+ Look for Less

10th Commandment: August 27


Raoul Pleat Detail Pencil Skirt ($85)

Long story short, I needed a new pencil skirt to replace one that wore out, and there was no way that I was buying one from J.Crew.  My once beloved Super 120s skirts now require $48 in tailoring to fit properly, and even then, I am unhappy with the quality and the cut.  So when I spotted this Raoul skirt on the sale rack, I thought, “Why not?  Sure, the waist is a bit higher than I usually like it, but I’ll give it a whirl.”

I love it. Seriously, love.

It cost $28 to take in the waist so that it fit perfectly.  Now, it will snugly and securely keep all of my blouses in place.  It also defines my waist in ways I didn’t realize were possible and the fabric has a really nice feel.

I also adore this Reiss skirt that I tried on, and kept as a backup in case the Raoul didn’t work out.  It has a cool notch detail in the back and was VERY slimming.  All I could think was, “When did I lose 10 pounds?”  (Just remember to size up, these are British sizes, after all.)

If you need something under-$75, I would vote for Halogen skirts all the way.  I also tried on Halogen’s leather and ponte skirt last week.  I didn’t buy it, but I’m rethinking that decision.

A plus-size reader tells me that NYDJ makes a heck of a pencil skirt, might be worth a shot.  Petite ladies can try Halogen, or shop at trusty Ann Taylor.



  1. DB says:

    Belle, do you not have problems with the synthetic materials in the summer? I solely try to wear wool/cotton/silk when possible because I’m usually baking on my commute this time of the year (and then it’s nice for a few months, and then there’s a winter coat on top so I’m baking again). While I agree that the J.Crew skirts aren’t what they used to be, I’m struggling to find a good replacement, in the same price range, without the polyester…

    Any tips?

    August 27, 2013/Reply
  2. Diana says:

    DB: Although it can be hit and miss, try Banana Republic for pencil skirts. they often have a linen blend for summer and a light weight wool as well as wool. I got the white sateen one this year and I think it was a good buy.

    August 27, 2013/Reply
  3. Ellen says:


    When are you posting your JCrew rant? I purchased a Super120 skirt this summer, and I think I found better quality at target.

    August 27, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Soon. I want it to be perfect.

      August 27, 2013/Reply