How to wear a party skirt with pizazz

— by Alyson Walsh

Photo: Sarah Brick. Hair & makeup: Lindsey Poole


Snazzy skirts took over Thomas Street last week. When the Chanel Métiers d’Art catwalk show popped up (together with a rain-proof, custom-made shelter) in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. I love Manchester. I love it when cities outside London get the attention they deserve (as a recent report by the Resolution Foundation, confirmed, Levelling Up has to ‘shift from rhetoric to reality’). And, while the opening of a Chanel boutique may be good for certain aspects of the retail community, big designer brands jetting celebs and editors around the globe for 15-minutes of social media frenzy doesn’t feel like the right kind of progress to me.

Anyhow, let’s talk about party skirts…

This December, rather than opting for jeans and a nice top, I’ve been flipping the script. Giving a pair of fancy pants or the showbiz skirt a spin. Taking notes from the Miuccia Prada style book, and seeking out images of the late Carla Sozzani on Pinterest provides the perfect skirt-spiration. For a small soirée, I’ll often pull an old Lurex sweater from the shimmering selection, to go with. There’s more mileage in standout separates, they offer more versatility than a cocktail dress and it’s easy to reinvent these pieces by playing around with the accompaniments.

The gorgeous skirt in the top photo is from Justine Tabak, made using 100% sustainable, dead-stock fabric. Chic, or what? It has drama and plenty of oomph thanks to the full silhouette and silver brocade fabric. I’ve opted for a textural mismatch by teaming with an old Lurex jumper and dressy flats. If you’re prepared to splurge, check out Wiggy Kit, La Double J and Wyse London for a shining selection of party skirts. If you like a prom-inspired design with pockets, Boden’s best-selling, cotton sateen, midi skirt is available in new colours every season – including a bold stripe and a bright pink, this season. And, Hush has a number of snazzy skirts including a metallic pleated maxi, and one with Carrie Bradshaw ruffles.



Nineties minimalism is back and I’m here for it. The pared-down silhouette is a fast track to easy elegance. No wonder the slinky, bias-cut slip has achieved ‘wardrobe essential’ status. This is the kind of skirt that can be worn all year round – just as long as you own a pair of big knickers, or three. The striking, graphic design (above) comes courtesy of the super-cool Jigsaw x ROKSANDA collaboration. And Ghost is still a good place to bag a bias-cut skirt.

I know what you’re thinking, bare, ‘corned beef’ legs in winter…To be honest, I’m kicking myself because I had a bagful of sparkly socks to style-up with the silver slingbacks, and reader, this slipped my tired brain. When it comes to the tights vs bare legs debate, I’d rather wear socks. I’m beyond faffing around with ill-fitting, falling-down hosiery. What a palaver. I’d rather do what women in New York (and Manchester) do: brave the cold, pull on a great coat and give it some skirt.


Behold, a plethora of party skirts:



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First photo: my own/ old Lurex top.  Bobbie skirt from Justine Tabak. Power Pumps from Russell and Bromley. Bracelet, from Vanessa Baroni. All items loaned for the shoot and returned.

Second photo: another old Lurex top. Jigsaw x Roksanda satin colour block skirt. Silver metallic slingbacks from Me+Em. Both loaned for the shoot and returned. My earrings are from Mango a couple of years ago.


For more on CHANEL IN MANCHESTER, read Dave Haslam on Substack, HERE.

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  Snazzy skirts took over Thomas Street last week. When the Chanel Métiers d’Art catwalk show popped up (together with a rain-proof, custom-made shelter) in Manchester’s Northern Qua…