Please don’t judge me for what I’m about to confess, but…I loathe pants. Yes, I know it’s a “controversial” stance considering most of the fashion set swears by the power of a great pair of jeans or trousers, but I stand by my convictions. Skirts are the wardrobe staple—they’re universally flattering, seasonless, and downright comfortable. I know I’m not the only one that feels this way about this bottom. One could say that the rise of sentimental feelings about skirts can be directly linked to the Fall/Winter 2022 runway collections. From Paris to Milan to New York, there was no city where we didn’t see skirts play a pivotal role in designers’ collections. But as someone who wears skirts 85% of the time, I can tell you that not all skirts are created equal. And with this season’s collections having every type of skirt imaginable, it’s more important than ever to suss out the few trends that are worth your time. So ahead, I’ve shifted through runway images and some of my favorite retailers to break down 8 fall skirt trends you’ll want to know about. Whether you’re an avid skirt fan like myself or need some convincing to ditch your pants, there’s something in here for everyone.
If last fall and spring were all about the mini-skirt, this season will be all about the maxi. Across the board, we saw collections champion floor-sweeping skirts. But it wasn’t just their length that made them noteworthy—the focus on details made this skirt trend stand out. We saw everything from leather maxi skirts (at Tod’s F/W22 collection) to velvet versions (at Christian Siriano). And if luxe fabrications weren’t the focus, it was all about fit. A minimal fish-tail-like maxi skirt was found at Ludovic De Saint Sernin, while a version with a drop-waist and built-in belt was at Y/Project. No matter the minor details of each skirt, on a larger scale, it’s safe to say that the maxi skirt is back and better than ever.
Hear me out on this: I know knee-length skirts can illicit very different memories for many, including a time in their adolescence when they were required to wear skirts that graze past their kneecaps. But the versions we saw on the F/W 22 runway make a compelling case for this silhouette’s comeback. We saw designers take this “conservative” style and make it a little risqué through tailoring. Miu Miu sent low-rise pleated skirts down the runway with exposed boxers; Stella McCartney created a saffron satin slip skirt with a matching bralette. In addition to tailoring, styling was also a central focus of spicing up this staple. Emilia Wickstead paired a simple crop top with an impeccably tailored knee-length skirt. In contrast, Maximillian paired a chocolate brown suede skirt with over-the-knee boots, elbow gloves, and a bra. Whoever said covering your knees couldn’t be hot never saw F/W 22 collections because this trend will only get hotter from here.
While full skirts have been a staple since the 19th century, we’ve typically seen this style at its peak popularity during times of austerity (i.e., the civil war, the great depression, and the ’50s). And with the world being in such a state of fluxation, it only makes sense that we’d see designers drawn to more voluminous silhouettes. But unlike past iterations, these skirts have a more modern take that can be attributed to tailoring and color blocking rather than draping. At Bottega Veneta, leather fringe was used as an underskirt to create a full silhouette, while pleats were used at Prada to the same avail. In contrast, Proenza Schouler used color blocking and bias-cutting to create the illusion of volume. And then (my personal favorite) was how Tory Burch paired full lurex shirts with contrasting fitted wrap tops to create a crisp, accentuated silhouette. Each iteration of this skirt proves that while this trend may be “old,” it can never be dull (if done right).
Despite my own misgivings, I know that fall is denim season and that many live for this time of year. So, of course, the idea of swapping out skinny jeans for a skirt may be a non-starter. Luckily, one trend manages to bridge the gap: denim skirts. We’ve already seen this style gain massive traction with the fashion set, and you get it once you see FW/22 collections. There was no shortage of ways to embrace this trend—from mini-skirt versions at Versace to midi-skirt versions at Ami Paris. But what made this style stand out came back to the tailoring. We saw faded denim in a maxi silhouette with a train at Vaquera, while Diesel used low-slung hemlines, hardware, and deconstruction. Any former doubts one may have had about denim (or skirts) can be put to bed, thanks to this trend.
In addition to denim being a perennial favorite for fall, it’s no secret that leather is also a “must-have” for the season. And while we’ve seen every version of leather staples under the sun (pants, jackets, shoes, etc.,) the one that’s my very own personal favorite is skirts. That’s no surprise considering the topic of the story, but what is surprising is how this style has managed to stay relevant season after season. In part, that’s due to the continued creativity of reenvisioning this staple—which is seen in F/W 22 collections. We saw designers dig into the details this season and add small elements that took this already magical piece to a new celestial place. We saw a navy blue mid-calf leather skirt paneled with chiffon at Fendi, while stones were added to the waistline of a red skirt at Chloé. Buttons adorned the bottom of a camel leather skirt at Saks Potts, while the tiniest ties held together a cutout leather skirt at Nensi Dojaka. Each detail seemed as if it was akin to a star in the universe—brightly shining and too stunning not to stare at for extensive amounts of time.
Knitwear is nothing new, and yet somehow, each fall, designers manage to make it feel so. Which is defiantly the case with the woven skirt trend we saw all over the F/W 22 runway. While there was a point a few years ago when knit skirt sets were the belle du jour of social media as we all socially distanced, the versions found on this season’s runway feel like they’ve grown since their initial virality. That evolution is visible through the skirts’ hemlines and density. At Jil Sander, we saw thick wool knit gray versions with mermaid-like silhouettes. Gabriela Hearst sent salmon-hued chunky, flared skirts that hit above the ankle down the runway. At the same time, technicolor skirts with bright stitching and high slits were found at Ulla Johnson. And then, there was the ultra-sleek long-line knitted pale yellow skirt at Rejina Pyo paired with a matching vest. Each version seemed to reflect how our approach to dressing has evolved over the past few years—we’re all looking to be comfortable yet chic, and this skirt trend does just that.
While longer-line hemlines were more popular across the board this season, we didn’t see mini skirts entirely disappear. Instead, we saw the fanfare of mini skirts be translated into a more specific category: party dressing. The idea of dressing up for a special night out again (whether it’s spent with a date or on the dance floor) is something to be excited about. And that animation has translated into the festive mini skirts all over the F/W 22 runway. Unlike the previous versions of this trend that specifically focused on the shock value of shrunken hemlines, this season was all about sparkle. We saw mini-skirts adorned with uniquely shaped sequins at No.21 while vibrant saffron ones adorned a low-slung skirt at LaQuan Smith. But it wasn’t just sequins that made this skirt style shine; hardware did too. We saw Versace use hot-pink crystal-adorned chains to embellish a mini skirt, while Coperni created a faux cut-out effect using mirrors. The result is a mini skirt that can make anyone want to dance—because they’re that cute.
Oh, you’re still here? Good, because we saved the best trend for last. While I’m a die-hard stan for skirts and believe they triumph pants, I can understand if you’re still dubious about swapping this bottom this season. Let me leave you with some parting advice: don’t do it; instead, wear them both. I know the idea seems very mid-aughts, but if F/W 22 runways taught us anything, it’s that styling is the key to making a skirt trend work for you. Don’t be afraid to look to the runway as your guidepost when trying to recreate this trend. You’ll want to note how silhouettes played a pivotal role in pulling this look off—at Jacquemus and Rokh, skirts with a bit more flare were paired over slim trousers with ankle-split hems. While at DSquared2 and Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s mini skirts were styled over black pants and paired with even more layers to create visual intrigue. All these examples show that you don’t have to choose between your favorite bottoms; you can wear both if you’re bold enough.
Next: Our Readers Unanimously Agree, These Fall Trends Are Actually Worthwhile