19 Best Pencil Skirt Outfit Ideas

From power dressing at work to glamming up for the night—these outfits cover everything!

Reviewed by Paola Farina, Personal Stylist Paola Farina Paola FarinaPersonal Stylist linkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MSc Pratima Ati MSc linkedin_icon
Edited by , BSc Shatabdi Bhattacharya BSc linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Style & Image Consultant Srijani Roy Chowdhury MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Style & Image Consultant linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Last Updated on

We cannot deny that pencil skirts are one of the greatest inventions in the whole world. And they go perfectly with all body types; it feels like they are just made for you. With the right pencil skirt outfit ideas in place, you can flaunt your look effortlessly and steal the show right away. They will sit nicely on your body and allow you to rock a look that will inspire others as well. Oh, and the best part about these versatile skirts is that they can be repeated. No matter how many times you have worn them in the past, they will always look new and super chic. So, if you want to flaunt a look that is worth trying now and then, you are in the right place. This article will provide you with some must-try ideas below. So, go ahead and check them out!

Ace The Look
  • Body Shape: While pencil skirts complement all body types, they are best suitable for hourglass figures and help accentuate the curves.
  • Occasion: Pencil skirts can be worn on all occasions. Choose solid colors and simple patterns for office gatherings and bright-colored skirts for casual events and parties.
  • Footwear: Pencil skirts look best when paired with pumps or high heels as it helps create the illusion of a taller and slimmer figure.

What Is A Pencil Skirt?

Pencil skirts are usually short, straight, end before the knee, and taper as they approach the hemline. Some pencil skirts run down till your calf, but follow the same pattern of narrowing out. These can be worn as both formal and casual attire, depending on the material and how you style it. Here are some fail-proof pencil skirt outfit ideas for you.

protip_icon Trivia
Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, and Betty Brosmer made pencil skirts popular during the mid-1900s.

19 Best Pencil Skirt Outfit Ideas

1. Long Pencil Skirt And Formal Shirt For Work

Long pencil skirt with formal shirt for work
Image: Instagram @lifestylewithcocktails

Personal Stylist, Paola Farina, can’t stop gushing over this look. She says, “This is my favorite, really stylish and Victoria Beckham look-a-like. Have you ever seen the “A perfect murder” remake with Gwyneth Paltrow? She wears Donna Karan’s long pencil skirt and she looks effortlessly chic.” So, take a cue and replace your regular and straight formal skirt with a pencil skirt. Pair it with a checkered shirt, slingback pumps, and ace your power dressing game like a boss.

Note: For office wear, you can pair a classic black pencil skirt with a crisp white blouse. For formal wear, you can pair a long pencil skirt in a luxurious fabric like velvet or satin can be paired with a matching blouse. For casual wear, pairing a denim pencil skirt with a graphic t-shirt and sneakers is trendy.

2. Black Pencil Skirt And Turtleneck Top

Black pencil skirt with turtleneck top
Image: Shutterstock

There’s nothing like a well-fitted outfit – and this one looks suave and slick. Pair a short straight cut black skirt with a turtleneck T-shirt. Neatly tie your hair into a ponytail, and throw on some pumps too.

3. Long Pencil Skirt

Long pencil skirt
Image: Instagram @xomaxiboutique

Thanks to brands like Prada, Fendi, etc. – they brought the long version of the pencil skirt to the runway first, and showed us how it’s done. A long pencil skirt comes to prove that an outfit or a skirt does not have to be short to be sensuous. Wear it to a party and have all heads turning towards you.

4. Leather Pencil Skirt

Leather pencil skirt
Image: Instagram

Try this outfit that looks effortlessly put together. Honestly, you can do this entire look in less than a few minutes, and act as if nothing happened. Tie up the side of an oversized T-shirt, throw on white Converse shoes, and put your hair up in a half bun. Chic, I say!

5. Plaid Pencil Skirt

Plaid pencil skirt
Image: Instagram @thebellastclair

People think pencil skirts need fancy tops, but that’s not true at all. Pick up a plaid pencil skirt, and match it with a plain white or black T-shirt. Tuck it in and do your usual hair and makeup. Wear sandals to keep up with the vibe.

6. Floral Pencil Skirt And Kimono

Floral pencil skirt with kimono
Image: Instagram @just.jenny.k

Most of us are straight-up uncomfortable with the idea of wearing something as defining as a pencil skirt; you don’t have to because there are ways to deal with this. Whether you are plus size and conscious or petite and shy – add layers and definition to your outfit. Go with a floral or a bold color skirt that steers the attention away, but let nothing stop you from donning these outfits, not even yourself.

