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What Is a Pencil Skirt ?

by XiaoBo 12 Oct 2023

A pencil skirt is a straight cut skirt with a tapered bottom. For almost eight decades, women have been grateful to Christian Dior for the opportunity to look both seductive and elegant. This skirt model is an absolute must have in a woman's closet.

Effective and attractive images with a pencil skirt appeared in women's closet in the middle of the XIX century and since that moment do not leave it. Changing styles, combinations, and color variations, but this attribute remains an important and necessary element bow of a real lady. The secret of such success is in the universality of this model. It goes to everyone, slim and puffy, high and low ladies. For a successful image, it remains only to understand what to wear a pencil skirt and what style to choose for a particular occasion.

The History of Pencil Skirt

The prototype of the world-famous model and the first official version of the pencil skirt style was the "lame skirt", which received its name because it restrained movements and made ladies move as if limping. This masterpiece of design thought appeared on the streets of fashionable cities in 1910, after the first flight of a woman on an airplane. In order that the classic dress of the lady did not get tangled behind the screws, it was pulled down by a belt. The photo of this flight became so popular, and the image of a woman with an unusually fixed dress looked so spectacular that the designers decided to repeat such a random experiment.

Despite the inconvenience, "lame models" enjoyed unprecedented popularity. Based on this idea, Coco Chanel developed her famous "little black dress", where the bottom was just made "pencil". From this moment begins a new era of the model case. Already in the 40's there is a familiar to us variant of this detail of closet. On the podium, it is presented by Christian Dior, then there are the first recommendations on how to choose a pencil skirt for the figure, with what to wear this piece of clothing, and how to harmoniously combine with shoes.

The name "pencil" is not quite accurate, because the model necessarily tapers downwards. The peculiarities of the skirt cut require a special gait – a small step, putting your feet on the same line. It may not be very comfortable, but it looks sexy and blows men away. For example, let's take a frame from the movie "In Jazz Only Girls", where Marilyn Monroe hurries in such a skirt at the station to the train, and the surroundings follow her with open mouths. Monroe loved pencil skirts. Wore them and Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn.

To be fair, it should be noted that the idea of the pencil skirt was used by fashion designers before Dior. But in the post-war years, when tired of hardships and hungry for male attention, women dreamed of piquant images, it came in very handy. Puffy skirts, overlays, crinolines are already bored, and the fabric for "pencil" was not much less.

There have been several bursts in the history of the pencil skirt. Each round of popularity designers offered something new. Christian Dior recommended combining it with jackets, which became the perfect uniform for working women. In the 1960s, Mary Quant raised the bottom line 15 centimeters above the knee and length of the mini went "hurrah." In the eighties there was another boom in fashion: short, narrow tops with voluminous shoulders, leopard print, metallic fabric and again pencil skirts. Madonna and the Spice Girls sparkled in the new look. In the 2000s, the popularity of pencil skirts was ensured by new materials: denim, super erotic leather and latex.
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How To Style a Pencil Skirt

Due to the enduring popularity of this item in women's closet, designers are trying to offer a variety of options that would meet the tastes and demands of ladies of different types, ages and figures. Thanks to their efforts, the choice of styles is really rich and in trend of the coming, at least three seasons will be:


Pencil skirt with exaggerated waist photo-trend of the season! Loooks with this element of clothing are found in the blogs of almost every celebrity. Such popularity is due to the advantages of this option.

High waist perfectly emphasizes the line of hips, diverting attention from the bulging tummy, lack of waist, visually lengthens the legs, which is appropriate for almost every girl, except the owners of basketball height. If you do not have too long legs, disproportionate figure, or you want to draw attention to the silhouette of the chest and narrow waist, a long pencil skirt with an exaggerated waist – the perfect solution!

Slender girls who want to make a sensation and emphasize the beauty of the figure, we suggest paying attention to leather options. What to combine a leather pencil skirt with an exaggerated waist depends on the desired effect. A cropped top or a thin, contrasting blouse will be perfect, for more restrained bows with leather pencil skirts choose a monochrome top of pastel shade and shoes on a low walk.


One of the fashion trends of recent seasons is a pencil skirt with pockets on the sides, or an asymmetrical pocket on one side. This option is ideal for skinny girls who want to visually add volume to the hips. Also, this style looks great with a heavy top and a slim bottom, helping to make the figure harmonious.

It is best to choose monochrome models with emphasized color, stitching or cut pockets, complementing the ensemble with a monochrome, light, not voluminous top. Especially successful are such options in combination with casual style, sneakers or low-top shoes.

Keep in mind that these options are suitable for casual looks and romantic images, but will be inappropriate at an evening gala. If the pockets are classic and inconspicuous, the model will be suitable for the office with a strict dress code.


Models with a length just below the knee are nicknamed in the fashion world the golden section. It is such options create a unique "hourglass" silhouette, hide too puffy hips, visually lengthen legs and give the figure femininity, harmony. This is a noble classic, appropriate for office and evening styles, as well as everyday looks!

What to wear is a pencil skirt below the knee depending on the occasion and the desired result. Classic combination - with blouses and restrained tops, T-shirts. For evening outings, they will suit bright variants with ruffles. For business style the ideal solution would be a shirt.


The most seductive and yet capricious pencil skirt is short, it requires a perfect figure, beautiful proportions and slender hips. However, this model looks more than seductive, creating a very spectacular outfit. The advantage of this length is the ability to draw attention away from the ankles and short calves, visually increasing growth.

Such products go to girls with heavy tops and tummy. Due to the emphasis on the lower part of the body, you can hide some shortcomings, the lack of a drop between the waist and hips. To enhance this effect, choose a model with small slits in the front.

Especially piquant looks short leather pencil skirts, such a bold element of the ensemble is better combined with a calm top, such as turtlenecks, linen tops, T-shirts, light T-shirts and complemented with shoes without heels, so that the bow did not go from the category of spectacular to the category of vulgar. For autumn, you can choose a soft sweater or sweatshirt in a classic color scheme.


The midi length for the cut "footlocker" - the optimal solution, it is the golden mean, revealing all the advantages of this trendy closet item. This variant is called French length. Reaching the middle of the knee, the model gracefully hides imperfect leg shape and extra centimeters of hips, draws attention away from the tummy and allows you to visually increase the flat butt.

This style is ideal in terms of combinations. There is no wrong answer to the question of what to wear a midi pencil skirt with, it is combined with absolutely any top from a short top to a classic blouse. In the capsule collections of this season trendy is the combination of oversize sweaters and blazers.

Choosing a certain option, we suggest stopping attention on a black midi pencil skirt, it is a top solution for a basic closet. The option is appropriate for everyday, business and evening styles. It always looks spectacular and easily transformed by changing the top and shoes. In combination with a blouse and boat shoes, you get an always up-to-date business outfit, with a translucent or bright blouse – an evening look, with sneakers and a T-shirt – a casual outfit for everyday outings.


Elegant pencil skirt with a smell in the front is ideal for summer, and also looks amazing in the office, strict bow, diluting its officiousness. This solution is an emphasis on flirtation and playfulness, such bows are appropriate for evening and everyday outings, especially in combination with a bright, spectacular top.

Photos of pencil skirts with odor are found in all popular fashion blogs, which once again confirms that this is the trend of the season. The main thing is to choose the right length, mini - only for slender young girls, midi - for self-confident ladies with beautiful shape of legs, and maxi - for epathetic casual-looks.

Deciding what to wear a long pencil skirt with a smell, pay attention to the popular powdery bows in beige-sand and sandy-white colors. This is the best fashion combination of the season!
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