the jess edit

How to Style a Party Skirt

Photo: Clément Pascal

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After a busy summer of weddings and the upcoming season of holiday parties, your closet is likely overrun with dresses and skirts that you’ve only worn a handful of times. This week, the Cut’s fashion director has the solution to all those shimmering, shiny, and fun pieces you’re not exactly sure how to wear outside of a cocktail-party setting. Since your fun statement-making pieces shouldn’t be saved for special occasions, Jessica Willis employs her three style words — functional, edgy, and timeless — to make that skirt you wore once an essential part of your wardrobe. Here’s the full breakdown of the look.


The Hero Piece: The Party Skirt

Comprising silk and beaded fringe, this graphic-print skirt is one you’d like to have for any occasion wherever there’s a dance floor. “All the drama is in the skirt,” Willis explains. It has some movement, makes a statement, and makes your looks way more fun. It’s something she would wear to an outdoor wedding, but as we’ve tackled in the past, many of your summer pieces can be repurposed into fall and winter gear with a few add-ons.


Layer on comfort like a hoodie

Consider your hoodies a little more than something you borrow from your partner when it gets cold. Seen on the runways at Proenza Schouler, J.W. Anderson, and more, hoodies pair just as well with skirts and dresses as they do with sweats.


Add interest with new unconventional shapes

Willis’s go-to, an asymmetrical cropped hoodie from Loewe, adds interest and shapes the look. “What I like about the asymmetrical shape is that it saves me from having to do a front tuck on the hoodie,” she says. “It’s oversize but cropped, and the shape allows you to see my waist so it still elongates my body.”


Focus on proportions

You can just as easily pair your Champion or Aritzia hoodies with your party dresses and skirts if you keep proportions in mind. Willis went with a cropped hoodie to balance the shorter skirt and still emphasize the waist. If you have a longer skirt or dress, your outfit formula calls for a hoodie that hits just below your butt area so that the length of the hoodie and skirt are balanced.


Break some of the rules

Again, have some fun with this look. Fashion doesn’t have to be so strict; it’s way more fun when it isn’t. Willis added on a pair of classic and versatile Adidas Sambas, but instead of dressing them down, she dressed them up.

“Break fashion rules by mixing and matching shoes that seem like they wouldn’t pair with a beaded skirt,” she says. They’re also a classic to keep in your closet; they’re versatile and won’t go out of style.


Don’t save your nice bags

Balance out your look with accessories that are a little less casual. Willis’s go-to bag is a dressier satin clutch from Gabriela Hearst that also aligns with Willis’s philosophy of not saving nice bags for special occasions. Lastly, instead of forever jewelry, Willis opted for Tabayer’s offbeat knot hoops in gold.

Get the Look

Here are five skirts for party season and beyond.

This micro-mini embellished with paillettes is the perfect match for a cropped hoodie.

If you want the mirrorlike shine without sequins or beads, this leather option from Bottega still adds lots of drama.

This midi adds a little extra length and shine, a perfect pair for your longer hoodies.

Paco Rabanne did it first, so naturally they’re experts at the party skirt. This option is made of sequin chain mail for lots of drama and movement.

Add a cool iridescent skirt that will reflect different colors under the light.

How to Style a Party Skirt