Sales of shorter skirts are helping reinvigorate the category, as the rise of dress sales slows, according to research.
Shorter-length skirt styles are increasing in popularity thanks to trends such as tulip skirts, according to market research firm TNS Worldpanel Fashion. At the beginning of the year sales of mid-thigh length skirts were up 47% year-on-year, with above-the-knee and knee-length skirts up 22% and 9% respectively.
Although total sales of skirts for the year to January 4 2009 were down 16% to £767 million compared with the previous year, this was an improvement on the drop of 24% the year before that, according to TNS.
Shorter skirts made up 32% of the total skirts market in 2008, compared with 23% in 2007. The rest of the skirts market is made up of below-the-knee, mid-calf and ankle-length styles.
New Look design director Barbara Horspool said the young fashion chain was still seeing strong sales of dresses, but that skirt styles were becoming more on trend.
She said: “Skirts are beginning to look right again. Shorter skirts, worn with leggings or tights or ankle boots, and especially belted-skirt styles are looking great.”
More than 15 million shorter-length skirts were sold last year in the UK, at an average price of £16. According to research, shorter skirts have become more popular with older women, as well as younger shoppers.