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
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.
2. The Office-Casual Outfit
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).
3. The Breakfast-With-Clients Outfit
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.
4. The Weekend Outfit
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.
5. The OOO Outfit
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!
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Marina Liao is the former fashion news editor at MarieClaire.com, 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 also had many opportunities to write content in other areas such as beauty, food, tech, and even home. Her previous fashion stints include POPSUGAR and Cosmopolitan.
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