Updated on November 15, 2022 by Sarina Tariq
A skirt is just a tube shaped garment hanging down from the waist. But it is a very versatile tube which makes the wearer sophisticated, feminine, flirty, warm, stylish, prim & proper, daring – depending on its make and model.
I bet that you will find at least one skirt in every girl’s wardrobe – atleast as a petticoat or as a divided skirt or a half slip or whatever. You cannot ignore this piece of fabric sewn into many different styles and types to suit the body shape and the fashion style of the times.
After you have explored the different types of skirts do not forget to checkout which skirt would suit you the best as per your bodyshape or the easiest skirt pattern or the 9 skirt lengths and their names and the different free skirt patterns
Types of skirts
1. A line skirt
This skirt has a slight flare which makes this one look like a capital letter A. Hence the name A line skirt. This is one of the most common and popular silhouettes among skirts.
2. Fitted skirt (Pencil skirt/Tube skirt)
As the name indicates this is a form fitting skirt from waist to the hips usually with the help of darts.
Pencil skirt is in this category. Tube skirt is a fitted skirt made in stretchy fabric. This is a very figure flattering skirt.
3. Gathered skirt / Full skirt
This skirt is a simple skirt gathered at the waistline. Another name is Bouffant skirt.
It is usually a straight piece of fabric with the top edge gathered either with an elastic waistband or a drawstring waistband or a plain fitted waistband.
A bell skirt has slight gathers at the waistline with pronounced hem line, standing stiff by using crinoline petticoats inside. A hoop skirt is a gathered skirt with the fullness at the hem pronounced using crinoline or rings inside.
A prairie skirt is a gathered skirt with a ruffled portion attached to the hem.
4. Mini Skirt
A Mini skirt is a short skirt, approximately 10 to 17 inches in length. Other names given to this shirt are bondage skirt, Pelmet skirt. A Micro Mini is an even shorter dress, typically about 10 inches or smaller. You can learn more about Mini skirt here and make a mini skirt from the mini skirt pattern here.
5. Flared skirt
This is a skirt which is quite fitting at the waistline and hipline but has a flare at the hemline.
You can have this skirt with a flounced hem – this is a circular ruffle added to the hem. Check out the tutorial to sew a flounced hem skirt here.
6. Draped Skirt
A draped skirt has fullness gathered or draped on one side.
It is also called a Sarong draped skirt. Sarong is a square piece of fabric which can be wrapped around the body to make a skirt. A Sarong drape skirt is a sarong wraped around the body and worn like a skirt.
7. Layered skirt
In this type of skirt layers of ruffled fabric are arranged one on top of the other to form a skirt.
Checkout this tutorial to make an easy ruffled skirt with an old jeans and some fabric
8. Circle skirt
This is a very full skirt which is cut from half, or full circular pieces of fabrics. The fabric piece of the skirt will resemble a circle with a hole which is why the name. Another name is a swing skirt. A short circle skirt may be called a Skating skirt. A popular circle skirt with a black poodle applique is called the Poodle skirt.
This is a paneled skirt with sections of fabric giving fullness to an A line silhouette. A petticoat skirt pattern which is given here is a panelled skirt.
10. Godet skirt
A godet is triangular piece of fabric inserted into the body of the skirt to give fullness.
11. Trumpet skirt
A trumpet shaped skirt is fitted near the waist and till the bottom hem and then flares outside near the hem. A mermaid skirt is a trumpet shaped skirt. Another name is a fish tail skirt. Checkout the tutorial to sew a Mermaid skirt here
12. Wrap skirt
This is a one piece skirt which is wrapped around the body, overlapping and fastened with the help of ties or a button closure. Check out the tutorial to draft and sew a free size fits all reversible wrap skirt and a stylish asymmetrical wrap skirt
13. Divided skirt
A divided skirt looks like a skirt with wide flares but is actually divided into two legs like pants
Checkout this tutorial to sew a divided skirt
14. Pleated skirt
This type of skirt has pleats or a single pleat arranged around the waistband or a yoke. Inverted pleated skirt, Knife-pleated skirt, Box pleated skirt are different types of pleated skirts. An Accordion skirt is a pleated skirt made of machine pleated fabric.
Read more about the different types of pleated skirts here.
15. Asymmetrical Hem skirt
These are skirts with a hem which looks asymmetrical ; A Handkerchief skirt is one, which looks like you are holding down a handkerchief pinching its center, with its corners hanging down.
16. Bubble Skirt
This is a gathered skirt with a puffy silhouette just above the hem with the hem gathered (going in) with an elastic casing or a band.
17. Balloon Skirt
The balloon skirt has a fitted waistline and hipline but the fullness at the hem is gathered into a band just like a bubble skirt.
18. Yoke Skirt
These are skirts with two parts to them – the yoke above and the skirt below. The yoke may be of different types – round, asymmetrical or triangular. The part below may be gathered or pleated.
This skirt is also called the hip hugger as the yoke fits around the hip. Checkout the post on sewing a yoke skirt
19. Tulip skirt
This skirt as the name suggests has the shape of an inverted tulip flower. It is a skirt with overlapping panels in the front with an irregular hem because of the way it overlaps. The skirt is wider at the middle than the hem or waist.
20. Tiered skirt
You can learn how to make a tiered skirt in the post on DIY Gypsy skirt
Skirt names as per length
Skirts are also classified according to their lengths. Starting from short length, they are called micro mini, mini, above knee length, knee length, cocktail, midi, maxi, evening length and floor length.
Depending on the taste of the person wearing a skirt or the style prevalent or even the cultural influence on the wearer or the body shape of the wearer, the height of the skirt can vary greatly.
- Micro mini – This skirt length ends 1 inch below your bottom. Another way to look at it is the length of the skirt itself – very short at about 8-10 inch.
- Mini -This skirt length ends at mid thigh
- Above knee length
- Knee length
- Cocktail length ( Street length) This length ends anywhere between just below the knee to above mid calf.
- Midi – This skirt length is somewhere between the knee and the ankle
- Long or Maxi skirt – This skirt length is between right below mid calf to lower calf some 10 inches from the floor
- Formal Evening or full length skirt -This skirt length is seen 1 inch above the floor.
- Floor length – Apparently grazes the floor