Pencil skirts made their first appearance in the 1950s, when women began to enter the workforce in mass. Their popularity with office workers earned their other name, secretary skirts. This year, the skirts enter a much more open and receptive fashion world. No need to pair them only with a stiff, pressed cotton blouse and a pair of flats. The skirt doesn’t even have to need to be in its traditional black color… although I would advise you to add a black one with whatever other colors you choose. You’ll be amazed at the number of outfits you can make with one skirt. You could wear it every day and no one will ever notice.
What is a Pencil Skirt?
A pencil skirt gets the name from the straight cut. Basically, the skirt is a simple straight line from your hips to just above (2″) the knee. Most skirts look straight on the hanger. When you try one on, you’ll notice it has an opposite A-line. The skirt gets a little tighter as it moves to your knees. The right size will still be comfortable. many accommodate the tight cut through the thighs with a 2-3″ slit, usually in the back. For maximum comfort, choose a fully-lined one. You don’t need to go to an expensive department store. My favorite pencil skirt was purchased from the Jacklyn Smith collection at K-Mart three years back.
The Professional Look
The cut and the variety of colors make it a must-have for the office. Pair the pencil skirt with a blazer and a turtleneck, plain hose and slight heels and you’re ready for a board meeting. This year, a popular look is to pair the pencil skirt with a cardigan set. The sweaters don’t need to match. If your skirt is navy, go with a goldenrod (close to mustard) slightly oversized cardigan and a turtleneck or camisole. Belt the sweater at the waistline with a thin belt matching the skirt and shoes. This look carries the credibility of a blazer but presents a much more approachable look for high-powered executives and professionals.
Have Some Fun In Your Pencil Skirt
Pencil Skirts aren’t for the office..and these are certainly just not for the secretaries this year. The new, versatile nature makes the pencil skirt this season’s must-have for those who move from day to night with a quick change in the ladies room. First change? Shoes. High-heeled, short cuff boots really make the pencil skirt ready for a fun night on the town. If you’re really brave, wear higher cut boots, but stay away from above-the-knee. The skirt length makes higher points look a little awkward.
What’s on top? That’s completely up to your mood and your personal staff. An oversized boyfriend shirt (untucked, of course) paired with a scarf tying all the colors together works well. If your goal is to slenderize your top and draw attention to a nice set of legs, instead of boots choose high heels, a close-fitting woven, untucked shirt (much different that the boyfriend’s mentioned above) with a pretty camisole and some nice jewelry. Slenderizing doesn’t mean hiding. If you’re blessed in that part of your body, the pencil skirt will help show it off.
If you’re trying to hide healthy hips (which I often must do) the pencil skirt is a must. The skirt by its cut does slenderize your hips naturally. That gives you some freedom to have fun with the top and shoes. Consider high-heeled ankle boots (or mid-calf if you prefer) with this season’s long cowl-neck sweaters. Make sure the sweater is not too big and it ends smoothly just above or just below your buttocks, for lack of a better word. Stay away from sweaters that are too bulky.
Now, get that secretary’s skirt out of the closet and go have fun!