Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fashion on a Budget: The high-waisted pencil skirt

Unless you've been hiding under a rock during the languid days of late summer, you've probably noticed that the high-waisted pencil skirt is one of the fashion must-haves going into fall. I admit, this classic spin on the traditional pencil has definitely caught my eye, in both fashion mags and store windows alike. Why? The sleek silhouette of the high-waisted pencil accentuates everything that's great about being a woman while at the same time retaining a conservative edge. The result is alluring, to say the least. Think seductive secretary Joan Hollaway a la Mad Men.

I'm a sucker for the pencil skirt (I own close to 10, in different variations), but I'm disappointed to see the dearth of high-waisted pencils worn by women in my area. The most I've seen any in one location is when lunchtime rolls around in DC's financial district and various working women (including moi!) model our latest fashions down our runway that is 18th Street. Granted, I know many feel they can't pull off this look, but you can and it doesn't take a size 2 body to look great in. Quite contrary, pencil skirts look absolutely divine on curves. All it takes is some self-confidence and a little pocket change ... you want to be a trendsetter, don't you?

Below I've put together six outfits. The first are three outfit ideas using a single skirt:

Outfit on the left:
  • Black high-waisted pencil, Charlotte Russe, $19.99 (used in all three outfits)
  • Red clutch, Target, $22.99
  • Striped blouse with bow, Charlotte Russe, $24.99
  • Black pumps, GoJane.com, $15.99
  • Black sunglasses, American Eagle, $12.99 (also used in outfit on right)
Outfit in the middle:
  • Pink sleeveless blouse, Forever 21, $12.99
  • White handbag, Target, $25.99
  • Tan patent pumps, Charlotte Russe, $22.99
  • Beige sunglasses, GoJane.com, $5.99
Outfit on the right:
  • Black chiffon scarf, Scarfworld.com, $11
  • Striped black and white top, Forever 21, $12.99
  • Red RSVP peep-toe pumps, Zappos.com, $70
  • Red knockoff Balenciaga motorcycle bag, FashionJunkie.com, $58 (pssst, the real thing costs $1,799!!)
All are perfect for everyday situations, from work to play to grocery shopping. (Yes, these outfits would even look adorable doing something as mundane as grocery shopping. Look out, Trader Joe's!)

And if you want some variation to your high-waisted endeavor:

Outfit on the left:
  • Black pencil with belt, Charlotte Russe, $19.99
  • White shirt, Old Navy, $10.50
  • Black bow pumps, TopShop.com, $120 (also used in outfit on right)
Outfit in the middle:
  • Khaki pencil skirt, Target, $39.99
  • Pink silk keyhole top, Old Navy, $9.99
  • Creme woven belt, Forever 21, $6.99
  • Bamboo cube clutch, Ebags.com, $55
  • Peep toe flower wedges, GoJanes.com, $15.99
Outfit on the right:
  • Leopard pencil skirt, Newport News, $39
  • Black sweetheart top, Forever 21, $12.99
For the latter three outfits, the sunglasses from the first three outfits can be used, along with mixing shoes and bags as you see fit.

And just because you're all fabulous, I'll let you in on the Michael Kors khaki trench I own, which I found today for cheap ($99 compared to $165) on Overstock.com:

This trench will go with all aforementioned outfits and fits as though it's been individually tailored -- perfect for fall. Very timeless, very chic -- think Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's.


Anonymous said...

I thought the first three outfits were a little blah, but I guess that's coz they're for work, right? :) Wasn't sure I was going to try a high-waisted pencil skirt until I saw the latter three combinations, all of which I absolutely LOVED. So sexy and yet still classy! The silk keyhole top from Old Navy is really cute! Only $10?? I have to see if they have my size...

Anonymous said...

Sigh. I love pencil skirts, but I'm horrendously short-waisted.

Oh well, I was still inspired to see some of those tops. I can't believe I missed those keyhole tops at Old Navy! (I was there loading up on $6 tank tops and a couple of $10 henley shirts.) I really love that sweetheart top! Forever 21 here I come!

Budget Mama said...

I do love those trench coats. I also like the pencil skirt and that keyhole top from old navy. Great deals!

Colombian Coffee said...

I love all of your ideas. I go to Old Navy a lot for inexpensive work clothes. They look great and you save a lot.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the high-waist skirts & trousers. I didn't think they were for me since I'm voluptuous, but after experimenting with the look, I was amazed! I just had to play with it and see what I was comfortable with. I love how the high-waist accentuates my curves.

I must add, if your "girls" are full, be sure to break out the support!

Anonymous said...

I myself are a sucker for the pencil skirt. Great finds. It looks like I may have to check out Charlotte Russe again. I had given up on that store a while ago.

kokostiletto said...

oh wow your examples are great! yes i LOVE pencil skirts! they are so chic, trendy and sexy ! yet they make you look skinnier!!!!!!!! i own 3! but now i want more!

andrea said...

im not a big fan of pencil skirts, even though i know theyre slimming

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