Ruth Tries Trends: The Bias Cut Skirt

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There are some fashion trends that my I just can’t deal with. Anything cropped. Anything too body-con but made in cheap material. Anything that involves long, tube-like skirts that sit tightly around the middle. Culottes (age me by eighty years), stilettos (always try to kill me), cold-shoulder tops (make me keenly feel the mutton/lamb scenario), high-necked blouses (make me look like a Victorian matron).

The latest trend to not suit me is the bias-cut skirt. The way it’s cut (bias, clue is in the name) means that it just clings in all of the wrong places. Namely my stomach. It also clings to my buttocks, but only the top part of them, making my arse look like a constantly-shimmying, attention-grabbing shelf.

bias cut skirt trend

Now if I sit down in the skirt and position my legs in a certain way so that 80% of my body is concealed (and, weirdly, as though all of my limbs have been taken off and reattached the wrong way around, see above), it looks great. Really chic and feminine. The problem comes when I have to do anything other than sit in a contrived position – if I have to walk, for example, or stand up without throwing my shoulders forward. The bias cut skirt, when worn in any of these (fairly pedestrian, non-outré) scenarios, makes me look like a snake that’s eaten an egg.

bias cut skirt trend

It’s a skirt for the straight-up-straight-downs. It doesn’t seem to like curves. Or perhaps it just doesn’t like my curves. Wearing the bias cut skirt made me feel like I’d crafted a garment from some repurposed curtains, except I’d sewn all the seams the wrong way by mistake. And call me paranoid, but it just felt as though every lump and bump was on show. Which is never convenient. I would have been useless at wearing a wire, for example; becoming an informant in a crucial Scotland Yard investigation would have been out of the question. Ditto one of those security bum bags (fanny packs): should I have wanted to conceal my cash on a school trip to Rome, I would have looked absurd.

bias cut skirt trend

So the bias cut skirt trend, which I’ve seen in every magazine and newspaper for months, is not for me. I need structure and I need shape, otherwise I need things to drape in clever ways. Good things that have come from this trial, however, are: the discovery of Nike Air Force 1s, which made me feel incredibly hip (thanks Rach!) and the confirmation that pale grey always looks beautiful with pink. It’s so spring-like! So fresh!

Topshop have loads of different bias-cut midi skirts here* – my particular dreamboat skirt doesn’t seem to be in stock anymore, but they have lots of jewel-toned versions online and the lace trim style is pretty. Not on me, obviously, but on others.

My t-shirt is a really old one from Milly and I bought the Air Force 1s from Schuh here* – to be fully transparent, I loved the trainers but they cut in too high for my Stan-Smith-moulded feet and so I didn’t keep them.

Winning at this season’s fashion game, so far: please hold for more things that don’t suit me. And tell me your trend nightmares and surprise successes: anyone managed to pull off the cropped look yet? Or wear a bodysuit without wanting to punch a wall with sheer irritation? Maybe that’ll be my next trend test…

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  1. Lucia
    May 11, 2019 / 12:25 am

    Hi Ruth! I love the skirt on you! I bought myself a similar one recently. Anyway I was wondering if you have any suggestions for wedding guest dresses? I have to wedding coming up and can’t find anything suitable. . I’m size 10, but uncomfortable with my arms out, so looking for something with some sort of a sleeve. So many nice dresses are just sleeves or with tiny spaghetti straps
    Take care x

  2. evie
    April 27, 2019 / 4:45 pm

    I am trying to find a midi satin skirt which I could wear with suede boots, cashmere sweater etc to play on texture. I am wondering if I could pull off the infamous topshop satin bias skirt if I size up and take in at the waist as necessary (I am nifty with my sewing machine) so it gives the texture but doesn’t cling?

  3. JC
    April 18, 2019 / 9:30 pm

    Bloody leopard print! I have really curly red hair and it just makes me look Bo Selecta / ageing streetwalker, I tried a coat for about a year but threw it out end of last year as I increasingly winced at my own reflection in shop mirrors.
    High neck anything, low cut with ditsy print makes me look like Ma Larkin.
    I need boat neck, shirt collar, 3/4 sleeves, tailored, just below knee, just above ankle in everything so I do not look like my nan dressed as Margaret Thatcher at Halloween. (I’m only 47?)
    Remember Richards clothes stores in the 80s…..we need a high street store that delivers now!

    • April 19, 2019 / 7:24 pm

      Hahahaha!!!!!!!! Sorry but the Bo Selecta thing made me crease! xx

      • JC
        April 22, 2019 / 11:50 pm

        No apology needed, it’s true and hilariously tragic!

