How to Wear Knee-Length Skirts When You Hate Knee-Length Skirts


I swore off skirts that covered my knees after I graduated from an Orthodox Jewish day school in 2007. You would know that if you’ve been reading Man Repeller since maxi skirts were in fashion because I talked about it so much then, that at this point, I sound like a broken record player at best and like I am running out of things to say at worst. But if you keep track of what happens on the runway, you’re well aware that mini skirts are kind of no more and that mid-length and knee-length skirts are very much alive.

This is profoundly exciting for those of us who seek refuge in the roomy comfort of a large piece of fabric that covers the thighs but if you, like me, can’t shake the implications (am I back in high school? Will I or will I not get sent home because you can see my knees through my skirt when I sit down?), there is only one way to overcome the superficial hardship. And that way is trial and error.

You may very well be wondering why I would go so far as to wear a silhouette I seemingly hate so much, right? I don’t blame you. But the fact of the matter is this: the zeitgeist is really weird. It sends signals and you pick up on the signals and they make you feel like you are having an original thought even though what you’re doing, really, is regurgitating the ruling of this popular opinion, which has all of a sudden made all your pants feel old and stale and outdated. Now skirts feel like the most important thing to happen to fashion since the clog.

So here you have it, three ways to wear a knee-length skirt.

1. Wear a very dramatic one that is so distracting, you almost forget that it is a skirt.


Chanel jacket, skirt and boots, Walk of Shame tank top, Maria Francesca Pepe choker

Here’s a cool way to go to work if you’re having a rough day and feel like the only thing that will make you feel better is putting a smile on the face of your co-workers. How can you not smile at such a fluffy, shiny skirt? It’s like the holiday party that keeps on giving. Do I actually own it? No. Will I milk the fuck out of it until I have to give it back? Yes. Absolutely.

2. Wear a trench coat that is actually a vest, and turn it into a dress, which isn’t a skirt but still begs that same question of “am I back in high school?”


Céline trench vest — another sleeveless trench here, Protagonist button down, J.Crew turtleneck, & Other Stories socks, Mansur Gavriel shoes

I have nothing to say about this one other than I’m also going to wear it with black tights and black velvet pumps and a sweater underneath and then again open as a vest with black leggings and white button down and little loafers. And then probably again with nothing underneath it as a come-hither surprise for anyone who is willing to look. Just kidding. What?

3. Wear it like life is a holiday party and you are the disco ball.

Rachel Comey skirt, Isa Arfen top, Alberta Ferretti shoes, Lucy Folk sunglasses, Alessandra Rich earrings, Aurélie Bidermann necklace

Why not? And when you’re too busy for heels, just put on your combat boots and call it the best day ever.

Photos by Krista Anna Lewis.

Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

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