New Fashion Trends 2011: Skater dresses

(Skater dresses, L-R: Jane Norman, Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Oasis, Debenhams)

As with many other so-called “new” fashion trends, skater dresses aren’t actually particularly “new at all”: in fact, those fitted waists and circle skirts harken back to the 80s, while the typically short lengths are more reminiscent of… well, of an ice-dance costume, which is where the name comes from. (And try telling us you’d wear a skater dress and NOT want to twirl in it a couple of times. We find it physically impossible. A girl’s gotta twirl when she’s wearing a full skirt…)

Skater dresses on the high street

2011, however, has seen more than it’s fair share of skater dresses, which are currently being sold, in almost every high street store in the UK. The current crop of dresses come in all the colours of the rainbow, and are typically high-necked, with cap sleeves (or no sleeves at all), and are designed to hit at around mid-thigh. We like the Ponte Di Roma fabric skater dresses are often made in because it holds its shape well, and tends not to crease too badly, but the current popularity surge has seen them appear in various different fabrics. Lace is particularly popular with this style of dress:

(White lace skater dress, £48, Topshop: click here to buy it)

Long sleeved versions, like this one from Topshop, are also fairly common, and perhaps a little more practical for daywear, and colder temperatures.

Longer length skater dresses

The skater dress is normally mini-length (although not quite as short as an actual skater’s costume, for which The Fashion Police will be forever thankful), but if you prefer your hemlines just a little longer, fear not: the current trend for midi skirts means that it is possible (although not exactly easy) to track down similarly shaped dresses in a longer length. We found this one at ASOS:

(Orange midi skater dress, £50, ASOS: click here to buy it)

This dress is basically a fashion editor’s dream right now, checking the boxes for three different trends in one:

– Midi length? Check.
– Bright orange colour? Check?
– Can have the word “skater” applied to it?  Check.

So if you’re the kind of person who worries about being “bang on trend”, go for it. If you’re not, it’s also available in a shade ASOS call “cafe creme”, and which we’d probably call “beige”

How to wear skater dresses

One of the joys of the skater dress is how easy it is to wear. The simple shape and typically bright colours these dresses come in mean they really lend themselves to a similarly simple outfit: they’re the kind of thing you can just add a pair of shoes to, and maybe tights if it happens to be cold out, and be ready to go. A slim belt will also help accentuate the fitted waist even further, and a brooch or necklace doesn’t hurt if you really want to accessorize.

What do you think of skater dresses, readers? Got any? Want to get any? Just desperate for them to disappear off the face of the planet?


  • July 12, 2011


    I’d love a long sleeved midi version like the ASOS, but can carry neither orange nor beige with my colouring! I love the ones with interesting necklines – like the Oasis one up top!

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    • July 12, 2011

      The Fashion Police

      ME too, Caroline – I’ve been eyeing that dress for ages, but neither of those colours would look good on me. I have the mini version of it in black, though, and it’s really gorgeous (although shorter than I’d like): if they release the midi in a colour I can wear, it’s mine!

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  • July 12, 2011


    Woo hoo, now I have the excuse of digging out my old skating dresses and wearing them in public again.
    Only joking but do like these, now to get the figure to wear these before the summer is out

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  • July 12, 2011


    I have the shorter version of the ASOS dress, and although I too find it a little bit short, I LOVE the shape because it flatters my figure so well. It’s definitely my favourite dress shape at the moment! I recently bought another skater dress and I’m wearing it loads. (I didn’t know that it hailed it’s name from figure skaters though!)

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  • July 13, 2011


    I like skater dresses but I have high necklines, don’t seem to suit me all that well. The blue and yellow dresses have a really nice shape, just wish they were longer in the length and lower in the neck 🙁

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  • July 18, 2011


    I’m covet these dresses, because the full skirt is beautiful. They’re perfect for twirling. :]

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  • October 2, 2011


    this is the shape that works best on me. accentuates my waist, makes my hips look shorter and legs longer. and works great with long dangly necklaces and weird brooches i love to wear. what not to like?

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  • October 17, 2011


    It’s getting a bit cold any ideas on a jumper to wear with a skater dress ?

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  • May 1, 2013


    I’m thinking of buying a skater dress for myself soon,I love the look of the orange midi skirt,so I think that’s the one for me

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