Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ways to Dress Down a Pencil Skirt

I know I've done a couple of posts on this, but I've been very surprised by how many hits this blog has gotten from people searching for ways to dress down a pencil skirt.  It seems like I'm not the only one who's been wondering how to do this, so I thought it was time to do a real post on it.

A few pencil skirts have been sitting in my closet for embarassingly long periods of time without being worn, so I was on a quest to figure out how to wear a pencil skirt in a casual way.  All articles I'd seen on pencil skirts talked about how to take it from office wear to evening wear...but what about everyday wear?  I couldn't find much on that.

I've had this post brewing for a couple of months, but it took so long to create it because, let's face it: it is hard to create looks with a grey or black pencil skirt that don't look like you're going to the office and don't look like you're going out for a night on the town.  I also wanted to do this in a way that highlighted basic principles that anyone could apply with their own wardrobe.

While these might not necessarily be good outfits to copy, you can use the basic principles as a starting point from which you can easily add your own twist and style.  Here they are!


Above are the major things I noticed worked when trying to create casual outfits with a pencil skirt.  I also noticed that each look used at least one, and usually more than one, of the principles listed above.

For example, Look #1 incorporates a graphic tee with a striped cardigan to give it a little more pizzaz.  (Do you like my Coca Cola shirt in Thai?)

Look #2 uses denim and cowboy booties.  I chose to pair it with a cognac messenger bag to keep the casual vibe going.

Look #3 uses a typical formula for office wear--a cardigan and flats.  But I think adding the loud graphic tee and using bright pops of color like magenta and yellow make it more fun, and they help move it away from office wear.  

Looks 4-6 show different ways to utilize pops of color and jackets in casual textures like corduroy or denim.  



There you have it!  It's a simple formula with simple concepts, but it opens up a range of possibilities.

I hope this is helps you make more use of that dusty old pencil skirt sitting in your closet!  :)



For more posts like this, see the One Piece Many Ways page.

19 comments:

  1. Great ideas! I think you're totally right about the color (black or gray) making it really hard to figure out how to wear a pencil skirt more casually. Much as I love pencil skirts, I had kind of given up now that I work from home instead of going in to the office every day... My other idea was to get a colored one that would still be appropriate for church or occasional work meetings but would be easier to dress down. Now if only the JCrew ones were cheaper!

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  2. I love all of them, but especially the first!!

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  3. Love this post Audrey...such a good idea! Sometimes I feel like I can only wear my pencil skirt to work...but clearly...that's not true...you look great in the dressed down pencil skirt :)

    Annie
    The Other Side of Gray

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  4. Pencil skirts are the best invention ever! Love the 2nd look with the tied button down top. Great job :)

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  5. Great tips. I like pencil skirts but don't own any. Gasp!

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  6. I believe I have that striped cardigan, too! It seems to me in the US if you wear a skirt, even a casual one, people automatically think you're "dressed up" because people all dress so casually here.

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  7. I love the ideas!! I love the graphic tee with the pencil skirt...so cute!

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  8. Love this! I'm working on a similar post right now (but about dressing a LBD in different ways)...this helped give me some inspiration! Thanks!

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  9. i can't wait to have my baby and get back to a normal weight so i can use this post to figure out how to wear my pencil skirts!! ;) i don't have that many... but i want to get more soon ahha!!

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  10. I agree with you that colored pencil skirts are much easier to make casual.  And the JCrew ones are beautiful!

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  11. These are all so cute!  I love the one with the red tee. :)

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  12. I really love 1 & 3. The pops of color & the cardigan really do make it look more casual.

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  13. I love your remixing posts, it's amazing how versatile a pencil skirt can be!

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  14. A couple of ideas about making a pencil skirt less dressy is to wear flat or wedge shoes which are more casual. Scrunched sleeves will help relax the look too. Casual belts and jewelry  will tone it down besides.

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  15. This is a great & educative post. I love the first 3 looks the best. A Graphic tee with a colorful cardigan and that skirt not only adds splashes of color, but it's dressed down while being dressed up at the same time. The Coca-Cola T Shirt is quite cute. I think looks 3, 4 & 5 would look great for work as well, for most business places and offices. Looks 4 & 5 are quite similar actually. The last look with the denim blazer is so chic, edgy & cool. That would be a great club party on a chilly evening look.

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  16. You know, I have a sort of khaki colored pencil skirt that I've never worn. Not once. Perhaps it's time to experiment!

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  17. What about dressing down a little black dress???

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