Christmas is coming, so what on earth are you going to wear to all of those parties?  This season’s key trends  like the pencil skirt, shift dress, midi length and maxi length are on the pages of every fashion blog and women’s mag…but if you know what they are called, do you really know what they are?


Various fashion trends for this season, including the maxi and midi length skirt

Check out StyleAble’s trend translator below…

Pencil skirt: A popular style in the 1950s, the pencil skirt was frequently seen in women’s office wear and has made many a come back. The pencil skirt has a straight and narrow cut which will hug the curves of a woman’s body – making it quite figure revealing. Typically, a pencil skirt will end just at or slightly below the knee.  Like the maxi, the pencil skirt can be somewhat restrictive – this season many pencil skirts feature a back slit or kick pleat, to give a little more room to stride and to add sexy definition. There is a huge trend for leather pencil skirts to be worn with a round necked cashmere jumper.

Fans of the pencil skirt: Marilyn Munroe / Jessica Rabbit

Shift dress: A simple, short or just above-the-knee dress which is either cut straight or with a narrow A-line (very slight flare).  This dress does not provide any definition to the waist and the neckline which is usually fairly high. The shift dress is typically sleeveless, although short-sleeved and long-sleeved versions are available. The straightness of the dress means that it fits more tightly at the hips and looser at the waist, making it harder to fit on an hourglass figure.

Fans of the shift: Audrey Hepburn / Michelle Obama / Victoria Beckham

Flared trouser: The flare has amazing leg-lengthening properties when worn right. The full flare has full legs, flaring out gradually at the bottom, whilst the kick-flare has a standard leg and then a wide flare which kicks-out at the ankle. The skinny flare,  is a very slimline cut that hugs curves and is narrow in the leg but will graduate into a full flare at the ankle – this is a good choice for balancing out full hips.

Fans of the Flare: Sarah Jessica Parker / Jennifer Lopez / Rachel Bielson / Kylie Minogue

Palazzo pant: The Palazzo pant is a very loose fitting trouser (sometimes called a flare), made from light and flowing material best worn at floor length and great for dressing up.  These trousers have no definition whatsoever and are worn as if you would a maxi length dress or skirt, they are very comfortable but are not great for women with bigger hips or thighs. Think wide from hip to toe.

Wrap dress: The wrap dress is so called because it is made to overlap and wrap around the body. The overlap often happens on the front or side waste area of the body, giving great definition and accentuating or giving the impression of an hourglass figure. This is a great style for showing off curves or creating curves on a boyish figure.


Maxi: Ankle or floor length, opt for the maxi for added drama. A huge trend this season is for the sheer or see through maxi length worn over shorts or a mini skirt attachment. Dress this look down with a cool t shirt or layers with heavy boots.

Midi: Worn below the knee and above the ankle, this is the perfect length to show off shapely ankles and a tiny waist.