How to Style a Silk Skirt Elegantly

how to style a silk skirt elegantly

It’s an unlikely closet power-player… Surprisingly versatile and shockingly good for all seasons! Yes, I’m talking about the silk slip skirt. This eternal classic is generating significant seasonal buzz. Call it an ode to the 90s or an Old Hollywood revival. Either way, silk skirts are here to stay! Looking for tips on how to style a silk skirt? We’ll dive into the underpinnings of a flattering silk skirt look and some fun ways to extend their wear.

Worth it! Why you should invest in a silk skirt

Skirts, particularly timeless silk slip skirts, offer endless versatility. There are so many ways to style. For instance, you can dress up your look with statement heels and a chic jacket for date night or rock it with sneakers and a graphic t-shirt for a casual vibe.  Silk skits transform quite readily based on your shoes, accessories, and choice of top. Furthermore, they’re so darn comfortable. At times you might just feel you’re in your birthday suit. It’s that freeing!

How to Style a Silk Skirt: Choosing Your Skirt

Wondering what to look for in a silk skirt? Step one in learning how to style a silk skirt is choosing the most flattering option for your unique frame, style goals, and lifestyle. In fact, I think a lot of silk skirts get a bad rap because people mistakenly assume all silk skirts are the same. They’re not.

As a petite woman (4’11), I had to go on quite a hunt to find a silk slip skirt that flattered my frame. Most looked like a shapeless potato sack. However, others—such as this machine-washable style from Quince—made me feel impossibly glamorous. With 2,400+ reviews a a five-star rating, you know something is going right with this one.

About the skirt I’m wearing

For instance, Quince’s slip skirt has a hidden elastic waist and is a bias cut. It has just the right amount of curving at the hips to emphasize and flatter your shape. Furthermore, it’s 100% mulberry silk, so you know this is the type of garment you’ll wear for many years to come. Bonus – It’s available in 11 colorways!

how to style a silk skirt elegantly

How to Style a Silk Skirt: Important Considerations

  • Pay attention to fit, quality, and construction

A sister of the silky slip dress, the silk or slip skirt is an investment piece you will get plenty of mileage from. Consequently, you want to think about longevity. This means paying attention to fit, quality, and construction.  Look for a silk skirt that hugs your hips then flares loosely around your leg line. You want the fabric to drape delicately. This should apply regardless of the length of hemline.

Second, take a look the waistband. Is it elastic? If so, is that elastic visible or hidden. Some elastic waist skirts are very flattering, but others (particularly those with visible elastic waistbands) can be unflattering for certain figure types. Assess your silk skirt with a keen eye. Don’t settle until its perfect!

  • Wear shapewear and steam your skirt before try-ons

Do keep in mind that undergarments make a huge difference in how flattering a silk skirt may be. Try yours on with shapewear. Be cognizant of wrinkles too. Sometimes all a garment needs to look great is a good steam (this is the handheld steamer I use for silks).

  • Look for washable, easy care silk

Lastly, I also recommend seeking out a silk skirt that is easy to care for. Unless you’re prepared for a lot of dry-cleaning trips, washable fabrics are a must-have.

How to style silk skirts elegantly

What do I wear under my silk skirt?

Excellent question… Silk shows EVERYTHING, so shapewear is a must for all figure types. You’ll feel more confident, secure, and modest if you wear shapewear shorts, shapewear tights, or an allover shaper underneath your silk skirt.

My favorite to pair with silk is Target’s Assets by Spanx mid-thigh shaper. It’s affordably priced and gets the job done, smoothing out any lumps or bumps. Spanx also just came out with a petite version of its shapewear shorts, which I cannot wait to try.

Are silk skirts still in fashion?

If you’re wondering how to style a silk skirt elegantly, you likely already know the silk skirt trend dominated summer fashion (satin too). As explains, it’s part of the “lingerie as outerwear” trend – and per Vogue it is still going strong for fall. Now that you’ve experimented with a breezy silk skirt on the beach, let’s reimagine that garment for cooler weather.

