You don’t need great legs, good skin – or even have to shave. Our fashion expert reveals the one item of clothing that REALLY is age-proof

Everyone has their fashion crushes, right? I mean those clothes that make your heart beat with all the memories.

It could go back to adolescence when clothes were the gateway to adulthood (any platform boots) or it could be something that accidentally fit like it was made for you and wearing it made you feel like the queen of the world (strapless satin shoes). dress, red, borrowed only one night in the 1980s).

One thing about a fashion crush: you can guarantee it won’t be a useful turtleneck or a waxed jacket. But if you’re lucky, you’ll have one that could work again, if certain conditions are met, and the day this crush reappears on the fashion charts, you’ll be able to visit your fashion happy place all over again.

Model Kendall Jenner was spotted in a cream maxi skirt in California

Actress Katie Holmes wore a summery monochrome maxi skirt while out and about in New York, left, while model Kendall Jenner was spotted in a cream maxi skirt in California

If you have a thing for long skirts (number three on my list), now is the time. They’re back in a big way this summer and the risks of looking like an old Woodstock hippie are less than zero, as long as you stick to a few basic rules, starting with: opt for a slimmer cut.

The long skirts I’ve worn over the years have ranged from layered and low on the hip (in the 1990s) to narrow A-line with a yolk top (Laura Ashley 1974), but layers are off the table now: too virginal or too hippie and (unless you’re a slim sapling) almost always fattening. Stick to simple, understated styles, though, and long skirts have a lot going for them.

For example, they are age-resistant. You don’t have to have nice legs or good skin or even smooth, hairless legs to wear a long skirt (although a decent pedicure is advisable, since you’ll want to wear open-toed sandals with your skirt: closed footwear can make you feel too covered).

They have a similar silhouette to wide or palazzo pants, but are more elegant and cooler in the heat.

And they have some of the advantages of trousers (leg lengthening, easy to wear) and none of the disadvantages of regular skirts or dresses, ie. having to figure out what to wear on your lower legs (especially tricky in early summer when they’ve been hidden for so long).

Worn in a casual, smart-casual way – with a plain T-shirt or a cardigan under a shirt – they can be a really useful part of your summer wardrobe.

The long skirts that we can do business with are not fitted: the top either has an elastic waist – more comfortable and flattering than a pleated waist – or a soft yoke top with some stretch, so you can wear the skirt higher or lower. the hips, whichever suits you best.

Hush has a good orange maxi skirt with a drawstring waist, slim and beautifully draped without being clingy (£79, and Me+Em makes a yoke skirt from soft cheesecloth with a little stretch in cream with a black daisy print (£125,

The way to wear a maxi skirt now is with a T-shirt that closes the waistband (do not tuck in with elastic waists), or with a cardigan under a jacket or open shirt, or with a fitted knit top.

Cate Blanchett paired a maxi skirt with a matching shirt at the 2023 Critics' Choice Awards

Actress Michaela Coel wore a Ferragamo combination at the Fashion Awards last year

Cate Blanchett paired a maxi skirt with a matching shirt at the 2023 Critics’ Choice Awards, left, and fellow actress Michaela Coel wore a Ferragamo combination at the Fashion Awards that year

Floating tops in mesh-like fabrics, block prints, rope or cork wedges or other types of heels detract from the sleek, sporty look that keeps this new range of maxis looking fresh. This is not, repeat not, a boho look – and that’s why it works for us.

A linen-rich skirt in black or dark olive green, still with a drawstring waist, is a smarter look for every day in the city (£25, The Marks & Spencer style has a side slit, falls beautifully and looks work-ready with a cardigan under a striped open shirt with brown or black flat pumps or sandals.

The fresh black maxi with A-line from Marks & Spencer (€ 39.50) also fits in perfectly with this summer-in-the-city mood.

It has slouchy pockets and the look of relaxed wide-leg trousers. It would look good with a cream knitted top with short sleeves or a cropped cotton jacket with buttons in cream, black or khaki.

Another secret to making the maxi look modern and grown-up is a glimpse of sandals, just enough so that it doesn’t look like you’re cruising around on coasters (many longer skirts are described as maxis, but a true maxi is a single-leg fit. covering it).

You can go all out on holiday and maxis are your mosquito-defying friend in the dark. Ro&Zo’s Moroccan Rose Print Skirt (£63, looks great with that gold lurex knitted top.

Who said never again?!