Style 101: Pencil Skirts

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 skirt

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.

The High Waist Pintucked Pencil Skirt, found on Express.com.

The High Waist Pintucked Pencil Skirt, found on Express.com.

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.

The Halogen Colorblock Faux Wrap Skirt, found on Nordstrom.com.

The Halogen Colorblock Faux Wrap Skirt, found on Nordstrom.com.

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.

Suit Your Fancy Blush Pink Lace Skirt, found on Lulus.com.

Suit Your Fancy Blush Pink Lace Skirt, found on Lulus.com.

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.

Take Her Look [For Less]

Every now and then, someone enters the public realm and captures the world’s attention with their style, elegance and class. And right now, all eyes are on none other than Mrs. Amal Clooney.

Yahoo Style Editors reported today that Clooney was spotted in London after a business meeting wearing a tweed lilac dress and matching blazer with a pale yellow trim by Giambattista Valli. She styled the springy suit with a beautiful bone colored pointy-toe pump from Gianvito Rossi and Dior Bar Bag as her ‘work’ bag.

Although Mrs. Clooney’s dress/blazer combination cannot be priced, her shoes are available at Barney’s New York in black for $995. Her gorgeous Dior bag, the object of our envy and today’s “Take Her Look [For Less], also has an elusive price tag; Dior only releases pricing upon request, but according to Bagreporter.com, Dior bags as of November 2013 started at $1,450. So as much as we all love Clooney’s impeccable style, it looks like we won’t be purchasing any of the exact pieces she’s wearing any time soon!

But that doesn’t mean we can’t find similar pieces for a fraction of the cost! We found this strikingly similar (minus the) leather shopper tote from Express that mimics the handle style and structure of the Dior bag; it even has a dangling tag from one of the handles just like Clooney’s bag! However, you won’t have to take out a loan to purchase this bag – it’s only $69.90! If that’s not enough, it comes in two colors: black (shown) and a vibrant red!

Screenshot of the (Minus the) Leather Shopper Tote from Express, available in black and red for $69.90.

Screenshot of the (Minus the) Leather Shopper Tote from Express, available in black and red for $69.90.

So if you love Amal Clooney’s style but can’t afford even a thread off of one of her outfits (don’t feel bad – we can’t afford it either!), there are always ways to mimic her style without paying the price for it. Don’t have the dough for Clooney’s Dior Bar Bag? Try out this great option from Express; it’s an accessible way to achieve Clooney’s look without breaking your budget.