The Underrated Maxi Skirt Is The Perfect Alternative To Pants

I’m a convert.

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Elsa Hosk maxi skirt minimalist
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I’m a tried-and-true pants person. Winter, summer, and everything in-between, I gravitate towards this two-legged style when getting dressed each morning. The structured tailoring and ease of wear make it a go-to when I have minutes to decide what to throw on before heading out the door. But, even a good thing can get a bit tedious at times, and with all the newness I preview each season, I’ve been itching to try something new. As the pendulum of fashion seems to swing wide from season to season — think spring ‘22’s micro miniskirts to fall ‘23’s maxi skirts) — I discovered the latter as a silhouette that is similarly streamlined and minimal and ticks the same boxes as my beloved pants.

Slim-fitting and sparse in details, this iteration of the maxi skirt bears no resemblance to its ruffly, bohemian sister. No, this version, the minimalist’s take on the floor-length number, is closer related to, yes, you may have guessed it, pants. This season’s latest offerings range from tailored and sleek, tucking you in all the right places, to more fluid styles that are languid and easy. The common thread that ties these variations together are that they are versatile enough, like trousers, to wear to the office or out at night.

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And with winter rearing it’s ugly head, I’m particularly fond of the idea of fully covering my legs (still with hosiery underneath, of course) without drowning in fabric. The narrow fit makes for a polished and flattering look, and coat lengths ranging from cropped and mid-thigh to floor-grazing all work when putting the outfit together.

But don’t consider it only as a modest form of expression. Style it with your favorite cold-weather crop top — yes, that is a thing — and wear it high-waisted with a belt or let it hang off your hips for a less restricted fit. The amount of fabric a maxi skirt warrants is a solid counterpoint for something less on top. It’s all a balancing act.

Ahead, some modern takes on the winter skirt taking wardrobes — including mine — by storm.

Tailored To A T

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A finely tailored maxi skirt in wool or crisp cotton is a great alternative to your standard work trousers. Style it with a belt for an added air of professionalism and your favorite button-down top and nipped blazer. In the summer, opt for a classic cotton crew neck t-shirt (but make sure that it’s made of heavy duty thick cotton as anything less errs a bit too casual) and collar necklace.

Black, But Not Boring

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Nothing is more powerful than an understated, well, anything. The sleek design, minimal details and almost body-hugging form of the black maxi skirt is more attention-grabbing than a loud, ornate piece of clothing. It makes a statement with its restraint and it’s an item in your closet that will stand the test of time. Choose one in a quality fabric that will work for all seasons, like tropical wool.

Shine In Satin

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I always notice the person that attends a black-tie event in a coordinated ensemble. In a sea of gowns and cocktail dresses, it’s refreshing to see a well put-together evening look that hints at the wearer’s confidence and lack of care of fitting in. The satin maxi skirt is a worthy option when going that route. But it requires some styling muscle to figure out what to pair it with. When in doubt, I would default to a tuxedo jacket with a satin lapel and a scoop neck silk bodysuit.