How to style long skirts

I've been really into long, flowing skirts lately, mostly spurred by Charlotte Ronson's Spring 2011 collection. I love how she played with '90s-style floral prints and ankle-grazing hemlines. They've been easy to find at thrift stores, and I'm tall enough to wear them.

The only problem is how to prevent Charlotte Ronson's casual, hip style ...

... from turning into Chloe Sevigny's character, Nicolette Grant, on HBO's polygamist show "Big Love."

Basically, I don't want to look like I just stepped off a compound in Utah.

The key is to keep this look chic, of course, is in the styling. While Chloe's character is often wearing long, floral skirts, she pairs them with frilly blouses buttoned all the way up to her chin. I like to add a masculine touch, like a chambray blouse with the top three buttons undone and the sleeves rolled up, or a fitted, sexy cashmere sweater with a pendant necklace or a colorful scarf.

Shoes are also important — I've been pairing my long skirts with combat boots, clogs, and, in warmer months, sandals. A waist belt is also super cute, but find a more clean, modern style, as opposed to the western type Chloe wears.

Hair is probably the most obvious polygamist giveaway. I'd avoid any type of prim, conservative style when wearing long skirts. Try loose, messy curls or a stick-straight look.

Last but not least, accessorize. Throw on a cute bowler cap, slouchy beanie, ankle socks, bangles, cocktail rings — whatever it's going to take to keep things contemporary, not matronly.

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