It's fair to say that 2022 is turning into a real celebration of the humble skirt. You've got micro minis, maxis, circle skirts, column silhouettes and asymmetrical hemlines—you name it. Every style has its own particular fan base and an accompanying list of designers who championed the trend in their S/S 22 collections, but there were two styles that felt particularly fresh for the new season. They also just happen to split the opinions of the Who What Wear fashion team.
Proenza Schouler S/S 22; Tory Burch S/S 22
In the red corner, we have the column skirt: Long, lean and often low-slung, it's the sort of thing you'd see Gwyneth Paltrow wear in '90s romcoms. Meanwhile, in the blue corner is the circle skirt: a more full-bodied, flowing look typically associated with 1950s fashion but, this season, rendered in unexpected fabrics such as leather and tulle.
"I always think I want to be the girl in the full, swishy skirt, but in reality, on my hourglass body shape, it can veer into kitsch '50s territory, which is not aligned to my personal style at all," says Who What Wear Editor in Chief Hannah Almassi. "So tube skirts it is! I actually can't wait to wear this comfy style all summer long."
Me? I have a soft spot for both styles. The column skirt is, perhaps, a style I would usually go for. However, when I've seen brands such as Alexander McQueen offering up such unusual twists on the circle skirt, I've been quite tempted. I love the idea of wearing a full-bodied midi skirt with a tight-fitting top and pointed kitten heels (à la Totême's 2021 eveningwear collection). It's ideal as a chic alternative to a traditional wedding guest dress. If you're still undecided, scroll down to see my favourite runway references for both styles, and shop my column-versus-circle skirt edit.
The Column Skirt
Nanushka S/S 22
I love how the brand has styled this column skirt over print-match trousers.
Emilia Wickstead S/S 22
There's something very '90s about a low-slung column skirt and crop top.
Proenza Schouler S/S 22
A satin skirt is a more accessible entry point to the column-skirt trend. Just style with a white tee and Birkenstocks.
The Circle Skirt
Tory Burch S/S 22
Tory Burch offers up a very elegant ensemble via a checked circle skirt and colour-match top.
Alexander McQueen S/S 22
I'm obsessed with McQueen's leather-clad twist on the traditional circle skirt. Perfect with a cropped jacket and biker boots.
Molly Goddard S/S 22
Molly Goddard offered up her own iteration of the circle skirt in frothy tulle—of course—but kept it cool with a casual knitted tank.