Poll: How short is too short for a skirt?

Conversation was sparked by yesterday’s TPS Report, and we thought it might be a good idea to try and get a consensus on this:  how short of a skirt can a professional woman get away with?  See our uber-fancy diagram, and vote below.

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Our $.02 — D would probably be our limit, but only with dark tights… We heard a rule long ago that the higher your skirt the lower your heel should be; we’ve always found success with that.


  1. I think this picture is a bit misleading…the model has great, long legs. I too have long legs and what it an appropriate skirt on a mannequin is not always office appropriate on me…. A better diagram would have been for a “normal” person. Even so, your relative descriptions led me to pick D. I’ve never had a client/employer complain when the skirt is classy and I am well dressed, and I have worked at very conservative banks and law firms.

    My two cents–from the girl with the 36″ inseam

    • Exactly! I’m 5′ 3″ with a 30″ inseam, and based on the skirt length text descriptions D is actually shorter on me than E. Then again my arm span is a tad longer than my height. Anyways I generally go with B or C because I don’t like how most pencil skirts rise up indecently when I’m sitting.

  2. I think there may not be an “E” on most people — but then, hey, who knows.

  3. I think D is fine – also that it depends on your office and particular group. If you are working in a stuffy office, then D could well be too short. But if your office is more stylish (so far as that goes in a law firm, which is to say, not far), I think D would fit right in if you were wearing tights. Also, sadly, I think it depends on the state of your legs. If you have skinny toned legs, you can get away with that. If you have legs that look like you’ve been sitting at a desk for the past five years without respite (like me), then B or C would probably be the best choice …

  4. I think that the safest bet for most people (no matter the size and shape) is C, but I think that height and weight play a role in what looks appropriate.

    For example, I’m relatively short (5’4″) and even when I wear a D-length skirt, I’m not showing much leg. Likewise, if you’re slender, you are more likely to still look professional in a D-length skirt.

    Conversely, there is someone in my office who has terrible looking looking knees (that weird droopy flab + scars and discoloration) who I really wish would stick with A-length or longer.

    For a conservative office, no matter how short or in shape you are, I think that anything shorter than D is a no-no.

  5. I definitely agree that height and weight make a difference as to whether the skirt looks too short or not, but also, dresses v. suits make a difference. If you have a longer suit jacket on, even an A or B hem can look short, whereas a cropped suit jacket or dress can allow D to look plenty conservative. In general I think D is the shortest you should go for office but I definitely think a lot factors into whether it looks office-appropriate or not.

  6. visitor says:

    Don’t forget to test how long the skirt is when you sit down. Please, please, please.

  7. visitor1 says:

    i picked E…and im a woman.

    Frankly if you are toned you can get away with E. F is a miniskirt.

    But i think skirt height should depend on height and the shorter the person the shorter the skirt. No reason anyone has to look frumpy if they dont want to.

  8. I always pick F….definately! sometimes shorter. I’m a petite 5’1 so it’s easy for me to get away with it. But I dress for the occastion. I’m conservative at work, but any other time I’m with my husband and he loves it when a dress in short stuff!!

  9. I went to a conservative high school in South Africa and the measure of a “too short” skirt was below the finger tips. I just measured and my finger tips are 8″ above my knee! I am 5’6″ and thin with long legs, so even when I buy what I think is a longer skirt (2-3″ above the knee), it just looks short. When I sit and cross my legs the skirt is not too short. Now I just accept the fact that I have nice, long legs and it is too difficult to find a skirt / dress that goes to my knees and fits properly.

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