How to: Stop the rotating skirt (& keep shirts tucked in)

Ah, the rotating skirt – who doesn’t love looking down to find that their side zipper has shifted into a “chic” asymmetrical front detail? When asked about a solution last year, I had to think hard because it hasn’t happened to me in a long time. After some analysis, I’ve come up with a few suggestions but would love to hear yours.
skirt_rotating1

1. Tailor your skirts to fit your waist and hips properly
For me, this usually means taking in the waist so that the skirt sits properly at my natural waistline (I define this as where my belly button is). Ever since convincing myself that alteration costs are a fact of life, the rotating skirt problem has nearly disappeared. It only happens now to two skirts of mine – the Ann Taylor one pictured above which I left un-altered to wear lower at my hips (would be too short for work otherwise), and the J.Crew No. 2 pencil skirt which is notoriously rectangular-shaped and needs to be taken in at the waist.

Examining these two skirts that are guilty of rotating, I noticed that they’re cut fairly straight up and down – and therefore, almost perfectly cylindrical when slung low on the hips, and prime for a rotating spree. The skirts that I’ve had tailored to fit properly are noticeably tapered in at the top on both sides, which helps “anchor” them to my waist and hips. Angie of You Look Fab also agrees.

2. Add gripper patches or rubberized elastic
Of course, #1 may not work for everyone as body types differ, and some may prefer low-rise skirts. So another possible solution is adding non-skid agents inside the waistband. I read on a few mens’ forums that it’s not uncommon to have tailors add a “grip strip” inside pants waistbands to help shirts stay tucked in. This sounds like a lovely modern-day substitute for womens’ garter belts (who doesn’t love wearing those to work??), and could also work double duty to prevent shifting skirts. Here’s some options I found for a DIY fix:

Waist Gripper Patches: about $7 including ship for 12, sew-in patches that “keep shirts and blouses from pulling out of slacks or trousers.”
Clear rubberized elastic: $4 including ship for 10 yards. This resembles the clear rubber strips found inside some of my strapless garments and swimwear. It helps them stay put, so why not the same for skirts?
No-slip waistband elastic: $2 + $6.95 ship for 5 yards. “4 lines of rubberized stitching give this elastic its gripping power.”

Since your skirts already have a waistband, I imagine it should only be necessary to stitch in a few small pieces of the elastic for added grip. However, please note that I have not tried any of these products myself. If any sewers can share the proper names for these and more convenient places to purchase, that would be much appreciated! Also, if anyone knows of any stick-on solutions out there (vs. sew-in), that’d be even better!

3. Use safety pins or fashion tape
Temporary fixes include securing the inside of your skirt waistband to undies or a tucked-in blouse, simply using either safety pins or double-sided fashion tape (I have Hollywood brand tape and it works well). However, pins come undone may result in punctured hips (ouch!) and using tape every time is less cost effective. I also want to reiterate not to use regular double-sided tape, as I’ve learned from experience that it may leave behind permanent, sticky residue and damage clothing.

Readers – Please share any of your own solutions for either keeping skirts from turning, or keeping shirts neatly tucked in!
 

48 thoughts on “How to: Stop the rotating skirt (& keep shirts tucked in)

  • Alterations Needed February 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    The waist band grippers are genius! I've never heard of such things but am off to go do some research. Great post Jean!

  • Life in Petite February 3, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Interesting! I've never heard of waistband grippers either but it sounds like such a simple concept. As for stick-on ones, I wonder if cutting slim strips of those heel-grippers we use for the back of shoes to keep our heels from sliding out would work…not sure if they would be sticky enough to stick to clothes though?

    L&F;,
    KC

    http://www.lifeinpetite.blogspot.com

  • Bára Rektorová February 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Great and practical post, thank you Jean! 🙂

  • Anonymous February 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Jean – I am new to the blog world. I've been avoiding it for years; however, I came across a photo of one of your old post when I was googling for a piece of jewelry and I have to say that I have been hooked for the past couple of weeks. I am not petite but I love your style! I finally caved and downloaded the bloglovin app on my phone. ;-). Thanks for your originality, can't wait to see more.

