How To Still Wear A Mini Skirt When It Gets Cold

Contrary to popular belief, it can be done.

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Pernille Teisbaek in a mini skirt

For those crisp, early weeks of autumn, transitioning your wardrobe can be a bit of a headache. Namely, the weather is finicky — it’s not chilly enough to bring out the big coats and cashmere sweaters, but not warm enough to remain in sandals and dresses. Those in-between weeks and months often feel like a test of your styling skills and determining how to wear something like, say, a mini skirt can be a tad puzzling. Thankfully, it’s a closet staple that adapts to changing seasons quite well, you just have to shift what you're pairing with it. For wardrobe stylist Donna Lisa, she has a few rules of thumb when introducing the mini skirt to her autumn look. “I like to keep it balanced so crop tops are a hard no unless it’s a chunky long sleeve sweater and adding in a warm accessory like a scarf or cozy socks and boots is also a must,” she notes. “My favorite way to style a mini skirt once temperatures cool down is with tights and-or a chunky tall boot. Leg warmers or chunky socks with platform loafers are another fun winter add-on for minis.”

On the fall/winter 2022 runways, mini skirts made a surprisingly notable appearance despite being a traditionally warm-weather staple. At Molly Goddard, plaid cardigans were teamed with distressed floral minis and leggings. At Off-White, a black leather mini and matching crop top were shown with an oversized white fleece bomber and snow boots. For a more traditional take, Courrèges sent models out in slim-fitted mock-neck tops, mini skirts, and over-the-knee boots (among the more wearable ways to wear your mini in cold weather). And it wasn’t just these examples — Loewe, Balmain, Chanel, Valentino, and Miu Miu all gave their stamp of approval for mini skirts in low temperatures.

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Chanel FW 22Runway | Stephane Cardinale - Corbis//Getty Images

Off the runways and magazine stands and within retail shops, the mini skirt is already finding its footing for the season ahead. “We just received a corduroy Isabel Marant mini skirt for fall in an unexpected aqua color way,” Pilot & Powell Co-founder Coeli Hilferty tells TZR. “My business partner Kathryn and I love the idea of playing with minis in the fall and winter seasons. Paired with an oversized sweater or a relaxed workman’s style shirt, this skirt instantly becomes an easy staple for cooler days.” Hilferty adds that a mini can also be used as a styling piece for the season. “It can play up to the main attraction of an interesting top or loafer,” she says. With this dose of encouragement in mind, continue ahead for six easy ways you can still wear a mini skirt when the weather’s cold.

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Swap in the Turtleneck

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There are few outfit layering conundrums that a turtleneck can’t resolve — it’s versatile and warms you up quickly (especially if you’re pairing it with a short hemline). For those early days of autumn when the weather is turning crisp, pair a black turtleneck with a pleated khaki mini and add in fall accessories like a pair of scrunched socks and penny loafers. To offset the all-neutral palette, try a cheery bag in a zippy citrus hue.

Lend on Autumn Layers

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The vibe of a mini skirt is easily shifted from summer to fall with layers that incorporate autumn colors, prints, and materials. Begin with a red plaid mini as your base, and bring in a burnt orange blouse for a palette that nods to the changing seasons. Toss a boxy brown blazer on top of the two and finish the look with a black leather bag and lug-sole boots. To give the look a twinge of ‘90s-inspired flair, include a ribbon choker.

Go Above (the Knee) and Beyond

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Make 2022 the year when you finally take the plunge and invest in a pair of over-the-knee boots. Despite their boldness, this dramatic footwear look is surprisingly versatile. Case in point, when styled with a mini skirt, the height of the boots offset the short hemline, making it easier to wear a mini skirt well into the cooler months of autumn. Wear the duo with a simple blouse and collared jacket for a polished finish.

Make it Match

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While the idea of a skirt suit might conjure visuals of politicians or prep school uniforms, this matching set can be translated to real life when styled with artful prints and accessories. Veronica Beard’s botanical embroidered jacket and mini skirt set is designed in olive green and faded lavenders, making it feel less skewed toward summer and more appropriate for autumn. Wear the two with a crewneck sweater and croc-embossed boots for sleek texture.

Double the Accessories

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For many, the arrival of autumn signals tights weather — but if you tend to dread this tough-to-style accessory, why not shake things up a bit and try a new combination? This season, style your mini skirt with a pair of sheer tights and layer ribbed socks on top (when worn with loafers, the result is undeniably chic). Up top, a boxy blazer with pointed shoulders should do the trick.

Enliven Outerwear With Prints

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Especially if you live in a big city where rainy subway commutes are bound to ruin an outfit, it’s all too easy to shift your wardrobe from summery brights to head-to-toe-neutrals. If you’re looking for a way to incorporate a bit more energy into your look, remember that prints are always the answer. Grab a mini skirt in a festive pattern and layer a coat on top that’s designed in a contrasting print. A graphic band tee is always the secret to bringing these two together (and white boots don’t hurt, either).

Style Back-to-School Staples

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It’s probably been several years (or decades) since you ‘returned to school’ — but that doesn’t mean the season’s arrival doesn’t give you nostalgia for the occasion. Translate this sentiment to your wardrobe and bring in styling pieces that feel like a nod to collegiate fashion. A khaki mini skirt pairs well with a French blue button down plus, a sweeping black coat screams elegance. On the accessory front, try a buckle belt, white socks, and low-heel pumps.