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Pencil Skirt: the Epitome of Elegance

Saturday, 14 August 2010

pencil skirtCarine Roitfeld, the editor of French Vogue, once said that contemporary designers have forgotten how to design a perfect pencil skirt: it's either shorter or longer than its classic counterpart while the perfect length is at the knee or up to two inches below, but never above. Besides, the fit is almost never right, and wrong fit for your body looks funny and the wrong length make your legs look stubby.  Meanwhile, once you've found the perfect pencil skirt, you can forget about problems finding something to wear: in addition to being a wardrobe staple, a pencil skirt is an indispensable attribute of a lady that will form the basis for many different, yet elegant outfits.

Like the little black dress, the pencil skirt never goes out of fashion. It was introduced in the late 1940-s by the French designer Christian Dior who used the term H-line to describe its shape, trimming the skirt into a new silhouette that hugs the hips and follows the curve of the leg, stopping just at or above the knee. It quickly became very popular, particularly for office wear. This success was due to women's desire for new fashions in the wake of the drudgery of the Second World War coupled with the austere economic climate, when fabrics were expensive and still rationed, and full-skirted garments were seen as wasteful. It again became popular for business women in the 1980s, as part of the power suit style of dressing, and has remained a popular mainstream fashion choice ever since.

Pencil Skirt Wearing Tips

This season, the favorite is the pencil skirt, which evokes a vintage feel when worn with a shrunken jacket or cropped cardigan and high heels, pearls or a brooch. This year, designers have added details to the skirt. Many skirts have additional straps, reaching from the hip-belt over the hips, around the waist or even connecting the bra and belt.

If Christian Louboutin may be rightfully called le Maitre of the fashionable footwear, in the case of pencil skirt, this title goes to the American designer Donna Karan. Owing to Karan, pencil skirt as we know it today is one of the women wardrobe staples. Stylish pencil skirt designs prevail in both autumn-winter and spring-summer Donna Karan collections which is only logical as this is a highly wearable and combinable piece of clothing.

Most women today are used to pencil skirts and know how to walk in them. They come in such a wide variety of fabrics such as cotton, cotton jersey, rayon, wool for wintertime, linen and cashmere; you have many choices to choose the skirt of your dreams. They make a fabulous choice for winter wear as they hold the legs closer together and will make you warmer.

In winter, the pencil skirt made can be worn with elegant up collar blouse, with the waist accentuated by a narrow belt, a warm jacket or a classic suit jacket. The chaste and simple cut of pencil skirts in the winter Donna Karan collection balanced with colorful tops - jackets in rich chocolate, bright red and blue hues.

Tweed checks and leopard prints are this fall's top choices in fabrics and patterns. Geometric prints are very popular this year, as abstract shapes always accentuate. It has become a top pattern choice for trendy young women who want to stand out on the high street in elegant knee-length pencil skirts. Short-length boots are a fashionable footwear addition to complement the outfit.

However, pencil skirt fits perfectly into spring and summer wear, too, as proven by Donna Karan who offers a combination of lighter fabrics skirts of delicate pastel shades with sheer blouses, their flowing feminine cut accentuated by the delicate ruches.

Despite its longer hem, however, the pencil skirt isn't necessarily meant to be modest. It's sexy when it tightly hugs the body or is made of sensual fabrics and worn with fishnet stockings. Chiffon silk and lycra are no doubt the suitable material to endow the already charming shape with more sexy wildness. The hottest trend is the romantic retro style. The extremely wearable tight sweater and pencil skirt, combined with some understated embroidery, is a popular accent on delicate style. Colors like lavender, peach, black, pale yellow and pink match go well with soft fabrics. Since femininity is still the dominant influence, you can add more ladylike clothes to your wardrobe with everything from lace-up boots to cameo jewelry and strong colors like red and blue.

Elegant pencil skirt designs were showcased in the collections of many other designers. For example, Giambattista Valli showed a series of tweed skirts, making them part of the classic fall wear. High waist was accentuated by a wide leather belt. British designer Giles Deacon introduced several pencil skirt styles of bright shiny fabrics in his collection for spring-summer 2010, giving techno-chic flair to the classic pencil skirt, while Stefano Pilati, creating a spring collection for Yves Saint Laurent, chose thin black leather for his pencil skirts, offering the forever hot contrast of black bottom and white top. Loewe also used leather as a material for their pencil skirt designs. The originality of the leather texture in combination with a simple black top made the pencil skirt a highlight of the Loewe collection.

Several pencil skirt designs can be spotted in Sonia Rykiel spring-summer collection where it is the basis for a formal suit. In the interpretation of Nathalie Rykiel women's formal suit got flirty details: a wide belt with big buckle, and tiny pockets.

A pencil skirt is quite versatile and with the right accessories and coordination, you can easily transform it from a typical, basic librarian look into something more chic and sleek!

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