27 April 2011 – Diaphanous

April 27th, 2011 § 11 comments

27 April 2011 - Diaphanous


  • Jacket: Banana Republic Factory
  • Necklace: Tilly Bloom
  • Tank: Target
  • Belt: from another dress
  • Skirt: thrifted
  • Shoes: Ralph Lauren, via Macy’s

End Notes:

Remember this thrifted midi-length skirt? I am really, truly in love with it now. Really, there’s something about the diaphanous nature of this skirt that makes walking seem inadequate. I wanted to glide, to float, to skip, or to twirl.

27 April 2011 - Diaphanous

But, since today was a teaching day and twirling needed to be tempered with some authority, I grounded the outfit with a structured jacket and architectural platform wedges. Then, as a sly wink to my students, I added in my little Victorian-cat-in-a-dress necklace. It is, after all, the end of the semester.

Midi-length skirts are legendary for being “difficult to wear.” I’m not an expert on different body shapes, and I’ve grown increasingly skeptical of “rules” that limit the kinds of silhouettes I “should” wear. What I do know, though, is that when I wear this skirt it feels like a playful vintage throwback and it has significant mood-lifting capabilities. I can do that.

For those who might be toying with the idea of trying a midi skirt, the prevailing advice relating to wearing midi’s is to pair them with tall shoes. I have to say that, thus far, I agree with this general rule of thumb as it helps prevent visual stumpage (though I can also imagine wearing this skirt with flat boots as a transitional outfit into fall). To this wisdom, I would add that drapier, floatier materials, like this one, also seem like a wise choice, not only because they make for better twirling, but because the lightness of the fabric balances the overall volume at hand. I think that a hem length like this is the kind of thing where you just have to try something on at different lengths and with different shoes, while being willing to surrender the idea that this is going to make you look as tall as you can possibly be.

And, you know, if it doesn’t work out, then you won’t have to avert your eyes when, in ten years, the above and below photos stand a good chance of looking utterly dated and ridiculous. Ah, an ephemeral AND diaphanous skirt. Fitting.

27 April 2011 - Diaphanous

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§ 11 Responses to 27 April 2011 – Diaphanous"

  1. Amy says:

    That’s funny, because midi length skirts have been a staple of mine for almost a decade–through college and beyond. They’re just so darn PRACTICAL–not short, not long, just right (yes, I am Goldilocks today, it seems). Then again, I’m pretty tall, so the strage cut-off effect that worries so many has never been a problem for me. I wear them with boots in winter, flips and ballets in summer. I’m delighted to see them everywhere this spring! However, I won’t be able to find one in that gorgeous peach color, I’m sure–which is a shame!

  2. Alisha says:

    I really want to try the midi skirt, because it seems like it would be a perfect fit into my modest wardrobe. The problem for me is that I’ve somehow managed to equate shoes with any heel at all, even my 1 inch wedges, as shoes for special occasions, since that’s when I wear them. And I think that if I wore heeled shoes as a regular everyday shoe, people around me would think I was strange (not that that matters much, though). I truly admire the way you wear all of your beautiful heeled shoes with aplomb, E. I have very few heeled shoes to begin with, and all of my everyday shoes are flat, so I’d probably be wearing the midi with flat shoes, which I’m afraid will look frumpy. I guess I just need to find some people glamorously rocking midis and flats. Can it be done?

    I also wanted to say that you are a master at mixing colors, E. LOVE this color combo.

    • e. says:

      I think that if you’re going to try out a trend, you should do so in a way that’s comfortable to you, so I say go ahead and try a midi with flats! Perhaps keep the hemline to JUST below the knee rather than mid-shin. My gut instinct is also that it might work best with flats or sandals with a lot of cut-outs or in a color close to your skin tone. Let us know how it works out!

      • Alisha says:

        Those are some great ideas about the length and shoes/sandals. Now all I need to do is hit up the thrift stores to find the right skirt! I’ll report back how successfully it works.

  3. Salazar says:

    Can I admit something embarrassing? I had to look up “diaphanous” in the dictionary :P (English is still, after all, my second language.)

    That being said, I love how you pair this skirt with the blazer, and the color combo is fabulous as usual.

    P/S: Do you have any twirling tips? I’ve been trying to get a “twirling” photo every time I wear a skirt with some volume, but it never turns out quite right…

    14 Shades Of Grey

  4. Ooh, I love this. Very floaty and feminine. Having a twirly skirt is so much fun. I like the corals together with the navy jacket too. Beautiful!

  5. Kayla says:

    I love that skirt so much. This whole outfit is awesome!

    Freckles in April

  6. Amber says:

    That skirt is so amazing. I love the way it flows out when you spin around!

  7. Jenn says:

    WOW! You absolutely look like you could float with that skirt. It’s so light and airy, and so perfect for spring. And that color combination is genius!

    Complex Cardigans

  8. So here’s my problem with flowing skirts: when there is even the slightest wind, and I’m walking across campus, the material blows between my legs and I’m really uncomfortable with the front view this gives walkers-by. Does this happen to anyone else? I can see how it might happen less with a midi-skirt, since there is more material there, and since it comes down past the knees, it might keep it from blowing between the legs.

    And I love how you’ve used the obi belt on the transition between the skirt and the top.

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