When I was teaching I tried to dress professionally and fashionably, but I sometimes found myself in a style rut. I mean, the last thing I wanted to do in the morning was try on outfits or think about what to wear. (NEED. COFFEE.) So coming up with outfit formulas just made things easier. One of my favorite combinations was a black pencil skirt and button-up shirt with heels. Super-simple, but the key was in mixing up the patterns: striped top and floral heels, plaid shirt and leopard print shoes, polka dot blouse with snakeskin booties, etc. It’s a more interesting—and modern—way to wear a plain black skirt.
The Best-Fitting Pencil Skirt
I do find that it’s really hard to find pencil skirts that fit well. On my body they’re usually too tight in the hips and booty or super-loose in the waist. (Not to mention that they’re almost always too long for my 5’4″ frame.) So I’m loving the stretch knit of this pull-on pencil skirt; it has enough give so you don’t feel constricted, but is tight enough to not ride up in the waist. (There’s no tight elastic waistband, either, so no muffin top in this one.) The best part is that it comes in regular and petite sizes for the perfect length.
shirt: Express Portofino – My favorite nursing-friendly shirt that comes in a ton of colors, patterns and fits (the slim fit is especially perfect for tucking in). This plaid pattern is sold out, but they’re always coming out with new colors and patterns for each season . . . like this cat print, this skeleton print or this spider print, which are ESPECIALLY perfect for teachers during Halloween season (this skull print is perfect for Día de los Muertos). And if you really like the red and black plaid, this short sleeve button up is a close substitute.
skirt: Vince Camuto Pull-On Pencil Skirt – In regular and petite sizes, this is my all-time favorite black pencil skirt, because it’s stretchy and comfortable, and doesn’t ride up.
heels: Sam Edelman d’Orsay Pump – A lower walkable heel in a print that goes with everything. LOVE.
bag: Lily Jade – So technically this is a diaper bag, but it easily doubles as a teacher bag — I’ve had it for years and it’s held up really well. I especially love the fact that it converts to a (hands-free!) backpack.
Black Pencil Skirt, 5 Ways
Here are some more mix-print ideas to modernize your black pencil skirt:
Top Left: Floral Print Shirt | Gingham Pumps
Top Right: Camo Print Shirt | Snake Print Pumps
Middle Left: Polka Dot Blouse | Leopard Print Pumps
Middle Right: Leopard Print Blouse | Snake Print Shoes
Bottom: Polka Dot Blouse | Leopard Print Shoes
*ALL of the Portofino shirts featured here are on sale! Some are 50% off, some are part of a buy one, get one 50% off promo and others are on clearance + and extra 50% off in cart.
A huge thank you to Emma for her amazing photography! It’s always such a pleasure working with you!
Scotti, I love this idea! This is one of my favorite of your posts ever. I love the combinations you chose and especially the gingham pumps. Also, is this the makeup look you explained in your other recent post (sans dramatic lip)? Looks great!