Thursday, 8 November 2007

Putting a little lead in your pencil (skirt) Part 2

What to wear with pencil skirts
I was working on this post and getting steadily more alarmed that I may be turning into the thing I hate most which is one of those people who tells you what to do. I mean, who am I to tell you how to wear what you want to wear? I'm not an expert, just someone who likes to shop and dress up.

So, let me just say that I really believe that what you wear should only be limited by your imagination and how you feel. For goodness sake, wear what you want, when you want. At the end of the day, how you choose to dress is totally up to you. That's the beauty of dressing up: self expression.

In this spirit, these are some of the ways I would wear a pencil skirt. Hope you find them useful.

TopsPrinciples cardigan, £31; River Island vests, £5.99 each, Principles pussy bow blouse, £39

Most tops go with pencil skirts. It really all depends on what look you're going for. If you're going for casual, then a slim fitting jersey top or knit looks pretty cool. You can also funk up your look with a rock tee or vest. If you're going for something more ladylike, a prim blouse works well. Do sexy secretary in a pussy bow or tie neck blouse.

The great thing about a pencil skirt is because it creates a streamlined silhouette on the bottom, you can experiment with volume on top. Try a puff sleeve shirt, tucked in. Or wear a voluminous sweater cinched at the waist with a belt.

Topshop belted cape, £70 and bomber, £45

I think cropped jackets or nipped-in waist work best, mostly because they create that shape that shows your skirt off to the best advantage. Basically, I'd avoid boxy coats like the plague.

Again, you can work this look however you like: a cropped bomber/biker for the rock chic look, a simple, understated blazer or tux jacket with a nipped in waist if you're working the sexy secretary. For colder weather, I think a fitted quilted jacket (volume!) or military coat, both belted at the waist work well and will still keep you toasty. Try them out to see which works best on you. Zara has some adorable quilted jackets but a website that's more whimsy than sales, so no pics. Grrr.

Office pewter platform sandals, £65; Pied a Terre shboots, £180 and Nine West courts at Shoe Studio; Gil Carvalho platform slingbacks, £115

I know I've said before that pencil skirts don't work with flats and I still stand by that but I will allow that if you're working a laid-back, casual, rock chic look (and you have legs up to your armpits) then they kinda look cute with converse trainers.

For the rest of us, it's heels baby. Sexy secretary looks great with that finishing touch of vertiginous court heels. My favourite look right now is wearing platform peeptoes with opaque tights (coloured or black, depending on how adventurous your feeling). Then there's always shboots and ankle boots which look great with a pencil skirt - avoid this look if your ankles are less than shapely.

Finishing touchesDebut faux fur wrap, £40; J by Jasper Conran snakeprint fascinator, £35; Star by Julien MacDonald feather boa, £18; all at Debenhams

I bought a bustle the other day. It's made of ruched tulle and fits over the back of your skirt and ties in front. Your supposed to wear it with a boned waist nipper (got one of those too) over the top of your skirt. I haven't worn it yet, but I will.

What am I getting at? Well, if you're really into the drama of dressing up then you want to make like a Hollywood siren. So you want bustles, feather boas, fascinators, long gloves and seamed stockings. Or maybe that's just me.

Read part 1

Five of the best pencil skirts
Wear with high waist pencil skirt

See more good stuff

Outfits of the week

About me

I like pretty dresses, high heels, the colour red and good writing.