The most common orphaned items in my clients’ wardrobes are skirts. And the most common silhouette of orphaned skirt is a fit-and-flared style, especially when the client is short waisted. Tucking a top into a high waistband is tricky on a short waist, and finding a top that is sufficiently fitted and cropped to wear untucked is a tall order. 

That’s why I’m reminding you about what I used to call the skirt rule. But since there is only ONE rule on YLF — which is to have fun with fashion — I’m now calling it the skirt purchasing guideline: 

Don’t purchase a skirt unless you purchase the accompanying top at the same time, or you already have a top that will work in your closet.

The first part of the guideline is easy because you’re pulling together a complete outfit right away. No orphans. The second part requires a little more discipline because wardrobe items that we think will work together in our head don’t always do so in reality. Try on the skirt with the tops you had in mind to make sure that they DO work. If they don’t, return the skirt. 

You could hang on to the skirt and hope that in time you find a top or two to work with it. But this takes even more discipline, and can lead right back to the orphaned skirt phenomenon that we’re trying to prevent. A skirt that stays in your wardrobe for more than a season without a support act to wear with it is dead weight. Be strict from the start if you know you’ll battle to find a top to go with that skirt.