A knee-length high-waist black skirt with a button-down creates a sophisticated style.

How to Style High-Waisted Skirts With Tops

by Angela Bakke

The high-waist skirt is an ultra-feminine fashion trend that significantly varies in style and complements nearly every body type. The typical design of a high-waist skirt has a waistline that hits either directly at your natural waist or higher, is cinched at the middle and slightly flared below. This creates an hourglass shape that is figure flattering without being overtly sexy. The shirt or jacket you pair with it drastically changes the look.

1. Long and Flared Skirts

The A-line, or flared, high-waist skirt is a safe approach to this style -- especially if you opt for a longer version that is knee or calf-length. This cut is perfect for the office, an interview or any other occasion requiring more modest attire. Tuck a blush-colored chiffon, long-sleeved blouse into a black high-waist wool skirt and accessorize with a classic d'Orsay pointed-toe pump and soft, minimalist jewelry such as pearls or rose-quartz for an elegant, timeless outfit. For an edgier style, wear a long, graphic-print high-waist statement skirt with a simple V-neck or tank top. Polish off the look with strappy heels and chunky jewelry.

2. Short and Pleated Skirts

A more youthful design, the short and pleated high-waist skirt styles works best for creating an urban-hipster or sweet, feminine style, rather than for putting together a professional outfit. Wear a bold-print, high-waist tulip skirt with a neutral crop top and a pair of flats with a wide-brim felt hat during the day or platform heels at night. A flared and pleated short skirt with a tucked-in tank easily transitions from summer to fall when you add a pair of ankle boots and a leather jacket.

3. Pencil Skirts

This slim-cut skirt is body skimming from top to bottom. The pencil skirt is restrictive in movement and flow and is better suited to tall, lean figures. If you have a square body type, the high-waist pencil skirt with a fitted cardigan-sweater set is ideal for you because of the curves this chic outfit creates. Wear heels with a pencil skirt to add length and accentuate the lines on this retro-elegant style of skirt.

4. What to Avoid

Avoid waistlines that come too high on your body -- you don't want the top of your skirt to nearly meet the under-wire of your bra, or you'll lose the appearance of a mid-section. Whatever style of high-waist skirt suits your personality and fashion sense, be sure to tuck in the first layer. It's fashionable to wear a blazer, a leather coat or a cardigan sweater over your skirt; just be sure there is a blouse, top or tank tucked into the skirt so you avoid looking like a triangle or totally shapeless. The brilliance of the high-waist skirt is that it emphasizes that most feminine aspect of the female form -- the waist-to-hip ratio. If you wear the proper top, it will serve its style purpose effectively.

About the Author

Angela Bakke is a Los Angeles-based writer and reporter with more than a decade of experience covering fashion, beauty, the arts and entertainment. She has interviewed some of the most famous people in the world and covered stories for Beyond Cinema, Hollywood.com, ReelzChannel, CNN.com and Celebs.com.

Photo Credits

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