From Carol Vorderman at Cheltenham to Gemma Arterton at Dior ... how to rock the SS19 must-have skirt trend

The skirt takes centre stage for spring/summer 2019 as the star player for every mood and occasion. Stephanie Smith picks out some perfect pieces from the high street and online.

Carol Vorderman during Gold Cup Day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. Aaron Chown/PA Wire.

This is the season of the skirt as eye-catching, swoon-worthy separates work together to create the sort of head-turning looks that transcend all those old-fashioned dressing categories such as day, night, office, special occasion and (ugh) casual.

As a trend, this is something of a backlash. Fashion has become so focused on the easy any-occasion one-piece – the dress and the all-in-one or jumpsuit – that we have all but forgotten the beauty, the versatility and the supremely flattering qualities and benefits of the skirt. Well, not any more. Now it’s time to rediscover this star player and give it the recognition and attention it deserves.

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So make your skirt the starting point of your outfit, first by seeking out a statement piece, in a style that suits you and perhaps in a print, a pattern, a fabric or a shade that you love. There’s a strong argument for “more really is more” here, so midi and maxi skirts should be at the top of the list, especially in a design that is waisted and gathered or is fitted and flared. Keep the rest of your ensemble simple to let the skirt do all the pulling together as well as all the talking – a fitted soft cashmere sweater or a tailored white shirt are guaranteed to work well. If you like a “completed” look, pick out a colour (a maximum of two) from the skirt’s pattern to match up footwear, jewellery, bag and possibly a scarf (although take care not to let it all get a bit too 1950s housewife).

Monochrome look champions the skirt. Carol Vorderman during Gold Cup Day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. Aaron Chown/PA Wire.

Colour-blocking is another important trend for the coming summer and one that the skirt facilitates with ease and grace. A fluid, swishy or pleated skirt, knee-length or slightly longer, will always lend a fashionably proper and dressed-up air, even if it is teamed with a plain white tee. This season, look out for pleated skirts in a powder blue or a gentle pink, or in one of spring’s essential beige tones called, variously, toffee, or butterscotch, or taupe or caramel. On the catwalk, Fendi has championed beige pleated skirts for SS19 and Burberry, featured here, teams tones of soft pink and caramel in fluid, translucent fabrics for a head-to-toe fresh elegance that is classic and trans-seasonal, and yet so SS19.

For a luxurious dose of wearable statement skirt colour, Harrogate-based Pure Collection has come up with some lovely knitted skirts for spring/summer (there’s a fern green one available now and a coral one coming soon). In two lengths, a knee-length and a midi, it’s in a blend of cotton and wool, with a touch of cashmere, which means it’s light and soft but substantial enough so it won’t flare up into the air with every breeze.

If you are looking for a bespoke statement skirt, What’s Your Skirt is a fairly new Leeds-based brand created by Huddersfield University graduate Siobhan Thomas. It has a website and also is stocked at Cutout Dolls at Leeds Market, where you can take a look at some designs and get measured up. Siobhan makes them all herself and specialises in bold print and super-flattering but modest styles.

Wetherby-based designer James Steward (who makes red carpet outfits for Catherine Kelly, star of ITV’s Cheat drama series) has a decsptively simple and utterly brilliant statement skirt as part of his special occasion collection. It’s longer at the back than the front, so it gives impact and volume without being too overpowering or swamping small frames.

Knitted skirt in cotton, wool and cashmere, £145; soft white cashmere cropped sweater, £99. At Pure Collection is also stocked at John Lewis Victoria Leeds / York / Sheffield

The mini skirt is going to be big news for summer, especially in denim and also in animal print (check out the snake print version from Very here), while the maxi is a surefire bet both for holidays and for summer in the city, if we get the heatwave we are hoping for.

For all shapes, all seasons and all reasons, this is the year to work that skirt.

* More fashion and beauty - including our prom dress and tux fashion shoot - here

Gemma Arterton steps out for Dior's ready to wear AW19/20 collection in Paris wearing this opulent feather floral skirt simply styled with grey sweater and sturdy black boots. A masterclass in how to wear a statement midi (AP Photo/Thibault Camus).
Madison dip hem skirt, £195, James Steward Clothing.
The Afrika skirt, £95, at
All hail the Burberry London Fashion Week SS19 show. Photo: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire
V by Very snake print skirt, £32, and linen blouse, £28. At
Yellow tiered skirt, £69, at Marks & Spencer.
Cashmere short sleeve cardigan, 8-20, £125; knitted skirt, sizes S-XXL,£145, coming to Pure Collection.
Michelle Keegan for Very - online now