soho shorts + skirt styling ideas

How do you wear a pleated skirt or shorts? As it turns out, there are lots of ways. I’ve had so much fun with the new SoHo Shorts + Skirt pattern, trying many different options. I have lots of inspirational images to share with you, too. So let’s get started!

As you look at these photos, notice how the shorts and skirts are being worn. Most of the time they’re paired with a shirt that’s tucked in, to define the waist and counterbalance the volume of the skirt/shorts. Occasionally you’ll see a cropped, boxy top which serves the same purpose. And every once in a while you’ll see the shorts paired with a loose, longer top that’s almost a tunic. This options works because the shorts are short enough to show some leg, which again balances the silhouette. Watch and you’ll see what I mean. Also pay attention to the longer jackets being worn. A jacket can lengthen a silhouette, and I’ll talk about that more in a couple of weeks when I have a tutorial for you. In the meantime, you can find the sources for all of these images on my Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt Pinterest board.

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration

Let’s looks at solids first, shall we? Obviously a solid pleated SoHo Shorts or Skirt would be extremely versatile. Here are some similar styles in classic black to show you what I mean. I especially love it with the black and white printed shirt, below, left, but that might be because I’ve been in a black-and-white print mood lately.

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration: solids

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration: solids

But of course there are other neutral colors, too. Note how you can wear these styles in both summer and winter, just depending on your fabric choices and how you style them. I’m a big fan of opaque black tights for winter, personally. (Shorts in the middle of winter? With tights, yes!) And for summer a tan or beige skirt or shorts lengthens your silhouette and gives the illusion of longer legs, which is something I’m certainly always trying to do. The trick is to also wear shoes that match your legs.

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration: neutral solids

Here’s are some examples of slightly less neutral solids (I love this peachy shade, which I also think would visually lengthen legs!) that would also work really well in a core wardrobe.

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration: not-neutral solids

If you lengthen the skirt pattern using the lengthen/shorten lines on the pattern pieces, you can get a look closer to these skirts.

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration: lengthened skirt

And just because I like the color green right now, here are a couple of similar styles. You could always ignore the pleat markings on the pattern pieces and simply gather the front and back if you want, so keep that in mind as another styling option for this pattern. These drapey fabrics give a much softer silhouette to the skirt. Linen and double gauze would give similar results.

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration: lengthened skirt

The shorts are perfect for prints and busy fabrics. Look for neutral prints and soft florals and watercolors, or go completely the opposite direction and try bold, busy geometrics in loud colors! I have fun fabric options for you in both departments, which I’ll tell you more about in another post.

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration: prints!

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration: prints

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration: prints

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration: bold prints

I also love the idea of sewing a blouse or top in the same fabric so that, when worn together, the two pieces look more like a dress or jumpsuit but are far more versatile since they can also be worn separately. This is such a great trick for a core wardrobe since it extends your options. I might pair this pattern with our Lisette for Butterick B6183 or B6182, both of which have a slightly boxy, cropped silhouette that would work really well with this pattern. Or, of course, you could always pair it with the Classic Shirt pattern, too.

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration: matching top

And you can dress up this pattern, too. Soft, pretty watercolor florals, textured fabrics, lace, and sheers would be beautiful with this pattern! You could even add a crinoline if you want it to be very full.

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration: dressy versions

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration: dressy versions

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration: dressy versions

Also, I made sure to draft both the shorts and the skirt so the hem is straight, which allows you to do fun things like this with stripes, plaids, and border prints. Have fun with this option; I can imagine all sorts of things you could do!

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration: stripes and plaids

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern styling inspiration: stripes, checks

You can see lots more images, as well as sources for all of these images, on my Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt Pinterest board, where I’ll also collect fabric ideas for this pattern. Drop by to see lots more inspiration and resources.

What do you think? Are you particularly drawn to any of these ideas? I’ll be back later to help you find fabrics for them!

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7 Comments

  1. Liz

    I love the midi versions and the different effects that are possible just by changing the fabric. Thank you for explaining with words how certain silhouettes work together. It’s really helpful.

    1. I’m glad it’s helpful, Liz! It’s good to know these posts are helpful, and it helps me to know I should keep doing them. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. I really like this pattern, and like a lot of these options! The pleated skirt with extra length is my favorite, but I am really on the look for a nice shorts pattern for summer… My only question with shorts is always the same: would it be flattering to my body type… which most shorts are not, unfortunately… These model pictures are also … models… so don’t really give a hint on how it would look like on a pear shaped figure (very slender on the shoulders, but wide on the hips)… I am very curious to see what that would look like… and also: would it be possible to lengthen the shorts as well, to have sort of a culotte? I’m curious and follow every post about this pattern from up close 😉 I like all the explanations and suggestions!

    1. We tested a wide range of sizes, so I’ll do my best to write a post showing many of our testers and some of their sewing so you can see how it looks on different body shapes. One of the advantages of the contour waistband is that it sits smoothly on your body and gives a nice line.

      And yes, the shorts can also be lengthened. I lengthened the wool shorts in my first post by a few inches, if that helps! https://oliverands.com/community/blog/2017/03/introducing-the-liesl-co-soho-shorts-skirt-sewing-pattern.html

  3. Lynn Shepard

    Oh my gosh, you’re killing me with all these gorgeous options! I’m retired now and can (and do) sew a heck of a lot more, but my house never gets cleaned any more! Thank goodness I’m having more surgery in two weeks and won’t be allowed to do housework for 6 weeks afterward. I can catch up on my projects and make some cute skirts and shorts for a June graduation cruise coming up. Thanks, Liesl, for these very timely new ladies patterns!

  4. Diana

    I agree with the comment above that it would be helpful to see this pattern on more “curvy” and diverse body types. I would look forward to a pattern tester round up blog post since I usually look to those types of photos to help determine how a pattern might hang on my body. Otherwise, I end up waiting quite a while to purchase a pattern until I can see it on more diverse body types in photos posted on a flicker group or the like.

  5. Chicmamainedh

    Gosh, you always sell me with your styling ideas! So many cute and versatile options. I’m loving it. Gotta get through my already super long queue of spring sewing first…

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