Reader Olga asked this question in a comment a few weeks back:
Perhaps you could find the time to write how-to post about high-waisted skirts? I have a pencil skirt similar to yours in black, but I always end up wearing my blouses above it instead of tucking it in. Otherwise, my upper body seems ridiculously short. Am I doing something wrong? I have an average figure (65 kg, 1,76m), few curves and H-shaped, so probably there is some secret that you know how to get the look right?
OK, I’ll tell you the secret to rocking a high-waisted skirt: Confidence. No, really. This is a style that is challenging to pull off for just about every body type. Depending on your build, it can make your biggest bits look even bigger and create vaguely funhouse-reminiscent proportions. And besides being a challenging piece, a high-waisted skirt looks best with sassy, retro-influenced styles that are often pretty bold. This style is not for the faint of heart, but if you’ve got the chutzpah you CAN rock it.
Is that all there is to it? Well, it can be. But if you’re looking for more specific advice – Olga clearly is – here’s what I think:
Heed hem length: Since a high waist will make your top half appear shortened, make sure you don’t shorten at both ends with an extra long hem. For me, this means a wee bit above knee-length. Everyone has their own preferred length, but remember, a high-waisted skirt that hits mid-calf may be sassy and fun, but it may also make you look like you’ve got a very tiny top half.
Lengthen with necklaces: This style of skirt divides the bod into two distinct and unequal sections, but you can unify them just a smidgen without losing the silhouette. A long necklace that passes well below the waistline of the skirt will draw the eye from neck to navel.
Tonal tricks: Although the point of a high-waisted skirt is its high waistline, you can downplay it a bit and still look ravishing. Pair your skirt with a top that’s in a similar color range. If you’re wearing a khaki skirt, throw on a beige, mustard, or dove gray top. The less contrast, the more your outfit will look like a single, unified piece … and the less it’ll seem like you have an 18-mile-long bottom half and a 3-inch top half.
Belt it, baby: Placing a belt an inch or so below where skirt waistband meets tucked-in top can lower your perceived waistline a bit and create balance. Belting this style of skirt can also help create faux curves for ladies like Olga who don’t have many of their own.
High waists can serve to simply minimize tummy jiggle when worn with untucked tops, but showing off the unusual cut can be loads of fun. Some folks abhor this style, but many more simply wish they could find a way to make it work. Hopefully, some of these tips will help build up your confidence!
Originally posted 2010-05-10 05:50:00.