I've been peeking at all the new season stock that has been gracing the racks of my favourite boutiques and along with the usual excitement the new ranges bring – 'Hurry up, summer!' – is another, more subdued feeling: one of dread. What's causing that? Well, it's the much lauded return to the mini.
You see, I don't have mini skirt legs and can really only get by with the longest of the short lengths when paired with opaque tights or leggings.
As a personal stylist, your Style Doctor and occasional contributor to other forms of media you can expect to hear the impartial truth from me. Unlike some fashion victim teenager behind the counter at your favourite store I need to maintain my reputation for good advice for real women. So, if you want the truth – brutal though it may be, it's thus: mini skirts are not for everyone. They really only work on those among us who are blessed with long, lean pins – all others are going to need help to maintain a stylish edge this summer.
If like me, you can only dream of legs that work with a shorter length and even then it's after training for several marathons, eschewing real food for liquid (or the Posh Spice diet: air), and copious quantities of fake tan then these are best left well alone.
Sadly, you just know that there will be hundreds of women out there who will never hear this advice – remember the low riding jeans and cropped tops of only three years ago – how many women did you see with Texas size muffins spilling over the waistbands? What about the lovely exposure of the tummy button in too tight tops? All arguably worn in the name of fashion and all crimes of style.
You see, that's the thing about style: stylish women know what works for them and what doesn't – and they certainly don't slavishly follow what they see in magazines simply because it's the latest look – they work the trends that suit them, and interpret others in ways that work for their shape.
Another point to note: you may have great legs but are you still young enough to sport the short? There is an age where style seriously beats cutting edge. If you look great from behind but would frighten teenage boys when you turn around it may be time to seek an unbiased opinion. Perhaps you too need to look at new ways to wear old favourites?
So, in my case that means that this summer I'll be taking the tunic route – and simply pairing my shorter lengths over longer ones, like slim line pants. I'll also look out for the maxi dress, which has been a huge hit in Europe and will undoubtedly be more accessible here, too.
By Jackie O'Fee