5 Pencil Skirt Outfits to Take You Through the Week and Beyond

They're not just for the office.

Street Style : Day Four- Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2017/2018
(Image credit: Christian Vierig)

Pencil skirts often have a reputation for looking stuffy and old school, which is silly—they're anything but if you know how to style them. Instead of looking at your black skirt as that boring ol' piece for the cubicle life, think of it as a blank canvas for a statement top or accessory that shows off your personality. Speaking of personality, pencil skirt styles can range from denim designs with a side slit to flowy at the bottom with a pretty floral print. If you need more inspiration as to how to make your everyday pencil skirt feel fresh and current (and for more than the office), scroll down for some quick style tips, then shop the exact pieces you're still missing.

1. The Office-to-Happy Hour Outfit 

White, Clothing, Black, Pink, Footwear, Brown, Dress, Fashion, Beige, Pencil skirt,

(Image credit: Design by Morgan McMullen)

If you work in a more corporate office, invest in a black pencil skirt. The bottom might be a bit tame, but consider it a blank canvas for a bright floral top or a colorful handbag. You may even get away with wearing a pair of open-toed sandals that are trendier than what the HR handbook states. With the right accessories, you can easily take this bottom from work to happy hour any day of the week.

Shop the pieces: 1. Rebecca Taylor chiffon top$275; 2. Banana Republic skirt$98; 3. Shashi earrings$36; 4. Frame Les Second bag$450; 5. Zara heeled mules$50

2. The Office-Casual Outfit 

Clothing, White, Footwear, Brown, Fashion, Shorts, Shoe, Trousers, Illustration, T-shirt,

(Image credit: Design by Morgan McMullen)

For those with more freedom at their 9-to-5, give this tiger print pencil skirt a try. It definitely makes a statement, which is why you should tone it down with a plain white blouse, gold hoop earrings, and black slides. You may even want to repeat this outfit on the weekend (swap the tee for a sleeveless crop top).

Shop the pieces: 1. Mango blouse$50; 2. Carolina Herrera skirt, $1,490; 3. Shashi earrings$55; 4. Clare V. bag$118; 5. Kaanas sandals$65

3. The Breakfast-With-Clients Outfit 

Clothing, Black, White, Brown, Footwear, Fashion, Dress, Sleeve, Pencil skirt, Design,

(Image credit: Design by Morgan McMullen)

For meetings where you want to look professional but not stuffy, this bold floral printed skirt is a good way to break up a plain-shirt-and-blazer combo. The skirt is a good conversation starter—you'll definitely earn some compliments from the room. Add on a structured accessory like this crossbody bag and slingback heels for a polished ensemble.

Shop the pieces: 1. Mango top$30; 2. Eliza J blazer$78; 3. Diane von Furstenberg skirt, $248; 4. Strathberry tote, $955; 5. Prada slingback pumps, $690

4. The Weekend Outfit 

White, Clothing, Black, Fashion, Black-and-white, Trousers, Outerwear, Shorts, Style, Sportswear,

(Image credit: Design by Morgan McMullen)

Come Saturday, swap your heels for sneakers and a traditional pencil skirt for a more laidback denim version. (The side slit in the middle is definitely NSFW.) Instead of a blazer, slip on this tie-dye turtleneck, which is a warm enough layer to take you from end of the summer into fall temperatures.

Shop the pieces: 1. Proenza Schouler turtleneck top$590; 2. 3x1 denim skirt$245; 3. AllSaints leather tote$378; 4. Veja sneakers$135

5. The OOO Outfit 

Clothing, Yellow, Product, Day dress, Dress, Design, Pattern, Pattern, Sleeve, Polka dot,

(Image credit: Design by Morgan McMullen)

The pencil skirt you should pack when you take that much needed PTO. It has the same structure as your 9-to-5 look, but with sexier details, like side ruching and a high-rise slit. The vibrant florals also transport your senses from the cubicle to faraway beaches. Trade in your work tote for a smaller, cuter bag and top off with a floral bucket hat. Happy travels!

Shop the pieces: 1. Reformation linen top, $148; 2. Madewell bucket hat, $25; 3. Altuzarra midi skirt, $397; 4. By Far bag, $372; 5. Cocobelle slides, $129

For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.


Fashion Editor

Marina Liao is the former fashion news editor at Marie Claire, where she covered celebrity style (from Meghan Markle to Katie Holmes), fashion trends, and shopping advice, plus conducted original interviews with industry insiders. She's now the Senior Commerce Editor at House Beautiful, where she owns coverage on deals and sales across home decor and accessories, in-depth product reviews on furniture and appliances, as well as news around new product launches since 2023. With help from leading designers and tastemakers, Marina spotlights quality products while tracking current design trends, a skill she’s mastered over six years in fashion media. Marina holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Stony Brook University, beginning her career in narrative-driven commerce coverage as an editorial assistant at PopSugar.