Art of Style

Shopportunities: Skirting the Issue

How to successfully pull off the evening skirt

BY February 27, 2015


Dear Cheryl,

I have lots of gala events to attend this time of year. I love dressing up for them, although I’d like a change from my usual long dresses or cocktail numbers. —Meredith B., Naples

This season has seen the revival of the evening skirt. Forget any images of frumpy “hostess” skirts—this season’s versions are both feminine and edgy, and definitely not your grandma’s evening separates.

One of my favorite silhouettes this season is the full skirt with fitted waist. This look has a retro feel to it, so the cut and fabric are key to making it fresh and contemporary. Unless you’re boyishly slender, avoid heavy gathering or pleats springing from the waistband. Instead, look for an A-line cut that cinches the waist and then skims smoothly over the hips. Rich brocades or taffeta-type fabrics create volume without bulk. To balance fullness, choose a long or ankle-grazing length, or even a high/low hemline cut slightly higher at the front to reveal a pretty shoe.

As there’s so much volume in the skirt, it’s important to keep what you wear on your top half sleek and close to the body. A simple and fitted off-shoulder, sleeveless or bracelet-length-sleeved top, teamed with some fabulous earrings and wrist jewelry, are the perfect complements for the new evening skirts.

Cheryl Lampard, founder of Style Matters International, answers your questions each month. If you have a question for Cheryl, send it to


This year marks the 20th anniversary of Classic Chamber Concerts, whose mission is to provide world-class music, educate young audiences and encourage them to enjoy classical music. The annual gala takes place Monday, Feb. 23, and what better way to celebrate than with music from the big-band era? Guests are invited to wear black tie or “forties chic.” Ladies can take inspiration from the glitz of Hollywood’s Golden Age stars, with glamorous draped dresses (think Bette Davis) or a fitted strapless showstopper (channeling Rita Haworth in Gilda). Super-sized cocktail jewelry and heavily sequined embellishments are entirely suitable accessories. For gentlemen, a suit with a broad-shouldered boxy jacket and full-legged cuffed trousers would be perfect with a pair of two-toned, wing-tipped Oxfords. (If you’re sticking to black tie, ignore the spectator shoes—those stompers just wouldn’t be cool with a tux.)


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