Slim Midis

In addition to the bevy of rounded shoulders, peplum dresses, and ankle-strap heels shown this fall, today we're delighted to present another '40s-influenced fashion trend: the slim midi skirt! More than a simple pencil, these skirts boast the season's key below-the-knee to mid-calf hemline and come in a range of modern cuts and interesting prints. The result is that this retro skirt is suddenly a wardrobe essential for all, as everyone from style stars (Kate Bosworth) to stylish editors (Joanna Hillman) are wearing it!

While there were vast interpretations of this trend on the fall runways, we were particularly crazy about the way Dries van Noten showed the slim silhouette. For one of our favourite looks, show above, van Noten styled the Dark Brown and White Skirt ($813, 305.865.1100) with the equally dizzying psychedelic-print Patterned Coat ($1962) and a Black Leather and Tan Snakeskin Boots ($1095, 212.593.7800). The resulting ensemble is fashion-forward and very cool, no doubt, but you could also break it up and style the skirt with an office-appropriate blouse to create a fabulous nine-to-five ensemble.

As today's fashionable quintet demonstrates, the slim midi skirt is making quite an impression off the runways too! One of the best things about this skirt style is that its understated, conservative silhouette is an excellent canvas for prints and textured detailing; just look to Carine Roitfeld and Joanna Hillman to see what we mean. Roitfeld was a vision at the Alexander Wang S/S 12 show in New York two months ago, when she wore an orchid-print Givenchy skirt with a basic black top and green ankle-strap heels. The combination is both incredibly stylish and professional, much like the outfit Hillman assembled during NYFW this past September. The Harper's Bazaar Senior Fashion Market Editor had us flipping for her smart proportional play, which was achieved by pairing her slim, below-the-knee Marc Jacobs polka-dot midi skirt with a Proenza Schouler cropped tweed jacket. We're also fond of style blogger Doina Ciobanu's on-trend textured skirt-ASOS' Pencil Skirt in Contrast Lace ($54) to be exact-and the way she contrasted its prim, ladylike look with a chunky knit sweater by Mango and leather Reed Krakoff heels for a brilliant winter ensemble, as seen on Stockholm Streetstyle.

While we have a certain fondness for the classic, '40s-inspired shape of the midi skirt, we also think it's important to note its more modern iterations. In addition to boasting of-the-moment prints and textures, the modern midi is also characterised by its interesting design. For example, Kate Bosworth caught our eye at a runway show for the CFDA Fashion Fund finalists in Los Angeles last month, thanks to her Proenza Schouler Technical Crepe Asymmetrical Top ($1145) in Electric Lime and Smocking Skirt ($1160) in brown, both from the S/S 12 collection. The skirt's cut-out detailing around the hips and mix of fabrics make for an architecturally intriguing combination that was appropriate for the fashionable event. A month earlier at the Issa London S/S 12 show, Garage magazine founder Dasha Zhukova also selected a Proenza Schouler midi skirt, only she opted for the Zip Blanket Wrap Skirt ($1385) from the F/W 11 collection paired with the brand's Black Tissue Tee ($275) and Multicolor High Heel Sandals ($1195, available here in Red/Purple). Not only are we fond of her skirt's lovely Santa Fe-inspired print, but the asymmetric, wrap-effect gives the piece a cool and current look.

If you too would like to try a slim midi this season, you'll definitely want to snag a few of our stylish picks! For those seeking a traditional silhouette with a interesting print a la Roitfeld and Hillman, Topshop's Spot Pencil Skirt ($76), Anthropologie's Tile-Quilted Pencil Skirt ($118), and Diane von Furstenberg's Cassiana Skirt ($275) all fit the bill perfectly. We'd also like to direct you to ASOS' Pencil Skirt ($162) in Metallic Leather and Tibi's Paisley Jacquard Pencil Skirt ($375), as both are fun and festive options for the holidays, thanks to their lustrous fabrics! Prefer a modern slim midi instead? We love the look of a peplum skirt and think Alexander Wang's Dropped Peplum Skirt ($495) and Preen's Carter Wool Crepe Midi Skirt ($1285) are two stellar choices that are definitely worth the investment. Finally, we believe Reiss' Orchid Fitted Wrap Front Skirt ($129) is a fitting alternative for Bosworth's Proenza Schouler pick, not to mention, the price is right!-Jessica Baker

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