Many modest dressers tell me their worst battles are with formal/evening wear.  And yes - this is definitely one of the most difficult areas to find something fashionable, current, modest, and yet timeless (so that you don't have to buy something new in a few years.)
I offered a few tips here and here.  Today, I have more visual examples for you.  On the Ideeli sample sale site was an evening wear section.  These were two of the featured dresses.
Left Dress = blah, bland, boring color and a terribly frumpy, unflattering length! (Remember, if you're going longer than your knee take it all the way to the tops of your feet!)
Right Dress = standard boring mother-of-the-bride dress that frequently gets passed off as evening wear. 
But further down on the same page was this PATRA beaded kimono sleeve dress.
The beading is a definite step up from the standard satin of the two previous dresses. It's a timeless, flattering shape. The kimono sleeves are interesting and at the same time, very forgiving on less-than-toned upper arms. 

As I mentioned in previous modest formal wear tips, neckline and "kneeline" are of utmost importance.  Two thumbs up here! At 40.25" it's long enough for nearly everyone. (If it's too long, have a tailor take it up at the waist to avoid ruining that beaded border.)  So it's just the shoulders we need to tweak and this dress would be incredibly easy in that regard.  Just a little addition to the underlining that any tailor could pull off in their sleep. Any reasonable sewer as well.
Do NOT try to fill in the full sleeve.  That would make you look like a crazy bat.
While black is a safe and solid choice, I personally love the navy above.  It also comes in a stunning royal blue and lovely blush.
At only $89 (down from $260!) this dress is a steal.  This dress may not be your personal style, but I hope this post gives you an idea of what to look for when searching for evening wear that can be easily made modest.
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview mini-mag hit my mailbox the other day. 
On page 11 was this.
Trina Turk skirt $129
a-line skirt
I always love seeing things that modest dressers have always worn suddenly hailed as the "Newest Shape!" "Newest length!" Yep, it's a knee-length skirt. How refreshingly novel!

As I admonished you in this post about midi skirts, get 'em while the gettin's good!
It's much easier to shop for items when they're a hot ticket in style "trends."  When the rest of the fashion world is going gaga over mini skirts, knee length won't be as prevalent in the stores.  I may get this skirt. I really like the slightly a-line shape and the slightly 60's mod styling.  In a sturdy stretch ponte knit it'll last for-absolutely-ever.

