Trend Watch

Sexy, Sexy Slits

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Snip, snip – it seems that designers have gotten a little scissor happy, judging by the amount of slit-up-to-there skirts we’ve been seeing lately. Once considered appropriate only for glamorous evening affairs, the thigh-high slit has infiltrated the realm of casual wear, in a perfect marriage of function and style Spring’s long length skirts might be a bit dowdy, or restricting without that extra slice taken out of the side.

Sexy glimpses of gams were spotted on the Louis Vuitton Spring 2011 runways, where super-high slits were the norm on stripey, knitted maxi dresses, sheer mesh gowns, and ornate kimonos. More recently, Jenni Kayne sent gorgeous, jewel-toned slit satin skirts down the runway of her Fall show, and designers at Preen featured color-blocked straight skirts slit right up the center.

The key to keeping this look sophisticated, not sleazy, is all in the proportions. If you’re showing a whole lot of leg, it’s chic to cover up elsewhere. Keep the skirt length long (knee-length and below) and the neckline not-too-low. Play around with proportions by topping off with a blazer or fitted sweater. Sliced skirts dazzle with high, high heels, but wearing them with flats or sandals can look very modern, providing you’re naturally a little on the tall side.

ASOS, Max Azria, ASOS, Nicole Miller, Rick Owens© ASOS, Max Azria, ASOS, Nicole Miller, Rick OwensFirst up, this seriously fabulous Leopard One Shoulder Maxi Dress from Warehouse. This seventies-inspired frock is disco-ready in semi-sheer leopard print, and a thigh-high slit on the left leg. We envision this slick dress with glamorous platform sandals and shoulder-sweeping gold earrings, or with a wide, floppy brimmed hat and oversized shades for a dramatic look for a day on the beach.

Max Azria does minimalism the right way with this Sleeveless Wrap Waist Maxi Dress in delicious, watermelon-hued silk. We love how the modest, boat-neck top swoops down to reveal an open back and daring side slit, and the wrap-effect at the waist is a cool, flattering detail. This is one to try with flat, metallic or embellished sandals and sleek updo for a contemporary take on nighttime style. Accessorize with simple stud earrings and a streamlined clutch and let the dress make its own statement.

If you’re looking for a more versatile way to work slits into your wardrobe, consider adding a skirt or two into your regular rotation. The ASOS Side Split Maxi Skirt features seaming and ruching for optimal figure flattery, and we love the unique gold tone and the fact that the slit runs up the leg, just off-center. Rick Owens gives us another skirt with a similar effect (with a shorter hemline), the Lilies Front Slit Layered Skirt. Whether you decide to go maxi or midi, rock either of these skirts with a long-sleeved, fitted scoop neck, crop top, or crisp button down. Experiment with belts, scarves (and scarves as belts) to accentuate your waist.

For a casual, chill ensemble, pair Nicole Miller’s beautiful Ombre Georgette Maxi Skirt with an off-the-shoulder silk tee or cropped cardigan. The dip-dyed silk goes in a gorgeous gradient from white to gray, and we think it would look fab with  dark charcoal, cream, or navy blue. Add some luxe leather ankle-strap sandals and a structured handbag to pull the look together.

Let us also mention that this a pretty easy trend to DIY for those with a little patience and skill. Survey your closet for forgotten maxi or midi skirts, full skirts, straight skirts, pencil skirts, whatever stragglers are at the back of your closet, begging to be reinvented - and get snipping! Be sure to try it on first, lest the slit get too scandalous. Hem up the raw edges with a sewing machine (if you've got one) or neatly with a needle and thread. Ta-da!

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