Penniless Socialite: Midis: Yay or Nay?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Midis: Yay or Nay?

One of this year's biggest trends is the midi length skirt / dress.  The fashion trend confuses me a little, because an everyday dress or skirt that hits below the knee is "midi," but a bridesmaid dress or wedding dress that hits at the same spot is "tea-length."  What is the difference?  I do not know. 

Despite the confusion it is causing me, I am happy this trend is hanging on.  I am not a fan of short skirts.  I am pear shaped and like a little extra coverage in the back.  I also think you can be sexy without even exposing a knee. 

So, like a true obsessive compulsive, I started reading every fashion blog post about the midi trend.

Fashion websites describe the midi as a "womanly" fashion trend.  Really?  "Womanly" sounds like a word a grandmother would use to describe a house coat.  (I say "a" grandmother because neither of my grandmothers would ever wear a house coat.  They taught me well.)  Also, numerous websites pose the question of whether you are a Betty or a Joan when it comes to midis.  I like Mad Men inspired fashion, but do we need to tie every fashion trend to a character?  It turns a great trend into a costume.  But, if I have to answer, I am a Betty with some Joan tendencies.  I gravitate towards A-lines, but I can't say no to a well fitted pencil skirt.  The midi comes in swooshy A-lines that make you want to twirl around and slinky pencils that make you feel elegant and sexy.

Midi skirts and dresses can evoke images of 1940's glamour or of prim and boring school teachers.  How do you make this trend work without it looking dated and frumpy?  To add to the task, I am a petite lady with short legs, and of course, the midi is a trend that tends to work best on tall girls.  To tackle the midi you need two tools: accessories and proper proportions.

I admit, I was doubtful that the midi was a trend for the average woman.  I assumed the longer skirt length would shorten the line of the leg and widen the hips.  I forced myself into the dressing room with a midi and emerged a believer.  The skirt that changed everything for me was Anthropologie's Million Pleats Midi (no longer available.
Million Pleats Midi
The Million Pleats Midi actually looked great on me.  I had to examine myself in the mirror for several minutes to figure out why it looked good.  I think I figured it out.  For petite women you have to make sure the skirt hits above the widest part of your calf.  The midi length also looks better when you have a defined ankle.  (For all my flaws, I have awesome ankles.)  You also want to make sure you define your waist when you put on a midi.  The Million Pleats cinches in at your true waist.  Belting a midi will also make it more flattering and accentuate your thinnest part.  If you're still feeling a little stumpy in your midi, put on a pair of heels.  Even just a slight kitten heel changes the whole look.

I didn't take the Million Pleats Midi home because the color was not right for me.  I am fair skinned and the shade of pink almost perfectly blended in with my legs.  I intended on purchasing the black version online, but it was sold out by the time I got home.  So, I am now on the prowl for the perfect A-line midi.

You  might be asking why I'm not also hunting for a pencil style midi.  Well, it's because I already found one, and for a bargain!  I purchased a striped pencil midi at Forever 21 for $8.50!!  And it's a pretty similar to a much pricier Bailey 44 version sold at Nordstrom.
striped midis by veggielawyer
$8.50 Forever 21 (left) vs. $110 Bailey 44 (right)

So, I've compiled some of my favorite A-line midis.  I can not wait to start trying on these swingy retro skirts.  I will let you know which one I pick.
1. Contrast Pleated Midi Dress, $64 -
2.  Polka Dot lightweight skirt, $20 -
3. Crimped Crimson Midi Skirt, $100 -
4. Liquid Silk Skirt, $148 -
5. Checkered Midi Skirt, $101 -
6. Mod Print Skirt, $69 -
7. 3/4 Sleeve Midi Dress, $61,
8. Circular skirt, $76 -
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