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STYLE NOTES

AM I TOO OLD
TO WEAR A
MINI SKIRT?

Forget the ‘rules’: you’re never too old for a mini skirt. Esther Walker gives her tips for rocking the look at any age

 

There was a sort of bon mot swirling around the internet a few months ago that went like this: at some point in your childhood, you and your friends went out to play for the last time.

It’s the same with minis. At some point, I’d say in your 20s, you reached blithely, unthinkingly and confidently for a mini for the last time. Then the mini was put away. It’s not that you never reached for it again – it was just that reaching for it was never quite as simple from that point on.

It was my kids that did me for minis. It wasn’t just that they temporarily ruined my legs with weight gain and varicose veins – all the bending and crawling and scrabbling that goes on with small children ruled out a mini completely. The humiliation you have to endure is bad enough without flashing your knickers to everyone in the playground.

About two years ago, with my kids a bit more grown up (and having lost the weight and got rid of the varicose veins), I decided to wear a floral mini dress to a large garden

party. It was all going fine until I had to help my son, then three and a half, with his shorts in an al fresco wee situation.

I suddenly realised that even though we were trampling about discreetly in some bushes, I was bending over sufficiently to give anyone behind me quite the eyeful. I turned, panicked, to see two teenage girls looking in my direction in horrid fascination.

I have not worn a mini dress in the two summers since.

But really that comes under ‘wardrobe malfunction’. Had I been more organised and worn a pair of Marks & Spencer Modal Blend Shorts under my mini dress, I would have been all right.

Because whether or not you are ‘too old’ for a mini is a ridiculous idea, left over from a bygone era when such things actually mattered and we weren’t blessed with so much choice and flexibility in what we wear.

[Continued below]

SHOP ESTHER’S EDIT

Don’t be afraid to
go bold
£35
Denim prevents a mini
looking OTT
£49.50
Everyone needs a grey
cashmere sweater
£75
Black brogues add a
tougher edge
£55

 

Once upon a time, hemlines were either up or down, and you could choose to wear what was ‘in’ or not. Thank goodness, frankly, times have changed.

 

These days, “Am I too old for a mini?” is a preposterous question. A thoughtless answer is based on whether you have ‘good’ legs (i.e. you can carry on wearing a mini if you do), which is stupid.

There are about five people in the world with ‘good’ legs. Can only they wear minis? No. It’s about how you feel in yourself about your legs. If you like your legs, and if you like your legs in a mini, go about wearing a mini forevermore! And if not, like I said before, we are lucky these days to have so many more options.

Although, if we are all standing about hypothetically talking about minis and age, there is something you might like to think about if approaching a mini over the age of, oh, I don't know, 25. It’s only a small suggestion and it’s the same I would advise anyone to use whether they are considering a mini or a maxi or a midi, and that is to implement the high/low rule.

All the high/low rule means is that it’s best to mix clothes from opposite ends of whatever spectrum they are on to achieve a stylish rather than clichéd effect.

So a ditzy little summer dress goes nicely with a boyish denim or leather jacket. A pair of leather trousers or leggings looks coolest with a simple white T-shirt or a modest grey sweater.

It’s the same with a mini. If in my photos I was wearing this Chanel-style mini with a slithery silk shirt and some high heels you’d probably ring for a doctor.

Combined with a cashmere hoodie and these adorable patent leather brogues (and a denim jacket for good measure), the mini just becomes part of the outfit. I am wearing the mini, the mini is not wearing me.

All this falls by the wayside in cooler weather of course, when no matter what you think about your legs, you can wear a skirt any length due to the incredible gift to humankind that is 60 denier hosiery. (Like so many critical situations in life, it mostly comes down to having the right underwear.)

So if you are struggling with the question “Can I pull off a mini?” ask yourself “Is it cool enough for tights yet?” instead.

 

MORE MINIS

Team with a simple black T-shirt
£35
Add trainers for a cool summer look
£35
Button details look great on a mini
£25
An easy, breezy holiday look
£15

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