Remember, the Nordstrom Anniversary sale is NEW fall season items at sweet sale prices. Here are a few other things I'm digging from the preview.
McGinn boucle' jacket $229
Fantastic blazer. And I swoon for anything that smacks of Chanel (at a price I can afford.)
Vince Camuto boot $159
Gorgeous brown tall boots.  Because as I mentioned last year... the boots zip!!
Mackage wool coat $389
Because I shrunk out of all my coats last year and I love the asymmetrical closure and cool leather and knit sleeve details.
But I want it in black.
We're closing out our study of coverage tees today with Darks and Fall/Winter looks.
If you need to catch up, you can check out Part 1- Spring/Summer
and Part 2- Lace/Sheer.
Darks can swing to the tricky or easy side. Let's analyze.
  1. #'s 2 and 4 above are pretty easy. One is lacy, the other slightly sheer, so a black coverage tee underneath is a safe bet. White or nude tees that don't exactly follow the outline of the shirt would create odd shadowing under the shirt, so you're better off with black. 
  2. #3 above can be tough. The coverage tee will be front and center at the neckline so if the black of the dress and the black of the tee don't match, it will jump out in a bad way.  Compare them in both natural and indoor light. If they don't match, choose a contrasting color. Anything you like! Red, white, blue, etc. And since the sleeves are already modest, consider a beaded or sparkly tank instead of a coverage tee to dress it up more. A plain layer in a contrasting color will dress down this dress. A matching black or embellished layer will dress it up. As will the choice of shoes & accessories.
  3. #1 was chosen to discuss necklines. Just a little bit of coverage is needed under this top. Personally, I think a flash of red or baby blue under this top would be great. White or black obviously work as well. But you can easily see that if the neckline of the coverage tee comes way up to the collar bone, the entire look will be thrown off. You'll look at it and think, "There's something not quite right but I just can't pinpoint it." Again, since the sleeves work, a tank or cami with a lower neckline will work better.
  4. #5 is a good example of choosing color.  You could choose a coverage layer from any of the colors in this dress. A nude or white under this dress would just look wrong.
Fall/Winter layers are when coverage tees are at their most useful. They become the extra layer you need without adding bulk. A couple things to remember:
  1. As shown in all the examples above, TUCK that tee in if it's going to hang below your outer layer. No need to make yourself look shorter and wider.
  2. With the short-sleeved example (2 from L) you could also wear a long sleeve coverage tee. Short sleeves on an outer layer can look cute and casual with long sleeves underneath.
  3. Don't forget that coverage tees are extremely casual. To elevate your sweater, don't forget the smart look of a button down as the under layer. If you haven't seen them already, check out The Skinny Shirt (pictured below). I think this is a brilliant idea. It's a normal button down collar and cuffs, but the body of the shirt is slim and stretchy. It'll stay smooth under your sweater! Genius. Wish I'd thought of it. (SkinnyShirt has no idea who I am.)
  4. For extra warmth, layer them under shirts that don't "need" the tee.  Choose coordinating colors (much better than matchy-matchy) and leave the shirt unbottoned a bit. The fitted nature of the coverage tee will provide a sleek look under the shirt.
The Skinny Shirt
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  I'd love to know your thoughts on these shirts and if you have any questions that I didn't address.
- Part 2 -
We're continuing our look at how one can stylishly employ coverage tees.  We started last week with some Spring looks and major Do's and Do Not's. 
Today's it's Sheer and Lace!

I've been getting emails from folks asking, "What are you talking about with these shirts? Are people seriously wearing them like that?" While modesty tees can be found most anywhere, I don't think anyone can deny that the looks I showcased in How NOT to Wear Coverage Tees are mostly a "Utah thing" or a "Mormon thing." I love that Utah is the hotbed of modest dressing. The Mormon community definitely carries the torch for modesty high. But admittedly, it can be a challenge to inject variety into a wardrobe with some pretty defined rules. It seems that when these coverage tees hit the big time, more than a few folks figured they could be used to wear anything and everything. And that's where we ran into some serious style trouble.
But no more! We're getting the coverage tees back on track!

Lace and chiffon are big for spring! I've always loved both! They're so feminine and romantic. Coverage tees work perfect under these items and you can make them work best with a few simple tips.
  1. Stay within the lines.  You'll find the most flattering and stylish look if you keep your coverage tee within the boundaries of your top. That means FIRST choosing a top with generally modest lines, as showcased above.
  2. Try some contrast.  You don't always have to choose a flesh-colored or white coverage tee. A coordinating color will make the layering more interesting, especially with slightly sheer, lace, or open knit (think crochet) items. If you're nervous to add bright colors to an outfit, layering a bright tee under a top like these is a great way to experiment.  
  3. Tuck your tee.  It bears repeating. You'll look shorter and wider if your coverage tee is sticking out of the bottom of your top and ending down at the top of your thighs.
Yesterday's post was getting long so I saved this tip for today. 
Get it. Use it. Love it.
There's no need to wear an entire coverage tee just to help with the tiniest of gaps that might happen at a neckline. A little strip of double-sided fashion tape at the underwear/bra line will keep that top/dress in place all day.  You can find it at most sewing supply stores and online. I like the pre-cut strips as opposed to the rolls.  They're much easier to remove from the backing and you can take along a couple extra strips.
A few tips for expert taping:
  • Make sure the skin where you'll be sticking is dry and cream free.
  • If you've never used it before, practice once or twice. The placement can be tricky. You want your top to lay flat, not pull or pucker. Stand up straight, position your top then slip the tape under. Remove the other backing and stick down your top. Press firmly.
  • You can stick cloth-to-cloth, if that will look better than cloth-to-skin. This works well with wrap or crossover style tops, even button down blouses that gap at the bust.
  • Don't mummify yourself! If more than a small strip or two of tape is required, move on to layering or forget the top entirely.
- PART 1 -
Alrighty - let's get to it!  As I mentioned in "How NOT to wear coverage tees," I'm on a mission to eradicate the crimes against good style that some folks are committing with these useful, but often misused, fitted t-shirts.
For anyone just joining us, a "coverage tee" or "modesty t-shirt" is a very fitted tee with a higher neckline, longer length and sleeves ranging from small cap to long.
Let's tackle this by season and by style. Since spring is upon us, and the worst coverage tee crimes occur in spring and summer, this is the best place to begin.

