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How To Wear A Pencil Skirt

Updated on August 21, 2011

A pencil skirt is a classic piece - but how to wear a pencil skirt? Simple - sleek, elegant and most of all ... appropriately.

Too short - you're trying too hard. Too long - you either can't walk correctly or you'll end up looking like Olive Oil. And I don't care how beautiful Popeye and Bluto thought her.

I've seen better dressed family pets.

The trick is to keep it simple, keep it classy, look great - and feel it.

The art of knowing how to wear a pencil skirt is to keep a few basic rules in mind:

  • they're a versatile piece
  • a black one will blend with almost any footwear/accessories
  • don't aim for too tight/too long
  • think about your body shape - then buy the cut that suits your figure the best
  • brown, white, grey or denim also looks fab

It is incredibly easy to overdo - or under do - a pencil skirt. They are a timeless piece and you can create a rather dowdy and dated look if you're not careful.

Never buy one the ends below the knee. Equally, avoid a mid-thigh length. That, Dear Reader, isn't a pencil skirt. It's a mini skirt. And quite the difference.

There are several base types:

  • straight, narrow cut
  • back slit
  • thigh or front slit
  • pleated front

For the more modest among us a pleated front will retain the classic cut, yet allow for an easier gait.

A small slit at the back offers the same, though to remain classy in appearance - try not to have your ass hanging out the back. So not classy.

For the more daring, a thigh slit will offer a hot and sassy edge. However - too high and you change from sassy to trashy. Size really does matter. Sometimes.

And before anyone that's blessed with curves backs away ... yes you can wear a pencil skirt. A fabulously form fitting skirt can and will emphasize you in all the right places.

Remember: big girls are beautiful!

Wear A Pencil Skirt


The above covered, you need to wear a pencil skirt that fits in with the venue, the event - and you.

It's no good you tottering about in killer heels, done up like the priests coming for dinner, ragging your too tight skirt down every five minutes.

Or fiddling (heaven forbid) with your roaming underwear - that's traveling down whilst your skirts riding up.

So saying - make sure it fits, make sure it's comfortable. Make sure you feel comfortable. You need a little movement in it, a little give.

You want it figure hugging, not figure bugging.


  • hem at the knees. Not below them or enough floors above them that you're showing off your parapet
  • it should sit comfortable on your waist - too tight = muffin top = your bumps becoming unwanted (and very obvious) lumps

  • classy ... classy ... elegant!

Got that?!

Pencil Skirt Outfit


A pencil skirt outfit needs to look as though you've dressed with the light on. Not off. A great little black skirt is almost the same as the archetypal little black dress.

Remember: they're versatile. You can team a neutral pencil skirt with office attire such as:

  • fitted or semi fitted shirt
  • tailored jacket/coat
  • kitten heels
  • flattering soft knits

Tuck the shirt/blouse in or leave it out. If out, make sure it doesn't 'drown' the top half of your skirt. Any half-decent tailored shirt will finish right where it needs to.

Same with a jacket - don't cover up or go for a style that lacks at least a basic shape. A Pea coat, blazer, typical office style jacket - something that's a little fitted without being volumous. Nana Mouskouri didn't wear a pencil skirt under all those swather of material. And neither did Demis Roussos come to think of it.

Pencil Skirt Fashion Tips


Pencil skirt chic.
Pencil skirt chic.
Pencil skirt eek.
Pencil skirt eek.
This is a pencil skirt. And the right length - on or just at the knees.
This is a pencil skirt. And the right length - on or just at the knees.

To round off, some pencil skirt fashion tips. From Casual to rockin- it up, a few pointers and ideas on how to wear a pencil skirt.


  • black, brown white or demin for the skirt
  • accessories to match the top/shoes/bag if black
  • brown or denim - remember what does and what doesn't go with brown and blue
  • white - summer colors, pastels, floral prints
  • as with any look that includes this style of skirt - belt up, tuck in, or don't. Whatever suits your shape and confidence is best
  • bangles make a great accessory
  • a fitted tee or loose blouse - belted (or not)
  • denim + boho style works well

Night out:

  • halter neck - silk or satin
  • sleeveless top - chiffon, floaty - tucked in or belted
  • vest, fitted, shine with sequines or lame (you know - lamay, not lame rhymes with game)
  • killer heels - or aim a bit lower if you walk in stilettos like a drunken soldier
  • sandals - strappy, sassy
  • accessorise, accessorize - accessorize

That wraps it up. All that's left for you to do is try, buy and wear. Have fun shopping, coordinating and shimmying.

NB: if you're not shimmying your skirt's either:

  • too tight
  • too long
  • too big
  • you look like Olive Oyl

Don't say I didn't warn you.


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    • profile image

      andrew 6 years ago

      i think some ladies can look elegant and sexy wearing a pencilskirt. whenever i see a nice lady in one i think she looks beautiful. a timless classic for the ladies.

    • Ellarose92 profile image

      Ellarose92 7 years ago

      very useful!! I love pencil skirts

    • mysisters profile image

      mysisters 7 years ago

      Nice Hub. Pencil skirts are definitely a key piece of clothing you should have in your closet!

