How To Still Wear A Miniskirt Once It Becomes Cold Again

Contrary to popular belief, it can be done.

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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 miniskirt in cold weather 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 miniskirt into 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 miniskirt 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.”

Despite being a traditionally warm-weather staple, miniskirts shined on the runways for both Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer 2023 — showing just how versatile they are as a silhouette. For Versace’s Spring/Summer 2023 runway show, Emily Ratajkowski stunned in a leather miniskirt complete with the Italian fashion house’s crest. This hardcore grunge moment could be styled for streetwear no matter the season. Kim Shui brought a more bundled up approach to the trend for the brand’s Fall/Winter 2023 show by featuring a funky reptile print. At Miu Miu — the brand who just might be singlehandedly responsible for the micro mini rebirth — their Spring/Summer 2023 miniskirt included their signature short silhouette, this time experimenting with a dropped waist. All brands styled their miniskirts with knee-high boots, a summer to fall transition staple. Additionally, in the last two years, fashion houses like Loewe, Balmain, Chanel, and Valentino have all given their stamp of approval for miniskirts in low temperatures.

Versace Spring/Summer 2023Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Kim Shui Fall/Winter 2023Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Miu Miu Spring/Summer 2023WWD/Penske Media/Getty Images

Off the runways and magazine stands and within retail shops, the miniskirt is already finding its footing for the season ahead. “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,” Pilot & Powell co-founder Coeli Hilferty tells TZR. “It can play up to the main attraction of an interesting top or loafer,” Hilferty adds that a mini can also be used as a styling piece for the season. With this dose of encouragement in mind, continue ahead for eight easy ways you can still wear a miniskirt when the weather’s cold.

Add Trousers For Style And Warmth

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A classic Y2K look is back in style this year — wearing pants under skirts and dresses. Apply this look to your transition wear, styling a pleated miniskirt on top of your favorite pair of trousers. Aim for a monochromatic look if you want your final outfit to appear seamless, or if you want pops of unique colors, pair contrasting hues on your miniskirt and trousers for the ultimate wow factor. Play with more delicate fabrics on the top since the skirt and pant combo is quite rigid. And since you’re warm on the bottom, don’t be afraid to keep the summer vibes alive on top with a thinner blouse or even a strapless top moment.

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.

Lean On Autumn Layers

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The vibe of a miniskirt 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) & Beyond

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Make 2023 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 miniskirt, the height of the shoes offset the short hemline, making it easier to wear a miniskirt 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. Bora Asku’s tweed blazer and miniskirt set is designed in faded red and whites, 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 miniskirt 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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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 miniskirt in a cool 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 micro miniskirt 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.

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