Runway to Real Way: Skirting the Issue-Summer Minis to Take You Into Fall

Summer is in full swing, and with it all the light and airy fashions that we’ve been waiting so long to indulge in are here. But now that the 4th of July is over, it will be only too soon before fall fashions start showing up in stores. It’s hard to control oneself when new styles hit the racks and shopping for new season pieces can take a heavy toll on the old purse strings. Luckily, there are plenty of pieces within the light and airy arena that can easily be translated into fall appropriate fashion. The mini skirt, for one, is a season-less piece that can take you from the warmest breeze to the impending chill that will come before we know it. These four minis are all stylistically geared toward spring/summer but are worth their weight in versatility. And in the fashion world, that’s basically gold.

Metallic minis are a no-brainer. Shimmery swatches of fabric are as relevant now with a cropped tee or tank as they will be with angora and cashmere come holiday season. Instead of the often seen black or silver iridescent bottom, shake it up this season with a brown tone like champagne, copper or mocha. Jenny Packham’s spring runway shows how a glittering mini can anchor a floral, flutter top and provide polish to today’s patio parties or afternoon teas in the garden. It will serve just as well with a tissue thin sweater for next season, as will this deep chocolate option by Haute Hippie, which boasts a flattering grosgrain waistband and faux wrap for easy to slip on access.

For those looking to outfit a memorable occasion, or perhaps just make a memorable statement, embroidered minis are the latest thing in standout style. Some options, such as Mary Kantrantzou’s beaded confection sport all the bells and whistles of a parade float, with gorgeous craftsmanship. Rather than try and copy the runway look exactly, try a toned down version for everyday life yet one that still sports the same kind of wow factor. Gryphon provides a suitable alternative with its bold-colored flourishes. The interweaving pattern of stripes, triangles and cris-crosses coincide harmoniously together instead of appearing too costumey. A denim button-down and a slouchy cowboy hat will turn heads at any outdoor festival this season. But keep it handy for fall, when you can pile on the layers with a black (or even white!) camisole and cardigan.

A recent trend in the construction of minis is the half-mini. Part short, part long, this conundrum of a skirt with alternating lengths was seen on some of the edgier spring runways. Jeremy Laing plays with the concept of space on his silver-hued cutout ensemble.  Since the look is so avant-garde, it should be styled down (yet is still totally wearable) for real life. And who better to provide a suitable alternative than the king of pared down chic, Alexander Wang. Wang’s streamer skirt takes the half-mini in a different direction than Laing, running his length down one side instead of front and back. The high sheen silk calls for a dressier occasion but with a pair of killer heels and some serious confidence, anyone could rock this look know matter what the weather’s like outside.

Perhaps the easiest to find of the group are graphic prints skirts, which are trendless. They come in a variety of fabrics and price points and have endless possibilities for styling. One of the most current combos is a tan and black palette. The black and tan together serve as a neutral so it can be paired with vibrant, candy-colored hues more often seen in the spring/summer palette, as in the Project Runway runway. But Project Runway’s plaid-like print, as well as the funky triangle print from The Addison Story, turns both these skirts into fall wardrobe staples as well. The pared down colors and jaunty print blend seamlessly with the richer jewel tones of next season and will look stellar over any color of tights.

Don’t fret about fall already on the horizon, just get crafty and start thinking about how you can turn those saucy summer staples into fresh fashions for fall!

1. The Metallic Mini

Runway: Jenny Packham Spring 2011 RTW

Real Way: Haute Hippie Sequin Faux Wrap Miniskirt, $395

2. The Embroidered Mini

Runway: Mary Kantrantzou Spring 2011 RTW

Real Way: Gryphon Embroidered Mini Skirt, now $192

3. The Half-Mini

Runway: Jeremy Laing Spring 2011 RTW

Real Way: Alexander Wang ‘Streamer’ Skirt, $495

4. The Graphic Print Mini

Runway: Project Runway Designers Spring 2011 RTW

Real Way: The Addison Story Triangle-Print Silk Skirt, now $67.20

—Alia Rajput

Runway Photos: NYMag

Image Layout: Jillian Jaslowski

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1 Comment

  • Elise Ford 8 years ago Reply

    I love the embroidered mini, great piece to take from day to night!

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