Hit Summer Style Nirvana With These Top & Skirt Pairings

Combos to keep on rotation.

Originally Published: 
Nicole Degreas in a feather skirt
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The temps are high and the sweatiest of months are upon us. So if your daily closet encounters are starting to resemble Cher Horwitz’s Clueless bedroom floor scene and you “have, like, nothing to wear,” it’s time to test drive some new outfit ideas. A suggestion? Forget the tired, everyday sundresses, and slip into summer’s best skirt and shirt combinations — all matches made in fashion heaven — for maximum warm weather chicness.

Let’s start with the skirt portion of this equation. “When I wear skirts, they are the protagonist, rather than the top, because they are usually special because of their color or textures,” Alejandra Alonso Rojas, Creative Director and CEO of namesake brand Alejandra Alonso Rojas, tells TZR. Nicole Degreas, Director of Special Projects at Adriana Degreas, adds, “I usually like to highlight the skirt, my tops are always something simpler.” And Sofia Espinosa Tcherassi, Ready-to-Wear Director at Silvia Tcherassi, says, “I like [skirts] that are feminine and sophisticated. Each skirt I own is unique and has a very eye-catching aesthetic. Wearing a skirt gives me the opportunity to play around with what I wear on top to suit my mood.”

Another fantastic benefit of skirts are the sheer level of different looks they can create. “I love how versatile a skirt can be!” Degreas says. “You can wear most skirts in the morning as a chill look, at the beach as a cover up, or at night when going out. It can be worn during summer or during winter with some tights. You can wear skirts anytime, anywhere!” Alonso Rojas agrees. “A skirt that has versatility is a no-brainer,” she says. “You already can see it paired with lots of different things in your closet.”

To find that perfect skirt, start with the right length and fit for you personally. “I love a mini or a midi,” says Alonso Rojas. “I’m 5’4” so I like the versatility of a mini or a midi skirt for a day to evening look. Midi skirts are long on me but I love that. You can wear them with high boots or even sandals in the summer or heels for a more evening look, it changes the look completely.”

Degreas also is a fan of the midi length. “In my personal life I always prefer to wear a midi skirt as I feel I look more elongated and chic,” Degreas says. “I would pick mini skirts only when they are fun and have a certain je ne sais quoi like my feather one, and especially to go out!” Espinosa Tcherassi adds, “I really enjoy wearing midi skirts for everyday use. I feel they are very transitional for every season and never go out of style. I love to wear them with casual t-shirts and boots.”

One you have your bottom half covered (literally), it’s time to start playing with various tops. “I personally prefer that if a skirt is more tight the top should be loose — and vice versa. I think the contrast of the two shapes make the outfit stand out,” Espinosa Tcherassi says. “If the skirt has a lot of fabric, is very voluminous, or has an exaggerated print, go for a more simple top,” Degreas notes. “This way, the look looks balanced and elegant. I love a very high-low aesthetic, so I always choose a part of the look to be more glam or special and the other more discreet”

Finally, our experts agree that the easiest pairing is of course a matching set. “Matching skirt set tops are my favorite at the moment!” Espinosa Tcherassi says. “I really like these because you can wear them for more formal events and they have a very polished look. For different occasions, you can style only the top or only the skirt, so sets are very multi-use which I prefer.” Alonso Rojas seconds that. “I love sets. I like to have the best set for top and skirt and not think about it,” she says. “They have to complement each other to make the look perfect.”

Ready to put together a few pairings yourself? Ahead, some foolproof ideas to start with.

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Silky Blouse + Dip-Dye Skirt

Alejandra Alonso Rojas

Bias cut skirts with a gradient dye effect act as a statement piece, allowing an entire outfit to be built around them. “I really like playing with the skirts and changing the tops or the accessories to transform the look from day to evening — even from summer to winter,” says Rojas. A coordinating silk top will take your skirt from day to night in a jiffy. “Buy directly with the perfect top and alternate it with a white t-shirt or button down shirt, which always looks good with a skirt,” she explains. “I love to create a monochromatic bright look. In the summer, I wear them with flat sandals to run around and beautiful high heel sandals at night.”

Crochet Camp Shirt + Patterned Slip Skirt

We all have that beloved midi slip skirt in our closet that has been worn over and over in the warm weather months with our basics. This season, though, try styling yours with a crochet top for an less expected contrast of textures. A slightly boxy-feeling camp shirt shape in crochet will balance the silhouette of the slim, silky skirt perfectly. And don’t shy away from playing with prints and patterns mashups as well (cue the adorable Dr. Scholl’s x Ganni summer collab slides). Finish off the look with a cute knitted bag to really lean into the crafty crochet trend.

Oversized Tee + Tennis Skirt

Tennis skirts have taken social media by storm and the activewear favorite is no longer reserved for sporty activities and the courts. Make yours an easy day look with an oversized tee on top, for a cool ‘90s feel. Keep the retro mood going with accessories that speak to the same decade, like chain jewelry, fresh white kicks, and a shrunken hobo bag.

Rugby Top + Pleated Skirt

Revive your pleated skirt with a rugby striped top for a quirky vibe, straight out of a Wes Anderson film. Look for an oversized polo or short sleeve button down shirt in collegiate colors (horizontal stripes only!) to wear with a minimal pleated skirt. Then throw on a baroque pearl choker necklace, a totally relevant touch, and get crafty with chain pendants for an updated take on preppy jewelry classics. A fashionable criss-cross flat sandal and a raffia or netted bag makes for the ultimate finishing touches accessory-wise.

Printed Button Down + Feather Skirt

“I mix feathers that I love, with a mini skirt that is necessary due to the high temperature, with my favorite print and my go-to glitter heels!” Degreas tells TZR, proving that feathers needn’t be reserved for the evening. To make this pairing work, keep the rest of your ensemble understated. A subtle printed linen button-down, and metallic block heel or flat, and statement earrings keep things casual but iconic. “I love earrings, so I always try to play around with them, putting some big vintage ones,” Degreas says. “Sometimes I’ll do a longer one to have some spot of amusement on the top as well!” Fashion should be all about the element of fun after all, shouldn’t it?

Racer Front Tank + Voluminous Ball Skirt

Get a skirt that does double duty, like a full, ball-style version, made from satin or taffeta. To keep things relevant for now, style yours with a simple racer front tank top á la street style muse Tamu McPherson. This look can be worn for day or night, with classic kitten heel mules, like the ever-favorite Manolo slip-on. Fun cat-eye sunglasses and a graphic top handle mini bag, make this combo appropriate for a day out.

Crop Top + Knotted Skirt

Special events, like that next wedding on the calendar, or an evening out calls for a little something fancier. A matching crop top will lend ease when dressing, but texture keeps things from looking too one note as well. “I love that the [Lugnano] skirt has our signature knot which makes the silhouette so much more particular and the top has a fabric manipulation at the neck,” Espinosa Tcherassi tells TZR. “Both the skirt and top are made in jacquard with a very interesting texture. I love how fabric and its manipulation give the look dimension.” Grab a shiny slide and dainty jewelry for a match made in heaven.

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