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Fall Fashion Forecast Extra: the Midi Skirt

McCall's 6993, from the Archive Collection, has front inverted pleats, a shaped waist, and optional yoke.

With the Modern 1970s trend driving Fall/Winter 2015-16 fashion trends, it’s not surprising that the preferred length for the season’s skirts is the midi. In the past, the midi went by another name: tea length. (The moniker “midi” fits better within the progression of skirt-length shorthand: mini, midi, maxi.) The midi’s length isn’t a set point; it rests anywhere between the high calf and the lower calf.

Fall/winter runways were chock-full of midi skirts (and dresses) in every silhouette possible–A-line, straight, and full–sometimes with interesting cuts, including asymmetrical, envelope, and handkerchief-hemmed, or slit at center front. The looks on runways spanned the full range from casual to formal, as well.

If you want to rock the ’70s revival look, make yours in a simple A-line silhouette from earth-toned suede or faded denim.

For the more modern take, choose an A-line or straight silhouette, and make sure it has some kind of asymmetry worked into the design. That may mean an asymmetrical hi-low hem, either front-to-back or side-to-side, or an envelope-folded or wrapped feature.

If you still love the ladylike look (and who can blame you–it’s classic), make your midi with fullness controlled by gathers or pleats. A straight-silhouette midi with no attention-grabbing details is also ladylike, but wear one with caution: It can look matronly and dated if not styled well and often looks best pegged at the hem, which makes walking difficult.

Luckily, pattern companies offer plenty of midi-length skirt patterns in various styles and silhouettes. Here are a few midi skirt pattern suggestions to get you started:

McCall's 6993

McCall’s 6993, a charming A-line midi with front inverted pleats and a shaped waist.

McCall's 7170

McCall’s 7170, an easy handkerchief-hem midi

Butterick 5756

Butterick 5756, view C is a semifull midi with a hip yoke

Vogue 9060

Vogue 9060, a cool asymmetrical lantern-shaped midi designed by Marcy Tilton that creates an artsy vibe.

Vogue 8956

Vogue 8956, a straight wrap skirt with an asymmetrical side drape that’s perfect for an edgier look.

Simplicity 1322

Simplicity 1322, view D is a mock-wrap, flared midi

Simplicity 1807

Simplicity 1807, view C is a bias-cut midi skirt with a hem flounce

BurdaStyle 08/2010 #139

BurdaStyle 08/2010 #139, is a chic midi-length tulip skirt in plus sizes with asymmetrical front pleats.

BurdaStyle 08/2015 #111A

BurdaStyle 08/2015 #111AB, is an asymmetrical, A-line midi skirt with a hi-low hem

BurdaStyle 03/2015 #103

BurdaStyle 03/2015 #103, is another asymmetrical midi skirt, this time with inverted box pleats and a side-angled hem (middle model)

Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt

Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt is a flared A-line skirt with scoop pockets

For styling ideas from the fall/winter 2015-16 runways and from style bloggers, check out Threads’ Midi Skirt Trend Pinterest board.

What do you think of the midi skirt’s return? Will you wear one? Is it a problematic length? What silhouette do you like best?


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  1. ChristinePL | | #1

    I've had a few midi skirts along the years but when you have a petite figure, doesn't seem flattering. What type of cut would you recommend?

  2. stsimon | | #2

    If you are tall, thin, and can wear high heels, a midi can look ok. If you are short or plump or can only wear flats, forget it, it looks like death. This is a time to know your own figure and forget the runway fashions.

  3. rosiedoodle | | #3

    Being, short, overweight, and unable to wear ANY height of heel, I still find a midi length acceptable, as long as there are eye-catching details. If designing one for this fall, I would choose a drapey, fit and flare, In a solid darker muted or heathered color. Adding embellishment from the right side of the hem, crossing midline slightly above the waist, and then a semi-ending to the design, with perhaps a couched design, made from fibers of the material. If you wear your hair up, you could extend the design over the shoulder but stay away from midline and end above the waist.

  4. User avater
    ustabahippie | | #4

    I am of average/short height and weight and have several "midi" length skirts, especially for fall/winter. They are slim or slightly A-line and look great with boots. I only wear flat or low heel heights, feel very "chic" in my longer skirts. At 71, they are quite elegant, in my opinion.

  5. jauntypeacock | | #5

    I have only worn midi length skirts and dresses for the past ten or more years. I am of slightly above average height and some above ideal weight and I wear flat or low heel shoes. I find midi lenghth skirts to be my most flattering and graceful length. I prefer slim, A-line, or flared at the hem styles. My best midi length is "tea length," or slightly longer than some of what is being called midi. My knees and calves are not attractive and shorter skirts emphasize the wrong parts. I also have varicose veins behind my knees, and longer skirts allow me to go bare-legged in summer. I do check the proportions of my outfits carefully in a full length mirror -- some shrug, jacket, and sweater silhouettes do not work as well as others with midi length skirts.

  6. User avater
    DavidDRatliff | | #6

    Awesome pictures ladies are looking very beautiful in dresses...

  7. User avater
    AnissaGSimard | | #7

    Love the design...

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