The DO's...
  1. Choose shirts with arms that are already modest.  (see 2,3,4 above) The #1 crime people commit with coverage tees is putting them under tank or halter style clothing. If you have a sleeve that is already modest, but perhaps gaps a little when you move, then a coverage tee will fill in that gap but still be discreet. For example, coverage tees work great under kimono or bat-wing style sleeves that show too much underarm or even flash your bra when you raise your arms.
  2. Take advantage of the slim fit and layer under jackets or shirts.  (see 1,3,5 above) When early spring and early fall days call for jackets instead of coats, a coverage T is a good base layer choice. I also like layering them under button down shirts that I leave open. It gives added warmth on those cooler days and some interest to the outfit with the different colored layers. But bear in mind, these shirts are supposed to be fitted. If you don't have a figure that is flattered by a very fitted shirt, don't remove your jacket!
  3. Tuck it in! As shown in "More Bad Coverage Tees", having your tee poke out under your outer layer isn't flattering. TUCK IT IN! The longer length of these tees was created to combat extremely low rise pants. But butt-crack-baring jeans are officially "out", thank heaven. You can easily find jeans in low, mid (my favorite) or the now trendy high rise.  Higher-waisted jeans and pants are slimming and leg-lengthening.  They help you avoid muffin tops; that dreaded pooching that happens when low-rise jeans squeeze too tightly around your hips. (Also avoided by buying the correct size!) You don't have to sport the mega high-waist jeans with the 70's look but do consider raising your waistband! 
  4. With a vest, choose a 3/4 or long-sleeved coverage tee.  I don't mind a vest, it's a fun way to add a touch of menswear to an outfit. If you're wanting to put a coverage tee under a vest (instead of a real t-shirt or blouse, choose one with longer sleeves instead of cap sleeves. The difference in proportion will avoid the "I'm trying to make it seem like I'm only wearing the vest." look.
The DON'T's...
  1. Do not wear a coverage tee under a tank top or halter top. This includes dresses! Please see "More Bad Coverage Tees" and "Summertime Snafu" for examples.
  2. Do not wear a nude colored coverage tee thinking it will "disappear" under tank top or halter top style clothing. Since you're already going to obey #1, this should be a moot point.
  3. Do not make a coverage tee the focal point of your outfit. If you're going to wear a simple "jeans and a t-shirt" make the t-shirt a nice one with some visual interest. A v-neck, boat-neck, or baseball style (my personal favorite). Leave the extremely simple and extremely fitted coverage tee as a layering piece.
  4. Never wear a coverage tee under cocktail or formal attire. Under casual up through business attire is fine.
  5. Don't be afraid to choose a standard tank top. If all you're wanting is a little cleavage coverage, consider a fitted tank top instead of a coverage tee. I have many more of these than the tees in my wardrobe, from lots of different stores.  The necklines are a little lower and still provide the right amount of coverage. All too often, the necklines of coverage tees are way up by the collar bone and simply aren't flattering. The really high neckline just looks awkward under certain other necklines. A silky stretchy tank will serve you better in those cases.

The bottom line is this.  Coverage tees shouldn't be the basics of your wardrobe. 
But for many women, they became that. They somehow replaced your classic white button down, perfect v-neck tee, polo shirts, etc.
They are a basic in a wardrobe, not the basic.