7. Faux Leather Pencil Skirt

Faux leather pencil skirt
Image: Instagram @novaczenko

Faux leather skirts and trousers are catching up, and for a lot of reasons. But, the point is these look incredibly stylish – wear one of these with a plain white T-shirt, throw on a shrug, and wear pumps. Don’t forget to add accessories like a belt, scarf, or clutch for the finishing touch to your pencil skirt masterpiece.

8. Pencil Skirt And Leather Jacket

Pencil skirt with leather jacket
Image: Shutterstock

Leather jacket, pencil skirt, striped tank, or top with ankle-length booties. This fall, instead of your regular plaid dresses and trench coats, trip on this combination.

9. Pencil Skirt And Crop Top

Pencil skirt with crop top
Image: Shutterstock

If you look at it, this outfit can take you from work to a date night or an after-party in minutes. Go to work in a black skirt, formal shirt, pumps, and a classy necklace. In the evening, change into a crop top – and that’s all it takes. Touch up your makeup maybe? This monochrome pencil skirt outfit hardly needs anything else. If you’re looking for a more modern take, try a brightly colored or patterned pencil skirt with a fitted turtleneck, a classic sweater option, and ankle boots.

protip_icon Quick Tip
If you are short, a high-waist pencil skirt and crop top will be the best choice as they will make you look taller.

10. Pencil Skirt And Sneakers

Pencil skirt with sneakers
Image: Instagram

Target, H&M, Forever 21, Zara and all our favorite stores are filled with the stretchable variant of the pencil skirts. These are oh-so-comfortable, effortless to style, and versatile. Go with bold colors, and all out if you have had enough of the grey, black, and other standard colors. But finish the look with sneakers, and thank me later.

11. Pinstripe Evening Pencil Skirt

Pinstripe pencil skirt for the evening
Image: Instagram

Bodycon and LBDs have been a constant in our lives, plus they ain’t going anywhere. Next time you get an invite to an evening party, try this pinstriped neon skirt. Go with a sequin top, or a muted white top with ruffles that adds definition and elegance. Whatever fits you right – but the point is to experiment and explore. You could even ditch your pumps for wedges for this outfit.

12. Pencil Skirt And Overcoat

Pencil skirt with overcoat
Image: Instagram

Bring simple and every day (but unassuming) colors together to paint a beautiful canvas like this. Make fall colorful, but on your own terms. Go with heels that encompass your feet, and little details like this that marry it all to perfection.

13. Pencil Skirt And Halter Top

Pencil skirt with halter top
Image: Instagram

Headed for a cruise vacation? A resort or to the bay? Pack a pencil skirt in vibrant color and wear a halter neck top or bikini with it.

14. White Shirt And Pencil Skirt

Pencil skirt with white shirt
Image: Shutterstock

A crisp white shirt, tucked into a formal skirt, is just power dressing at its best. You can also go with not-so-obvious colors like blue, plaid or printed because the idea of formal clothing is changing, and at a pace we can’t keep up with if we don’t get onboard.

15. White Pencil Skirt Monochrome Outfit

White pencil skirt
Image: Shutterstock

White monochromes are matchless – try this with a pencil skirt and look prim and on top of your fashion game.

Ivana Split, a blogger, shares 7 outfit ideas with a white pencil skirt. She shares different pairing ideas such as with a ruffled floral shirt, a white blouse, a printed tunic, a pink top, and more that would complement the white skirt well. She adds some insights to the 1st outfit and states, “It could easily be one of my favourite looks this summer. I love pairing this skirt with white items (i).”

16. Blue Pencil Skirt Dress

Blue pencil skirt dress
Image: Instagram

Yes, you heard that right – pencil skirt dresses are a thing. It’s an attached one-piece dress that looks like a matching set. It’s impeccably stylish and something we should all try.

17. Casual Pencil Skirt Outfit

Casual pencil skirt
Image: Instagram @thelazypaizley

Keep it simple, chic, and elegant by bringing these everyday essentials together. Black pencil skirt, graphic T-shirt, and a long sweater to keep you warm in winters.

18. Pencil Skirt And Tank Top

Pencil skirt and tank top
Image: Shutterstock

Next time you have a day out planned with your clan, just throw on your pencil skirt and a tank top. Tuck it in, and complete it with wedges. Style your hair in beachy waves, and take a tote bag along.

19. Sequin Pencil Skirt

Sequin pencil skirt
Image: Shutterstock

The sequin skirt is an excellent choice of outfit for a party. Keep the blouse simple – either a satin spaghetti top, a bodysuit or even a chambray shirt if you like the vibe. Carry a sequin clutch or a side body bag, and sport smokey eyes and nude lipstick.

Wearing a pencil skirt can create a stylish look. But how to wear it to create a stylish look? Scroll down to know.

