S.F. Street Fashion: The Rise of the Maxi Skirt

When women first started sporting mini dresses in the 1920s, the amount of leg they showed was shocking. Who from that era would have thought that a century later, long skirts would be on the cutting edge of fashion and short hems would be considered conservative? But here we are in 2012, and if the world is ending, the rules of fashion are going down along with it — right down to the ankle, that is.

It started when maxi dresses appeared a few years ago, and suddenly everyone was sweeping about in hippie-inspired, beachy frocks. Unfortunately, the trendy maxi dresses add the illusion of bulk in the midsection; the empire-waisted, flowy silhouette isn't the most flattering. But these days I'm noticing more maxi skirts — a happy medium between the long-hem trend and body-conscious style. The long swath of color makes anyone look a few inches taller, and the cinched waist paired with a fitted top steer the look out of the maternity section.

Click through to see some of the maxi skirts I spotted in the past week, and weigh in on your preferred hem length.

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