Stay tuned tomorrow for laces and sheers! And fall/winter!
Q: Let me preface this by saying I'm not a fancy person. I'm a mom, but a few weeks ago I received a letter telling me that I've been nominated as a candidate for "Young Mother of the Year" for my state. I have two fashion opportunities coming up--a luncheon and a gala. Can you help me? What should I wear? I'm 5'4" and 140-ish pounds.
Thanks! - J.

First off, CONGRATULATIONS! This sounds like such an honor and the opportunity for a fun, unique event. I wanted a little extra information from J. and didn't get to post this before the luncheon but I'm going to address it anyway, in case the information is useful for anyone else.
1. Don't dress down. A luncheon of any type calls for "dressy casual." An AWARD luncheon calls for a step up from that.  For an event like this, I'd go with a dress, although the trousers and blouse combo would also work. Just no denim. Period.
Formal wear - be it Cocktail level or Black Tie level - is especially tricky for modest dressers. If a dress is long enough, it tends to show too much skin up top. If the top is covered, it often goes no lower than mid thigh. If the front is covered, it's backless.  If the back is covered, it has a plunging V-neckline! It's quite a conundrum.  If you ever find a formal dress that's timeless, flattering, and modest without modification - BUY IT!
You'll wear it someday, I promise, and it'll be worth every penny. 

J. purchased the dress you see at the top.  She might want something different for next year, so we're going to address the options.
  • Think, "Neckline/Kneeline." Repeat this while you're shopping. Neckline/Kneeline. Neckline/Kneeline. Arms are the easiest thing to cover. If the neckline (including the back) and hemline work without modification then the dress is a definite possibility.
  • Never wear a camisole or coverage tee under a formal dress. Never. A camisole under a formal gown is death!
  • Use a SHRUG, not a cardigan, to cover your arms. A shrug - especially one with some shine, sparkle, texture, or beading to it - will not detract from the formality of your dress. If beading or satin isn't your thing, I once saw a black leather shrug that would give the COOLEST touch of toughness to a formal gown. I was so bummed it didn't come in my size. Definitely should have bought it since it would have fit me now. A shrug is also more useful than trying to keep a wrap around your shoulders and arms all evening. To dress down your cocktail dress (like the middle one on the bottom row) for a more casual event, add a colored cardigan.
  • Buy neutral first. If your social life doesn't require you to attend formal events often, buy a neutral dress. Either a metallic (like the gold dress above or champagne dress below), black, navy, or gray. Prints age a dress more quickly. I bought the tiered dress above, bottom left, and pair it with a black shrug with sparkly silver threads all through it.
  • Avoid "Mother of the Bride." You know the dress I mean. Skirt or gown with matching bolero in satin or taffeta. 
  • Avoid The Prom. When I say, "Age Appropriate" below, it's because these column or slightly flared gowns won't look like you're trying to be too young. They're figure flattering without aging you.
The formal skirt/white button down shirt combo has been hitting the red carpet for a while. And I really like it because it's versatile. The skirt can be paired with different button downs, a brocade tank and shrug as shown above, or a cashmere twinset for less formal occasions. But it has it's own set of rules.
  1. It must be truly formal. That means in both shape and material. A simple straight black skirt that you would wear to church is not a formal skirt. Satin works here, a fit/flare shape, something with a train, fancy beading, full with a crinoline, etc. It has to carry the full weight of the formal requirement.
  2. You have to tuck.  Leaving the shirt untucked kills the look. You don't have to tuck a twinset, but it should be form fitting to balance the fullness of the bottom. Teeter-totter!!
  3. Formal skirts can be hard to find outside the holiday party time of year, so start looking this fall and tuck it away if you find one.

