5 Tips for Buying and Styling Skirts

These wardrobe staples can be surprisingly tricky. DC Style Factory's Rosana Vollmerhausen shares how to nail the fit.

For Washington’s professional women, skirts are a wardrobe essential. But according to DC Style Factory founder Rosana Vollmerhausen, who spends her days auditing and filling the closets of men and women in the District, skirts also tend to be “the redheaded stepchild of any woman’s wardrobe.” That’s why Vollmerhausen has teamed up with Betsy Garcete of Zophia, a handmade “power skirt” company based in DC, to offer a skirt styling workshop on March 12.

As Vollmerhausen prepares for the workshop, Shop Around checked in to get her tips on what women should look for when buying and styling skirts.

1. Have your bases covered. “The classic skirts I have been putting in my clients’ closets are a black power pencil skirt in a fun texture like leather or faux leather, a neutral knee-length A-line skirt in a ponte fabric that skims your curves instead of hugs them like the pencil, and a three-season wool-blend pencil skirt in a color or easy-to-match pattern.”

2. Professional doesn’t have to mean boring. “An animal-print pencil skirt with a silky cream blouse, black blazer, and pumps still maintains that classic look, but the animal print adds interest. I also always try to put in clients’ closets pencil skirts that are not black, but a rich red or teal or an interesting pattern to mix things up.”

3. You can make any skirt style work for your body type.

Petite frames: “You want your midi skirts to hit a bit below your knee but not go all the way to your calf, which will start to look a little sister-wife. You can wear maxis, but stick with a solid maxi instead of any bold prints that can overwhelm a petite frame, and always make sure the hemline is just so your toes peek out at the bottom.”

Curvier types: “You can wear pencil skirts. For wide hips, just wear with a top or jacket that hits at your hip, which will minimize and balance your curves. If you’re fuller around the middle, pair your pencil skirt with a wrap top, a cute jacket, or blouse that can be left untucked, and add a scarf or necklace to draw attention up.”

4. Stay on-trend. “Remember the statement necklace? Well, it’s all about the statement skirt this season. Whether wrapped, asymmetrical, embellished, or emblazoned with bold prints, these skirts are a great way to mix up your wardrobe.”

5. If you go big, go home. One of the biggest mistakes women make is buying skirts that are too large. “Nothing off the rack is going to fit your body exactly the way it should. My clients will most often leave pencil skirts hanging below their waistline, which throws off your proportions so that your torso looks longer than your legs.”

Skirting the Issue. Betsy Fisher 1224 Connecticut Ave., NW. March 12, 5:30 to 8 PM.

Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.