As people re-emerged from the past two years and revved up their sartorial muscles (which may or may not have atrophied slightly during the loungewear craze of 2020), a new era of sensual dressing began to materialize. Midriff-flossing strings scissored obliques and tummies into view, while pelvic-cutout trousers offered a suggestive peek at one’s hipbones. And even now, well into 2022, the sultry momentum has yet to cease. Perhaps most indicative of an ongoing desire to flash flesh is spring’s leg-slit trend, which has become a testament to the subtle yet mighty art of the reveal.
Slit dresses and skirts — some modest, others very much not — were a mainstay during Spring/Summer 2022’s showings. Paco Rabanne sent a slew of polka-dotted slit skirts and dresses down its runway, while Etro unveiled a turtleneck, long-sleeved gown that shrouded its model in fabric save for one hipbone-reaching leg slit. There was Loewe, too, which showed love to an oft-forgotten part of the leg via slashed, knee-slit cutouts (yes, you read that correctly: knee slits).
SUBSURFACE founder Kari Fry theorizes the leg-slit trend speaks to “our primal instinct colliding with social media,” perfectly catering to the innate human desire to be seen. And, she adds, sultry garments like slit pieces are less about being desired by others and more about appreciating oneself. “We feel the most sensual when we’re in tune with ourselves and our needs,” the designer says. “The pandemic brought that on for many, prioritizing self-care and career changes while ‘hustle culture’ took a backseat. It was a shift in headspace,” Fry offers.
Furthermore, Fry points out that leg slits are typically discussed in a trending capacity when seen on formalwear-clad celebrities on red carpets, so to see them become prevalent within the ready-to-wear space is not insignificant. She categorizes the skin-baring trend’s widespread popularity as part of the celebratory phenomenon that normalizes showy, statement details for all occasions — even mundane, daytime activities like running errands or working remotely. “As the industry shifts towards being more inclusive, red carpet trends like leg slits are no longer specific to those attending the Met Gala or fashion week,” Fry surmises, inviting non-celebrities to flash some leg whenever and wherever they please.
Wray Serna, the founder of the eponymous WRAY, builds on Fry’s point, saying the modern renaissance of sensual fashion is size-inclusive, too. The indie label offers an extended size range of XXS-6X and a custom option for clothing over 6X, and items like WRAY’s satin, leg-revealing Kim Skirt have become symbolic of size-inclusive sultry clothing. “Our plus person simply wants to be able to wear what their size 6 friend is wearing,” Serna describes to TZR, explaining how pieces like the influencer-adored slit skirt were designed so everyone could feel “flirty, playful, and confident.”
Keep reading for more on the conspicuous trend, including outfits recommended by the aforementioned experts and a few slit dresses and skirts to shop. Spring 2022 invites you to show some leg — and, most importantly, it's entirely up to your discretion on exactly how much you’d like to reveal.
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Go All-Out Glam
Turn wherever you are — at home, the makeup aisle at CVS, or a trendy brunch spot — into a glamorous, red carpet-level showing by donning a shimmering slit skirt. Add in more metallics, too, with a sequined blouse or cardigan and an eye-catching necklace in silver. Chanel’s iconic double CC pendant number makes for an especially luxe option.
An LBD, Of Course
For your next date night with your partner or GNO with your best pals, rely on the magic of an LBD with either a slide or back center slit. Add more refined flair and a touch of tailored finesse to your nighttime ensemble by including a feather-trimmed blazer. Then, put on some opulent hoops — like Mateo’s diamond huggie pair — and a pair of pumps in which you can dance all night.
Knits With Slits
“Many of us are working from home still but want to ditch our sweats for something more stylish,” states Serna. “As we move into the ‘90s and early 2000’s trends, we are seeing a shift from the era of oversized dresses to leg-revealing ensembles,” offers the designer. As a result, Serna says there’s been an uptick in comfortable clothing that possesses a sexy edge, with many swapping their billowing, lounge-y nap dresses for items like knit sets with slight leg slits.
If you’re on the market for a new WFH uniform, try Monrow’s oatmeal-colored midi skirt and matching henley. And since the slit of the skirt puts your leg on display, why not add a golden anklet for some on-display shimmer?
Reveal A Surprise Underneath
The leg-slit trend doesn’t inherently mean flashing some skin — it can adopt a more demure effect via strategic layering. Consider a playful fashion peek-a-boo moment à la the dress-over-pants-trend by teaming a slit skirt with a pair of perforated leggings or form-fitting cutout trousers. The combo speaks to the art of a coy (yet still inherently sensual) reveal.
A Sultry & Silky Set
Consider a silky slit skirt and a matching top for an insouciant, put-together look that works for date night or, for those who dare, a statement daytime ensemble. In particular, Fry shouts out SUBSURFACE’s Ribbon Wrap Skirt and Silke Tie Top, saying the set is sculptural and intended to honor the female form.
“SUBSURFACE’s pieces are very Renaissance-inspired, mainly because so many artists and sculptors centered women in their works,” Fry says, particularly citing Antonio Corradini’s Vestal Virgin Tuccia for inspiring the label’s viral slit skirt. “The pure craftsmanship and portrayal of silk and linen sculpted from rock is very inspirational for what I create, especially in utilizing natural materials and heavy-weight silk — like with the Ribbon Wrap Skirt.”
Prepster In Pleats
A leg-slit pleated skirt — either in midi, mini, or maxi form — riffs off the preppy style revival to create a two-for-one trending garment. (Shushu/Tong’s pleated slit skirt takes the garment’s buzziness one step further by also paying homage to the twee style revival with its bow-belt waistline.) When styling the piece, lean into the prepster-centric aesthetic by choosing a knit polo and a sock-and-loafer combo.
A Floral Frock
It wouldn’t be a spring fashion trend if florals weren’t involved, now would it? Consider a flower-patterned maxi dress that boasts open-leg detailing as a foolproof, sophisticated choice. Rixo’s peony-print dress, for instance, is effortlessly refined with a touch of drama due to its front slit. Add on timeless accessories — like Gucci’s iconic Jackie 1961 handbag — and slip into a pair of strappy heels.
A Sliced-Up Mini
Fashion girls have upped the dramatic ante of 2022’s miniskirt trend by mixing in leg slits to make the already flirtatious garment even more so. And, quite ingeniously, they’ve discovered a micro slit skirt that’s part of a matching set exudes a sense of refinement, allowing for the revealing garment to become suitable for daytime, too. Complete the outfit with a jaunty beret and knee-high boots in a joyful hue.
An Easy & Breezy Slit Dress
For a laidback look ideal for a weekend spent relaxing, try a slit dress done in a crisp white shade. The light color won't absorb much heat, and the slit will serve as a ventilating detail, inviting a billowing breeze to keep you cool. As for styling, remain true to the simplistic and neutral look of the dress and consider strappy white sandals for foorwear. And for those who crave a pop of color, utilize your jewelry to add vibrancy here and there.