What skirt lengths are appropriate for the office?

Q. I’ve recently lost a lot of weight and don’t feel like I know appropriate dress lengths anymore. What is acceptable to wear to work? Is a couple of inches above the knee ok? Could you show me where a skirt/dress should hit with a picture?


A. Congrats on your weight loss and your newfound confidence! The basic rule for dress and skirt length for the office is to keep your hem at or just above the knee — about 2 inches above the knee at the shortest length. Of course, all office dress codes are different; a conservative office might require skirts to be knee length or longer, while a casual or creative office might permit skirts that are shorter than a couple inches above the knee. If you’re unsure of what is permitted at work, take a look at some of your superiors to see what skirt lengths they tend to wear.

Below are 5 skirts of different lengths, starting on the left from below the knee and gradually moving upward to several inches above the knee (mid-thigh) at the right. Consider this a sliding scale from conservative to casual/creative offices. If your office falls somewhere in the middle (as most do), then your safest skirt length is 2 inches above the knee or longer.

If your office does allow shorter skirts, you should still always strive to look professional. Be sure to do a test before leaving your house where you sit and bend over to ensure that your skirt doesn’t ride up too high. Also, you should balance a shorter length skirt with conservative shoes and top at the office. A tank top, miniskirt and strappy heels is never ok, even in the most casual office.

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