Sex up your shirt with a skirt!

Sex up your shirt with a skirt! Pair this season’s tailoring with a must-wear maxi for an instant wardrobe upgrade

  • Pair a shirt with a skirt this season for the new power-dressing
  • READ MORE: H&M’s newest designer collaboration channels the party spirit of the Sixties with… Dresses that shout disco

With this autumn’s return to tailored dressing — from oversized suits at Gucci to neat chic at Dior — it was inevitable that the shirt would have its moment, too.

Not as girlish as a blouse, not as casual as a T-shirt, a good one brings a boldness to your outfit that demands you are taken seriously.

But how do you wear a button-up without looking a bit… buttoned up? Isn’t the no-frills look just a touch frumpy?

Not when you throw in one of the season’s hottest maxi or midi-skirts, a quietly quirky touch — be that clever accessorising or edgy details — and an air of confidence that takes no prisoners.

This isn’t going back to the old cliche of the sexy secretary, or even the deliberately dowdy librarian. Shirt plus skirt equals the new power-dressing.

And it’s here to stay.


Shirt, £99 and top, £99,; skirt, £35.99,; shoes, £79.99, mango. com; earrings, £35,

The shirt-and-tie pairing is a huge trend for autumn, but it can look austere, especially in t h e season’s monochrome palettes.

One way to have fun with it is to subvert the stiffness of classic menswear with delicate fabrics — as with this fluid Mint Velvet shirt, which has a cleverly integrated tie. Team with a feminine corset-like bodice and long skirt for a catwalk-worthy look that is in no way mannish.


Remember those slimfit Tom Ford-for-Gucci satin shirts of the 1990s?

Well they’re back, and they’re just as slinky.

Shirt, £29.99, mango. com; roll-neck, £70,; skirt, £79.99,; earrings, £290,

Instead of pairing this green Mango shirt with a retro trouser suit, try a more punky-preppy look for winter, with a contrasting polo-neck underneath and a full kilt-style skirt, buckles on show.

Throw on some statement gold earrings and you’ll leave no room for doubt that, well, you’re the one wearing the trousers.


When you’re flouncing around in a swooshy satin polkadot skirt, like this Serena Bute beauty, you don’t want look like a flamenco dancer. The answer is an austere, fitted shirt but in a sheer fabric to keeps things feminine. 

Shirt, £125,; high-neck top, £35.99,; skirt, £325,; shoes, £85,; ring, £38,

This shrunk-to-fit look gets its fashion edge from the polo-neck top underneath — another 1990s favourite that’s back with a vengeance, along with mock-croc snaffle loafers.


Shirts are flattering, but a vertical stripe gives a truly slimming effect.

Shirt, £130, withnothingunderneath. com; skirt, £270,; necklace, £75 and ring, £38,

When worn with a sensible skirt, you might expect this to look dowdy, but a silky fabric, a neckline just low enough, a quirky contrasting cuff, a collar necklace and blingy ring ensure this outfit looks considered and stylish, with a prim-but-sexy silhouette.


If a standard shirt is just too day-to-day for you, this 1940s-style piece from Mint Velvet is an ultra-feminine option, with its oversized collar, leg-of-mutton sleeves and chic black buttons. 

Shirt, £119,; skirt, £355, Iris & Ink at; boots, £149.99, mango. com; bag, £325,; earrings £290,

A buttery leather handbag and big, bold earrings look luxurious, but why not subvert that retro elegance with something a bit more rock-androll, like a glossy black leather midi-skirt and knee-length boots?


While a simple white shirt is a daywear classic, it can also work beautifully for evening, as this Zara version shows, with its lime-green ostrich feathers bringing a touch of tongue-in-cheek glamour to what is usually an icon of simplicity.

Shirt, £79.99 and shoes, £35.99,; skirt, £395,; earrings, £390,; ring, £38,

Wear with a full Dior-style skirt or pick up the green in the pattern of this quilted skirt — bang on trend with its maxi A-line silhouette.

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