Style Guide: Pencil Skirts

For the longest time I always thought that the pencil skirt was only for long and lean women and only for professional wardrobes. Lately, I’ve realized that I am SO wrong!

A recent trip to New York totally changed my mind – there, in the height of fall, I witnessed women of all shapes, heights, and style absolutely rocking the pencil skirt. Here is a pencil-skirt “cheat sheet” for all you lovely ladies out there!

Pencil Skirts and What You Need to Know

Length Matters. And I’m not talking about your skirt—well, I am, but thanks to TarHeelMom, I’ve learned that the trick to the perfect fit is  more about the length of my shins and thighs than anything else. Simply, take a measuring tape to your shins (middle of knee cap to ankle bone) and note the number. Then, switch directions and measure from mid knee cap to your hip hone.

1. To find out your ideal skirt length, subtract the smaller number from the longer number.

2. Halve that number.

3. If your shins are shorter than your thighs, the number in #2 is the height above your knee that your skirt should hit. If your shins are longer than your thighs, drop the number length below your knee.

Figure. Consider your shape. If you are an “hourglass,” opt for a fitted but not skin-tight piece that is high (or at) waist. Accentuating (and not hiding) your curves is the way to go. If you have full thighs, go for a “taper” over a full on pencil. For narrow hips, try an above-the-knee made of a texture like tweed, or thick with pleats.

Style. The best part about the pencil skirt is that it comes in every style, look, and budget. Want to wear it to work? Check out the suits at Express for $29.99. On a weekend date? Opt for this little black number for $12.80 from Forever21. Or maybe a casual weekend hang out with the girls? Try this cute and cotton-casual from Gap Style Guide: Pencil Skirts for $36.99.