Summer's flirtiest skirts…These featherweight tiers and flounces

Summer’s flirtiest skirts…These featherweight tiers and flounces will help you breeze through the heatwave

  • This week’s style picks are inspired by a mid-1980s holiday in Costa Brava  
  • Jess Wood shares her love for the tiered flamenco skirt and its many variations 
  • And here’s how you can get the summer classic look from the highstreet…  

Nothing spells glamour quite like a flamenco skirt. Ballerina skirts are pretty, but they just don’t have the same edge. And a full-length maxi skirt is nice, but it lacks a certain punch.

A ruffled, tiered flamenco skirt, on the other hand, cannot be beaten. My fixation started in a resort on the Costa Brava in the mid-1980s.

I was on my first holiday abroad, and the excitement was overwhelming. All-you-can-eat buffets! Swimming pools outside your door!

But what sealed the deal was the flamenco dancer who was the entertainment that accompanied our al fresco paella (the height of exoticism).

Top, £19.50, and skirt, £13.50; monsoon.co.uk; similar sandals, £32, next.co.uk

Blazer, £149; top, £29; skirt, £59; and shoes, £111.20, whistles.com

I was transfixed by her scarlet, lace-trimmed skirt which swirled around her. At the airport, I forced my parents to buy me a child’s version and wore it day in, day out. 

Like a mini, flammable version of Carmen Miranda, I’d pull it on and dance to Madonna’s La Isla Bonita.

As an adult, I have every variation. There’s my prized skirt by Stella Jean, each tier made from a different African-print cotton.

Or my more subdued camel cotton wrap skirt from J. Crew, with one tier at the bottom. I pair it with a silk T-shirt for work, when I want to look feminine but as if I (sort of) mean business.

 Top, £39, and skirt, £29, finerylondon.com; shoes, £57, theoutnet.com

Top, £12.99; skirt, £19.99; and sandals, £19.99, mango.com

The High Street options are perfect for this weekend’s heatwave, and more versatile than shorts.

I wear mine with a vintage rock tee and flat sandals for casual drinks, or dial them up with a frou-frou blouse.

They are also chic with a masculine shirt in mid-blue or white. If you’re curvy, don’t be afraid of all-over tiers.

Pick one made of light fabric, such as this Whistles style (second from left). A peplum version that fits snugly over your stomach before flaring into a tier, like this spotted one from H&M (third from left), is surprisingly flattering, too.

If it’s got a high waist that sits well, it will hold in curves. For hot days, a looser, boho take is great — I love this cobalt version by H&M (second from right).

But my heart belongs to Essentiel Antwerp’s red ruffled style (centre), which has more than a hint of 1980s Dynasty glamour. I’ve vowed to not add to my collection, but it takes me back to my Costa Brava holiday. How can I resist?

Shirt, £75; skirt, £95; and belt, £70, essentiel-antwerp.com; heels, £175, yoox.com

Top, £12; skirt, £39.99; and shoes, £17.99, hm.com

Blazer, £34.99; top, £12.99; skirt, £24.99; and flip flops, £24.99, hm.com

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