The skirt vs. skort debate can be a topic of contention for many. Skirts are classic, comfortable, and easy to style. Yet the skort is considered a practical alternative, especially for those who favor a sportier look overall.
How did this unexpected garment come into play? Legend has it that in the late 1950s, a popular retailer at the time included it for the first time in one of its seasonal catalogs. The pleated skirt had a pair of shorts attached to it. During a period when more and more women were experimenting with styles that were often considered daring and revealing, the skort added another option to their fray.
Even if you’re more of a skirt person overall, you may want to give the skort a try. Here’s how to determine which is the right style for you.
A skort is considerably sportier than a skirt. Sure, some skirts are designed specifically to wear while you’re playing tennis or swimming, but the skort is a more versatile option if you’re running, walking, riding a bike, playing golf, or participating in another type of physical activity. That bit of extra fabric may help you feel more comfortable if you’re jogging on trails or lifting weights at the gym and want to protect your modesty. Skorts also put a fresh twist on your workout wear. They pair well with everything from sports bras to lightweight tees.
By contrast, a skirt is a more sensible choice for other environments, like the office or a restaurant. They’re much easier to dress up or down—a midi skirt looks stunning with a chic women’s blouse and a pair of pumps, for example, and makes a great choice for a formal occasion, like a meeting or a job interview. Both skorts and skirts can play very specific roles in different areas of your life.
You may have a desire to wear a skirt when it’s balmy outside, but don’t necessarily want to wear something short. Or it could be that you generally feel more comfortable wearing shorts on warm days. The skort is a brilliant combination of the two, and those who are accustomed to wearing shorts regularly won’t even notice the difference in terms of how the garment feels. The only big change? Skorts offer a decidedly dressier, more pulled-together look than shorts on their own.
But if you tend to wear skirts frequently, then a skort could be a choice for a different occasion. Skirts are just plain convenient—they’re easy to wear, and they’re available in a wide range of silhouettes to accommodate your style and comfort preferences. You can select a maxi if you prefer a little bit of length and want to wear something that provides the same coverage as pants, but still enjoy the freedom of movement that skirts provide. A knee-length skirt is a few inches longer than a skort but is much less sporty in appearance.
Fashion is nothing without a sense of adventure. Just because skorts are inherently sportier than skirts doesn’t mean that you can’t wear them to a more formal occasion. It all depends on the style of the skort. Some are more polished than others, and can easily fit in at the workplace. Focus on both design and length if you want to make the skort a more integral part of your wardrobe.
A more modest length is essential if you want to minimize the sporty look. Other elements, like pleats and buttons, lend the piece a more upscale look. You could easily pair it with a silky top and a cropped blazer and step into a pair of flats or even heels to complete the ensemble.
What if you’re more of a sporty type overall? If your uniform of choice is joggers and hoodies, then you’re likely more comfortable in shorts and skorts in general. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pull off a great skirt when the occasion calls for it! Opt for something a bit more structured and less fluid, such as a crisp khaki skirt, to stay in the same realm of comfort and style as your more casual sporty bottoms.
Ultimately, it all comes down to your comfort and your style preferences. It’s easy to switch up your looks from day-to-day. Invest in a few great tops, including lightweight cardigans, simple tees, and elegant blouses, so that you can create fresh ensembles with your skirts and skorts every day of the week.