WesStyle: Party Skirts
I am here to talk about a trend that has spread through every campus like wildfire and become a staple of the typical college girl’s wardrobe. Based on a thousand-dollar bandage dress by Hervé Léger, the bandage skirt became a wearable piece that is now mass marketed and produced by just about every retailer for twenty-somethings. For all intents and purposes, I’m calling it the party skirt. Fairly self-explanatory, but it really is true that you cannot attend a typical college party without seeing the obligatory bandage skirt on girl after girl.
The traditional bandage skirt is comprised of strips of material layered over each other, like bandages. You could dress as a mummy for Halloween and wear this trend to the extreme. Or you could just wear it on any Saturday night—whatever.
The less ubiquitous bandage dress saw its time in the limelight as well. It’s not everyone, however, who can pull off skintight all over. Bandage skirts on the bottom half, however, work out surprisingly well on most everyone, especially if paired with an appropriately balanced loose top.
Like its more conservative rival, the pencil skirt, the party skirt’s appropriateness is determined by the setting. Seeing the party skirt worn in the daytime may cause some heads to turn, but come nightfall, it’s the most common garment on campus.
I must admit that I have two of these babies in my own closet. Like I said, it’s the perfect solution for the unimaginative, which I, admittedly, occasionally am.
For those who sport drop-crotch pants and overall shorts out and about, you know how tight and unimaginative can seem like a savior when you’re not up to coordinating your socks and high-heeled sandals into that perfect mix of quirky and polished.
Still, the somewhat-boring wearability of the bandage skirt makes me wonder if they’re so great from a fashion perspective. When mass retailers and seamstresses are producing these pieces, which are really just variations on one elastic band, do they question their simplicity?
Peplums and pleats are also on trend, but they require a little more work and show off considerably less of one’s hips. If the point is to highlight the derriere with ease and minimalism, the party skirt is doing its job and clocking in extra hours at that. But what about fashion? The lack of design is sometimes the most popular design, as we’ve seen in the unlikely popularity of deep v-neck tees, leggings, and many other faux-pas-turned-fads. Maybe it’s genius. Maybe it’s lazy. So should we be concerned how popular it is?
I can’t say I hate the way it looks on me, but I can’t say I hate the way high-waisted palazzo pants look either, and a large (mostly male) population has told me otherwise. After seeing the skirts pattern after pattern, high- and low-rise, thick and thin—they make their appearances in the winter too—it will be interesting to see how many more variations on the party skirt get churned out before retailers exhaust their collective imagination.
Ultimately, while the party skirt is not the most innovative fashion on the rack, it is a damn good staple of a trend. So next time you’re out on Fountain, take a quick gander at all of the bandaged ladies around you and appreciate not only their fashion savvy but also their practicality in choosing such a versatile and universally flattering garment.