    • Ac
      October 7, 2019 / 8:55 am

      OMG Ruth, we are so similar! I’m 47 too, minus the red hair ( love red hair, married a red haired bloke to get red haired kids and ended up with three brown! ) I’m a bit lumpy bumpy and need tailored clothes, not frills, LOVED Richards :D ac

  4. Sam Buckley
    April 18, 2019 / 8:07 pm

    Snake that swallowed an egg – crying!

  5. Katarina
    April 18, 2019 / 6:55 pm

    It’s bicycle shorts for me. And the ridiculous, small sunglasses. I haven’t tried neither and never will. I feel everyone will regret these two items ever exsisting.

    • Teresa
      April 29, 2019 / 6:24 pm

      The tiny sunglasses I completely agree with.

      The bicycle shorts have a time and place, I spent three summers wearing them almost exclusively…ages 6 throuh 9.

  6. Lou
    April 18, 2019 / 6:35 am

    Bias cut anything looks horrific on the vast majority of people, so don’t worry, it’s not just you! I’ve always wondered how Ghost have had so much success with their bridesmaid dresses line. They’re all cut on the bias and totally beautiful on the hanger but in real life, just no. How does it work to put three/four/five grown adults with completely different body types into a shiny sausage skin?!

    • April 18, 2019 / 11:01 am

      I used to have SO many Ghost dresses because my friend worked for them – they looked great on my 22 year-old supermodel frame but yeah, it was all downhill from there! Haha.

      • Lindsey
        April 23, 2019 / 3:12 am

        Just bought a crop top this weekend, haven’t yet worn it. My torso is actually my least weighty part (good for the stomach but sad for the bosoms, which are deflating now that I’m weaning my youngest). As a result, I can’t pull off the “relaxed fit” tee/leggy shorts look that seems to be everywhere nowadays…I need that waist definition to balance my fleshy legs, which at the end of winter can sometimes resemble two pale, lumpy grub worms.
        That being said, at 31, after 2 kids, the crop top may be wishful thinking….

  7. Betsy
    April 18, 2019 / 12:03 am

    Cropped pants that are too short, bodysuits that are “thong” any piece of clothing that looks like you’ve raided your three year olds closet. And any heel over 2 inches. Wonder how my mother ever walked in those murderers of feetBeen eyeing up a skirt on Anthropologie that looks Chanel but alas, it says “mini”. How “mini”? I’m in sweats and a comfy James Perse tee as soon as my day is done. So Chic

    • April 18, 2019 / 11:01 am

      I’m in a tracksuit by 6pm and I don’t wear a bra beneath it either! Woohoo.

      • Betsy
        April 18, 2019 / 2:23 pm

        WooHoo on no bra. My rituals is taking off immediately and screaming, “your free”

  8. Lisa
    April 17, 2019 / 10:29 pm

    Pleats! They make me look as though I am trying to steal a watermelon. Even before I had kids and mommy tummy!

  9. Sarah
    April 17, 2019 / 8:58 pm

    I’ve had two sizes of the same satin bias cut skirts hung up with the tags on for weeks. It looks just okay but it definitely clings to my bum too much and makes me feel so self-conscious! Like you, Ruth, it looks okay if I hold myself in a certain way that isn’t conducive of everyday life. Stood in a normal way I just look really ‘hippy’.

    Not for me. Shall be returning both sizes!

  10. Kate
    April 17, 2019 / 8:54 pm

    So glad it isn’t just me! Boiler suits also a no no. Ooh and low hemmed dresses.

  11. Abby
    April 17, 2019 / 8:23 pm

    Yes me too! I’ve bought about 5 as I keep seeing them on other people and they look so great I forget how bad they look on me! Alas they always do look bad and end up getting returned!

  12. Farah
    April 17, 2019 / 8:10 pm

    Oh my God I accidentally bought a bias cut dress online and its so pretty but so incredibly alarming on my figure. Just really shows everything off in the absolute worst way! Can we also talk about these silky wrap dresses that have ties that are the width of dental floss?! What is going on? I find myself yearning for the thick structured dresses of the 1940’s. After 2 kids I need structure and support not these floaty wispy bits of tissue paper!

    • April 18, 2019 / 11:02 am

      Or just shirt dresses. They’ll do me just fine, ta, and I need sleeves.

      • Farah
        April 18, 2019 / 8:15 pm

        Yes sleeves! Below the elbow preferred for me……

  13. Sandie
    April 17, 2019 / 6:51 pm

    Oh!! I love a good blog and chat about fashion trends! Try as I may to embrace the Lola and Luna dresses (a la Whistles) I always look like a bag of potatoes … I am size 8 and straight up & down but I just look frumpy and lumpy! Little satin Bias dresses on the other hand make me look and feel fab. As for jumpsuits, maxi dresses, cold shoulders and cropped anything…. Just can’t wear them , sorry!

