Skirts and dresses typically share names for their different shapes and silhouettes. But one of the terms most often reserved to describe the cut of a particular style of skirt is ‘pencil.’
As its name implies, a pencil skirt is a skirt with a straight, narrow cut that imitates the column-like shape of an actual pencil. Pencil skirts are usually worn at the natural waistline, and they hug the hips as they slightly narrow toward the hemline.
Pencil skirts are tremendously versatile pieces that can be worn to work, to a date or even to a party. A number of things can define the setting in which it should be worn; for instance, the material of the skirt, any embellishments on the skirt and the length of the skirt can determine if it’s more suitable for the office or if its more appropriate for a night out with your friends. What you pair your pencil skirt with can also help make it fit specific settings; if you decide to pair your pencil skirt with a blazer and modest heels, you’ll have created an office-ready outfit. But if you pair the skirt with a crop top and sky-high stilettos, you’ll be ready for your girls night out.
Pencil skirts are a wardrobe staple, which means that it’s always good to have at least one at the ready in your closet. However, adding a few more certainly wouldn’t hurt, so any of the gorgeous skirts we’ve pulled would still be an asset to your wardrobe.
But if you don’t already own a pencil skirt, a good starter skirt is the High Waist Pintucked Pencil Skirt from Express. This classic skirt is the quintessential “work skirt” which can easily be paired with a blazer or just a pretty printed blouse. This neutral skirt will be one of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe, so its $59.90 price tag will be worth every penny.
For a pencil skirt that will take you from the office to a dinner date, try the Colorblock Faux Wrap Skirt by Halogen. This skirt gives you the best of both worlds, combining the classic pencil silhouette with the chic wrap style. Done in a trendy black and white colorblock, this skirt can easily pair with everything from your work blazers to your favorite chiffon blouse. Available at Nordstrom for $69, even the most well-rounded of wardrobes would benefit from this colorblocked number.
If a more flirty pencil skirt is what you’re after, the Suit Your Fancy Blush Pink Lace Skirt from Lulu’s may be just the style you’ve been searching for. Featuring a dainty lace detail at its hemline, this style is a great alternative to the traditional pencil skirt. While its done in a pink, the blush tone reads as a pseudo-neutral, allowing it to pair with practically anything. This sweet style will round out your newly refreshed wardrobe of pencil skirts for only $34.
Pencil skirts are like the blue jeans of the skirt world — they are a wardrobe essential that can pair with nearly everything, so investing in any one of these great skirts would expand your wardrobe for the better.