Outfit Evolution: Styling a Midi Skirt in Winter & Spring

by - March 09, 2021

When you live in a region that has temperamental weather like the South, you quickly learn to buy clothes that can be worn year-round and build a mix-and-match wardrobe.

The idea is pretty simple, actually. You have certain "basics" like skirts, pants, and dresses that can be made seasonally appropriate by changing your top, adding/subtracting a third (aka completer) piece, and swapping out your shoes as the seasons change.

Still confused? Keep reading because today's post is a lesson in how to take a printed midi skirt from one season into the next. For the purposes of this post, we'll be going from winter to spring.

Sizing info: I'm 5'2" and weigh about 150 lbs. Unless otherwise noted, I wear size medium or 6/8 in tops and dresses, size 6 in pants and skirts, and size 7 in shoes.

Before we dive in, I'd like to say that midi skirts are not the easiest style for me to pull off because of my height. They tend to hit around the bottom of my calf rather than the upper, or sometimes just above my ankle bone. I'm well aware that both skirts I'll be showing appear to be maxi length on me, but both are, in fact, midi length.

Some suggestions on pulling them off with confidence:

-Wear them at your natural waist, not your hips.
-Show your ankles! There should be skin visible between the bottom of the skirt and your shoes.
-Half or fully tuck your shirt to accentuate your waist.
-Finish your look with a cropped jacket (rule of thirds).

I wanted to show you a dark and light print because I don't want you to feel like you have to leave all your darker prints behind once Spring is here.

Let's start with a side-by-side comparison of each set of outfits.



As you can see, there were more noticeable changes from winter to spring in the darker skirt outfits than in the lighter one, but the principle behind each remains the same. Start with your base layer, in this case the skirt, and build from there.

On this particular day back in December, it was really cold so layers were a must. I played around with several neutral sweaters before deciding on this rust orange one. I really liked how it made the orange/red in the skirt stand out more. This is one of my thicker sweaters, and this particular skirt doesn't have a stretchy waist, so tucking of any kind resulted in a lumpy waist line so I left it out.

Because it was so cold, I wore thick, knee-high socks to provide another layer of warmth. I wish they'd been a different color, but it doesn't often get as cold as it was that day so I didn't have a lot of options. Anyway, we did a lot of walking that day, so I opted for combat boots and then added my cropped brown suede jacket to bookend everything, and give the illusion of a waist.

Now let's talk about how to transition this skirt into Spring.

One of my favorite ways to wear any printed skirt is with a graphic t-shirt and sneakers. If you'll remember on my Instagram a couple of weeks ago, I shared three different t-shirt options to wear with this skirt. All three would work, but I really love the pop of yellow this cactus tee gives the whole outfit. It also works to bring out the brightest color in the darker print so that it feels much more seasonally appropriate.

Notice that I fully tucked my t-shirt into the skirt to draw the eye to my waist-line. This is what's called the 1/3, 2/3 rule. Here's how you achieve it: mentally separate your body into thirds -- head to waist, waist to knee, knee to foot -- decide which part has your most flattering feature, then focus on that area while downplaying the others.

Moving on to the more traditional Spring look with the light floral print.

Just like I don't believe dark colors should be relegated to the cold seasons only, I think light colors also have a place outside of warmer seasons. That's why instead of a dark-colored sweater, I went with light pink. The dark denim of my jacket and the tan of the booties paired with the knit of the sweater kept the outfit seasonally appropriate.

If you don't have a denim jacket in your closet, consider this your wake-up call. If you only invest in one Spring completer piece, it should be a denim jacket. It is my number one completer piece during transitional seasons. Also, peep-toe booties are such a nice in-between shoe for days that have that winter/spring mix of temperatures.

I actually wore both versions of this outfit on the same day. I started with the warmer combo, then realized it was much warmer out than I expected.

You'll notice in both outfits that I fully tucked my top. It's not a rule that's set in stone, but the wider, stretchy waistband on this skirt kind of dictates a full tuck versus a half tuck or not tucking at all.

This is essentially the same outfit as the "winter" version, minus the jacket and swapping the sweater for a t-shirt and booties for flats.

Like with the darker printed skirt, I isolated one color in the print to bring out with my top, but instead of a graphic tee, I decided to keep things simpler and a little more romantic with a solid-colored light pink t-shirt. I could have easily worn olive green, navy blue, or maroon, but I thought the lighter pink kept the focus on the skirt.

I swapped my booties for the maroon ballet flats to keep things in the same color family, and also to keep the focus on the skirt. I like how the darker hue of the flats helps to ground the entire outfit. They're bold but not overstated. Plus, the little bows keep the whole romantic vibe going.

Want some more styling ideas? Check out this post over on Merrick's Art.

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