J. says she's "not a fancy person" so I don't want to overwhelm her with jewelry options she might not be comfortable with but I still want her to have fun with it. And choose things she could use again and again.
For J.'s dress, I suggest long, sparkly earrings and a tennis bracelet or slim bangles.  Maybe a fun cocktail ring.  She has short hair, which will play nicely with the earrings. Chandelier earrings would be lovely. They'll also leave the neckline open and long, which will draw nice attention to the face.

I've also suggested she kick her shoes up a notch. The lower heel with this dress pitches toward frumpy. A higher heel in black or a neutral metallic will be a better option.

If she's not sure how to do evening-event appropriate makeup, I suggest booking an appointment at a makeup counter (Sephora or Nordstrom?) on your way to the event. Or at the very least, a few days before so they can give you a tutorial.

J. sent me a few pictures of last years gala.  There was some sparkle, lots of under-dressed shirt/skirt combo's, several frumpy "Sunday Suits", even a few pants.
I'd have loved to fix up the whole group in a makeover suite!

I think the dress she chose will be appropriate for the room as well as for the occasion.  We don't want her in floor-length sequins with a sweeping train if the rest of the room is in Sunday dress but we also don't want her dressing down just because others don't know the meaning of "Formal Gala Event."  Under-dressed people should never dictate what's appropriate, but too often, it's the properly dressed folks who feel silly. Always dress for the occasion and then wear it with confidence! You'll own the room! And hopefully inspire someone else to dress better next time.

Good luck, J.! We're excited to hear when you win!
As requested, I am working on a post about how to correctly utilize coverage tees.  While you're waiting, study these examples I found today.

Appropriate Application of a Coverage Tee

It's fine. The neckline is way too high, which has long been another gripe I have with these undershirts.  Modesty does not have to mean covering from your collar bone to your wrist!  But the overall look is fine.

She'd look much slimmer if the bottom of the white shirt wasn't poking out under the sweater.


Criminal Application of a Coverage Tee

No, no, no, NO NO!!!
What the...???
On what planet is this attractive?!?
Nothing in this solar system.
Nor anywhere the Hubble will ever find.

As I said last week in "How NOT to wear coverage tees," some clothes just won't work.  This looks like she put her swimsuit on over her cover up because she's REALLY worried about sunburn.

These examples came from Apricot Apparel, a company I had not heard of until today. I'm sure they make a fine product (lower the dang neckline!) but their marketing campaign is par for the course with their competitors.

Yes, there was more head bashing when I saw this shot.

It's time to revisit one of my favorite rants.  If you would like the primer for today's post, quickly check out Summertime Snafu from two years ago.
It really should be required reading for all modest dressers.
Done reading? Let's discuss.

When you make the decision to dress modestly you MUST come to grips with the fact that there are certain things you can NOT wear.  Attempting to modify any and all apparel will NOT result in flattering, good-looking outfits.

Case in point...

This display has been driving me bonkers ever since it hit our Costco. 
Please analyze it while I go bash my head against the wall.

Mr. Darcy has repeatedly had to hold me back from climbing up, ripping it down, and running around the store screaming, "THIS IS NOT ATTRACTIVE! If you attempt to wear this to a dressy function, people with a sense of style and half a brain will wonder what is wrong with you!"
Do I think there is a place in this world for coverage tees?  ABSOLUTELY!
Do I own a mod bod tee? Yep! And a Shade tee and a couple others.
Are there right and wrong ways to wear these tees? WITHOUT QUESTION!

And baby, that ain't it up there.
Nor down here.
This one annoys me less but only slightly so.  It's the casual vs dressy thing. 
Casual-layering gone wrong is easier on the eyes than dressy-layering gone so very wrong. 

The basic fact of the matter is that the silky vest should not have been an option. Or if she was absolutely set on wearing it, a jacket/sweater/blazer should have been added to cover the arms.  The third layer would have demoted it from a first-degree murder of style to involuntary manslaughter.

