Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle: Pencil Skirts with Pizzazz

Hi Belle,

Can we talk skirts?  I love pencil skirts, but the constant rotation of black, navy, gray, tan is kind of boring.  Could you help me find a couple of skirts with a little…I don’t know…pizzazz?

Thank you! Cayla

Basic pencil skirts are great, but they can get a bit boring.  After a while, it can feel like you’re wearing a uniform.  But never fear, there are more than a few cute ones on the market.


Ann Taylor Dot Jacquard Skirt ($89, also in tall and petite)

This Ann Taylor skirt is such a great option.  It’s a basic color palette in a fun print.  I’d wear it with a striped top and basic pumps.  You could also pair it with a black blazer or a crisp white blouse.  And the elastic waist will help keep your blouses tucked in, always a plus.  Ann Taylor also has this leather-accented skirt.

Boden is another retailer that offers skirts that are more than basic.  They usually have a selection of fun prints and textures in simple shapes.

If you’re not feeling the dots, this fun graphic print from Lafayette is enjoyable.  I also like this $20 black-and-white animal print skirt from JCPenney.


Worthington Pencil Skirt in Tall ($18)

If prints aren’t in your wheelhouse, non-neutral solids are always an option.  Sadly, this Worthington skirt in a gorgeous shade of teal only comes in tall sizes, but it should be a simple alteration to hem it to fit.  This shade looks great with navy, grey, or black.

Other colors to try include shades of plum, which work in any season.  This bright pink Calvin Klein skirt is also a good option for the warm weather months (though I’d lose the black belt). Cobalt is another great option.

Want something really bold?  Metallic pencil skirts are really hot right now.  They’re a great choice for a creative office, or wear them in your off time to dinner or drinks.



  1. SLG says:

    I have an old J. Crew skirt similar to that Ann Taylor one, and I wear it a lot more often than I thought it would. It goes with practically everything (I even saw it styled with a dark gold Fair-Aisle-style sweater once and it looked great). And it’s great just styled with a black sweater and black boots for a “this is a conservative occasion but I wanted to step it up a notch” look.

    January 6, 2015/Reply
  2. Michelle says:

    My issue is that I have tons of skirts, but have a really hard time styling for winter. Hose, or what color tights, and if tights, what color boots? Is black tights/boots the best option for most of these? What if the skirt is a navy blue? Ugh.

    January 6, 2015/Reply
    • Emily says:

      Totally agree! I bought a blue/gray/white patterned wool skirt from BR a couple years ago that I NEVER wear because I don’t know what shoes to pair with it 🙁

      January 7, 2015/Reply
    • Anna says:

      I think mens’ rules could apply here. Brown with navy, black with black, and grey can go either way. I generally consider if the colors I’m wearing are cool or warm. If they’re cool, I’ll pair with black, warm with brown.

      January 7, 2015/Reply
  3. Caroline says:

    I don’t have a problem with patterned and brightly colored pencil skirts, so I have plenty of options there. But what about work-appropriate pants? I have a black pair, a grey pair, and a tan pair. Despite being more of a skirt person I feel like I should have more variety in pants, but I can’t think of another color that’s flattering and professional looking. Suggestions?

    January 6, 2015/Reply
    • Anne says:

      Navy or burgundy are also good neutrals, especially when paired with winter whites.

      January 7, 2015/Reply