Key point? Silk skirts pair best with elevated basics! Now, let’s dive into the styling… 

What to Wear: How to Style a Silk Skirt

what to wear with a silk skirtSkirt | Sweater 

Relaxed, Cozy Knit + Silk Skirt

Exploring how to style a silk skirt? Pairing number one is a great place to begin. It doesn’t get any easier than this laid-back elegance! By styling your silk skirt with a relaxed sweater, you are dialing back the formality – making silk appropriate for daytime. I opted for this ridiculously soft mock neck sweater in a warm taupe shade. Finish your look with neutral accessories. For shoes, a nude pointed toe flat or pump will complete the look.

ultimate guide to styling a silk skirt

Longline Coat or Cardigan + Silk Skirt

For a slightly more casual look, you can layer up with a longline knit coat or cardigan. I paired by silk skirt with my trusty Amazon bodysuit (full blog post on that here) and completed the look with pointy toe flats in a complimentary color.

I love the relaxed vibe this look creates. It’s cozy, not fussy – yet elegant at the same time. The knit coat I’m wearing is from Chicwish. It’s available in some other fall friendly hues (like tan and burgundy) as well. The wide collar and pockets are my favorite features. Be aware it does have a relaxed, slightly oversize fit. Consequently, if you’re super petite you may want to find a different option.

styling silk skirts

With a Button-Up Blouse

Sticking with the classics, a button-up blouse is another great way to style a silk skirt. You can opt for a pattern, like my striped blouse, or pair your skirt with a traditional white button up. Shop your closet and see if you have a top that works. While I’ve styled mine for work, tucking in the blouse and pairing it with heels. You can relax your look by opting for a half tuck and rolling up your sleeves.

how to style silk skirts for fallSkirt | Blouse | Bag

With a Sleek Bodysuit

How to style a silk skirt? Why not lean into its origin – the evening hours! While the silk skirt originated as lingerie, now you can leverage its elegance to strike a polished tone for date night or a more formal occasion. The trick here, is remembering that the silk itself is adding interest. Consequently, you don’t need much else to make an impact.

Now is not the time for flashy patterns, colors, or gimmicks. Rather you can create a timeless evening look, by pairing a sleek bodysuit or blouse with the skirt and making the shoe the main event. Black, ivory, or white body suits are very elegant. Alternatively you could try a pop of bold color.

how to style silk skirts date night look

Silk skirts for date night

With a Moto or Denim Jacket

Last on our list of how to style silk skirts? A styling solution you’ve heard before. And that’s for a reason! When in doubt, a trusty denim, leather or suede jacket is an excellent topper for slip skirts. This is smart way to make your skirt appropriate for daily wear. The jacket relaxes the overall vibe, particularly when paired with an easy yet chic flat. I like pairing mine with these pointed-toe loafers from VIVAIA.

styling silk skirts for fall

Here is the same look, restyled with a moto jacket for date night. See how simple swaps with your shoes and accessories completely change the look? This is the magic of a silk slip skirt! It is a piece that truly works for all occasions. In the look below, I kept my tones neutral. But you can definitely play around with pops of color for additional interest!

how to style silk skirts

In Conclusion: How to Style a Silk Skirt

If you’ve made it this far, you’re likely quite invested in adding a silk skirt to your wardrobe or finding new ways to style one you already have. Go for it! This garment will surprise you with its ease and utility. However, I do want to reiterate two things mentioned above before we wrap things up.

First, no one likes having visible underwear lines. To get the most flattering look you should be wearing shapewear as a foundation. Silky fabrics reveal a lot more than other garments. Shapewear will make you feel more confident and prevent you from unintentionally showing your undies. Invest in it!

Second, while some subtle wrinkling will happen with a silk skirt, an elegant silk look should never appear rumpled. Don’t judge your appearance or that of a silk skirt before you try to remove those creases. Thankfully, there are several easy ways to tackle wrinkles in silk.

  1. When you wash it, hang it up immediately to dry.

  2. Use a handheld steamer (my preference and by far the safest way to quickly remove wrinkles)

  3. Iron – carefully. This means using the lowest heat setting or a piece of old cotton cloth over your silks when ironing.  

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