Waist a minute! Is that a dress or a skirt?

sustainable fashion Dec 13, 2020

I love winter for the fact that I wear opaque tights, boots and skirts without having to worry about my unsightly varicose veins. This week I was pondering over what to wear for a business lunch and wanted to be quite relaxed, not too corporate but also not to look like I was ready for a night out with friends. 

I was struggling to think of a skirt that fitted the bill. They were either too office like, being the pencil skirt that stopped just above the knee or too much like fun social occasion mini skirts. Then I remembered a dress given to me by a friend who didn’t enjoy wearing it anymore. It’s a black textured stretchy knitted tube dress with a lovely deep square neckline. It lives with my ‘London’ clothes as it’s the perfect, easy to pack, takes up so little room, doesn’t crease kind-of-dress that goes day to night, depending on how I wear it. Just the ticket for that days lunch paired with my brown leather jacket and flat knee high boots.

Having really enjoyed wearing it, I popped it on again the following day with my grey roll neck jumper pulled on over the top, just to run some errands and drop off some things with clients. I felt and looked completely different with the feature neckline now completely hidden it looked (and felt) like I was wearing a simple tube skirt.

Wednesday, another lunch outfit was required for which I reverted back to a skirt combo but as I zipped it up I thought, ugh, a waistband! Is this the real reason dresses are so popular? I know a dress solves the problem of what to wear on your top half but I’ve a sneaky suspicion it’s the freedom and lack of restriction around our middle that gives dresses the powerful feel good factor they do.

The main selling pitch for my corporate wear collections are skirts and trousers that do not have a traditional waistband. I ask buyers to show me the place on a woman’s body where she has a rigid inch wide band that goes around her middle? It doesn’t exist! My designs have curved, grown on waistbands that have structure and a little tummy control in some styles but find their own natural place to sit. No inch wide band, no pinch!

With high waist garments coming back into vogue again, waistbands are becoming a feature. The addition of lycra makes them more comfortable but trust me, the most versatile skirt waistband is no waistband at all. It will find the place it wants to sit on you and adjust as you stand or sit, as well as morning to night as our tummy fluid retention levels change. Dresses go up another comfort factor level and give us more freedom with what we wear. Physical comfort is an essential factor for lasting feel good clothes and style halo glow. That’s why I say be cautious embracing the trend of high waisted styles currently; they are unforgiving and unlikely to fit in future years too. 

If you have a much-loved skirt that has a traditional waistband but you feel the pinch around your middle, it’s not time to donate it just yet. The quick fix is to attach a hairband to the buttonhole (another of my style tips) to give you a little extra inch but the real fix, is to remove the waistband all together. 

I was given a beautiful tweed D&G skirt and forced myself to wear it with its rigid waistband until I decided enough was enough. It needed to go in for the chop. I can wear it now in complete comfort and wonder why I even hesitated to have the waistband whipped off it. I guess I felt like I was defacing something really expensive but that’s crazy. It was uncomfortable and I rarely wore it. Now it’s a delight to wear and yes, you guessed it, it’s the skirt I switched into on Wednesday. And the one that still has a waistband which I pulled on first? It's going to get the chop!

Comfort dressing isn’t about sitting around in joggers or leggings with stretchy waists and not a zip in sight; it’s for everyday wear too. So, dust of those dresses and pair them with sweaters for winter casual looks, or get those waistbands off your skirts and breathe deep; a big happy sigh of comfort and joy. 


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