I don’t usually advocate for the hi-lo hem, but I keep looking at the skirt. I think the more structured, bell shape gives it a tailored look. I also like the higher waist as an alternative to the traditional cut.
Not feeling the hi lo, but want a black skirt that’s not a pencil? Try a flared cut or perhaps, a full midi-skirt. Some pleats might also be nice. Maybe a slit skirt is right up your alley– side-slit for the conservative woman and front slit for something more daring. Or try a tulip shape for a fuller skirt that still has a bit of sleekness to it.