Tips for shorter legs: the pleated midi skirt trend

All body shapes come with their own challenges of course, and for every woman there are certain things they can easily buy and wear and others that they struggle to make work. For all of us, there are certain trends that seem impossible for our bodies to pull off. 

What we can do if we really do want to wear these is 

1 - experiment with different versions of the pieces until we find some that work on us too

2 - dissect what we love about the look and recreate this with other, more flattering pieces 

3 - or bite the bullet and look less than our best but wear them nonetheless [only suggested for outfits that are not 100% wrong, or very strong personalities]

An excellent example for me, as a shorter legged lady with curvy thighs, is the tee with pleated midi skirt with trainers trend - certainly a major challenge.

The look has been ubiquitous for a good while now, and is [still] regarded as a very cool, urban casual combination due to its trendy mix of feminine and boyish, elegant and laidback.

I like this vibe.

The skirts these days also come in very tempting metallic finishes and jewel colours.

I love this too.

But however much I try, I have not managed to find even a mildly acceptable way of wearing this look.

Most midi skirts drown me and make my legs look like a dwarf's... Pleats usually make my hips and bum appear double the size [and whilst for some this may be a welcome result these days, for me it very certainly isn't]... Trainers, especially the 'urban cool' kind, which come with completely flat soles, make me look stumpy and unstylish...

It is not surprising that combining the three does not work.

Following a LOT of experimenting, however, I managed to come up with the following 'my versions' of the look:

- Very fitted top tucked into a short [over-the-knee] pleated skirt worn either with wedge brogues ([or the tomboyish vibe] or heeled sock ankle boots [to make it more flattering]. This is the only way I have so far managed to make pleats work, thanks to the pleating being very dense and the skirts's fabric very light -- even so it is still touch-and-go in terms of body flattery, and the effect is also a little girlier than desired. But with the addition of a knee-length coat and a cool bag [to avoid the schoolgirl vibes...], it is not a bad look for urban strolls. 

- Tee tucked into an asymmetric midi skirt, with low sandals. No pleats or trainers in sight, but the overall careless casual chic is there.

- Tee tucked into a flowy satin maxi skirt worn with sock ankle boots. Almost all elements have been changed here: the skirt is longer and not pleated, the shoes higher, but thanks to the combo of the luxe skirt and relaxed top, with the shoes barely showing, the vibe remains luxurious yet laidback.

Here come some examples from fellow shorter legged ladies, who clearly also struggle with this trend as it is near impossible to find pictures of them wearing pleats:

Rachel Bilson tries a short and an asymmetric version, with not 100% success; the non-pleated midi with heels works well, though [I shall gloss over the choice of ankle boots...]:

Olivia Wilde and Pippa Middleton make pleats work with very maxi skirts, low necklines and heels:

Keira Knightley however, who has less curvy hips, manages to just about carry off the original look - congrats!: 

[Also note how her husband's equally short legs and very low-rise trousers are the perfect accessory to make Keira's legs look long - something to consider! ;)]