The new breed of maxi skirts that you can wear for any occasion

sienna miller
Sienna Miller: the queen of boho knows how to dress a maxi skirt up and down - Getty

The last time maxi skirts were this fashionable it was Ground Boho and the one thing you could be certain of was that they weren’t a serious contender for the office. Ruffly, flouncy, often floral with strong undercurrents of Little Bo Peep, the only sensible thing to do is file them under the ‘What were we thinking?’ category. Either that, or pass them on to Gen Z, who seem to lap up all things Y2K – including the really dreadful stuff.

I think I know what we were thinking, actually. Cast your mind back to peak boho and the queen of it all, one Sienna Miller. So ubiquitous was her image – and so few were the pictures of ourselves in the days before social media – it was easy to trick yourself into thinking you looked exactly like Sienna in your Primark tiers.

lisa armstrong
For Lisa's full outfit credits, scroll down - Sarah Brick

Miller is still a potent style influence – see her latest collaboration with Marks & Spencer. But now we have a zillion other people to reference as well, including influencers who look (almost) like us. We also, in all probability, have enough selfies to remind us that we don’t resemble Miller’s identical twin. This is a harsh reality, but also a useful life lesson.

maxi skirts
maxi skirts

Flared knitted skirt, £135, Cos Atelier; Tiered viscose skirt, £265, Farm Rio 

Fortunately, this time round, maxi skirts have range. There are long velvets that look wonderful with knits for cool, classy evenings (try vintage for quality Saint Laurent), and subtle A-lines or tailored maxis that could easily work in many offices with a blazer or silky blouse (Holland Cooper’s double-fronted, gilt-buttoned houndstooth maxi is easily dressy enough for just about any occasion).

There are also slouchy maxi kilts in ultra-smart wools that can be accessorised with twinsets and pearls (wear them with chunky boots to avoid looking dowdy) or infused with a bit of punk energy courtesy of a biker jacket, as in Dior’s recent show in Scotland (Toast’s lovely cotton one is a good summer dupe).

maxi skirts
maxi skirts

Wool skirt, £349, Holland Cooper; Cotton skirt, £175, Toast; Saint Laurent Vintage crushed velvet skirt, £180, CSD 

If you like to show your curves, there are slinky bias cuts in lustrous satins or silky knits (like this Cos one), which can be a good way to wear knits at night and still look glam. The cerulean blue one from Roksanda’s second collaboration with Jigsaw is stunning and can be made to look like a red carpet-worthy dress with the matching tunic, or toned down with a T-shirt or knitted tank.

The folklorique one from Farm Rio, meanwhile, gloriously defies categories. Wear it wherever. Shoes should ideally be flat or flatform for an effortless look. If you like height, find a wedge or platform, but make sure the skirt is long enough to cover most of the shoe without dragging on the floor.

maxi skirts
maxi skirts

Satin skirt, £225, Jigsaw x Roksanda; Cotton skirt, £69.95, Massimo Dutti 

The combination of comfortable cuts with good fabrics means the new breed of maxi can almost work like a pair of jeans – team them with the right thing, including a cropped anorak, and you can wear them anywhere. The real plus, this time of year, is that in breathable cotton drills, they’re also cooler than most trousers.

Alpaca top, £260, Dagmar; Viscose blend skirt, £330, By Malene Birger; Leather shoes, £265, Soeur; Leather bag, £425, Strathberry x Collagerie; Gold plated earrings, £395, Alighieri; Gold plated bangle (left wrist), £70, Shyla; Gold plated bracelet (right wrist), £266, Bevza; Enamel inlay necklace, £90, Jigsaw; Titanium sunglasses, £325, Silhouette; Hair and make-up: Oonagh Connor at Joy Goodman, using Naked Sundays and Ren Skincare; Styling by Sophie Tobin

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