skirt—falling right at mid-calf—is sweet and very of-the-moment. Choose a striped ’80s-does-’50s version or a contemporary skirt in electric blue.
Circa ’80s skirt, $108, Magwood, Toronto.
American Apparel skirt, $65, store.americanapparel.ca.
The Classic: There’s nothing like the swish of fabric around your legs to get you in the mood for a glamorous soiree. A sophisticated floral or luxe black taffeta will do the trick nicely.
Circa ’50s skirt, $125, Exile, Toronto.
Pink Tartan skirt, $325, Pink Tartan, Toronto.
Midi Moderne: Transparency, mesh, ribbons, monochrome striping? Yes, please! Both vintage and contemporary takes are utterly timeless—and incredibly wearable.
Circa ’50s skirt, $95, Mama Loves You Vintage, Toronto.
Temperley London skirt, $1,120, temperleylondon.com.