Long skirt outfit ideas: How to wear a maxi skirt this summer according to a fashion editor

Looking for some long skirt outfit ideas? Here's how to wear a maxi skirt using classic wardrobe staples

Three street style images showing long skirt outfit ideas
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While midi skirts might have ruled the runways for several seasons, right now it's all about chic long skirt outfit ideas. And if you've been wondering how to wear a maxi skirt for maximum fashion points, the answer is probably already in your closet.

It’s been a while since long skirt outfits have been in vogue. Back in the mid ‘90s, they were all the rage thanks to designers such as Richard Tyler reworking them for the boho trend. Prior to that, the ‘hippy’ look of the 1970s also favored long flowing, printed maxi skirts - a look that was quickly picked up by couture designers such as Yves Saint Laurent. And this season, long skirt outfit ideas made a welcome return to the runway with Rick Owens, Erdem and Chanel all embracing the style, while celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Cate Blanchett and Amanda Holden have been photographed showcasing how to wear a maxi skirt making them fashion-forward once more.

And stylist and presenter Emma Lightbown (opens in new tab), is happy to see them back in fashion.

“I love the versatility of a long skirt - they’re really easy to wear and make a great addition to every wardrobe,” she says.

But when it comes to how to wear a maxi skirt, balancing proportions is key to making the look chic and not frumpy.

“Picking out the right shape top is important when wearing a maxi skirt. If it has a full, A-line or floaty silhouette stick to a more fitted top, while for a more curve-hugging pencil style, try styling it with something more structured on the top half such as a blazer.” 

LONG SKIRT OUTFIT IDEAS: Here's how to wear a maxi skirt according to a fashion editor

Long skirts are great for pretty much any occasion, plus they go with a variety of different tops making getting dressed super easy. If you need some inspiration for assembling a long skirt outfit, here are seven ideas to get you started. 

long skirt outfits with t-shirts

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1. How to style a long skirt with a T-shirt

While you can’t get more classic than teaming a long skirt with your best white t-shirt, for an edgier look try a graphic print tee. A jersey or denim maxi teamed with a band t-shirt, chunky gold jewelry and heeled boots is the ultimate in dressed-down cool and the perfect choice for everything from a night out to a great brunch outfit idea. Alternatively, choose a full circle, or wide A-line skirt with more volume, a plain, fitted t-shirt and some canvas trainers for a nod to ‘50s casual aesthetic.

Styling tip:  If you don't like tucking in your tee, choose a pencil or tube skirt fit to team with a longer-length t-shirt. This silhouette elongates your frame and as there's no volume in the skirt, it means you won't feel like you're losing your shape. You can also try a French-tuck or half-tuck with a looser fit t-shirt into the skirt waistband, so that you can reclaim your shape but still have a more relaxed feel. 

long skirt outfits with a blazer

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2. How to style a long skirt with a blazer

When it comes to how to wear a maxi skirt, the pairing of a full-length skirt with a blazer makes an obvious choice for the workplace, but don’t dismiss this long skirt outfit idea for a night out. Choose a design in a luxurious fabric such as satin or silk to give it that evening sparkle. If you’re not sure how to style a blazer with a maxi skirt, the rule of 1/3 is a good one to adhere to. The idea here is that the skirt will take up 2/3 of the look, while the blazer will take up a 1/3 - ideally, it should end on your hips, otherwise, you risk looking swamped.

Styling tip: Taller ladies can get away with comfortable flats, but if you’re on the petite side, get those heels out!

long skirt outfits with a sweater

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3. How to style a long skirt with a sweater

“When the weather starts to get a bit cooler you can’t beat a sweater and maxi skirt combo,” says Emma. Whether you team your best cashmere sweater with a more tailored skirt or a chunky knit with frothy tulle, it’s a great way to get more mileage out of a long skirt.

For an alternative look, Emma recommends pairing your long skirt with a sweatshirt and trainers for a sports luxe-inspired look.  

Styling tip: “A French tuck - where you tuck in only the front of your top - will also elongate the body and emphasize your waist,” advises Emma.

long skirt outfits with a blouse

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4. How to style a long skirt with a blouse

A blouse and floral maxi skirt is the perfect Cottagecore outfit. What is cottagecore? We hear you cry. It’s a nostalgic fashion trend, which takes its inspiration from simpler times and is inspired by romanticized views of the English countryside. If uber-romantic isn’t for you, a crisp white blouse tucked into a maxi pencil skirt is just one of the many long skirt outfit ideas to work into your wardrobe this season. The pencil or tubular maxi skirt offers a less frothy, more grungy finish.

Styling tip: If you’re petite, make sure your blouse is fitted and tucked into your skirt to avoid being swamped by the longer length. The taller you are, the more volume your shirt can take, try a high neck collar and a full sleeve style for an on-trend feel. 

long skirt outfits as a beach cover up

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5. How to style a long skirt as a beach cover-up

If you're thinking of those holiday outfit ideas but space is at a premium in your suitcase, putting together a few long skirt outfit ideas is key to maximizing your vacation wardrobe. Not only will it look chic in the bar come sundowner time, but a maxi skirt also works as one of the best beach-cover ups.

Emma recommends opting for something a bit floatier to make sure your long skirt outfit screams summer. You could also try a hi-lo hemline or tiered maxi skirt for a more runway-inspired look. Choose a design in a cheesecloth or chiffon fabric for super easy, non-creasing packing, that's also lovely and light in the heat.

Styling tip: Emma advises an elasticated waist for the ultimate in holiday comfort.

“Stick to those with elasticated waists rather than buttons or a zip and choose colors that compliment your swimsuit,” she recommends.

long skirt outfits with knee high boots

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6. How to style a long skirt with boots

A chunky boot, or one with a decent heel height, are some of the best winter boots to invest in for fall and will ensure that your maxi skirt outfits don't end up dragging on the ground, after all, no-one wants a soggy hem! 

Not sure how to wear knee high boots as part of your long skirt outfits? Choose a pair with a block heel for a ‘70s take on the look. If you want your maxi skirt outfit to be super chic, stick to a monochromatic palette.

Styling tip: Choosing a long skirt with a split or asymmetric hem, will show off your boots more.

long skirt outfits with trainers

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7. How to style a long skirt with trainers

Whether it's your best white trainers or nailing how to wear high top Converse, working trainers into your long skirt outfit ideas creates a modern, stylish look. It doesn’t mean the rest of your ensemble has to be casual though - in fact, a chunky dad trainer can give a cool edge to a dressier maxi skirts. For a classic look that never dates, team your maxi skirt with a Breton top or white shirt, slip on your trainers and you’ll be ready for anything that the day throws at you.

Styling tip: “Maxi skirts look fantastic with trainers, but getting the right length is crucial,” says Emma.  “A skirt that finishes around the ankle is perfect for showing off your trainers.” 

With over 22 years’ experience in journalism, Jayne has written about a variety of subjects. She spent the start of her career within the world of film, interviewing Hollywood stars, attending premieres and lusting after red carpet outfits, and then moved into fashion, launching websites for big magazines such as Look, Woman’s Own and Wedding and working with top fashion brands such as Westfield, LK Bennett and Hunter. 

Career highlights include dressing up as Kylie (in gold hot pants!) for a national newspaper and working on big fashion events alongside Giles Deacon, Henry Holland and Naomi Campbell.