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What Are the Best Tree Skirts?

Photo-Illustration: Courtesy Retailer

If there’s a Christmas-tree decoration hierarchy, it’s a pretty literal one: Toppers are obviously on top, ornaments come in a close second, and the tree skirt is last. It’s not supposed to be the centerpiece, but it does make a festive backdrop for the gifts you’re giving. And it lets you show off your taste (and hide a decidedly non-designy tree stand) — whether you want to stay on theme with a stripey candy-cane number or go ridiculously maximalist (this miniature version depicts a beaded New York City). To find the best tree skirts, we reached out to Hallmark holiday-movie set decorators, prop stylists, professional organizers, and others with excellent home-décor opinions for their recommendations. The list that follows includes the very tree skirt used by the Obamas and one that sometimes doubles as a regal cat cape.

Before we start, here’s some helpful advice for picking out your tree skirt: Generally, anywhere from 48 to 60 inches is the right size for the standard 7.5-foot tree. You should consider sizing down for a tree shorter than five feet, or up for a tree that’s taller than eight feet. “In this case, size matters,” says Carrie Carrollo, a digital creator and on-air contributor for Architectural Digest. “There’s definitely some debate on how much a tree skirt should extend from the base of your tree — some argue there shouldn’t be any overhang.” She suggests going with a skirt that’s slightly larger than the width of your tree’s longest branches (around six inches should do the trick) for a “nice visual balance.” So just make sure to take the tape measure out to double check before you buy.

Best overall Christmas-tree skirt

This skirt from CB2 was mentioned four times — it comes in both white and navy with the option of having it personalized for an additional $12 fee. Carrollo likes its simple radial stitching. “It feels cozy — and dare I say a little glam — without feeling over the top,” she explains. It’s perfect if you’re “dreaming of white Christmas.” Founder of home-organizing firm Prune + Pare Heidi Lee seconds this, suggesting that the skirt would pair well either with a neutral palette (say, if you’re going for something monochrome and muted) or ornaments that are a little more outrageous (like oysters). Joanna Douglas, the executive director of branded content at Vox Media, had it on her wishlist last year before she finally bought it on sale. She admires its combination of modernity and cheeriness. Since she goes the kitschy route with her tree decorations, the skirt showcases them in a way that a classic red plaid one never could. And Strategist senior editor Jen Trolio owns an earlier version of this tree skirt from a couple of seasons ago, saying the “velvet is a great luxe touch.”

Best traditional Christmas-tree skirts

For something reminiscent of a winter wonderland, consider this faux-fur skirt that’s a favorite of both Stefania Orrù, a supervising producer at Eater, and Ann Lightfoot, founder of professional-organizing company Done & Done Home. Orrù was convinced to buy it after reading online reviews — and once it arrived, she found it to be “super-duper-bright white,” which will contrast nicely with the “disco junk food” theme she’s going for with her tree this year. Lightfoot describes it as “wonderfully plush,” adding that it should be accented with “Christmas music play[ing] in the background.”

From Target’s in-house holiday line called Wondershop, this skirt is another option for those seeking for a snowy look. Naeemah Ford Goldson, owner of Restore Order Professional Organizing, calls the skirt “youthful and fun” with its slightly shaggier appearance. It also features velvety bows in the back.

Hallmark-movie set decorator Samantha Skidmore — who works under her maiden name Samantha Twist — likes this budget-friendly tree skirt from Walmart. It has a “homey feel” with silver snowflakes embroidered onto it, so it’s “great if you don’t want a plain skirt,” she says.

Selina van den Brink, a freelance set decorator (who has worked on Hallmark movies) told us about Arcadia Home, whose products have a “similar feel to Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn.” Their pieces are decidedly heirloom-y, designed in Brooklyn and handcrafted by artisans generally across India and Peru, according to the brand. Van den Brink directed us to this ethereal option, which features felt flowers around the edge.

The company was even commissioned to make the tree skirts for the Obamas’ first Christmas in the White House, van den Brink points out. This is one of the actual tree skirts designed for the then–First Family. It’s made from a chocolate-colored hand-felted wool with green stitching along its bottom border.

