How to wear the pencil skirt?

Back to school/ office!

And in Paris, if I may confess, the good weather is making it difficult for me to focuss, thinking I’d rather go swim in bassin de la Villette than sit on my desk ^^

I know many of you have to look very “business” to work (unlike me who can wear every flowery mini skirt I like to hihi).

And to achieve this, there is an iconic piece: the pencil skirt!

Characteristics: tight, just above or under the knee length, mostly high waisted, optionally splitted.

The fact that it is so figure hugging scares away many women. The look on the face of my clients when I suggest them to try one on tells it all.

And they are also afraid that it will look too “old”.

Both are untrue of course.

You’d be surprised how many women look fabulous and modern in a pencil skirt

I. How to wear the pencil skirt according to your body

a. You have an hourglass figure

No matter if you are thin or chubby, you got the easiest body to dress, you lucky girl.

You can emphasize your thin waist by tucking your top, wearing a crop top or play it more discreet with a slightly oversize top.

b. You have an A-line figure

Wide hips, thin waist and torso.

If you aim to make your hips look smaller, I recommend you to wear a slightly oversize top. The best is for it to stop where the hip is the largest. It can be a sweater, a shirt, a blazer…

But showing off your beautiful curves by tucking your top in is also a great option!

You can also go for crop tops that reveal your thin waist while slightly minimizing your hips.

c. You have an H, O or V shaped body

Thin or athletic legs, not very defined waist, tiny hips and rather wide shoulders.

You shall avoid defining your waist because it will make you look “rectangle” just like cute Maisie Williams here.

The surprising thing is that the best for you is just like for A shaped ladies to wear a slightly large top.

The top shall stop mid hips or even under the butt if you are tall with long legs.

It shall be large but not create a “tent” effect by remaining close to the body.

If you have beautiful breasts (and beautiful does not necessarily mean big), wear low neck tops.

d. You have a small torso

Like really small.

In that case, you will benefit avoiding the tucking in plus high waist combo. See how it looks on Marion Cotillard.

Instead you could try to wear your tops untucked, crop tops that are not too short and find low or mid waisted pencil skirts (good luck).

e. Round belly

95% of women do have some belly and that is perfectly normal and pretty. And yes the high waisted pencil skirt emphasizes it.

But if you have a thin waist it emphasizes this also, and, trust me, everyone will focus on this and not notice the fact that, looked from the side you do have a round tummy. Because, except yourself in the mirror, who looks from the side?

If you do not have a thin waist or really have a lot of belly, then prefer the fluid/larger top trick 🙂

f. Thick calves and/or ankles

Choose an above the knee pencil skirt and shoes that show your ankle bone. It will make your calves and ankles look longer and leaner.

But, if you can and want, drop the pencil skirt for a shorter version ^^

II. How to style your pencil skirt?

A. Tops

a.  Tucked in

  • Shirt

Fluid or rigid, as you wish.


  • T-shirt

To make the pencil skirt look relaxed.


Man repeller

  • Sweater

Beware of the fabric rolls.


b. Untucked

  • Shirt

You can knot or not (ahah). It can be hip lengths or shorter.


  • Sweater


Sea of shoes

And of course any other top or T-shirt. Just did not find the pics for it.

c. Crop top

Anything short and straight is considered a crop top.

Makes the pencil skirt look more funky.


d. Layers

Blazers, bombers, jackets, you can try everything with a skirt so tight.

Beware of the thin little cardigans that may make you look like a secretary from the 50’s.

B. Shoes

a. Pumps

The shoes that matches to perfection.

They elongates the calves.

b. High shoes, with straps or low boots

They’ll look nicer if you have long and slender calves.


c. Flat shoes under the ankle bone

Just like pumps but flat.

Ballet flats, sneakers…


Girl with curves

Want personalized style advices? Reach me for distance styling or personal shopping!

d. Boots

Perfect not to cut the calves in winter

They look pretty on everyone.

And of course the heeled version looks better.



C. To belt or not to belt? 

The belt can easily make the pencil skirt look old school.

But then, like always, if you got stylist talents you can achieve something ^^

And you, do you plan to bring you pencils to work? 

Cover collage: The Urbanspotter

7 Responses to “How to wear the pencil skirt?”
  1. Lourdes says:

    This was so helpful. The thing that I didn’t like about the pencil skirt was that I thought it looked too business like and I couldn’t wear it as a casual outfit but I guess I was wrong. Thanks for these tips

  2. Yes of course pencil skirt is tricky although make women more slim and attractive.

  3. Olivia says:

    Thank you. Great advice about the secretary look which is why I stopped wearing them. This gives me new ideas!

  4. vivien_noir says:

    I like pencil skirts if worn in a non-businessy way, like with boxy crop Pullovers or T-Shirts.
    I found the “no belt”-tip for H, O, V shapes interesting. Until now, I (who is a V-shape with some belly) always read I should do belts to define my waist, where it isn’t visible.

    I’ve given it a thought, and came up with this: choosing a skirt lighter than the top (like, black top/Grey skirt) can Balance the halves out a bit and make a belt superflous.
    You’re right, a wider, fluid or maybe even a bit more stiff Shirt (think scuba) can “blur” your shape on the upper Body. It’s a more relaxed combination of my taste, too.

    Now, I prefer black, and often reach for black, so bottoms are no exception. To Combine my black pencil skirt, I found one with diagonal embellishment on the side, which make my hips appear a bit larger and my waist a bit smaller. A belt with wide sides, but small front closure (I’m thinking of one like this “studded fiore belt” by APATICO: could have a very similar effect.

    Or just skip the whole “Dressing according to the Body type” and go for whatever top you want to 😀

    I’d love to get a tip on how to tuck a blouse into a skirt so it stays put, and does NOT Show the hemline or wrinkles etc. through the skirt fabric. The first photo in your post with the golden skirt Shows what I mean. This is an issue I constantly struggle with!

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Ah indeed this is tricky. My tip is to pull from underneath in order to flatten the wrinkles and then pull from above to fluff the top.
      But a bit of wrinkles are ok.
      And I think belts are never flattening when you do not have a defined waistline, no matter how “optical” the belt may be 🙂
      But you have some other assets I am sure of this ^^

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