Skirts aren’t the most practical piece of clothing. A lot of them… in fact… is absolutely impossible to wear while sitting down. But they sure are fun!
That’s why it’s important to know how to correctly fit a skirt on your body so you can flaunt it proudly without worrying about it falling or hanging awkwardly. Here’s a guide to fitting skirts on all body types and sizes.
If you’re looking for a skirt that fits your body perfectly… the first thing that you need to do is to figure out the type of skirt that looks best on your body type.
- Do you have a long torso? If so… pencil skirts are probably for you.
- Are you curvy or do you have thick thighs? If so… go for A-line or flared skirts.
- Do you have a flat butt? Try pencil or mini skirts.
- If you want an asymmetrical skirt… one that flares out in different ways at different lengths… look for an A-line skirt. These can be very flattering on almost anyone and are also easy to modify if they don’t suit your body type perfectly.
Why Does My Skirt Stick Out at the Back?
Sometimes you see that skirts are sticking out at the back. There are a few reasons your skirt might stick out at the back. One is that it’s too loose at the waist — either you haven’t tied the tie tight enough… or you have no tie at all (if the skirt has one) and your waist isn’t cinched in snugly.
But the most likely culprit is simply that the fabric of the skirt is hanging loosely against your hips.
You can make this correction by pulling down on the skirt where it’s sticking out… or by slipping a small piece of tissue paper under the edge of each hip to create a tighter fit.
There are several reasons why the skirt sticks out at the back:
- If you have a skirt that clings to your hips but flares out at the bottom… you can use a larger size and pin it so that it sticks out evenly.
- If you have a pencil skirt… they are probably too small. You can either get them taken in or wear them with a belt.
- If you have an A-line skirt on… it might be too long for your height.
- If you have an empire waist style… it’s probably too big.
- You can also use a thicker material if you want your skirt to stick out more. But be careful because sometimes this makes your outfit look not so good anymore.
- To make your outfit look better… wear heels or wedges… and don’t go over 3 inches high.
How Do You Tighten the Bottom of a Skirt?
Tightening the bottom of a skirt may seem difficult… but it really isn’t. The best way to tighten the bottom of a skirt is to use a straight seam ripper. The ripper has a flat head that can be inserted into the hem of the skirt and used to snip away at the thread that has been sewn onto it.
Tightening the bottom of a skirt can be done over time or all at once. You can slowly loosen the thread on the hem over time by pulling on it as you walk around or sit down. This will loosen the thread enough so that you can pull it out easily with your fingers… using your nails if they are long enough.
It is a simple 5 step process:
- Hold your skirt’s waistband facing down and measure to the desired length with a measuring tape. Make sure your skirt is laying flat.
- Using pins or chalk… mark the desired length on your skirt’s waistband.
- Turn the skirt over and iron out any wrinkles in the material with an iron set to a low steam setting… if necessary.
- Unpin or unpatch the hem and sew along the marked line with a stretch stitch and matching thread if possible… or a matching thread of any kind if not. If you don’t have an appropriate sewing machine… take the skirt to a tailor for this step.
- Turn under and iron down the new hem to its original position.
Tightening the bottom of a skirt is a matter of adding fabric to the bottom hem. If you are sewing your own skirt… you can make a small tuck where the bottom meets the waistline. You can also add fabric to the hem in the same way you would when hemming pants.
If you are not comfortable with sewing and would like to have someone else fix your skirt… try having it professionally altered.
The tailor should be able to make minor adjustments… such as shortening or lengthening your garment and re-hemming it. Keep in mind that altering a garment will most likely cost you money… so save this option for items that are too formfitting but too expensive to replace.
Also read: Can You Get a Skirt Taken In?
What Do You Call Skirts That Flare Out?
Tailored skirts… which come to the knee or just below… are called kilts. If the hem falls above the knee… it is called a skirt or a shift. A full-length skirt that is not tailored is called a dress.
Flared skirts are known by many names: flares… full skater skirts… poodle skirts… and parachute skirts are just some of the varied names used for this style of dress. A flouncy skirt with a small amount of flare is often referred to as a blouse-tail or bubble skirt.
The original name for flared skirts came from their inspiration: skaters’ pants. Skating became popular in the 1940s when ice skating rinks opened up all over America.
These new rinks brought with them new fashions in apparel… including pants that were gathered at the ankle and flared out from there. The pants looked like a skirt when worn by girls who were playing roller-skating games like “hockey.
Tapered. Flared. Bell-shaped. Ballerina-style. There are many words that describe the widening of the bottom of a skirt… but which is correct?
The answer really depends on how wide that hem gets and how far out it flares from your body. For example… if there are no more than about two inches between your knee and the hem of your skirt as you walk… it’s more likely to be tapered or flared rather than bell-shaped or ballerina-style.
