Just plain sexy. Pencil Skirts


Natalia Vodianova by Steven Meisel for Vogue US May 2009

The Great Pretender: Natalia Vodianova portrays Jean Patchett

pencil skirt is named for its shape, long and slim like a pencil.  The skirt is tailored to be close-fitting with a straight, and narrow cut. The hem can fall to the knee or just below the knee.

Worn as part of a suit or as a separate piece of clothing, the narrow shape of a pencil skirt can restrict the movement of the wearer. So pencil skirts may have a slit at the back, a slit  at the side, or a pleat which exposes less skin for movement. The classic shoes for wearing with a pencil skirt are high-heeled pumps worn with sheer nylons or tights. Back-seamed hosiery matches very well and recalls the classic pencil-skirt era of the 1950’s.

Narrow-fitting skirts have a long history in western fashion. The predecessor to the pencil skirt was the hobble skirt, a pre-WWI fad.  The Parisian fashion designer Paul Poiret is sometimes credited with the design.  A Hobble skirt is a full-length skirt with a very narrow hem that impedes walking. Hence the name, Hobble. Something you see as a BDSM fetish/fashion or Goth fashion. dievca owns a Daniel James London black Latex Hobble skirt.

Christian Dior introduced the classic modern pencil skirt in the late 1940’s, using the term H-line to describe its shape. This look was in stark contrast to his full-skirted New Look, his “A-line”.  The pencil skirt quickly became very popular, particularly as office wear. This success was due to Women’s desires for new fashions in the wake of WWII and the austere economic climate. Fabrics were expensive.

Wearing a pencil skirt feels much different than wearing a loose skirt. The wearer has to adjust their stride, posture and motions to manage it successfully. A walking stride needs to be shortened, a wearer needs to turn sideways and put their bottom into a car-seat then swing their legs into the car. When sitting the legs are held close together. Activities are very limited in a pencil skirt, think of it as a subtle form of bondage. Granted stretch fabrics can help with movement, as does a vent or a kick pleat.

Pencil Skirts flatter a variety of body types.  Do you want to show off your small waist, your hips, your ass, your legs? A well-tailored skirt can target your favorite assets and exploit them.  Plus, a Pencil Skirt is a classic piece and never goes out of style.  Excellent Economy.

Pencil marilyn-style-icon Grace Kelly Pencil Skirt

12 Comments on “Just plain sexy. Pencil Skirts”

  1. My best purchase this autumn has been a black leather pencil skirt…I love it! x


  2. jackiemallon says:

    Pencil skirts are all woman! And anything that is the subject of a Pulp song works for me! Good excuse for a little listen… 🙂


  3. You’ve inspired me with these pencil skirts. I’d rather take pencils and draw some of them : ) And the song “jackiemallon” presented as well. Thank you both of you : )


  4. My all time favourite work skirt. Thank you for this lovely post 🙂


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