    -Lisa

  • Joy February 3, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Neither thought of those solutions before! Thanks for the post! Will have to do this with my skirts.

  • Julia February 3, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Another problem I have with pencil skirt + silk blouse is that my tucked in blouse edge would come out, especially from the back, after a few hours of having it on (because of the silky material I guess?). Have you thought of any solutions for that?

  • Lillian February 3, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Not sure if this is weird, but whenever I wear pantyhose or tights with a skirt, I would tuck my blouse into the tights. The blouse stays put. That is the quick fix I have been using.

  • Anthro Blogger February 3, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I think I may have posted this on another post, but I just sew a strip of velvet on the inside of my waistbands, not only does it keep them from rotating, but also grips slippery fabrics (silk, etc) from coming untucked because it adds some "traction". I guess it's the equivalent of the gripper patches, only more cost effective!

  • Jackie February 3, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    I do that too!

  • Jackie February 3, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Yay! I've been waiting for this post! I'll have to try the grips. I hate when my skirt rotates…and of course no one ever tells me when the zipper ends up in the front 0_o

  • Erin @ Thanks, I Made It February 3, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    This is excellent advice! I love your how-to posts with fit solutions.

  • 99 Boxes of Shoes on the Wall February 3, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Since my workplace requires panty hose with skirts I have found that tucking in the hem of your shirt into the panty hose and folding it over (so that it does not stick out the top of your skirt) helps keep the shirt in place!

  • amandasliew February 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I've been having this problem nonstop since I started work! Love this idea!

  • Claud February 3, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Awesome post! I love the bodysuit shirts from Victoria’s Secret. 🙂

  • lin February 3, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    great post and great ideas. i'm going to have to try these since my skirts have that problem too.

  • Christina A. February 3, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Any suggestions for that annoying gap between buttons of a blouse so that your bra is NOT visible to those standing at your side. Fashion tape? Safety pins? Cami underneath is what I've been doing but sometimes the cami adds bulky layers to a delicate blouse.

  • Vivien February 3, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I would love a post on tips to keep your feet inside your heels when you're wearing tights! (like in your photo above) Mine always slip out of my heels (my heels fit well without tights) because the tights are slippery!

  • mary @ BGjournals February 4, 2013 at 1:14 am

    good tips—i am always so impressed with how well you articulate these odd little trouble-shoot details and the ideas that you have to help solve them. pencil skirts definitely always go adrift on me and it makes total sense that it is probably a result of not having it fitted correctly at the waistline. my solution is to generally ditch skirts and go with pants though 🙂

  • Carla Krae February 4, 2013 at 3:49 am

    A blouse fits properly and has properly placed buttons if the button sits between your breasts instead of a button above and button below. Then there's no gap problem. If you like a shirt enough to keep it, then tape is your best option for the gap.

  • Anonymous February 4, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Great solution!

  • caroline February 4, 2013 at 11:46 am

    My solution, when I'm wearing a skirt that's rotating, is to put it next to my sewing machine when I get home so I remember it needs the waist taken in. Another good thing about taking in a rotating skirt is that it pulls the whole thing up and makes the length better (in most cases).

  • Anonymous February 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I am rarely inspired to comment on blogs, but yours rises so far above so many others with practical, useful inspiraton. Thank you!

  • aliami February 4, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Great tips! Luckily it's not something I have to deal with as yet, but I'm sure once I start wearing more skirts it'll become more of an issue with me. Do you have tips for walking in heels while wearing stockings? It's not that my feet slip out of the shoes, it's just that I feel very 'unstable' as if I'll slide out of my shoes at any moment. I think it has to do with the material of the stocking against the sole of the shoe? Any advice would be much appreciated 🙂

  • Christie February 4, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    These are such lovely advice in not making skirts shift. I am always having a hard time with skirts being fitted!

    xx,

    http://www.loveandcompanyblog.ca

  • Anonymous February 4, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Craftsy.com have a Tailoring ready to wear course that shows you how to do the most common alterations. Definitely sign up and then wait to receive an email with cheaper pricing. The courses are listed at around $48.00 but if you wait they go as low as $14.95 for the same course.

