The most important labels on clothes are not the stitched-in ones, but the ones in your head. The Party Dress that has the power to propel you out of sensible I-should-really-get-an-early-night doldrums and on to the dance floor. The Smart Jacket which straightens your spine and stiffens your resolve. The Holiday Sandals that serve as a Post-it note reminder to get a move on and book that pedicure.
The Social Skirt was a new one on me until a few weeks back. It came to yours truly via LK Bennett, who has christened a new category of summer fashion. The Social Skirt is the bottom-half equivalent of the silk shirt, in that it elevates separates into something with a bit more status. Separates tend to be the taken for granted bit of our wardrobes. They just sort of rub along together in the belly of your wardrobe. You know which jeans you want to wear and so you pull out a top to make up the numbers.
The Social Skirt, however, is here to do a job. In the catwalk show part of my job I get to observe lots of women for whom looking the part at social occasions is an important part of their job. I have noticed that these women tend to wear skirts more than they wear dresses. I think this is because looking snazzy in a skirt requires a bit more thought and effort than the ready-meal ease of the pop-it-over-your-head-and-go pretty dress. And so a Social Skirt plus something on top is subtly more sophisticated where a dress can be a bit chairwoman of the fete committee.
A Social Skirt is smarter than a dress in another way, too. A skirt like this, for instance, can work in a range of temperatures. With a T-shirt it’s now, with a camisole it’s July, with a polo neck it’s October. On holiday, it is suitably picturesque for sightseeing with Converse and a denim jacket, and glam enough to be your Last Dinner outfit with espadrilles and a six-day tan. The Social Skirt is a label to know this summer. And there is one out there with your name on it.