Fall Fashion Trends: Pencil Skirts

The vintage trend for Fall is in full swing and pencil skirts are taking store shelves by storm. Although designer runway shows focused more on the full skirt when highlighting the 1950’s trend, store buyers have opted to stock the shops with the pencil skirt. Perhaps buyers did not think Fashionistas were ready for the full skirt? One has to wonder since Fashionistas seem to be very excited about the vintage trend for Fall. Although full skirts are over-shadowed by pencils skirts, full skirted dresses are everywhere and might the full skirts warm-up entrance into Fashion for the upcoming Spring season.

The pencil skirt is a 1930’s and 1950’s style that offers a high level of sophistication to a woman’s wardrobe. Pencil skirts can be worn in conjunction with the minimalism look for the office or spiced up with the luxe look of the 1950’s for a dinner date or theater outing. The pencil skirt can also be played up for daytime casual looks with a chunky knit sweater, military boots and 1970s handbag.

Pencil skirts have been swinging in and out of fashion every eight years or so; much like the natural economic cycle. For some reason, they seem to enjoy a resurgence during the down cycle, rather than the up cycle. Coincidence perhaps? The last time Fashionistas flocked to stores for pencil skirts was in the late 1990’s just before the dot-boom raised real estate prices and salaries to unsustainable levels. Perhaps the pencil skirt is favored by designers during recessionary times due to the fact that is it simple, easy to sew and provides a staple wardrobe piece for women that can be worn casual or dressy with different tops, shoes and accessories. The pencil skirt is also practical enough for the office yet flirty enough for a evening out.

Designers such as Chanel, Valentino, Loro Piana, Dolce & Gabbana, Nina Ricci, and Stella McCartney are showing pencil skirts for Fall in fabrics from gabardine to lace to satin to leather. The pencil skirt length is varying from barely touching the top of the knee to barely gracing the bottom of the knee cap. This offers two lengths for Fashionistas who are not interested in visiting the alterations shop. In general, women under 5’4″ should opt for the top of the knee cap while taller women can wear the longer style without worrying about looking short.

Pencil skirts can be found in complicated fabrics such as lace and they can also be found in simple and timeless fabrics such as polyester and gabardine. If you are looking for something uncommon, it is worth spending money for an unusual or luxurious fabric. If you are looking for a pencil skirt that is timeless and simple, there are plenty of shops that offer inexpensive pencil skirts in basic colors and fabrics which will make the perfect addition to your wardrobe. Banana Republic has pencil skirts in black, grey and tan for under $100 at regular price, if you find one on sale the price could be under $30. Target has pencil skirts for under $30, but beware of the fabric and look for dark colors such as black. Inexpensive fabric looks better in darker colors. You might also try to shop your closet. The pencil skirt was huge in the late 1990’s and you might find one in the back of your closet. The pencil skirt is a great addition to any women’s wardrobe and worth investing in for this Fall. Happy shopping and stay fabulous.


Christian Siriano Fall 2010 Pencil Skirt, leather jacket and lady bag.
Photo Credit: Sessilee Lopez