• Christopher Hopkins

How To Wear A Full Skirt On Your Body Type

How To Pull Off A Full Skirt

Full skirts are big for spring, but how do you know what will work on you?

First off, full skirts add fullness to the figure. However, they can also disguise a multitude of figure flaws and they just are plain fun to wear. Who doesn’t want to twirl feeling fabric brush across her legs or ankles as she walks through the world. I know I would. Damn it.

So what should you wear over your derrière? Let’s start with a little primer.

A full skirt hangs like a cone from the waist covering all or part of your legs. To create a full skirt fabric is cut and sewn with the use of darts, gathers, gores, pleats or panels. Or, as in the circle skirt, it can be seamed in one or more sections with a hole cut out for the waist.

Full skirts fall into one of 4 types: Dirndl, circle, pleated or tiered.


Fashioned after Tyrollean peasant wear, the dirndl is a full, wide skirt gathered or pleated to a tight waistband.


A circle skirt is cut in one or more sections with a hole cut out for the waist. The skirt is very full but hangs smoothly from the waist over the hips without darts, pleats, or gathers.


A pleated skirt is formed by doubling fabric back upon itself and securing it in place. It is used in gather a wide piece of fabric to a narrower circumference.


A full tiered skirt is made of horizontal layers of fabric, each wider than the one above.

Body Types and Full Skirts

If you’ve read my book, Staging Your Comeback, you will understand how I classified vertical and horizontal body types.

Vertical Body Types (VBT)

Y. Smaller in the hips.

A . Smaller in the bust.

I. Smaller in hips and bust

X. Waist approximately 10 inches smaller than bust and hips.

Horizontal Body Types (HBT)

0. Head to bust, bust to waist, waist to knee and knee to floor all equidistant.

1. Head to hip longer than hip to floor.

2. Head to hip shorter than hip to floor.

3. Head to hip and hip to floor even, but short from bust to knee.

The following tips will help you find and wear the full skirt that most flatters your body type.

VBT 1, Long Torso/Short Legs:

VBT 2, Short Torso/Long Legs

VBT 3, Balanced body and leg but mid body short

Avoid contrast at the waist line and draw attention above the bust and or below the knee.

HBT A, Full Hip

Choose a pleated over tiered, longer over short and dark bottom and light top for A body types.

HBT Y, Full Bust

HBT I, Narrow Hip and Bust

The I body will be helped with a cinched waist and firm waistband, or belt. Upper body balance with a fuller blouse with fuller shoulders.

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