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iStyle: Midi marvellous

Forget maxi-skirts and minis, this season’s hemline has gone mid-length says Emma Akbareian

When it comes to the subject of hem lengths most people fall into one of two camps; first is the “if it ain’t broke why fix it?” mind set; the second is a more fickle variety where preference on skirt length can change as quickly as the weather.

This season even the most change-phobic of dressers will find their sartorial inclinations swayed by the most prevalent hemline: the midi. In a season where clothes are largely characterised by the prevailing ladylike attitude to dressing, it’s almost easier to list designers who didn’t favour this particular hem height. At Dior and Prada they were full-skirted and Fifties-inspired, while fitted pencil styles were the preference at Jil Sander and Burberry Prorsum.

The definition of a midi hem is rather wide – anywhere below the knee and above the ankle falls within its remit. What sounds at first like quite a dowdy concept can do the very opposite. The old adage that less is more applies here and a form-fitting design that starts from the waist and falls mid-calf has a lengthening effect that can be counterbalanced with a roomier top or enhanced with something a little slinkier. To make the retro-inspired full-skirted look work for you, keep in mind proportions.

Pull in the look with a cinched-in waist to provide definition and ensure your top half is fitted which will avoid the look being lost in an otherwise overwhelming amount of material. Waist belts are your best friend with this style of skirt, as are a pair of heels which will take the look seamlessly into eveningwear.