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10 best mini skirts to update your summer wardrobe

From pleated and ruffled to denim and gingham pieces, refresh your wardrobe with these styles

Daisy Lester
Thursday 01 July 2021 10:45
<p>Barely-there skirts have been spotted all over the Spring/Summer runways this year</p>

Barely-there skirts have been spotted all over the Spring/Summer runways this year

In case you hadn’t heard, mini skirts are officially back, with shorter hemlines as one of this year’s hottest summer fashion trends.

Popularised in the 1960s then revived in the late nineties and early noughties, barely-there skirts have been spotted all over the Spring/Summer 2021 runways – from Miu Miu and Jacquemus to Isabel Marant and Chloé.

This season, the designer focus has been on swinging Sixties-style minis that are helping to inject some fun and frivolity into post-pandemic fashion.

Pleated tennis skirts – an enduring trend from last year – are still going strong while micro skirts that are low-rise as well as mini (think noughties Britney) have also been dominating our Instagram feeds. Fun colours, pastels, plaid and gingham have all been channelled into the mini with playful prints and bold designs elevating the classic skirt.

Endlessly versatile and easily dressed up or down, pair mini skirts with knee-high boots, a chunky knit and trench during the colder months and opt for loafers or sandals with a simple vest in the summer.

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Ranging from pleated and ruffled to staple denim and leather, these are some of the best mini skirts around right now to refresh your summer and beyond wardrobe with.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

These are the best mini skirts for 2021:

  • Best overall – Ganni high-waist recycled mini skirt: £125,
  • Best for summer days – Free People acing it mini skirt: £40,
  • Best quirky design – Kitri Studio Josie blue sunbathers mini skirt: £78,
  • Best wardrobe staple – Mango pocket denim mini skirt: £19.99,
  • Best for sustainability – Appetite Studio the sidecar mini skirt: £325,
  • Best tennis skirt – Urban Outfitters camel pleated tennis skirt: £39,
  • Best gingham skirt – Nasty Gal gingham ruffle mini skirt: £17.50,
  • Best budget buy – H&M pleated denim skirt: £19.99,
  • Best leather skirt – All Saints tarren biker skirt: £99,
  • Best floral print – Maje printed cotton voile skirt with ruffles: £199,

Ganni high-waist recycled mini skirt

Best: Overall

A statement black mini skirt with a twist, this crepe-blend fabric piece from Scandi label Ganni is high-waisted and ruched with a ruffle hem adding the final touch. The A-line silhouette is both flattering and versatile; pair it with a chunky, cropped knit and knee-high boots for a daytime look before taking it into evening with a strappy black top. It gets points for sustainability, too, with the skirt made from a recycled polyester blend.

Free People acing it mini skirt

Best: For summer days

Boasting a high-rise fit and pleated silhouette, this Free People skirt is given extra character with the double tie detailing on the left side. Brightly pastel yellow coloured and made from 100 per cent cotton, it’s the perfect throw-on piece for balmy days. Style it simply with a white vest and a pair of chunky sandals for an effortless summer look.

Kitri Studio Josie blue sunbathers mini skirt

Best: Quirky design

Independent slow fashion label Kitri only produces small quantities of clothing to reduce waste and be more sustainable. This statement skirt embodies the fun the brand has with bold prints and colours. Set against a sea blue hue, the design has scatterings of illustrations depicting sunbathers in the nude. Its slim A-line silhouette helps accentuate your waist while a small side slit adds extra detail. From summer soirees to days at the beach, the skirt can be dressed up with strappy heels or thrown over a swimming costume.

Mango pocket denim mini skirt

Best: Wardrobe staple

Timeless and versatile, denim mini skirts are a staple for good reason and this Mango offering is a bargain at under £20. Part of the label’s more sustainable committed collection, the piece is made from 100 per cent cotton and boasts a straight fit design, belt loops, side pocket and patch pockets on the back. The denim wash compliments most shades so styling is easy while the high waist means it’s the perfect accompaniment for cropped tops.

Appetite Studio the sidecar mini skirt

Best: For sustainability

If your purse stretches, this lovely skirt from sustainable brand Appetite is worth every penny. Made from the label’s bread and butter 100 per cent organic cotton, the fitted base is layered with an asymmetric hemline to create a gathered effect with the added detailing of two ties on both sides. It also comes in a pink gingham colourway (£325, that’s sewn from vintage tablecloth. All pieces are made-to-order so expect up to a four week wait time.

Urban Outfitters camel pleated tennis skirt

Best: Tennis skirt

Nineties-style is still in the midst of a revival and among all the cycling shorts and tracksuits, tennis skirts are reigning supreme. Whether you’re heading for the courts or not, this skirt from Urban Outfitters boasts a classic cut, high-rise waist and pleated detailing. The camel colourway lends it less to sportswear and more to the fashion set; pair with loafers and a blazer for a preppy look or wear with trainers and a polo knit for something more casual. We’d recommend sizing down as the waist comes up a little big.

Nasty Gal gingham ruffle mini skirt

Best: Gingham skirt

Synonymous with spring and summer, gingham is always a failsafe; clash it with ruffles and you’ve got a winner. This sage checked Nasty Gal piece boasts a high elasticated waist and cutesy ruffle hem, with the fit creating a flattering silhouette. Style with mules and a cropped cardigan for a look to take you from a picnic into evening.

H&M pleated denim skirt

Best: Budget buy

A denim skirt with a difference, we love the pleated detailing on this mini from H&M. Made from 100 per cent cotton, the piece is high-waisted with a press stud concealed by the zip. The light wash has a vintage feel to it while the pleated design lends it to preppy styling. Though under £10, the piece feels a higher quality than its price tag suggests.

All Saints tarren biker skirt

Best: Leather skirt

Just like a denim mini, leather skirts are a wardrobe mainstay. This one from All Saints boasts a classic biker style in a flattering A-line silhouette. Crafted from faux leather, two small zips and a longer one down the middle give the skirt just the right amount of edge. Grunge it up further by pairing it with a cropped leather jacket or tone it down with a white open shirt and vest. It comes up a little big so we’d recommend sizing down.

Maje printed cotton voile skirt with ruffles

Best: Floral print

This tiered, ruffle skirt from French label Maje is perfect for injecting some florals into your look. The blue and purple patchwork design avoids it being too cutesy while the smocking at the waist makes for a flattering fit. Made from 100 per cent organic cotton that has been farmed without the use of pesticides or GMO’s, it’s doing its bit for sustainability, too.

The verdict: Mini skirts

Earning the top spot, Ganni’s ruffle black skirt works as a cross-seasonal piece that looks just as good with tights in the winter as it does with sandals in the summer. With its completely unique and sun drenched illustrated design, Kitri Studio’s Josie skirt is a summer wardrobe staple, while Appetite Studio’s sustainable piece is a frilly and playful take on the mini.

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