Long, midi length dresses have overtaken their mini counterparts as the must-have shape to shake on the dancefloor this Christmas party season, according to Debenhams.
Fewer women are opting for thigh-revealing dresses than ever before, as the trend towards longer styles is catching on. Sales of some midi styles are up as much as 168% versus this time last year, as women start the search for the perfect Christmas party dress.
Bosses at the high street retailer predict that hemlines are set to fall further still, with celebrities such as Victoria Beckham and Katie Holmes jumping on the bandwagon for styles that finish between the calf and ankle.
Even celebs such as Katie Price and the cast of TOWIE, who once were determined to wear mini skirts and dresses in sub zero temperatures, have noticed this trend and dropped their hemlines.
Said Debenhams spokeswoman Michelle Dowdall: “We are entering an age of cover up. Hemlines are plunging to below the knee as women go for a classier look inspired by TV shows such as Mad Men.
“British women are dressing for austerity, and that means skirts have become deadly serious, as women have a midi-moment. “
Pencil skirts, pleated skirts, and flared skirts, all of which are knee length or longer, have almost swept the mini skirt away with women in their mid twenties.
The survey revealed that women now desire a longer, below the knee skirt to create a better, more professional impression at work, and also want something that can be worn on both formal and informal occasions, saving them money.
Elegant, figure-hugging pencil skirts, inspired by 1950s fashion styles and television programmes such as Mad Men are now the most popular design on the high street, figures reveal.
With over half a million dresses sold in the run up to Christmas at Debenhams, mini styles are still popular with teenagers and women in their early twenties, but once they hit 25-years old it seems women are choosing the more sophisticated, classic midi look.
Until recently, Debenhams research showed that many women still wore short mini styles until they were 45-years old, as they proudly showed off toned pins, mirroring forty something celebs such as Elle McPherson and Sarah Jessica Parker.
Said Debenhams Michelle Dowdall: “There’s no doubt that we’re seeing much less flesh being exposed on the average British high street. A glimpse of stocking has certainly become a thing of the past.
“However, we still believe that the mini skirt is simply too powerful a fashion icon to disappear entirely. They are still hugely popular, especially with our younger customer and we fully expect hemlines to raise again in the near future. “
With over 50% of women claiming their Christmas party dress is one of the most important dress purchases of the year; Debenhams is offering free Christmas party dress consultations with its Personal Shopper.