In order to look our very best, we modest dressers need to come to grips with the fact that spaghetti straps, deep cleavage, and sleeveless/strapless/backless items are no longer  options.  And that's ok!! I do not understand why there is such a war to incorporate these clothes into a modest wardrobe. At least in this unattractive way. 
I have some sleeveless tank-style tops/dresses that I like, but they ALWAYS go under a jacket or cardigan. They are the base layers, never the outer layers.  

When coverage tees first hit the streets the marketing was very logical.  The ads featured women wearing the tees to help cover the midsection when a shirt might rise up too high when the arms were lifted.  Or under a slightly too-sheer shirt/dress.  Or to fill in gaping underarms.  The key? The coverage tee was never the focus of the outfit.

It doesn't surprise me that these companies are trying to evolve their product into more of a center piece but a line needs to be drawn. For the sake of all things stylish, a line must be drawn by each woman in her own wardrobe. If you need some motivation, how about the threat of me and my phone camera finding you and featuring you as a What Not To Wear? I'm on a crusade, people.  It has to stop.
Q: "Most of my week I'm an exhausted mom but my husband and I renewed our commitment to regular date nights a little while ago.  The problem is, I'm wearing essentially the same things I wear the rest of the week! All my clothes are mom-friendly, modest, and (I hate to admit it) pretty frumpy.  I'm not sure how I got to this point but what should I do about it now? I have limited funds to put toward a solution and want to spend it wisely.
Sincerely - K.,  

A:  I think we've all been there, K! One day you're cute, glowing and pregnant, the next you haven't worn much besides yoga pants and a t-shirt for weeks on end. Here are my best tips for reclaiming the sexy factor of your wardrobe.  I'm going to assume you have a pair of well-fitting jeans.  If not, those are an A #1 priority.  And make sure they're not these Mom Jeans!
I've listed the other items in order of "investment importance" - meaning if you don't already have it, this is where I'd spend your money first.  And the key style tip?  Do the opposite!  I'll explain in a moment...

1.  A Fancy Heel
I suggest a metallic heel in gold or silver, depending on your preference and skin tone. 
A metallic is a neutral so it pairs with anything! Jeans and a black top, a spring dress, fun skirt and cardigan - a metallic heel elevates them all to sexy date-wear.

White House/Black Market - $34

2.  Chandelier/Statement Earrings
I like crystal and metallic because, again, it goes with anything and everything.  A metallic heel, jeans, black tee, and earrings like these?  Do you see the sexy sneaking back?

FYI - White House/Black Market is having a jewelry sale right now.  Click through from our Shopping Section.  WH/BM has great neutral options.

Liberty of London for Target
3.  A little shot of boudoir.
Raid your lingerie collection for items with just a hint of sheerness or (if not sheer) a high enough neckline that you don't have to wear a coverage tee underneath it.  Try adjusting the straps to raise the neckline.  Doesn't matter if it's normally a thigh-grazing chemise - slip that baby on over jeans and under a fitted jacket and it's a very sexy tunic top!  Let something sparkly or satiny peek out from under a cardigan or blazer (buttoned for coverage if you need).  Your hubby will know what it is... and will love it.
I recently scored this little wrap number from the Liberty of London for Target intimates collection. It looks great with jeans or my dark gray skirt and heels.

Remember that "opposite" tip I gave you?  Here's what I meant.  One of the easiest styling tips to scoring a sexy look is to do the opposite of what you do during the day or week.  As outlined below...


4.  Update your Mom Do

If your husband normally sees you with your hair down, wear it up for date night.  Normally up in a pony?  Wear it sleek and flowing with a deep side part.  Normally straight? Stun him with a head full romantic curls.

And consider whether it's time to update your style completely.  A razor-sharp bob can be easy with kids, and styles up very sexy.  Layers can lift a longer style out of sagging and dragging.

5.  Learn Sexy Makeup
Another opposite?  Your makeup!  If you normally don't wear any makeup, your biggest bang for the buck will be to learn how to do a smoky eye.  It's sexy and does NOT have be done with black makeup, which can look harsh the older you get. I love a smoky eye in purples or browns.  A simple Google or YouTube search will produce hundreds of options for tutorials.  If you're near a Sephora or Nordstrom makeup department - pop in and have a makeup artist show you for free.
If you often wear heavier eye makeup, then go with a neutral eye (maybe just a little liner and mascara) paired with a bold lip.  It's the shake-up of your routine that brings the sexy here.


