How to Have Fun with the Essential Pencil Skirt — From Work to Weekend

The pencil skirt never goes out of style. Not only is it ubiquitous, but it’s flattering on all shapes. Just because this piece is a staple, doesn’t mean it has to be neutral in tone or styled conservatively. With a splash of creativity, and some help from your friends at Armoire, this standby becomes the building block of several fresh, unique spring looks. What’s more, with Armoire’s rental service, you can also afford to indulge in the bright, graphic pencil skirts you see splashed all over the fashion magazines.

Read on for tips from Senior Stylist, Marie-Caroline Moir, on how to have a little fun with pencil skirts, and how to compose bold new spring outfits around this trusty wardrobe workhorse.

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1. For Work: Play with proportions.

Since pencil skirts are vertically slim and minimal, they look great topped off with some horizontal volume. Try a thin, but voluminous sweater, or a boxy blouse to create an edgy, modern look. Somewhat cropped shirts and sweaters are great for this style. You can create the same visual effect with a longer top simply by tucking in one side (or the front) of your top into your waistband, and then letting the rest of the shirt hang naturally. This makes you look nonchalantly cool, and it also highlights your waistline. Slim or pointy ankle boots look great with this combination. Try for a bold color that complements or contrasts your top.

Stylist Tip: Let the edgy silhouette take center stage here, and stick to a neutral pencil skirt to avoid an overly busy outfit.

@nicolecdenton

2. For Evenings: Play up color.

There’s no rule that says pencil skirts need be neutral. In fact, statement pencil skirts are just as easy to style as are navy and black iterations. The cut is simple, so you have ample leeway to really go for it with color, print, wild texture—maybe even all three. Since the statement skirt is doing all of the outfit’s heavy lifting, you can take a minimalist route when styling the rest of your ensemble. Top off your statement skirt with a neutral button down, or t-shirt, and some sleek heels, and you’re out the door feeling avant-garde and crazy chic.

Stylist Tip: Keep your shoes, hair, and jewelry relatively casual and simple, and pick a simple topper, like a black moto jacket or classic trench to finish off the look.

@emilyflorez

3. For Weekends: Play it down.  

One of the most charming ways to work the pencil skirt is to build a casual, somewhat sporty vibe around it. An embellished sweatshirt, a graphic tee, or an athletic-inspired top over the demureness of a pencil skirt creates a playful juxtaposition of elegance and insouciance—especially when finished off with a jean jacket or bomber. Pop on some low-profile sneakers (boxy sneakers look a bit bulky under the slim lines of a pencil skirt), and you’ve nailed one of the best street style looks out there.

Stylist Tip: For this look, choose a skirt that is stretchy, striped, or otherwise a bit more relaxed than the standard work pencil skirt; this will keep your outfit cohesive rather than random.

@cherylshops

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