    Cheers,

  • Giovanna February 4, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Fun ideas! Love the waistband grippers! I need to try that!

    xx
    Giovanna
    http://www.HeyLoveBlog.com

  • Cinz February 4, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    WOW…i just happened to stumble upon your blog and i'm so glad i did! I'm petite myself and i know the pain of shopping and styling, lol…I really like your blog and the concept behind it, super useful for petites out there! This post is useful too cuz lets face it,we all hate those moments when we look down and the detailing of our skirts have moved around and about!!!lol

    By the way, you look really pretty:) I was going thru your other previous posts and i love your style, somewhere for me to get styling inspirations from for sure;)I will definitely be checking out your blog again!!:D

    Cinz
    http://cinzee.wordpress.com

  • Anonymous February 5, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Does anyone have a solution for a skirt that rides up in the middle (between legs) while walking? I only seem to have this problem when wearing tights. It seems that as I walk my leg pushes the skirt material up and in. Its kind of embarrassing and definitely causes my skirt to ride up as I walk.

  • Anonymous February 5, 2013 at 4:00 am

    I never had the rotation problem and I rarely tuck in as it doesn't look good on my bodytype, however, almost every single skirt I have rides up. Am I so stupid to constantly choose the wrong size/style/fit or is this a common problem?

  • lisacng @ expandng.com February 5, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I love the elastic-add-in tip at the waist. Prolly easy to do as well. And the velvet tip by another reader. Would love the hear some advice on feet not slipping out of shoes when wearing tights too.

  • Lisa - respect the shoes February 5, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    The grip patches sound like a fantastic idea – thanks for sharing these tips!

  • lorrwill February 5, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    My skirts just started doing this since I lost a little weight. I have a boatload of clear elastic on hand so I will try that before I do major alterations. Thanks for the tips!

  • lorrwill February 5, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Not stupid! But the skirts that ride up do not have enough fabric at the bottom so they are riding up to where you are smaller. Yes, you need to go up a size and have the waist taken in. Been there, done that, know the drill.

  • lorrwill February 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Sounds like a cling problem. I know slips are some kind of weird evil thing from the dark ages, but this is exactly what they are for. Google "half slip" – there are a bunch of different options.

    Otherwise if you have a tailor, bring the problem to their attention and they can suggest a static free lining they could put in for you.

  • Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Thank you! I guess I will just have to start embracing the idea of clothes alterations – historically I always settled for the best available fit, which almost never was good enough. As I grew older, I started to realise that a even started to care. Step 3 to follow – act on your advise. OK, up a size and alterations it is.
    Thanks for the tip.
    Lucie

  • Sophie@MMA Gear February 7, 2013 at 2:25 am

    Cool tips. I always have a problem of keeping my shirts tucked in. When the shirt is not properly tucked in, it can really look untidy. Now I will look tidy throughout the whole day.

  • Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Me too! I thought I was weird! But it works great.

  • Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I do the same, but I worry about the waistband of my hose showing when I bend over or sit. Sometimes I wear spanx over hose to get a cleaner line, and will tuck into the spanx. This is a big issue with button-down shirts and skirts. Must be a better solution. What do military women do with skirt uniforms?

  • Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    I have a very thin bra that is not very flattering to my bust but is in a nude color and somewhat mashes in "the girls." I have to wear it when I wear my Banana Republic no-iron button down blouses, which I love, but are cut for nearly flat chested women. Choose a neutral bra that is more "flattening" or wear a spanx-like cami that keeps the girls a little flatter. You'll get a smoother line, especially with a suit jacket.

  • Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    I buy these clear pads that go on the back of the heel of the shoe – and sometimes I add in a padded liner to the shoe as well. I use cheap ones that I buy at Target, but I think a good shoemaker would be able to add things to make your shoes fit better.

    You might also try a slightly lower heel. I know I have a pair of gorgeous nude pumps that I almost always feel like I'm sliding out of, and they are 3" – but I have another pair very similar of black pumps that are 2 1/2" heels and are much easier to walk in.

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