How To Wear A Pencil Skirt

Follow these few tips to confidently style a pencil skirt for any occasion:

  1. Choose the right fit and make sure the skirt fits well around your hips and waist. It should not be too small, which may create bulges along your stomach or thighs, or too large, which gives you a boxy look.
  2. If you are looking for a pencil skirt for formal occasions, select wool or cotton fabrics. Denim or other informal fabrics like mixed-cotton are suitable for casual events.
  3. You can pair a button-down shirt with a pencil skirt for an office look, or style it with a crop top for a more casual style.
  4. Wearing a thin belt along with a statement necklace and studs can work well to elevate your outfit.

Pencil Skirt Vs. Straight Skirt

Just as the name goes, straight skirts are just in a straight line and come in all lengths; and by now you should know what pencil skirts are! If you are venturing into skirts, start with straight skirts, but progress to pencil skirts, because these are more trendy, stylish, and every girl should try these.

Infographic: 6 Ways To Pull Off Your Formal Look With A Pencil Skirt

Pencil skirts are the most versatile and fashionable clothing item you can own. They complement all body types and are available in countless styles. Whether it’s floral patterns to make you feel feminine or plaids to aid your formal look, these skirts are for everyone. But if you specifically want to rock your formal office looks, check out the infographic for some style inspo. Scroll down!

6 ways to pull off your formal look with a pencil skrit(infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

With the above pencil skirt outfit ideas, you can now be well assured of making a style statement effortlessly. Pencil skirts help you stand tall in a crowd while not appearing too loud or flashy. Suitable for all body types, you can choose the color, fabric, and length of the skirt as per your comfort, fit, and preference. Be it a brunch with friends or a special date night, pick any of the above-listed pencil skirt outfit ideas to steal the limelight.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I wear a pencil skirt if I have a belly?

Yes, a pencil skirt can be worn even if you have a belly. Paola adds, “Many women think if they are curvy they can’t wear a pencil skirt. I suggest wearing it with the right underwear. In my opinion, everybody (not only thin and slender women) should wear shaping underwear under tight clothes or very soft fabrics, such as jerseys. Shaping underwear has the magic power to make us feel better, more confident, alluring, and comfortable at the same time. It helps to reduce the size and to control our body shape, so we can look our best with no effort at all.” However, pencil skirts with detailing like buttons and pockets near the belly are better avoided in this case.

Do pencil skirts make you look thinner?

Yes, pencil skirts can give you an illusion of a thinner body.

Why are they called pencil skirts?

Pencil skirts are named for their shape. They have a long and slim look that resembles a pencil.

What body shape can wear a pencil skirt?

Pencil skirts fit exceptionally well for an hourglass shape.

Key Takeaways

  • Pencil skirts follow a straight, narrowing pattern, usually end before the knees, and can be a part of both formal and casual attires.
  • You can style pencil skirts for work with striped shirts, solid turtlenecks, and solid tops.
  • For pencil skirts that run down to the calf or are longer, crop tops, t-shirts, and kimonos work the best.
  • A sequin pencil skirt paired with a satin spaghetti top, chambray shirt, or bodysuit forms a perfect party look.
  • Solid pumps look sophisticated and chic with a pencil skirt, but you can also style it with sneakers for a comfy and casual look.
19 Best Pencil Skirt Outfit Ideas

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Looking for some chic and sophisticated outfit ideas? Check out this video for ideas on elegant and stylish pencil skirts that will make you look and feel confident in any setting!

Personal Experience: Source

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Paola Farina
Paola FarinaPersonal Stylist
Paola Farina is a personal and event stylist and a certified image consultant with 4 years of experience. She collaborates with individuals and companies. After graduating from classical studies, she won a scholarship from Image Fashion & Communication, the first Italian institute for training professional editors and stylists.

Read full bio of Paola Farina
Pratima Ati
Pratima AtiFashion & Lifestyle Writer
Pratima Ati is a postgraduate in International Business from Staffordshire University. After working in Marketing and Business Development for a few years, she jumped ship to pursue two things she loved – fashion and writing.

Read full bio of Pratima Ati
Shatabdi Bhattacharya
Shatabdi BhattacharyaAssociate Editor
Shatabdi is an associate editor and an alumnus of Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata, where she honed her skills and developed a deep understanding of the world of literature and expression. She has worked with various organizations and websites operating in different industries, ranging from education to lifestyle, showing her adaptability and drive to learn.

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Srijani Roy Chowdhury
Srijani Roy Chowdhury Associate Commerce Editor
Srijani is an associate commerce editor with a master's degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Calcutta, West Bengal. She is certified in makeup techniques and is also a certified style and image consultant.

Read full bio of Srijani Roy Chowdhury