Skirt length & Hemlines : 9 Names that define a skirt hemline

Different skirt lengths explained

Skirt length is no trivial matter. The hemline and the length of this universally liked clothing requires quite a bit of deliberation. After all, the skirt is accepted as the best attire for women in even the most traditional and prestigious business places. Then there is the hemline index, linking the economy to skirt length.

The so-called hemline theory which came up during the 1920s says “shorter the hemline, stronger the economy”. This observation of the relation between hemlines of skirts and the economy is attributed to Wharton Business School Professor George Taylor. George Taylor in 1926 came up with a theory that suggests that hemlines on women’s dresses rise along with stock prices. 

In short, this means that during good economic times many women could afford silk stockings and hence raised their skirt hemlines. When economic conditions got worse the hemlines were lowered because they could not afford silk stockings.

I cannot fathom why a tailor (instead of Mr.Taylor) did not notice this first. He deals the most with hems and hemlines. 

How do we choose the hemlines ?

In a more ordinary scenario of our lives, the choice of the length of the skirt is more of a personal choice. You will be deciding on the skirt length according to many factors, other than personal choice – like the fashion of the times, culture, height, weight and shape of the person, personality, and comfort.

If you are looking at short skirts, one more important consideration comes into play – the shape and condition of your legs. Nevermind, just imagine I didn’t say that. Wear whatever you like, whatever your shape. 

Here is a post on how to measure skirt length

Skirt length guide – Names


Micro Mini
micro mini skirt length

A very short skirt length, just covering the underwear. This is usually worn over hosiery, because of the short skirt length measurement.

micro mini

Mini Skirt Length
hemlines -mini skirt

This skirt length is at about 3 to 4 inches above the knee.

mini skirt

Street Skirt length
street skirt length

This skirt length is at or just above the knee.

street skirt

Midi Skirt length 
midi skirt

The skirt length falls between the knee and mid-calf.

midi skirt

Tea length 
tea length skirt

This skirt length fall on the mid calf, about 6 to 7 inches from the floor. This length can make you look taller and thinner if the hemline comes about two inches above your ankle.

tea length skirt

Ballerina Skirt length
ballerina skirt length

This is a skirt length that falls just above the floor but reveals the ankle beneath. The hem can be right on the ankle bone, or just a few inches above, giving a glimpse of the ankle bone.

ballerina skirt length
Floor Skirt Length 
floor length skirt

This is a skirt length that just grazes the ground or comes to about 1″ above the floor with shoes. This is a dressy style more suited for evening or formal wear. 

floor length skirt hemline

Handkerchief Skirt length 
handkerchief hemline
This is an asymmetrical skirt length with the high point at mid-calf and the low point falling to about the ankle.
High Low skirt length

skirt hemlines length names -high low length

This is another asymmetrical skirt length, with the front portion shorter than the back – the front hemline will fall somewhere between the knee and the midcalf and the back will be longer.

high low hemline skirt

Related posts : 15 Different kinds of hems for clothes; Different types of skirts ; How to sew skirts; Different types of gowns; Different types of pants; How to sew an easy elastic waist skirt


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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.

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