10/02/1995 at 01:00 AM EDT
THE GREAT DIVIDE
With all the hemming and hawing by designers over skirt lengths—just this year we've seen the micromini, the kneecapper and virtually everything in between—it's no wonder celebs are returning to a classic with real legs, the long slit skirt. Considered passé for several seasons, the gam-baring garb is once again back in vogue, thanks to long-limbed fans like Elle Macpherson, Sharon Stone and Melanie Griffith. This month at the Emmys, Courteney Cox Arquette
and Jennie Garth both played peekaboo with the audience. "Slit skirts are sexy without going too far," says talk show host Leeza Gibbons. "A flash of the leg is elegant, yet sensual."
Revived by trendsetters like Donna Karan and Gianni Versace, the latest slit skirts create an illusion of height. They also offer an alternative for women suffering from thigh anxiety. "They work for almost everyone, even the mature woman showing off a little skin," says Hollywood fashion stylist Phillip Bloch. "Can you say that about the micromini?" But StairMaster slaves beware: For once, says Gibbons, buff isn't better. "Slit skirts look best on days when I haven't done weights in the gym," she says. "The last thing you want is bulging thighs poking out from under your dress."