LEIGH’S LIST: 'Please help me find a "grown-up" denim skirt.'

Welcome to Leigh's List. A weekly column, a bit like an agony aunt, but for your shopping woes. A self-confessed shopping addict, Leigh Campbell enjoys nothing more than hunting down the *thing* you've been searching for but haven't been able to find.

This week Holly Wainwright had a conundrum for Leigh to solve with retail therapy guidance. Here's what unfolded. 

Holly asked:

I want a grown-up denim skirt. Last year I discovered the perfect pair of jeans and it changed my entire wardrobe. Now I want to update that with a denim skirt that will do the same thing when jeans aren't right, and that I can wear with all my shirts. 

These are my requirements – high-waisted – I used to always be afraid of a high-waist but have worked out it's actually the secret to my jeans being flattering and looking 'put together'. Mid-length. A-line. Blue denim, ideally not too pale and not too dark (lol, not fussy at all). I want to be able to wear them with boots this winter and with my large collection of clogs if it's bare-leg weather. Not too exxy. 

I believe this is quite the challenge, if you are willing to accept.

Watch: Mamamia Reviews Non-Family Friendly Fashion. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

Leigh answered:

Hi Holly. Great request. I honestly think denim skirts don't get enough airtime. Maybe because we associate them with 17-year-olds who can get away with wearing them hanging off the hip bone and they're usually the length of a thick belt.

Interesting you say you used to be scared of high-waisted. A common fashion fear that I am so glad you've overcome. Many people make the mistake of assuming that high-rise denim needs to be super tight, and therefore potentially unflattering, but this is the case. High-waisted with a tiny bit of room around the midsection looks incredibly good on almost all body types. You don't want the size to be too big that it doesn't doesn't give you shape, but you don't want it so tight that you can't sit/eat/breathe. Somewhere in between is the Goldilocks of high-waisted denim. 

If high-waisted jeans scare you, steer away from skinny-leg. Go for a straight leg or very slight bootleg, then email me to say thank you.

Okay, back to my mission. The kind of skirt you describe is actually very ‘high fashion’ this autumn and winter. Designer brands like Magda Butrym and Dries Van Noten have both released this style this season, but both are over $600 each. Keen to sell your car for a denim skirt? I don't think so.

Good news is, once a style has appeared on the runway or has been made popular by luxury brands, it quickly filters down to the high street (AKA chain stores or more affordable brands). 


That said, let’s find you a skirt.

David Lawrence Jodie Denim Skirt, $139.

Image: Supplied 

This one ticks all your boxes. Keep in mind models are taller than your average so this will likely fall a little longer on you. It has the traditional ‘jean-like’ waist with a button, fly and pockets (real ones!), plus dark denim is visually dressier so suits more occasions – it’s easier to dress down dark denim than it is to dress up light denim.

Zara ZW The Denim Skirt, $109.

Image: Supplied


This super-dark indigo skirt is equal parts ‘fashion’ and ‘classic’. It also has the traditional button, fly and belt loops (it’s always fun to have the option of adding a belt!), but offers cool-factor with the flared hem at the back. This is important because without this or a split, you end up shuffling in small steps to walk. Not ideal.

Nobody Denim Hazel Belted Skirt, $299.

Image: Supplied


I’ve gone a bit off-script for this one, but hear me out. 

A tie-waist on a skirt like this is super gorgeous, and allows for wiggle room, literally – perfect for that time of the month, an endo-flare, or just a bit more comfort around the middle. It still has the classic zip fly, and the big pockets add interest. The belt is also detachable if you want to take it off for a dressier look. 

Trenery Long-Line Denim Skirt, $149.

Image: Supplied


This style is a true staple, it’ll never go out of style. 

In a classic medium blue denim, while it’s not totally A-line, the split at the back makes walking easy and the slightly more straight shape gives a very polished silhouette. It has the classic zip, fly and pockets. Tick, tick, tick. The denim also offers some seriously good stretch.

Happy shopping!

Interested in Leigh doing some personal shopping for you? Let us know in the comments what fashion mission you'd like to send her on.

Feature Image: Supplied

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