Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Little Black Pencil Skirts 101

Hey Guys, here's the long-requested little black pencil skirt guide, enjoy :)

If you follow me on social media, I'm pretty sure that you know the title of this blog (and my instagram) isn't a joke.

My go-to item is actually a little black pencil skirt. 

Most people seem to think a pencil skirt is a boring, conservative staple that they can pull out of their closets for a safe, toned down look. I'm all for subdued looks, but a black pencil skirt is more than that. For starters it's black and cut in a way that looks flattering on everyone. Because it's so simple it can be the canvas for creating a variety of looks, from boho to edgy to business to modern. It doesn't show dirt easily (which is great for when you spill coffee on yourself) and elongates your frame. Clearly, being 5'9 I don't have to worry much about elongating my legs, but it's always better to have more to work with.  

This post will outline some black pencil skirt basics and how-to-style tips:

Also, here's the link to my personal at-the-moment fave here ; a visual helps put things into perspective.

 Do you want to be able to move comfortably? Do you want to move without being worried about busted zippers or slits and the like? Do you want a well-proportioned look?

If you answered yes to any of the above, the fit of your pencil skirt is incredibly important. 

First up, the Waist: find out what you feel most comfortable in. I for one hate zippers. They either dig into my spine or aren't tight enough at the waist, there seems to be no in-between for my build at least. The pencil skirts I go for are stretchy at the waist so they are form fitting enough to wear with a blouse or alone with a top. It will be a bit of a challenge to find one that works, but when you do, buy at least 5 of them to have on hand. Lastly, be honest and make sure the skirt really fits your waist. Can you breathe properly, is it squashing your ribs, is it giving you a muffin top? If so, go up a size. No one cares what size you fit in as long as the cut looks polished on your body.

Length: with modesty being a key focus here, make sure your pencil skirt is really long enough. There should be a little extra fabric so you can pull it down for extra coverage. Remember, it's rarely a faux pas to have more skirt than less. No one wants to run for the elevator and find their pencil skirt has migrated to mid-thigh territory.

Cut: Though most pencil skirts are cut in the standard tube shape it's always best to have a variety of cuts available to mix things up. Pay attention to the taper of the bottom of the pencil skirt. Though it may seem a bit tight when you first buy it, go for a pencil skirt with a tighter bottom( knee area). With constant movement, the knee area will stretch and you don't want the bottom hem to appear too loose (it widens the frame). This obviously only applies to cotton, when working with lace, denim or silk, you want to leave enough room so you don't rip or overstretch the fabric.

It's important to have designated skirts for different occasions. If the office you work in is really formal or if you are going to an event, a more formal skirt is a must. These skirts have zippers and are looser at the bottom to allow for moving in heels. 

Styling Tips:
1.) Tops: certain types of tops look best with certain types of skirts. Depending on your height, you may want to balance out the tighter bottom with a looser top or tunic. It softens the look and creates a fluid look that elongates the body. If you go for a tighter top, make sure the rest of the outfit balances out. If I wear a cropped top, I often even out the look with a long hemmed cardigan or duster. 

2.) Shoes: wearing a form fitted bottom means you have to think about your shoes a bit more. For us tall girls, wearing lace ups with a body con skirt can work, but for our shorter sisters, it can cut height in half. (No one wants to look like a hobbit.) Darker shoes with straps can also create a disruption in the line of the leg (unless you have darker skin) so lighter shoes or metallics are the way to go. Wearing white or tan shoes lengthens the leg and does't take away from the overall look. Slip ons or slides are great examples of this type of shoe.

3.) When in Doubt, Denim: as the caption says, if you ever think a look needs to be toned down or added to, there's always denim. Tied at the waist, worn over the shoulders, worn unbuttoned over a tee, pencil skirts and denim go well together and add a casual street style vibe. (Bonus if you can add some distressed denim.)

4.) The Half Tuck: made popular by bloggers worldwide, the carefully-undone half tuck looks great with a black pencil skirt. When wearing a blouse or something simple, a little tuck can change the whole look of the outfit from plain to purposeful.

5.) Layers: maybe I'm yearning for cooler weather, but light summer layering can offset the heaviness of the black pencil skirt look. Layering silks and tees can add a soft vibe as well.

6.) Atheleisure: black pencil skirts were made for just-a-touch-of-athletic athletic looks. A cropped or panelled sweatshirt, sneakers, a tee, hoodies, leggings, all look good with a solid base.

All in all, I think of black pencil skirts like others would a favourite pair of leggings or jeans. You find a cut and style that works for you and you own many. You try other styles, colours and cuts of that item, but always keep coming back to the staple. 

That's all for now guys. I'll be adding a few posts with reviews of some skirts that have been sent to me to feature. I'll post pics and reviews as soon as the mail comes in!



  1. black pencil skirts are nice.
    you can find more designer pencil skirts here

  2. Nice! That cotton one that was sent to you feels awesome , you should do a post on it including how soft and how well it is holding up in all your urban adventures .


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