    • April 18, 2019 / 11:03 am

      Hahaha, I love the Lola and Luna but I get you! : )

  14. Onya1213
    April 17, 2019 / 3:36 pm

    Upside to this bias skirt: Dexter looks dandy standing next to it. Brings out the color in his nose.

  15. Sally
    April 17, 2019 / 12:23 pm

    I’m so glad it’s not just me – I try them on every time they come around but they just don’t suit. With me it’s not my stomach but my hips and they make my bum look like I’m smuggling an extra cushion to sit on!

  16. Melanie Woodward
    April 17, 2019 / 12:18 pm

    At last the voice of reason ! For a “midlife” woman, I’m not in bad shape generally – but bias cut skirts; especially those made in satin material make me look like a bag of rubber hammers. Urggh !

    • April 18, 2019 / 11:04 am

      Hahahaha! Bag of rubber hammers is a brilliant, brilliant description.

  17. Sophie
    April 17, 2019 / 9:59 am

    I love a midi length dress or skirt but not bias cut. Humps, bumps and lumps in all the wrong places else. Can you do “Ruth tries trends:” gym gear now your a barre pro? What actually feels good to wear, sweat and gasp for breath in and not feel like a squashed sausage.

  18. Jessie
    April 17, 2019 / 9:49 am

    Yes I bloody love a good jumpsuit now! I bought my first one from Antropologie in LA this time 2 years ago and I fell in love so hard that I now have 4! One is from hush and it’s amazing! Super comfortable and flattering. And I’m taller than you and a size 16 with big boobs. Somehow it managed to flatter all of me. Ruth you could totally pull off a lovely hush jumpsuit. Try it! Xxx

  19. Pip
    April 17, 2019 / 8:53 am

    Hello 1995! I had a gorgeous blue & yellow gingham bias cut maxi skirt from Jeffrey Rogers, that I wore with a navy body suit. I was 16 and thought I looked fabulous (I probably did, the beauty of youth). As I’m turning 40 next week I now have the wisdom to know that this trend is no longer for me.

    • Jo
      April 17, 2019 / 2:39 pm

      Jeffrey bloody Rogers! The home of the bias cut (and the spaghetti strap. and wraparound skirts.)

      Got to admit I’m not enjoying the mid-’90s fashion homages in the high street right now. Unless you’re Kate Moss, just say no to the bias cut.

  20. Di
    April 17, 2019 / 8:37 am

    I too have SamSmith moulded feet, so SNAP! As for bias skirts, that’s just lazy designing and sewing.

  21. April 17, 2019 / 8:29 am

    Do you remember when bias cut skirts were really popular at per una? Women of a certain age loved them but the skirts were so unflattering… I can’t believe we’re here again … and crop tops too! No, not for me… I won’t be inflicting my midriff on the unsuspecting public anytime soon.

  22. April 17, 2019 / 8:11 am

    Uh, no, bias skirts are not for me either! The accentuate all the bits and bobs I rather not have the attention on. And cropped – don´t get me started. I got used to ignoring cropped tops, but now everyone is trying to sell me cropped trousers, and I am not getting it!

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

    • April 17, 2019 / 8:20 am

      Same. I really don’t get cropped trousers when they are wide-legged! Don’t mind a bit of ankle when they are tighter, but the trousers that just look like they have a section missing?! NO!

      • Jo
        April 17, 2019 / 2:36 pm

        See, I felt the same (especially as I have very pale, far from lovely rugby player calves). But then I tried some on in Cos, with what I think is called a ‘paper bag’ waist (??) – you know, those cinched in ones with folds.

        Long story short, I now have three pairs and I feel about as stylish as I’ve ever felt in my life (at the not insignificant age of 37). They work far better than they have any right to, and have a faint ’30s vibe to them.

        Next on my list to conquer: jumpsuits! (a year late, but whatever)

  23. K.
    April 16, 2019 / 9:57 pm

    Ruth, I always love to read your take on clothes. It is just a joy to have someone to celebrate fun trends with and commiserate with when trends go wrong. Body suits. Ugh. And bias cut really is a challenge. I am a fairly straight body shape–meaning slimmer hips, not a lot of waist or bum. Bias cut skirts work magic, making me look like I have hips and a waist. But that magic turns evil when the bias hits my belly. Definitely not good. Thanks for making fit challenges so amusing!

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