There’s a theory out there that hemlines rise and fall with the economy (aka the Hemline Index). Whether true or just myth, one thing is for certain, boomers have had the honor of seeing it all over the decades-short and long, upswings and downturns.
For those of us over or nearing 60, we can certainly remember the hemlines of the 70's. Yikes! I wasn't paying much attention to the economy back then (my interests were certainly elsewhere), but I guess it must have been a thriving economy. How in the world did we bend over to pick anything up!? As the years have passed, the skirts of the 70’s are no longer as easy to pull off! Today there is a fine line between looking classy, sexy, and then of course looking ridiculous. Ridiculous is the important one to pay attention to.
While the extra short skirt is best left to younger women, it does not mean we have to wear our skirts below the knees like our grandmothers would have insisted back in the day. If your knees have "aged well" summer dresses matched with a cute pair of sandals in this warm weather can be stylish and very appropriate worn just above the knees. If your knees are showing your age, a hemline mid-knee is often enough to camouflage the signs of age and still be a fun summer look.
Moving into fall and winter, the door is opened to many more fun options!
Wearing a chic pair of tights or opaque nylons, not only covers the knees, but gives you the ability to pull off a shorter look, while still providing coverage. Black tights paired with black booties, allow for a shorter skirt and a younger, sassy look. Tights with texture also allow for a fun break from the typical solid colors.
So how short is too short? Often body type will dictate what may look best. Fuller, flowing shirts can be more forgiving and be a bit shorter. For me personally, about 2 inches above the knee is what I can get away with these days.
The mid length between my knee and ankle is the least flattering on me because of my body shape and height. Also, if you find something you like that doesn’t look as flattering off the rack, keep in mind that alterations are usually easy and inexpensive, and can quickly turn a dress from good to great! An inch or two in the hemline and even some quick adjustments in the sides can make a big difference on how an outfit looks on your body.
Last, if you just feel more comfortable in them, longer lengths are always appropriate and very stylish. Additionally, wearing a bit of a heel regardless of the length, even a wedge, helps to elongate the legs and can offer a bit of a dressier look.
While we may not be squeezing into any miniskirts now, we’re not limited to just covering everything up either! In 2016, in spite of the economy, the choice is yours!