    • emmlouise profile image

      emmlouise 7 years ago from sussex uk

      Guys, make sure you tuck. A bulge in the wrong place will ruin the cut, (of the skirt).

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 7 years ago

      When cause and effect become quite deleterious,

      The resulting action can

      render one grevious.

      Harm and ill health are at

      Worst most pernicious.

      At best they're usually

      temporarily ruinous.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      The point of pencils? I just can't take it any more. I'm going ahead and signing myself back into the sanitarium.

      Too much lunatic laughter can be deleterious to my health.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 7 years ago

      Cags - always lovely to see your affable and altogether empathetic character anywhere around Hubpages. As for your last comment - you're more than welcome :)

      drbj - you think? I reckon some junk in the trunk looks great. Nothing worse than a tin ribs in the sack. Purely from a man's point of view of course. Not that I am one. I'm just saying. You know - I hear ... stuff.

      And I though a #2 pencil was known as a HB something or other. And what does HB stand for anyway? Perhaps that's another info rich hub drbj. The meaning of pencils. Or the history of pencils. Or the point of pencils.

      Lol. Point of pencils :)

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Pencil skirts look stunning on those who are as slim as pencils.

      On those with more curves, i.e., poundage, they are less than slimming-looking. Speaking of pencils, I know that the #2 pencil is the most widely used. So why is it still called #2? (George Carlin)

      Loverly hub, froggy.

    • Cagsil profile image

      Cagsil 7 years ago from USA or America

      Hey Frogdropping, I am not at all into wearing skirts, but I do like the advice you are giving to others. Therefore, I must *bump* your hub to the top of the feed with my comment and rate it up, because it's a great read. Keep up the great hub writing and I'll see you around...yet again. :) ;) Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and understanding. :)

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 7 years ago

      Audrevea - my penicl skirt is a black one. I don't feel very corporate in it but I don't look corporate either :):)

      Candie - you know you wouldn't. You'd just do the right thing. And make sure as many folks as possible got a look at it ;)

      Paradise - who's isn't? After a couple of kids and an average lifestyle, we all add extra pounds. Generally anyway. I still wear one from time to time :)

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 7 years ago

      lxxy - hello, good to see you. And maybe you could wear one. Rocky Horror style. I think a pencil skirt would be rather fetching ;)

      Justine - that sounds horribly like me. I avoid white. Black is the norm for me :)

      Ellen - surprising to know but 'normal' women are in fact curvy. We lusciously rounded women are far more the norm than our stick thin sisters ;)

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      I could never look good in butt is tooo big!

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      If a picture of Ixxy wearing a pencil skirt should show up on Facebook.. Well I'd have to rethink my 'friend' status..

      Or maybe not!

    • profile image

      Audrevea 7 years ago

      The black is elegant but it has such a corporate tone. I like the white and the jeans-y ones. They would be nice with those nautical tops that came out not that long ago - lots of navy with a splash of red.

    • EllenGraeger profile image

      EllenGraeger 7 years ago from Madrid

      Are pencil skirts made for pencils ? A "normal" woman has too many curves to adjust to pencil size. Funny hub, frog, thank you.

    • profile image

      Justine76 7 years ago

      Oh I purchase white ALL the time, only to throw it out after the first wearing. I am so messy with my life.... :)

    • lxxy profile image

      lxxy 7 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

      Your humor makes anything you write worthy of reading.

      Also, I'm mildly confident I can successfully pull off a pencil skirt now.

      Although, maybe not...

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 7 years ago

      Justine I don't wear white as a rule. But you're right, it's a great summer ase color :)

      Candie - oh go on, wear one. They're great! No good on bikes though ;)

      Hello Hello - you're very welcome :)

      ethel - maybe mine are long gone too. But I pay no heed to the rule book!

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Nice humour touches. 'Fraid my pencil skirt days are long gone :(

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a lovely and amusing hub.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Nice hub on Pencil skirts FD! I see them and think.. now to cover the other leg! Hahaha! What I wouldn't give to wear these well! Hugs my friend!!

    • profile image

      Justine76 7 years ago

      I never considerd a white skirt before...they look pretty for sping!!

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 7 years ago

      Hey Marisa :) I'm losing track of days here!

      If they stop below the knee, say mid-calf, they 'cut' you up. Better to show off a half leg or keep the skirt at ankle length.

      Think along the lines of crop pants. A pencil skirt is the same. Some figures just look either frump or dumpy (or both) if the length is wrong.

      I always have a pencil skirt, a black one, to fall back on. I've worn mine with knits, blouses, loose tops. Jackets, tees, flats, heels.

      Maybe I should have worn mine, accessorized then used a picture. I love mine and periodically drag it out :)

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 7 years ago from Sydney

      That's it, I can't avoid it any longer - I must go and take up the hem on my two pencil skirts. I'm vertically challenged, so skirts are always too long for me - but I usually end up convincing myself they look OK because I'm so bad at sewing and don't like paying extortionate prices for a simple hemming job.

      Sounds like it's time I unconvinced myself, especially for pencil skirts!