A skirt to match the halter neck

I made a nice halter neck top, using an old 1992 magazine pattern. I thought it was a really fun look and enjoyed wearing it to the Globe, open air theatre. I had around 65cms left and wondered if I should make a skirt to match.

Halter top, Fabrickated
“Glam” halter top

A few readers suggested I should. Mary Funt proposed a flared skirt. But as I didn’t have much fabric I decided to make a straight skirt instead, using my own Curvy Pencil skirt with a grown on waist. As the halter top is a little bit short I thought this higher waist line might be preferable.

As you can see from the look on my face I am not impressed with the pairing. What do you think?

Matchy matchy
Matchy matchy


I love the top, and I like the skirt.

I wore the skirt to work four times last week with a variety of different tops – white shirt, turquoise blouse, grey layered T-shirts and a red, patterned blouse. With a variety of belts and shoes, the skirt felt lovely and definitely earned its keep.

But put the two together and what happens?

OK, I’ll say it – my hips look huge! The overall shape is like a wide based triangle. The halter neck emphasises that my hips are out of proportion with my relatively slender top half. Completely the wrong look for me. In fact the wide sash at the front draws even more attention to the hip line.

And the lovely, fresh fabric – which combines so well with greens, blues, white, grey, yellow and red – looks completely frumpy as an all-over look. Too much matchy is very dated, I fear.

I won’t be putting the top on with the skirt any time soon. In fact in the coordinated outfit I feel like an old Biddy, over-dressed for a barbeque.

Nevertheless it was an interesting experiment and I am glad I gave it a go.

16 Responses

  1. Lyn

    Yep, afraid so! The consolation is that you made a curvy pencil, imagine a flare. It would have been a total disaster!!! As you say, the problem is not with the skirt itself, it is the combination of the two. The top narrows your shoulders and the skirt widens your hips, so the two together are not your best look!!

    Thanks for sharing them though – great learning for others.

  2. AnnIe

    Interesting, I originally thought that the halter would look nice with piazzo pants but that would have the same balance as your skirt, so maybe not, but then I’m rubbish at working this stuff out. Nice skirt, love the shape.

  3. AnnieB

    It would be nice to see pics of those work looks (grey layers is my thing). I’d envisaged you in this as an overall dress like a slinky, proportional tight wrap…what’s a slinky shape for you? The angled wrap pencils in vogue just now seem nicely deconstructed…what do you think?

  4. DementedFairy

    It never fails to amaze me how different pairings of perfectly lovely garments sometimes just don’t work on me…you’re very good at analysing why! Maybe I should put together a similar outfit and see if my reversed proportions work any better- an interesting experiment.

  5. Mary Funt

    Like you said, sometimes it just doesn’t work. You do have two pieces that work with contrasting tops/bottoms so it wasn’t a waste of time. The skirt probably looks better with a solid color and more coverage to balance it.

  6. Cathe

    Kate I have a request for you, bring the camera up a bit. Currently you are being shot from a low position with the lens aimed at your lower torso. It’s distorting you. Your hips are not wide but this angle is widening one area and compressing another. Although you don’t love the halter with the skirt, I think with changing the lens position and camera angle you may feel a little different. Just a thought.

    I love the fabric, colors and each piece!

  7. Joyce Latham

    I have this same issue. I really have to watch what goes on top and bottom too! And, once your aware of the problem you become even more aware of it! As commented above, I agree shooting from below is not helping. I also agree that you have taught a good lesson here, and it hasn’t been a waist of effort because you just need to pair with something else. Lovely fabric. It’s a win, win ?
    Joyce ??

  8. Stephanie

    I think you look very pretty and your hips are really not very big, so Cathe’s comment is interesting. I think the issue is just the matchy match thing. The top would look great with a black skirt.

  9. mrsmole

    If you start an outfit with a halter top, you have already set yourself up for a problem as the eye is thinking and seeing the top of a tepee triangle. Unless there are sleeves to add volume like in a wrap dress and shoulders to balance whatever comes below, you are stuck. By wearing jeans with the top you forced our eyes back into a straight line so maybe the answer it to only wear this top with a pair of pants and all the emphasis will be on your face and great looking arms. Love the skirt though…hope to see it again!

  10. Sheree

    How interesting. So surprising to see how unflattering this is on you, as you can see how slim you are in the top photo. Just goes to show how hard it is to get it right especially when making our own garments. Mrs Mole has it right.

  11. sew2pro

    What certainly doesn’t help is that the skirt is longish, so visually there’s too much fabric and colour in the bottom half of the outfit; I don’t think your hips are a problem at all. If the skirt wasn’t working already for you as a separate, I’d suggest shortening it and wearing the outfit informally, with very casual non-matchy sandals (maybe the pink orchid ones).

  12. Kim Hood

    Some of my comments have already been made – camera angle, halter top illusion. The garments are both great but I agree with your assessment of not together.

  13. Gail

    I beg to differ with some of your readers. The halter worn with the skirt works really well – especially for a more formal look. Consider throwing on a white linen jacket when the weather cools down.

Leave a Reply