How to: crochet skirt.

Letter (Please click the image to enlarge)

This  email arrived more than two months ago,  just a week before  my second baby was born and  finally I am getting my hands on it.   Will be posting about the maxi pleated skirt  shortly.

I am not sure I will be able to give a comprehensive answer to the  “non-neutral color crochet skirt” question but I did  come up with  some suggestions that will help a lot of people squeeze the best out of a crochet skirt.  I  googled  “crochet skirt” and realized it has outgrown  the habitual summer wardrobes, getting into risky liaisons with boots and sweaters.   Any  sartorial experiment  is a journey not a guided tour,  but   for those who like to plan their journeys  well ahead,  here is my take on crochet.

Crochet is  evoking of something made in an old-fashioned way during  lengthy,  lonely evenings.     Given the amount of effort (even though a killing-time-ones)  put into it,  it ends up being a   special occasion item. But  think of an outdoorsy, rustic style special occasion.  This sets the mood for the entire outfit.

Crochet will always pull out an old-fashioned,  unsophisticated side of you.  Keep that in mind and make sure it’s your cup of tea and  that  you are able to manipulate  it well enough  to  flatter your image.

Crochet’s  strong provincial message can take you  two  different ways. It can make you look  peripheral and unsophisticated, wearing your  Sundays’ best.   Or it can grant you with the  touchingly romantic look  or even serve as a veil   for the raw sexuality, the   backbone of  the Dolce&Gabbana’s brand.

How to avoid the first and get the second. Provide it with the right company.

SHOES. 

Miu Miu at Saks.com

Oscar de la Renta at Bergdorf Goodman.


When wearing crochet skirt make sure you pair it with  shoes, heels or flat  that keep your heel in one place.  It shouldn’t be jiggling.    Don’t ask why, just trust me on this one. You will do yourself a huge favor if you  pair your crochet skirt with the shoes that keep your heel intact.

The only exclusion is mules with a very high heel.  And that’s the only one.

TO HEEL OR NOT TO HEEL.

A lot will depend on your hips and the length of the skirt. I will leave the latter to the judgement of the wearer and go straight to hips.

If you are  ‘enriched’ with  hips then you will probably  need quite a heel. Crochet adds volume to anything,  there is no way around it.  I don’t think that’s the reason to avoid crochet all together, but  see for yourself whether you want to play this game. If you do, then a very high heel, 4′ and up  is about the only   way to neutralize the hip widening effect and get a slim silhouette.

If you hips are unpronounced then  flat sandals will do. But they need to be dressy. If you ever wondered what those sandals with gems, worthy of Van Cleef & Arpesl display  are made and priced for, this is it.  They look adorable  with the crochet skirt. On a girl with no hips.

Rene Caovilla at Yoox.

PURSE.  Sensibly sized  leather tote will bastardize crochet skirt in no time. Clutch  or other small,  vanity bag  is an option.   You are not expected to do anything substantial in a crochet skirt so don’t pair it  with ‘functional’  purses.  Or you will head the peripheral road.

This is a great opportunity to use a ladylike purse with the weave surface and  embellishments, that are reminiscent of local crafts and baskets.

While on the subject of baskets, if you need a large bag,  raffia tote will do.  But it needs to be boxy, with a very stable bottom. No slouchy, soft  hobos.

Dolce Gabbana at Luisa via Roma

Kate Spade at Saks.com

Tory Burch at Saks.com

What goes on top.   To borrow Victoria Beckham’s terminology something  ‘sucky-sucky’  goes on top, to nicely contrast the  volume adding crochet skirt.  Tops should emphasize graceful lines of the upper body and/or  bare some skin:  arms, collar bones and shoulder blades.   It can be a corset, a tube top  or a halter neck with the bare back.

An editorial in  June 2011 US Vogue with Penelope Cruz and Dolce Gabbana campaigns are great examples. They are dresses, but give quite an idea of what lines to look for.

If for whatever reason you don’t feel comfortable with the sucky-sucky  and lots of bare skin on top, perhaps it’s a good enough reason to reconsider wearing crochet skirt altogether. Pairing your every-day, drier-friendly  tees with the crochet skirt  may take you the  aforementioned peripheral road.

This was a classical, ‘text-book’ version of crochet-skirt wearing.  Don’t discard it just because it may seem predictable.   There is a lot to learn in case you want to experiment with crochet outside of the summer wardrobe.

If I were wearing  a “non-neutral’ color crochet skirt (hard to imagine because I am not  very much at ease with the unsophisticated, rustic side of me)  I would surround it with the black or coffee bean brown: a cashmere turtleneck with short sleeves, an opaque tights and boots.  And a boxy lady-like purse.

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About Natalie Laurel

I drive stick shift. In San Francisco.
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5 Responses to How to: crochet skirt.

  1. helenb17 says:

    Dear Natasha! How are you? I’m so happy to see you back! You look absolutely amazing on the photographs you’ve posied recently!
    I’ll keep in mind these beautiful summer bags!
    Waiting for your topic on maxi pleated skirt!
    Take care,
    Elena.

    • Natalie Laurel says:

      Happy to get a note from you. Always wanted to mention, that ‘racy type’ I talked about in one of my Russian blog entry is you!

  2. helenb17 says:

    I supposed that ))) but I was not sure ))))

  3. YT says:

    Natasha,
    I wanted to thank you belatedly for your reply to my question. I usually read your Russian blog, and this is only my 2nd time clicking on the link to your English blog: how surprised I was to see that not only you haven’t left my email unanswered, but you’ve put a great deal of thought into it!
    By now I’ve found a solution that allows me to balance on the right side of the “peasant style” divide (if i do say so myself), but your take on it remains a delight of style theory. Thank you very much!
    I find the thoughts and experiences you share very interesting and would love to have a conversation with you in person if you ever decided on de-virtualization in the Bay Area (I live in SF).
    Yana
    PS Just so you know, with the exception of the aforementioned skirt, my wardrobe is of a non-crochet variety… :)

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