+ Three Ways

Two Ways: Cobalt Pencil Skirt


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Skirt: No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Cotton ($110)

From Left, Earrings: Melinda Maria Marquise Earrings ($98) Ring: Black Enamel Ring ($90) Tights: DKNY Opaque Tights ($15) Shoes: Aldo Boynton Beach Heels ($55) Blouse: DvF Blouse ($353) Bag: Charles Jourdan Satchel ($220)

From Right, Ring: Baroni Jade Ring ($132)  Bag: Tory Burch Penelope Tote ($650) Shoes: Ann Taylor Exotic Pumps ($128) Necklace: Kate Spade Quarry Necklace ($278) Sweater: J.CREW Tippi Sweater ($80)

Now.  For this outfit, I decided to choose the path of least resistance.  Black pairs exceptionally well with cobalt, and this is the kind of easy outfit that you could throw on in a pinch and still look put together.  Just enough of a statement with a bright skirt, but not too much of one.

I chose a sheer blouse to jazz things up with a bit of texture.  Looking for something less expensive?  You could try this collared blouse or this one with Swiss dots, both are under-$75.  Plus size? Here’s an Asos bow blouse and a collared one that are pretty and inexpensive.

If you’re going to supplement with black, you have to go all the way and keep the accessories all black as well.  These gold and black earrings, and gold and black ring bring a hint of shine.  Prefer something less expensive?  These earrings and this bar ring are both under-$10.

I like suede pumps with tights during the winter, it feels a little more “cold weather months” to me, but regular leather would also be fine. I would choose round toe pumps, I think pointed toe shoes look a little severe when worn with tights.

I also love this bag for work and travel.  The details are nice and the size seems good.  $220 isn’t too bad for a bag you could carry every day, but if you’re looking for something cheaper, this Big Buddha bag is $95 and this Calvin Klein tote has a really cool, sophisticated shape for $90.

For the makeup, you need to add a bit of color.  So try a rosy cheek with a pop of your favorite lip color–I’ve been wearing Dior Serum de Rouge in Ruby lately, and I really like it.  It has just the right amount of berry and just the right amount of red.  And for the hair, I would recommend wearing it down with volume at the crown and perhaps a light wave, if your hair can hold onto it.

Later.  Mixing hues in the same shade (in this case, blue) is a great way to incorporate color into your wardrobe if you’re a bit of a color-phobe.  Want a bolder look?  Choose a contrasting color like plum, orange or citron.  Prefer a neutral try grey or khaki.

To pull the shades of blue together, I added this multi-colored Kate Spade necklace that incorporates all the colors of the ocean.  It’s gorgeous but pricey.  In need of something cheaper?  This necklace made of seaglass is $135, this baroque style necklace in cobalt and turquoise is $59 and this seafoam-colored bib is $32.

I could have chosen neutral shoes, probably grey slingbacks, but I wanted to add some punchy color.  You’ll recognize these Ann Taylor exotic leather pumps from yesterday.  If you need something cheaper, try these blackberry-colored open toe shoes or these Anne Klein D’orsay pumps, both under-$75.

To tie the shoes in with the outfit, I added a raspberry-colored ring.  It seemed the right thing to do, to have some unifying element.  If you’re looking for a less expensive one, this faceted ring from Mango is $15 and this awesome, druzy-style ring from Chico’s is $35.

For the hair, I would wear it wavy and pinned up, probably twisted into a low, not-so-perfect bun.  I just think a soft hairdo is your best option here.  For the makeup, a bit of eyeliner, sculpted brows (I like this pencil, but if you need a kit, this one is the best.) and a hint of color on the lips is all you need.



  1. Ann says:

    This would look lovely, but you would be walking around the office in a sheer blouse with nothing underneath or over it. This would not work in my office!

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  2. EmZ says:

    Would you tuck in the blouse or leave it out?

    February 7, 2013/Reply
  3. GoGoGo says:

    Love all that black together. I would give people withering stares all day and take no shit in that outfit.

    February 7, 2013/Reply
  4. Belle says:

    Tuck the Blouse, not the sweater.

    February 7, 2013/Reply
  5. Michelle says:

    belt with the black? Or are belts sliding to oblivion? they seem less on trend now.

    February 7, 2013/Reply
  6. terri says:

    Agreed GoGoGo and that is just what I need today!

    February 7, 2013/Reply
  7. Michele says:

    I bought a cobalt blue pencil skirt that has been sitting, unworn, in my closet since last summer because I had no idea what to wear it with. And I even have an identical black blouse! This is perfect, thank you!

    February 7, 2013/Reply
  8. Belle says:

    Ann-You should be wearing a black tank under this top.

    February 8, 2013/Reply
  9. Emmalu says:

    So really luv your blog-I find so much here to help me with fashion etc.
    I am short and cannot pull off pencil skirts well – I really know what works well on my body and luv fit n flare skirts. Question: where does one find good staple colored f&f skirts in solid colors? I was wanting a navy and cobalt one and would enjoy your answer.
    Also when wearing cotton skirts what named tights are the ones to purchase that don't “pull” on the fabric and you keep trying to pull down all day ( i hate those front bunchies).? Thanks so much.
    Also how does one get your answers? On the blog or on my e-mail? I am new to comments/response. Much thanks in advance.

    February 8, 2013/Reply
  10. Ann says:

    Belle- but then I would be walking around my office in a tank top with a sheer blouse over it. That still is not appropriate in my office. It would have to be a short sleeve shirt underneath, or a blazer over it. I would go the blazer route and take it off for cocktails after work.

    February 8, 2013/Reply