At the cafe in The Wallace Collection recently, the waitress who took us to our seat was a lady probably about my age, beautifully “turned out” as my mother would have said, in a red shift dress and her hair up. What jarred for me was the shortness of her dress – several inches above her knees. Her legs were shapely so it is not about that, but in my opinion short hemlines do not work on older ladies. Many clients say they don’t want to look like “mutton dressed as lamb” and I think hemline length is an important factor. This brings me to my own recent experience..
In the spirit of “second-hand September” I picked up the little Cos number (pictured below) in a charity shop on a trip to Lewes. Great colour for me and I loved the shape but I nearly rejected it on the grounds of length. I have good legs; not even anything wrong with the knees. (I love the quote from Bette Midler – “The legs are the last to go!”) but I hate the thought that someone might look, see the legs and then notice (as I did with the waitress) that the face doesn’t really go with them! That, in my opinion, draws attention to my age and not in a good way. I feel much happier with skinny jeans underneath so the dress becomes a tunic. For me, short skirts are for the young and slim. Do you agree? I would love to hear from you.
There was a time when we waited for the fashion magazines to be told where hemlines would be for the next season. (I AM going back a long way!). Luckily, nowadays, anything goes from stratospheric to full length so why not choose a hemline which most flatters you?
The optimum length for a skirt is just below the knee at a point where your leg goes in towards its own bone (even if only a little). Try and avoid a hemline across the fattest part of your calf. It is really worth checking your hemlines in the mirror and getting them altered to be most flattering.
A hem longer than just below the knee and you are in danger of looking dowdy unless:
You are tall and slim.
You wear heels