Monday, 19 August 2013

Back to Basics: The Pencil Skirt

Although each seasons's trends add a dash of excitement to both our lives and our wardrobes, sometimes we crave the reassurance of an item we know we can always rely on. Certain clothes are so ubiquitous that they are evident in almost all of our closets and comfort us with the knowledge they can be thrown together with both classic and new items to easily create a stylish, comfortable look. Second in the series is my pick of five pencil skirts that would slot perfectly into your fashion framework as either your first foray into this particular piece or as a subtle new season update.

Clockwise from top left: red, £29.99, Zara; floral, £109, Ted Baker; leather, £85, Oasis; panda, £28, Topshop; black, £12.99, New Look.

Originating from the hobble skirt and having its place in history firmly cemented with the creation of Christian Dior's "H Line" silhouette, no matter what name the pencil skirt has been called in the past, it remains a solid staple in many women's wardrobes today. With its sleek silhouette and ability to make even the least ladylike of women (all fingers pointing to me) adopt a coquettish wiggle into their step, this perennial favourite has become a go-to choice for those looking for a more feminine alternative to the traditional trouser suited working look.

Possibly most famous of all is the black pencil skirt and a quick browse on the Internet shows that almost every store imaginable stocks its own version of this particular modern day classic. If you're looking to save your pennies, turn your gaze towards New Look: at a penny less that £13, this scuba material number is cheap as chips if you need a bank statement friendly addition to your wardrobe. As a proud owner of this particular skirt myself, I can testify that it does the job perfectly well - the only word of warning I would bestow, however, is to be careful when selecting your undergarments, as scuba material is a catalyst for VPL.

If you're looking for an update on the traditional black stylings then there is still a large variety of colours and prints to choose from. For a more textural update, Oasis' leather offering sticks to the preordained colour scheme but adds a "this season" twist that will allow you to channel Versace's sexy interpretation of punk in an office friendly manner. To push the boundaries with colour, Zara has a variety of different options at your fingertips, but in particular this pillar box red style will add a welcome pop of colour against the greys and blacks pummelling the pavement on the way to work. Prints are, for most of us, much more difficult to work into the lower halves of our outfits but with Ted Baker's pretty-as-a-painting floral number, the simple addition of a sheer blouse will have you looking like the embodiment of feminity as quickly as you can click your fingers. Finally, for those really wanting the push the boundaries and work within an office that allows this (I'm looking at you, creative industry types), Topshop's panda motif is so unexpected it could cause stares: but is that always a bad thing?


More from this series:

Back to Basics: The White Shirt




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