Goldson is planning on decorating with this quilted Pottery Barn number this year. It has a “classic Christmas look” that she likes with pretty scrollwork throughout its design, and it comes in either the rich red shown here or a neutral ivory. It’ll act as an accompaniment to everything else she’s putting on her tree, including tinsel and clear lights. And like the CB2 tree skirt at the top of this list, you can monogram it (or add custom text up to 15 letters) for an extra $15.

“I often fantasize about a future upstate home,” Carrollo says. “This tree skirt makes me want to do that even more.” You can choose between red and green gingham — though she’s partial to the latter. That shade, which Food52 bills as olive, leans “more springy and unexpected than the typical Kelly or Hunter green” usually associated with the holidays. Carollo suggests doubling down on a cottagecore theme with wooden, hand-painted ornaments and natural-textured trimmings with little lights (preferably of the fairy kind).

“It feels very Christmas,” is how prop stylist Andrea Greco describes this skirt. It’s handmade in Nepal from felted wool, and she praises the texture especially, as it has a crisp, slightly crinkly, effect. But it does have a hint of playfulness with a pom-pom hem. She recommends using it as part of a “gorgeous natural” look with wood-cut ornaments and matte gold-and-glass balls and a beaded garland.

Best nontraditional Christmas-tree skirts

Greco also approves of this red-striped skirt that’s trimmed in colorful pom-poms (its appearance reminds me of vintage clown costumes). “It looks like a candy cane,” she says, adding she would use its stripes as inspiration to cover a tree with peppermint candies and ornaments in red, white, and silver to match. And a big part of its appeal is that it’s washable (fashioned out of linen), unlike many other skirts Greco has seen.

Van den Brink turned us to this one-of-a-kind, handmade, tie-dyed tree skirt. The shibori-style skirt has been shaded with indigo dye on Kona cotton. She found it on Etsy, her go-to source when dressing holiday sets on movies and TV shows, as she says sellers are typically quick to respond to DMs (especially when she’s in need of something custom or expedited shipping).

This little skirt is best suited for a tabletop tree, though Brittany Nims, associate director of e-commerce partnerships and business development at Vox Media, didn’t realize that when she purchased it for her full-size tree. “It’s a lesson in reading the description,” she says. Still, she makes do with it, tucking it around the base to hide her tree’s feet. It has served her well enough so far — and she has never seen so much as a loose sequin on it. (Impressive considering the skirt is just $10.) And after Christmas, her cat occasionally wears the faux-fur-lined skirt as a cape. (I’ve seen a picture of Mia costumed in all her caped glory and agree she’s very regal in it.)

MacKenzie-Childs is well known for its whimsical wares, and this corseted skirt is reminiscent of its cult-favorite checkered tea kettle. It’s definitely on the splurgier side, but it’s sure to get you compliments. Carrollo points out that it speaks to our current checkerboard moment (which hasn’t really waned since we first spotted the print everywhere back in 2020). She also thinks it has the right balance of timelessness and kitsch that the design house is famous for. It’s even decked out with tiny gold bells that feel “undeniably festive,” and black-and-white cording on the border. She would style it similarly to how it appears online with pinecones and red berry stems.

Best Christmas-tree collars

Non-traditionalists might consider a tree collar rather than a skirt. Though there are definitely more tree collars on the market now (see this sweater-woven one and another that’s made out of burlap), they’re still “a little less common compared to skirts,” Skidmore says, adding that it’s ideal for those who prefer a “stark style” or just something cleaner for their space. (They’re also great for those who have mischievous pets or kids who are grabby.) This one from Christmas-décor-maker Balsam Hill is handwoven from cattail plants with two detachable parts designed to make it easy to set up.

And this more affordable Crate & Barrel collar was namechecked twice, by Lee and Annie Trombatore, chief people officer at Vox Media. “It does a great job at camouflaging the base of the tree,” Lee explains. The neutral, natural texture of the woven material — which is handcrafted from abaca — complements both real and artificial trees for a more rustic feel, she adds. Trombatore praises its functionality in particular. The collar is wide enough that she can just lower her tree down into it. “It has enough clearance from the stand that you can set up the tree and water the tree, and it’s a nice height so it covers the tree trunk,” she says. It’s really meant to be unnoticed, letting “the tree do the talking.” Now that Trombatore has had the collar for a few years, she confidently says that “it still looks new,” and that it’s sturdy enough “to stand up to a toddler yanking on it.”

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What Are the Best Tree Skirts?