How to choose the BEST skirt for your figure

Find the right type of skirt that flatter your specific body type to achieve a balanced and proportional look.

choose the right skirt style that suits you

Skirts are very easy to sew, very easy to style, and very easy to feel comfortable in – so a staple garment in most wardrobes. But it can go wrong very quickly too.

Skirts come in various shapes and styles –  but not all are suited uniformly to all body types. Let us see some basic skirt styles and which of them will suit different types of figures.

Learn more about the type of figure you have in the post: Which body shape am I? among the 7 types

General advice for buying skirts

Skirts are better in a single color than a busy, crazy print.

Ensure that the hemline falls in a flattering place on your body; in fact, this is one of the essential things in a skirt -getting the hemline right.

Too short, too long, too tight – these adjectives should be treated with caution, especially by older women, when buying skirts.

For those with a bottom-heavy body, eschew all skirts with ruffles, too many pockets, exposed zippers, too many pleats, and made of shiny or over-embellished fabric or tight stretchy fabric.

3/4 length skirts which cut across the heavy part of legs is not suitable for those with heavy legs
Skirt length for petite girls

If you have heavy legs or are very short, stay away from three-quarter-length skirts, which end at the middle of the calf. This cuts across the heavy legs and emphasizes the heaviness more. Read more on skirt lengths and hemlines here.

If you are tall and big, big prints are all right, but if you are small, petite smaller prints are better. 

How to choose the right skirt style


These skirts that have the same width at the waist and the bottom edge, are very popular among girls. They have the same width at the waist and the lower edge, and are usually made of thick fabric. The straight skirt suits all body shapes. 

Because it does not add bulk to the hip area, those with a pear-shaped body will look good in this skirt. Because it stays somewhat close to the body, it can make you look leaner and longer, especially if it is somewhat long.

Wear heels with this skirt to avoid looking stocky.

As this skirt has a straight look, it can make you look boxy if you choose a top that is loose-fitting – this skirt needs a fitted-shaped top. 


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This skirt is best suited for those with a shapely body ie the hourglass body shape. This shirt will lessen the look of broader thighs and emphasizes curves in the waist and hips.

These people should avoid pencil skirts – Those with very narrow hips and heavy thighs.

This skirt looks professional and graceful with formal shirts and high heels. The hemline of pencil skirts should hit slightly above the knee (preferably two inches above the knee) 


A circle skirt is a full skirt with an A silhouette cut on the bias grain. It is usually made of medium weight, drapey material.

A circle skirt will look good on someone with a heavier upper body – if you have a thick waist, opt for a high waist skirt resting at the smallest part of your waist.


A line skirt is tight at the waist and hips and flares out from the hips. 

As this skirt has a triangle shape, those with a heavy lower body may stay away from wearing this skirt. Its flare will add to the hips of a pear-shaped body. Most pear body shapes will have narrow shoulders, which will be over-emphasized in this skirt.  

If you have a flat bottom, do not choose this skirt, as this style could further make you look flat-bottomed.

A full A-line skirt can create the look of curves at the waistline on those with a straight-column body.


This skirt mostly screams casualness unless it has a tailored look. A staple of the hippie crowd, this skirt is increasingly getting the attention of fashion-conscious who are trying different versions of it. Attractive styles of skirt include flared maxis, ruffle ones, maxi skirts with godets, etc.

A tailored long skirt can look good on most girls. A slightly flared maxi will balance your body if you have a heavier upper body.

You can look marvelous in a maxi skirt if you are tall and willowy. Also, a Maxi skirt will hide many defects, so if you have a thick ankle or a scar on your legs or stick-thin legs and want to hide them, go for a pretty maxi.

A very short girl best avoid maxi skirts as she will look even shorter in this one but if you want to wear one despite being short, go for the less voluminous shaped one. Also, wear it at the smallest part of your waist (high waist) so that the skirt’s length will make you look taller.


This is a skirt with pleats, either machine-made or hand-made. They can be of many styles with variations in the number of pleats and the fitting. Hence they can vary in the effect they have on the body shapes.

If you have a pleated skirt that flares only at the bottom, it can make the hips and waist look slimmer, but if it has a great number of pleats starting at the waist, a heavier lower body or one with protruding stomach will appear unattractive in it.


This is a tiered skirt with a tight-fitting yoke along the hips and the lower tier having gathers or pleats. The yoke can be of straight or rounded or triangular cut. This is a particularly attractive wear for those with shapely hips and a thin waist.

This skirt is best suited for those with very broad shoulders as this skirt will balance the look for the whole body.


Tulip skirts are variations of pencil skirts; This type of skirt is narrow at the waist and bottom hem but has volume at the hips (shaped like a tulip) in the form of folds of fabric.

A high-waist tulip skirt is ideal for girls with an hourglass figure. This skirt also benefits very thin-hipped figures as it will add some curves to their flat figure. 


Mini skirts look good on girls with shapely legs – not too thin and sticky, but those with nice slender legs will be the center of attention in a mini skirt. Even if you have a thicker torso, if you have shapely legs, you can highlight them with a mini skirt.


This skirt creates a lot of gathers around the waist. This skirt is best avoided by those with a heavy torso, especially in the stomach area. The gathers around the waist will make it look more prominent.

Check out the post on drafting different skirt patterns as a first step to sewing your own skirts that will enhance your beauty. Look for more tips on dressing like How to dress according to your body shape and some dressing tips to look slim

Related posts : Different types of skirts; History of skirts

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

6 thoughts on “How to choose the BEST skirt for your figure”

  1. The language used in this blog is very negative and does teach women to hate their bodies. Try using a more positive tone and speak to the beautiful aspects of each body shape. I wonder if this was actually written by a man.

  2. The language of this post is the kind of commentary that teaches women to dislike their bodies. You could do away with labels like “thunder thighs” and still instruct people on how to find clothing that flatters different body shapes. Maybe also try to encourage people to wear what makes us happy, rather than telling us we would be “unattractive.”

    • Yes, I had the same thoughts. If your skirt makes you feel beautiful then that is the right skirt for you!

    • I have changed the offensive sounding thunder thighs, though I didn’t mean to be offensive or demeaning, but the article as such would be helpful to those who want to enhance their appearance without hating themselves.

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