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The Vine

The Tomato Nation advice column addresses your questions on etiquette, grammar, romance, and pet misbehavior. Ask The Readers about books or fashion today!

Home » The Vine

The Vine: February 23, 2012

Submitted by on February 23, 2012 – 7:52 AM19 Comments

Hello, friends. I apologize for the spotty service as I try to finish the Oscars Death Race. Things should return to normal next week; I haven’t forgotten the Read-Along, or Jump Street recaps, or any of that good stuff. Thanks so much for your patience, and in the meantime, here’s an Ask The Readers question about maxi-skirts.


I hope the readers can help me out. I’m trying to find a skirt I owned about twelve years ago, which is now way out of style.  I don’t know the keywords to use for my search, so Google is no help.  Can someone either point me to a store selling one of these or maybe suggest better search terms than what I’ve tried?

I’m looking for an ankle-length, relatively straight skirt made out of soft, stretchy material, like t-shirt or sweatshirt fabric.  It was black with a white stripe down each side, like track pants have. The waist was elastic.  I’ve tried searching for every combination of those terms, but can’t find it.

I THINK I might have bought it at Old Navy in like 1999-ish.  I believe I also had an identical one in solid gray, no stripe.

Skirtless in San Jose

Dear SiSJ,

I think I had that same skirt, and I think it had pockets, and I think I wish I’d held onto it until maxi-skirts came back in because it was really comfortable. So the good news is, it’s actually back in style. The bad news is, maybe it’s not that style.

I suspect mine also came from Old Navy, but I would actually try Delia’s or Alloy or one of the “teen” catalogs and see if they have something similar. Or maybe Athleta; it’ll be pricier, and less likely to have a racing stripe than a little floating paisley on the hem, but you never know. You could also search Zappos, using the terms you used elsewhere, or by brand — Adidas or Puma might have something. G-Star (I think that’s the name of it) and Yellow Rat Bastard (if that still exists…) might also be places/brands to try.





  • Lucy says:

    I think I had one very similar around the same time that actually came from Delia’s, so I’d agree with that suggestion.

  • Katharine says:

    Oh, man, you may not be able to find the stripe down the side, because that late-90s athletic/casual fusion has NOT come back into style, but those skirts? ALL OVER THE PLACE, right now. Either straight, or slightly A-line, long, knit skirts with either elastic waists or the fold-down yoga pant style waist. Seriously, go out, have a look. I have one from Max Studio, that I got at Winners; Winners right now has about half a dozen styles from the same designer, plus a bunch of others. Gap is selling one, of the slightly flared variety. American Apparel has one, in a variety of colours, straight with a bit of a slit.

    The jersey maxi skirt is IN. This is your moment.

  • Wehaf says:

    Target has some that look right, minus the racing stripe. I searched “jersey maxi skirt” on their site. A google shopping search with that term comes up with lots of options, as well.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    And you could always add your own racing stripe(s) to the skirt of your choice. Relatively simple to do with some grosgrain ribbon and a handful of pins.

  • Posy says:

    Being British I have only the vaguest idea what Old Navy or indeed Delia’s is, but the type of skirt you seem to be describing has absolutely stormed the summer collections over here. I’d be using search strings like “tube maxi skirt”, “jersey knit maxi”, “pillar skirt” etc.

    Of course, this only applies if you’re talking about the kind of thing I think you are –|208530]&noOfRefinements=1

    Unsure about where to head for these things in the US, though if the British Topshop is anything go by they’re really hitting it at the moment. H&M seem a bit stuck on mini and midi, but I’d imagine that once the full summer collection is in they’d have a lot of this as casual jersey stuff is their modus operandi

  • attica says:

    If you need the stripe, ribbon and fabric glue (available in crafts stores/depts) will give you your stripe.

  • Margravine says:

    Sometimes you can find exactly what you want on Ebay. I just got a skirt with the tags still on that I last owned back in 2000! It’s how I get by when my favorite stores decide to only sell clothes that hate me for a whole season.

  • Kelly says:

    Don’t forget to hit the Goodwills and Salvation Armies in your town. You never know.

  • Cat_slave says:

    Pockets, you say? Wow. I’d like a long, comfy skirt with pockets. But for some reasons most comfy pants and skirts that I find are without pockets. Stupid. (I know, I had nothing to add to the discussion, I just wanted a little sympathy, as I remember this very funny rant.)

  • Cat_slave says:

    Looking for the link about fashion I mentioned above I found your text about the palm undies and laundry. It’s still a marvellous piece (after the n’th reread), that makes me laugh so hard that I cry. In honour of almost a ten year anniversary, I urge everybody to go and read Palm Tree Undies In Zombie Town

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    I need to go buy a lot of these skirts. A comfy skirt that doesn’t show my vajayjay to the world? Hallelujah!

  • Abby says:

    Geez! I had this exact skirt and I sold it on eBay a few years back!!!

  • fizzchick says:

    Not exactly on topic with the skirts, but for those reading Sars’ rant on sizing, you might appreciate this website. Someone took the standard size charts at each company and put it all in one easy-to-use app. Give it a try! Sadly, only US and UK stores are listed, and there’s no guarantee it will work for every cut in the store, but it’s worth a shot.

  • Kriesa says:

    @fizzchick: THANK YOU!!!

    That chart is such an awesome idea. Crazy sizing is one reason I hate shopping. Now if only all the clothes actually matched the size guides… but at least it gives me a starting point!

    Also, thanks to Cat_Slave for those links. I’m relatively new to TN, and I’d never read those rants. So great!

    I think I’ve used up my weekly allotment of exclamation points, now.

  • Cat_slave says:

    @Kriesa You’re welcome:-) But what’s up with the link? I’ll try again: Palm Undies

    As I’m recommending olden goldies I’ll throw in the Roomba tale as well :-)

  • MP says:

    I received a Woman Within catalog in the mail yesterday and it seems like they have a skirt that fits the bill. It is Item #0025-41166-1190. I’m hopeless with the linking but I’ll try…

    The skirt I’m refering to is on the bottom row. In paper catalog it shows that some of the colors even have a stripe down the leg. One problem – the sizes START at 12 and go up so if you are a lovely thin lady this may not be the solution for you… Good luck!

  • Daisy says:

    Hey guys! Skirtless here. Thanks so much for the tips and I want to apologize for the long delay in responding. I’ve been throwing all of my energy into a job interview for the last couple of weeks, and now that I did NOT get the job I can find solace in skirt shopping.

    Something I didn’t mention in my email was that I was not plus size in 1999, but I am now (damn quitting smoking). Sooo, I’m very interested in the Woman Within link – thanks MP. That is a very similar skirt! I don’t see one with the stripe on it – Now MP, I know this might be imposing, but IF you still had that catalog and IF you would take a photo and email it to daisyporter at gmail dot com, I would love you forever. And if you won’t, I still appreciate your link! I think I’m going to buy a solid version of the skirt anyway.

    Posy, I’m sorry but your links didn’t work for me…

    And I think the search term I was missing in my own hunt for this skirt was “jersey.” Thank you for that, all. You’d think watching nine seasons of Project Runway would’ve taught me that much.

  • Daisy says:

    P.S. I don’t think mine originally had pockets. And the stripe is VERY important to me but I am so non-crafty/non-…..sewy? Would anyone have a link to a “how to put a stripe on your skirt for dummies”-type article?

  • Daisy says:

    P.P.S. I just ordered the black and the gray skirt from MP’s link. They are both backordered but I can wait. But I want stripes!!

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