6.  Dye a New Outfit
Here's a final tip - dye some of your items to score a "new" date outfit. If you have plenty of "mom-friendly" tops but are in desperate need of some date wear, don't be afraid of dying!  How about updating that stained white tee to a gorgeous deep turquoise?  New clothes - for about $2.  Gotta love that!

I hope this helps rev up your date nights!  It doesn't take a lot to turn simple into sexy.  And above all - it's HOW you wear what you wear that counts the most.  Make sure you put on that smile, which I'm sure is easy when you think of going out with your honey.
It's interesting how different style issues suddenly catch your attention.  Over the last few weeks I've noticed quite a few skirt slit problems.  Women have either a) tried to stitch them partially or completely closed, b) left in the 'X' stitch from the manufacturer (Ach!), or c) given up and let their slip show through.  Less than stylish options all.
1.  Always, ALWAYS remove the little 'X' stitch before you wear something the first time.  You'll find it on jacket/coat, sport coat, and blazer slits as well.  It's meant to be removed.  The manufacturer slips it in there to keep the slit neatly closed during transport and display.
2.  It is almost never possible to completely close a slit without causing the skirt to pull awkwardly, ruining the line and look.  You might be able to get away with it if you have less than an inch that needs to be closed.  But if you're thinking that thigh-high slit on a skirt you really want will look fine as soon as you stitch it closed, you're wrong. 

So what are your options?  If the slit is too high for your comfort, don't buy the skirt.  Find another.  If the slit isn't TOO too high, and you're up for a little fun, try this nifty trick...
Sew in a nice piece of silk lining!

I chose an animal print for my black pencil skirt because I like the unexpected flash when I walk. You can also choose a color to match your skirt but really, this is a perfect place to have a little fun.  How about a gorgeous purple or pink silk lining on a grey skirt?  Or a lovely black and white polka dot on a black skirt?  Red lining with a khaki skirt? Yes!  

Silk scarves that you don't wear anymore are great because you already have them, the edges are already finished, and silk is strong.  This is a high tension area of a skirt.

If you have reasonable sewing skills you can do this yourself or take it to a tailor.  I've only done this once and I'm still refining the best way to do it.  If any of you have tips to suggest, I welcome them.  In essence, what you're doing is as follows:

  1. Lay the skirt flat with the slit on top.  Hold the top flap up, forming an 'L' and have someone measure the widest distance when the ends of the slit are pulled apart.
  2. Measure a quarter inch from the bottom of the skirt (or where your hem starts if it looks better) to the top of the slit. 
  3. Using these two measurements, cut a triangle from your scarf.  The tip will go at the top of the slit, the wide end at the bottom.  Get it? Before sewing, iron a fold into the silk with right sides together.  This way, the silk lining will lay folded and flat within the skirt after you've sewn it, as opposed to bunching together.  I found that stitching a small seam at that fold did an even better job. 
  4. Don't forget, if you don't have a piece of silk with a finished edge, you'll need to do that.  Don't want this fancy little lining to have raw, fraying edges. 
  5. With neat, tiny stitches in the same color as your skirt, sew the lining to the wrong side of your skirt and voila!
I quickly mocked up the insert I'll be putting into one of my denim skirts.  When Christmas and New Year's have quieted down I'll have time to create a detailed tutorial. 

A key point to remember: this works best with slits that overlap.  'V' slits, where the edges don't overlap at all, and may or may not even meet will still work, but the insert will always be seen.

Many women avoid certain skirts because of this problem.  Pencil skirts are ULTRA flattering on any body type.  With this simple solution you no longer have to avoid them or settle for letting your slip show.  This very easy and cheap fix will make the skirt in question infinitely more wearable.  Hope it works for you!