Tapered skirts have the same basic shape as an A-line skirt… but instead of flowing straight down… they narrow as they get to the bottom of the skirt. Sometimes tapered skirts stop before they reach the hem and sometimes they don’t.
Skirts that are gathered at both ends are called flared skirts. Because of their fullness… flared skirts are usually worn in warmer weather when one wants to feel cool and breezy walking around. You can wear a flared skirt in any season if you add tights and boots to it!
Also read: Why Are Skirts So Short?
How Do You Make a Skirt Narrower?
When you’re looking for a new skirt… you might be drawn to one that’s wider. But the right narrow skirt can make you appear taller… thinner… and more elegant.
Tailor skirts yourself by altering them at the waist or hemline. You might even be able to do it with an existing skirt that fits well but is a little too long or wide.
Trim the Waist
If your skirt just needs to fit better and not look entirely different – perhaps you have lost weight – try taking up the waistband. This will also help it lay flatter on your body.
To do this… put on the skirt and pin the front to where it should be… then cut off excess material from either side of the seam. If you leave about 3/4 inch (2 cm) of extra material beyond what you need to take up… you’ll still have enough material when you sew it back together. Then re-sew the seam from either side using a zigzag stitch… which will prevent fraying.
You can also take in any excess material around the zipper or fasteners on the inside of the skirt. Hemming narrow skirts are much less complicated than hemming wide ones but can still be tricky if your sewing skills aren’t very good.
If you lack the confidence to do it yourself. Go to the tailor… who will be able to take in the waist of the skirt for you… and then stitch it up again… making sure that there is no sign of it having been altered. This is the hard way… but it is the one that will ensure that your skirt survives for years to come.
Also read: Can You Wear a Skirt with Leggings?
How Should a Pencil Skirt Fit on Butt?
How should a pencil skirt fit on the butt? There are no rules… they can be loose or tight. They can be worn to the office or dressed down with sneakers.
What you need to remember is that skintight pencil skirts are some of the most difficult to wear… requiring a butt that’s highly toned… many of which don’t reach you. That doesn’t mean you can’t wear them if you want to… but casual pencil skirts are much more forgiving.
- Tighter pencil skirts are more popular nowadays with celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Paris Hilton.
- Pencil skirts are designed for women who have a great figure to show off. If you have bigger thighs and butt… it is advisable to go for a tight pencil skirt to show off your curves.
- If you should get the skirt custom-made… ensure that you get it hemmed so that it sits just above your knees.
The pencil skirt is a classic look that has been around for quite some time. It’s a simple… chic style that goes with a variety of tops and blouses. While the pencil skirt is a flattering shape on many body types… it can also make your butt look great. If you want to look professional and still show off your curves… you don’t need to sacrifice one for the other.
Tailoring Your Skirt
Pencil skirts are meant to be slim-fitting… but if you’re looking for something a little more comfortable… consider getting yours tailored. You might want to get it taken in at the waist and altered slightly in order to ensure that your pencil skirt is fitted perfectly.
When it comes to tailoring… pencil skirts are quite forgiving. When choosing the right fit for your pencil skirt… keep in mind that the skirt should hug your body but not be too tight. The fit should be as close to your natural body shape as possible; therefore… do not purchase a pencil skirt that is too large on you.
When trying on a pencil skirt with a waistband… make sure that it fits tightly around your waist without being too tight. If your pencil skirt has a belt… fasten it and make sure that you can breathe comfortably with the belt fastened.
A pencil skirt should not be too long and should stop at or above the knee. If you are taller than 5’7″ or shorter than 5’2″ then you may want to consider wearing a longer or shorter pencil skirt.
But feel free to have it altered if this doesn’t fit your personal style. This will give you a little extra room in your pencil skirt without making you feel like you’re wearing something too tight or constricting. Altering your skirt will benefit you in other ways as well.
Also read: Why Can’t Guys Wear Skirts?
In summary… Skirts should not gap; they should fit well at the waist… and have no fabric bunching up on the inside of your thighs. Skirts that fit at the waist are the most flattering because they eliminate the dreaded middle-of-the-butt ‘muffin top’ effect.
No matter what your body type… today’s fashions will give you a gorgeous look if you choose skirts that fit correctly.
Louise Wilson is an accomplished author, passionate textile historian, and renowned fashion enthusiast with a rich background in the world of apparel.
Graduating with honors in Fashion Design, Louise further expanded her skills and knowledge by completing a master’s degree in Textile History. Her academic pursuits have led her to explore the fashion capitals of the world, including Milan, Paris, and New York, enriching her insights into the global world of fashion.
As an author, Louise’s passion for fashion has found its way into her writings, where she intricately weaves narratives of style, design, and fashion history.