Tag Archives: pencil skirt

Just Splendid

6 Sep

I’ve relied on Splendid for years as the source for comfy cotton tees. Yesterday at Nordstrom I noticed that the brand had expanded into the wonderful world of women’s shoes. Check out these office-worthy finds.

I’d wear these funky oxfords with something classic like a pencil skirt and button down shirt.

These wedges work for a more casual office and would be so cute with cuffed chinos.

I love a good loafer and blazer – so schoolboy.


Office outfit inspiration from Jigsaw

19 Jul

Are you in a summer outfit slump? When I’m in the need for a few good ideas, I sometimes sift through my favorite catalogs (yes, the paper kind. I am so old fashioned!) or hop online to ooh and aah at look books until I get a bright outfit idea. (“Look books” are online picture collections put together by a brand to showcase how you can mix and match their pieces, or to capture a celeb’s signature style. For an example, check out this Kate Middleton look book.) Today, I’ve found some office pretty inspiration via Jigsaw’s summer look book. I first fell in love with Jigsaw on a trip to San Fran earlier this summer. I picked up a lovely sheer top that I regularly wear to work. Since then, it’s been all love, all the time.

My favorite thing about this look is the blouse ($91). I love the petite bow buttons. This blouse is great because it’s unique, fun and still really professional. It not only works with a patterned pencil skirt, but would also be perfect to add a little interest to a good old black suit. You could also go casual with this top by pairing it with high-waisted wide leg jeans (tucked in with a slender black belt) or skinny black jeans (untucked). Shop the full look here.

This cute outfit incorporates two Office Pretty favorites: 1. A skinny belt and 2. A colorful cardigan. This is a perfect outfit for a breezy summer day that hopefully involves a little work in the office followed by a lot of happy hour. Shop a similar dress here and the cute sandals here.

The pencil skirt from the first photo provides a completely different look when paired with this feminine black top and detailed grey belt. This look is great because it works for the office but also transitions easily into an evening look. Heading out on a date? Slip on pumps and a little lipstick (like this in berry) and you’re ready to go. Shop the full look here

Pencil Skirt Remix

13 Jun

We covered the pencil skirt basics here, so it’s time to take it to the next level.

Pencil Skirt Remix

Before you deviate too far off the beaten path (beaten path = a basic back or other neutral color pencil), let’s recap how a skirt should fit. Adding bows or pleats or buttons is no excuse to have an ill-fitting skirt.

1. A fit that skims the hips / thighs without pulling or sagging (when you’re standing straight).

2. Hemmed to knee length or even slightly below–whichever flatters your calves and knees the most.

3. A modest slit in the back. Remember, the purpose of the slit is to make walking and climbing stairs easier, not to woo the UPS man.

Check out a few more remix finds on my Pinterest page.

Staples: The Basic Black Pencil

28 Apr

The sleek, stylish lines of the pencil skirt have earned it a coveted spot on our list of work wardrobe essentials. Just like a pencil’s long and slim lines, this skirt is flattering on nearly all body types.

Confession: The pencil skirt I wear to work at least once a week was purchased in — hold on to your hat — the 1900s. You guys, this pencil skirt was the first investment piece my mom ever purchased for me back in high school.

I tell this story to illustrate that investing in a pencil skirt is a sure bet. It’s a piece so classy and basic you can wear it twice in the same week (with a different top and accessories) and no one will even notice. Now that’s easy.

The key to rocking the pencil skirt is in the fit. If you’re planning a shopping trip, here are some things to look for:

  • A slim fit. The fact that this skirt is tailored for a close fit, especially at the hem, is what makes it so flattering on so many women (that’s our natural shape anyway!)
  • But not so slim that it hugs the buns. There’s nothing professional about that, I can tell you that right now.
  • Knee length or slightly below. If it fits well in the waist and hips, the length is easily remedied (and is the cheapest fix). Since we consider this an investment piece, we recommend shopping for a pencil skirt at a higher-end retailer like Nordstrom who will hem it for free if you purchase a full-priced item.
  • Sits at the waist… or higher, if you dare. You will get the most versatility from a pencil skirt that has a waistline that hits at your bellybutton; that offers endless possibilities for tucking in blouses or leaving them un-tucked.
  • A modest slit. Depending on the flexibility of the material, many pencil skirts have a slit in the back to make walking and sitting easier. Just check to make sure that the slit doesn’t show too much leg when you’re walking. (Also, after you’ve had your pencil skirt a few years, it’s common for the slit to need some simple repairs. That’s not a sign of a defunct pencil skirt.)

If the pencil skirt is your thing, consider taking on one of these variations that we love!

Pencil skirts with pizazz

Details from left to right:

1. The pencil skirt as part of a suit (BOSS Black, $275 at Saks)

2. The high-waisted pencil (street style as documented by The Sartorialist, 2007)

3. With pleats! (MaxMara, $465 at Saks)