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The highs & lows of hemlines

As the weather warms, many of us begin to feel a little more adventurous and just a tad flirtatious. Across the runways, designers are playing with looks that thrill and frill — and give the eyes a bit of a double-take. One obvious trend in skirts and dresses: Hemlines are rising well above fingertip level. The next few months will bring short shorts, shorter skirts and the shortest dresses you’ve ever imagined.

How low do we go?

“Anything that emphasizes the legs and falls below your fingertips is safe to wear this spring season,” says Shawanda Schiefer, creative director of Sassy Divas, LLC. “The overriding hemline theory is when hemlines rise, stock prices rise. When the knees show, it’s a bull market. When they fall, it’s a bear’s market and prices will fall.”

We can read the economy in our mini skirts? “Since we are in an unstable economy, the hemline is ranging from maxi dresses to ultra-short-mini lengths. Women might just want to feel sexy and beautiful!” Shawanda says.

Life as art

Linda Arroz of says, “Shrinking hemlines are part of the zeitgeist, based on the popularity of the tunic; the idea of long over lean, and the ongoing love affair we have with layers.”

Layering is key to the mini look. A shockingly short skirt becomes a lot more office appropriate when paired with a hot pair of opaque tights and super-high boots.
Body Glove Smoothies Skirt

From the bottom up

With shrinking hemlines, the shoe becomes that much more important. The shoes of the last few seasons have become either exaggerated in height and style (straps, buckles, flowers, rhinestones, etc.) or streamlined like a ballerina flat. That takes us full circle to the shorter hemlines and the youthful, almost childlike, silhouettes of smaller dresses.

The shrinking hemline can be worn dressy, casual or sporty — like with this adorable Body Glove Smoothies Lambada Skirt (pictured). It looks fabulous with heels, boots and even flats.

The key in this look, like any, is to adapt it to your own style. Show a little more leg than you did last year — but go only so high that you still feel confident and sexy. Then have fun, put your dancing shoes on and show off your new look!

More fashion tips and trends

Fashion through the decades

5 Short wedding dresses for spring

10 Appropriate skirts for your daughter

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