We’ll admit it: We’re pretty good at spotting a trend. As Who What Wear editors, it’s our job to keep our eyes, ears and fingers on the pulse. It’s true that we focus a lot on wardrobe classics, encouraging smart purchases that will last you a long time. But we also take our responsibility of keeping you up-to-date on the latest most-wanted buys and emerging trends very seriously. Our Slack instant-messaging channels are constantly pinging with editors’ observations and the sharing of various fashion reports, runway looks, TikToks and IG links. The most recent obsession we’ve noticed? Denim-skirt outfits. Don’t worry. We’re not talking about the belt-like, frayed-hem versions of old. No, denim skirts appear to have matured with us, and for 2023, they look much more grown up, more polished and all the more wearable in longer midi and maxi lengths.
We first noticed the beginnings of this noughties renaissance last year, but it wasn’t until this month when my fellow editors and I confirmed that long denim skirts were a full-blown thing again and that we all wanted a piece of it. The conversation went along the lines of…
Editor 1: "Hey team, are long denim skirts really a thing now? I woke up this morning with such a deep urge for one and now notice that they're absolutely everywhere."
Editor 2: "I saw someone in one on TikTok, and she looked so good."
Editor 3: "I equally have an urge for one, despite never really wearing skirts"
Editor 4: "It's officially a thing! Definitely going to be huge in 2023."
So here we are. Denim skirts may have made their first reappearance on the runways last year—everywhere from Burberry Pre-Fall 22 looks to Altuzzara's S/S 23 collection. But with the new-season drops starting to trickle in, we can see that this is a trend both the high street and designer brands have invested in for the year ahead.
As is often the case when a piece like this reemerges, thinking of multiple ways to style it can be hard. So below, I've pulled together all the best and easiest-to-copy denim-skirt outfits I've seen recently and then shopped them out to help inspire you. Happy shopping!
1. Shirt + Denim Skirt + Mules + Shoulder Bag
Style Notes: Sylvie makes her relaxed denim skirt look polished with a classic oversized white shirt and suede mules. Finished off with a slick shoulder bag, she could be going to the office or out for dinner and drinks.
2. Leather Bomber + Denim Skirt + Ballet Flats
Style Notes: Rikke adds another key 2023 trend to her denim-skirt outfit in the form of a leather bomber jacket. The cropped jacket style works so well to balance out the maxi skirt, and pretty ballerina shoes keep it feeling romantic.
Style Notes: Karina proves that knee-high boots and long denim skirts are a match made in sartorial heaven. This is another simple but versatile outfit that could take you from day to night.
4. Thin Knit + Dark Denim Skirt + Embellished Flats
Style Notes: Darker denim hues are taking over the jeans world this year, so it makes sense the obsession is spreading into the world of denim skirts too. I love how Sylvie's low-key cashmere knit balances out the glamorous flats perfectly.
5. Long-Sleeved Top + Black Denim Skirt + Trainers + Tote Bag
Style Notes: Who What Wear US editor Eliza shows us exactly how to wear a denim-skirt outfit on the weekend. Trainers and a retro T-shirt make this noughties trend feel fresh.
6. Leather Jacket + Denim Skirt + Knee-High Boots
Style Notes: Changing classic blue or black styles up for a crisp white denim skirt is a move we're planning on trying as spring gets underway.
7. Hoodie + Denim Skirt + Studded Ankle Boots
Style Notes: Marilyn provides another über-cool example of how to do high-low dressing—with a relaxed oversized hoodie and killer heeled ankle boots. It feels very "fashion," but it's so simple to copy.