I need to buy some skirts online
May 12, 2014 1:52 PM   Subscribe

I'm doing field work in a hot climate and need to order some skirts online before I go. I'm having trouble finding skirts that fit my pretty specific requirements, but you have been really helpful with "find me this clothing item" requests in the past. Can the hive mind make some recommendations?

I went last year and didn't have appropriate clothing, because - foolishly - I only asked male project members what kind of clothing is appropriate. I totally should have introduced myself to the female project members before I left and asked, "hey, what are the dudes not telling me that I should know?" So many things.

I can get a few things made when I get there, but it is a process with no guarantee of success, and I would like to arrive with a couple of items so I don't have to do it right away.

So here are my requirements:

(1) Casual, not dressy - this is everyday wear

(2) Fabric that's not hot and also not see through

(3) Covers the knee and not made of clingy fabric (this rules out a lot of jersey skirts)

(4) Under $40

I would also like something that's not frumpy so I will want to wear it at home too, but that's a lot more negotiable. I'm pretty small so it needs to be available in small sizes. Pleated waists usually don't flatter me at ALL, but I'm willing to try if there's a good return policy.

To give you an idea of what I have in mind, I thought this H&M skirt would be perfect, but when I got it in the mail, it turned out to be see through and the fabric was more fragile/dressy than I expected. (Also frumpier, but I could have dealt with that.)
posted by Kutsuwamushi to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
One useful term to search for is "broomstick skirts" -- these are usually ankle-length cotton skirts with gathered waists that fall loosely. There are about a zillion of them available on google shopping, it looks like, many in your price range.
posted by EmilyFlew at 1:58 PM on May 12, 2014

I'd go with Macabi - breaks the $40 requirement but you can wash by hand, air dry, use the little thing to turn into bloomers ... I wear the heck out of mine.
posted by tilde at 2:01 PM on May 12, 2014 [6 favorites]

What about Holy Clothing? (I've never ordered from them, but my friends have recommended it.) I don't know if cotton or satin is comfortably cool, but they do come in about the right shape and price range. Here is their skirts section.

You can also probably search for "Bohemian skirt" though they might be longer or not cool.
posted by ethidda at 2:02 PM on May 12, 2014

Eshakti?: while slightly over your price range, they frequently have sales and coupons for first time users. (Be aware it does take a couple of weeks to have your order shipped; they usually arrive via DHL.) I find that the dresses run long. They're available in every size and most fabrics are natural/natural blend.
posted by jetlagaddict at 2:03 PM on May 12, 2014

Check these out for $15 each! This one is only available in black which might be too warm, but it's linen. This one is pretty and bright and $20.
posted by janey47 at 2:22 PM on May 12, 2014

Best answer: This classic linen skirt from LLBean might work. It is just over your budget and ankle-length but hemming is eeeeasssy. Their twill skirts are great but all of them hit just above the knee.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:23 PM on May 12, 2014

Try TravelSmith as well as the less mid-managery Athleta and Title 9.

Most (but not all!) of the options are above your price point but one good-quality, well-constructed skirt that you can wash out as needed and dry overnight, over and over and over again, is a better bet than a clutch of shoddier goods.
posted by dogrose at 2:24 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

aster convertible skirt. over your price but eh.

cabela women's trail skirt. might not be long enough?

another cabela's one.

the have a few others too.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 2:38 PM on May 12, 2014

Best answer: I would be surprised if these Lands' End skirts were see-through.
posted by kat518 at 3:11 PM on May 12, 2014

When I was doing fieldwork in a tropical climate, in a country where I needed to wear below the knee skirts, I faced exactly the same problem. I resolved it by buying some medium weight cotton from an online fabric store and finding a tailor who would make me several skirts to my exact specifications. Worked PERFECTLY!
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 4:21 PM on May 12, 2014

What kind of fieldwork are we talking about here? Fieldwork for me normally means extensive hiking and camping, where skirts wouldn't really work at all. The female members of my team generally bring one long, semi-dressy skirt for presentations and meetings with officials, and then pants the rest of the time. What do you actually need to do in these skirts?
posted by Scientist at 4:28 PM on May 12, 2014

Athleta skorts are my go-to outdoorsy cute/casual hot weather choice, and while most of them aren't quite knee-length, if you order the tall* version of the Whatever Skort you'll be set.

(As for point 4, you can wait until they're on sale or stalk eBay. They go on sale decently often.)

*The site appears to be out of stock of Tall sizes online, but you could call to see if they have new colors coming out soon or visit a local store.
posted by vegartanipla at 5:14 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Linguistic fieldwork. As I said, I went last year, so I have a good idea of what I want. I have some other clothing for when I need something sturdier, but skirts are just easier and more comfortable than pants for everyday wear.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 6:02 PM on May 12, 2014

Seconding the Athleta whatever skort. I'm short and skinny and the XS hits just at my knee, so agreed, you might need the tall to get the length you need. It's a very cute skirt with a pair of shorts underneath, not one of the annoying "skirt from the front, shorts from the back" thing. But super comfy, and the shorts are a nice plus if it's windy or something.
posted by leahwrenn at 7:13 PM on May 12, 2014

I have been super happy with this Royal Robbins skirt. It would normally be out of your price range, but it's on sale now, and possibly there's an outlet near you as well.

This one comes to the knee but doesn't really cover it, but there are also some slightly longer models if you check out the website.
posted by ktkt at 7:36 PM on May 12, 2014

How about this $19 midi skirt from Target?
posted by bluedaisy at 7:39 PM on May 12, 2014

Is it at all a possibility to buy what the women are wearing when you get to your field site? I work in West Africa and got away with one or two A-line jersey skirts from Old Navy and then went to the market and bought several of the fabric wraps that women wear as skirts. As well as being cheaper, it made a lot of local folks haspy and friendlier to see an obvious foreigner making an effort to dress like them.
posted by ChuraChura at 3:10 AM on May 13, 2014

I can personally highly recommend Coolibar products for comfortable "outside" everyday wear, especially since they offer built-in sun protection. Most of their clothes are moisture wicking, which makes them fast drying and easily packable.

These skirts fall just above the knee, so maybe shorter than you want? But they are a steal at the sale price of $29.99. I may order some for myself!
posted by misha at 2:31 PM on May 13, 2014

A couple years ago I went to Uganda for a week and a half to do medical training. Took 3 skirts, and spent almost the whole trip in one of them. The comfy skirts from texture clothing are wonderful. Covers the knee, not see-through at all, casual but cute. The stretchy material moves well, didn't stretch all out of shape. Also, my skirt for that trip was bright green, and still managed to stay presentable and not look grungy even with all the red dust. I know they cost more than you're looking for - they have a clearance site on etsy that is closer to your budget, but then limited selection and no returns.
posted by dorey_oh at 10:51 PM on May 13, 2014

« Older suicidal ex speaks incoherently, needlessly names...   |   DMARC and a legacy email account on AIM (AOL).com Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.