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While a pleated skirt seems like a classic, everyday staple in most of our closets, designers coming up with new and creative ways to wear it each season keeps us wanting more of this fanned, silhouette-creating number. We’ve rounded up the top five runway trends for skirt cuts and shades this season—from Prada’s take on leather to Jason Wu’s signature peplum—and how to wear them to the end of summer.
Pleated skirt from Chloe's Spring/Summer 2012 runway.
Summer skirt fashion trend: Pleated
Where you’ve seen it: Pretty, chiffon printed skirts on Prada’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway; effortlessly breezy on Chloe’s Spring/Summer 2012.
How to wear it: Keep cool—and chic—on super-humid days with a loose-fitted blouse tucked into the skirt. Create a feminine silhouette with a belt wrapped around the waist. Or go for a look à la Miuccia Prada with pale aqua blue and red skirt and matching shirt.
Where to wear it: The pleated skirt is nothing if not versatile: looks classic worn at the office with simple, flat sandals and fans nicely when twirling on the dance floor in pumps. Like many of our favourite summer trends, a colour-blocked ensemble makes for a vibrant punch on this timeless look.
Flare effect: Dainty, with just a little bit of swish for a girly sway.
Leather skirt from Prada's Spring/Summer 2012 runway.
Summer skirt fashion trend: Leather
Where you’ve seen it: Fitted, with a va-va-va-vroom print on Prada’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway; faux croc leather skirts at Marc by Marc Jacobs’s Spring/Summer 2012 show.
How to wear it: We’re all about seizing the rock star glam: grab your favourite aviator shades, strappy heels and killer red lip shade. Sartorially, this skirt stands out on its own.
Where to wear it: While a colourful shade paired with a breezy pastel or neutral top is best for day, this skirt was meant for a night on the town. For beginners, keep it simple with a jet black fitted, high-waisted cut.
Flare effect: Minimal—hugs close for comfort.
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For more runway trends of must-have skirts, read on to the next page....
Mullet skirt from Jason Wu's Spring/Summer 2012 runway.
Summer skirt fashion trend: Mullet
Where you’ve seen it: Blowing in the wind for maximum ethereal effect on Jason Wu’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway; way-up-to-there slits in bold patterns on Emilio Pucci’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway.
How to wear it: Shorter in the front flowing into a longer train in the back, the asymmetrical mullet skirt is the classic hippie chic look. Opt for a sheer pale pink skirt and cropped denim jacket overtop for a casual, ballerina-inspired #streetstyle look. For a bolder take on the trend, go for a cobalt blue number with a gold or mustard blouse tucked in, and your fave pair of cowboy ankle boots.
Where to wear it: The lightweight effect of this skirt relies on specially selected accessories to take this look from day to night—don a straw fedora, oversized bag and ballet flats while buzzing around on foot. Switch into higher heels and add an oversized statement necklace for date night.
Flare effect: Watch for breezy days—full wind-blown flare ahead.
Peplum skirt from Jason Wu's Spring/Summer 2012 runway.
Summer skirt fashion trend: Peplum
Where you’ve seen it: Ladylike skirts in ‘40s-inspired suits on Christian Dior’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway; colourfully flared hips at Jason Wu’s Spring/Summer 2012 show.
How to wear it: It’s all about the hips, ladies—tuck a silky, sleeveless blouse into the skirt to accentuate waist and allow the flared skirt to pop. Add a dainty, slim black leather belt for an elegant wedding outfit.
Where to wear it: With its flowing, trademark flare and naturally induced hip swagger, this look was made for dancing. Pair with a neon clutch and all eyes can’t help but gravitate toward you all night long.
Flare effect: A not-so-subtle feminine flare—own it.
Pencil skirt from Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer 2012 runway.
Summer skirt fashion trend: Pencil
Where you’ve seen it: Girly and embroidered with 3D floral appliqués at Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway; Fitted in ocean-inspired shades at Giorgio Armani’s Spring/Summer 2012 show.
How to wear it: We’re looking to Armani to show us his classic moves for vamping up elegant tailoring: Pair with a plunging V-line blouse over top the fitted skirt.
Where to wear it: The office essential, wear with a blouse in a matching print for a Vuitton-inspired ensemble. Heels are a must to continue the elongated effect created by the slimming skirt, no matter where you’re going.
Flare effect: None in this structured number—but it’s all in what you bring to it.
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