Why I’m Wearing Skirts Over Pants This Fall (Yes, Really)
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Why I’m Wearing Skirts Over Pants This Fall (Yes, Really)

Ashley Tisdale rocking a skirt over pants in 2005. Getty Images

The Y2K trend is back—only way more polished.

Fashion is increasingly headed toward a genderless direction, and as a result, I’ve found myself trying to train my brain to just wear what I like—regardless if it’s in the men’s or women’s section. Last year, I even stopped shopping by gender altogether, and since then I’ve amassed tons of new pieces that have infused my wardrobe with excitement. But one territory I’ve continued to shy away from? Skirts. Despite stylish folks of all genders now rocking the piece, especially during this past New York Fashion Week, I’ve still found myself intimidated by the thought of exposing my knee like that. But there’s a new trend emerging—the skirts-over-pants look—that makes the idea a whole lot less scary. 

Peter Do spring 2023. Monica Feudi / Courtesy of Peter Do
Kenneth Nicholson spring 2023. Daniele Oberrauch / Gorunway.com

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Skirts over pants? Really? Yes, the throwback styling approach—which had a huge moment in the early 2000s, thanks to teenybopper stars like Ashley Tisdale and Miley Cyrus—is having a comeback. Only now the look is way more polished and grown-up. I was majorly inspired by the takes that Dion Lee served up during its spring 2023 show last week: Black or brown pleated knee skirts were layered atop sleek dress pants and paired with blazers—like a suit but more feisty. Sandy Liang showed dressy pant-skortsKenneth Nicholson’s skirt-pants were in mint green, and Chopova Lowena’s two-tone miniskirts were even styled over printed trousers (because more is more!). 

Ashley Tisdale rocking a skirt over pants in 2005. Getty Images

Inspired by these new approaches to styling a skirt, I decided it would be the perfect way to baby-step into rocking one—so this week I set off to find my very first skirt. I knew I wanted to channel the dressier vibe demonstrated at Dion Lee, so I decided on this black pleated skirt, pairing it with my go-to black dress pants. To lean into minimalism, I finished it off with a black tee and black leather blazer—and the end result was surprisingly fresh. The skirt detail added just enough visual interest to my otherwise simple outfit without it being a blatant statement. I needed a second opinion, though, so I headed out to my local Starbucks for a test-drive. Grabbing my iced pumpkin spiced latte (yes, I’m basic), I asked my favorite barista what she thought of the polarizing skirt-pant combo. “Honestly, it’s a slay,” she said of my look. “You’re giving what needs to be given.”

Test-driving a skirt over pants. Image courtesy of Christian Allaire

Any fears I had of rocking a skirt out in public (a weird side glance, perhaps, or a dramatic head turn) did not occur on my caffeine walk. I love that a monochromatic approach to the look makes it barely noticeable; there’s a subtle cool factor. And now that I’ve gotten over my skirt apprehension, I’ve begun thinking of other new ways to wear it this fall. I could truly channel Y2K style by throwing a denim miniskirt over jeans. Or I’m into the idea of a pleated plaid Chopova skirt over cargo pants. Hell, I’m even ready to just wear a skirt on its own. Turns out they’re not that scary—promise. 

Chopova Lowena spring 2023. Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com

This post was originally published on Vogue.com

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