You might be forgiven for thinking that someone has hacked away with a pair of scissors and then had second thoughts.
The first glimpse of the mullet hem, with its short skirt in front and long train behind, has the look of a woman who has changed her mind but who is hoping for the best anyway.
They may have a look of a moment of horrible indecision, like a wearer who can't decide between looking bold or bridal -- but you still had better get ready to get your knees out.
Because there's no escaping the fact that asymmetrical dresses are destined to become a hot fashion favourite over the next few months.
They're called mullet hems after the eighties mullet haircut -- short in front/long in back -- which was beloved of rock stars and footballers alike.
The chances are you've already seen mullet hems in clubs and pubs, and decided that a group of students from the local design and art college were out and about for a night.
But far from being a work in progress, established designers like Stella McCartney, Marchesa and Chanel are just a few of the labels to have sent asymmetric skirts and dresses down the runway.
It'll be a relief to anyone who has bought a mullet hem and taken it home and had a good long look at it -- like you might have done with a bolero at some point, and wondered if your cardigan was missing a bit.
They do bring some challenges. In spite of being long and demure at the back, the mini skirt in front means you still risk revealing too much when you sit down.
Mullet hems won't do any favours for those with knobbly knees or who have stumpy legs or thunder thighs. You also run the risk of getting them stuck in toilet doors, or worse still, them dipping into toilet bowls.
Bend over in a mullet hem however, and your modesty will be well preserved.
There's also a whiff of elegance about the trend for mullet hems, and as if sexy has tried to be sophisticated and has got it all wrong -- and yet still gets some points for trying all the same.
They're proving a massive hit with celebrities, including Selena Gomez, Beyonce, Victoria Beckham, and Kourtney Kardashian, who have all worn mullet hems on the red carpet.
Which just might be worth bearing in mind when you hear yourself thinking 'where's the rest of it?' while trying one on.