Friday, February 22, 2013

Thinking Outside the (Pencil & Crayon) Box


          La jupe crayon or the pencil skirt -- it's not really important which language one uses -- we all know that bottom hugging, reputedly flattering to all figures number is supposed to take pride of place in our wardrobes, even when it shouldn't, some French arbiters of style maintain.
                          So, what do you think? How about one of each?






We say pencil, they say crayon (well, a crayon is a pencil in French), but we're talking about the same skirt.

         In my many interviews, some of the smartest French style consultants believe we should perhaps rethink flirty skirts which they believe can be more forgiving, more feminine, more fun.

Belting an ultra-feminine skirt takes it down a notch to a more sophisticated, less frou-frou look. Now it can be worn to work.


         They are very pretty floating around the legs and they encourage loping if one is so inclined. At the very least my experts say, "no woman should be without one or two" as a change of pace.

         Float-y/flowing skirts also add a softness to tailored separates: think leather jacket, turtleneck sweater, even a strict man's shirt and they do draw attention to pretty legs.


         If one has a small waist, largish hip ratio, sewn down pleats over the hips spilling out into pleats can be extremely flattering.

In order for a pencil skirt to "work" it must cup the derriere, which poses the obvious question: How many of us really have a derriere that meets the challenge cup?
         Sometimes pencil skirts can seem severe, restrictive while those flirty numbers can be so pretty as they move with a breeze and a carefree gait. What do you think?

22 comments:

Barbara Lilian said...

I love both styles, but being on the short side, I find it difficult to find a flirty skirt the right length,which I feel should be just below the knee. I'm looking for a nice flirty skirt at this moment for a special occasion, but not having much success.

Young at Heart said...

I love a pencil....less so a pleat......but also v keen on an A-line too......but a pencil skirt just makes me feel grown up and sexy!!

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

It's funny that you should mention pencil skirts Tish ..... I have just retrieved a black one from the back of the wardrobe and have worn it for the last couple of days. I have been so used to the skater-type of skirt that I was pleasantly suprised at the silhouette it gives. XXXX

vicki archer said...

The easy answer is to have both...:) Love a little flirty... love a little 'crayon'.... :) xv

Duchesse said...

Ah, pencils. You need very good legs to wear one or if not, tall boots. The eye goes straight to the leg. You can kind of cheat with tights, but I find the pencil quite demanding.

And a tight pencil will eventually rip at the seam, and some seams, like centre front cannot be successfully repaired. There is a pencil with a pleat or small godet that is more forgiving.

In informal poll reveals that men adore pencil skirts on women, no matter if the woman does not have a small seat.

Duchesse said...

Ah, pencils. You need very good legs to wear one or if not, tall boots. The eye goes straight to the leg. You can kind of cheat with tights, but I find the pencil quite demanding.

And a tight pencil will eventually rip at the seam, and some seams, like centre front cannot be successfully repaired. There is a pencil with a pleat or small godet that is more forgiving.

In informal poll reveals that men adore pencil skirts on women, no matter if the woman does not have a small seat.

knitpurl said...

Nice that men "adore pencil skirts", but I have tons more self confidence in something flared and flirty. With a great pair of shoes (heels, of course)it's a great look. As has been posted above, to find the right skirt is a whole other topic. xoxoC.

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Both look very chic. Like Duchesse mentions one does need great gams to really carry off this look. Like Barbara I am short so the flirty skirt must be in proportion or it overwhelms my frame.
I have both styles and in black so they do work especially with boots. Black is very forgiving isn't it?
I imagine you will be pottering about in your garden this weekend. It's raining buckets here keeping the grass green and the bulbs are popping up!

D. A. Wolf said...

Oh, I love these options, Tish!

As for the flowy, flirty skirts, if one is short, the hem length not to mention the placement of most of the flairing fabric becomes critical. Those vertical stripes certainly help!

As a "petite" woman (1m50 ... à peine !) - only select flaring, flowing skirts will work on me. But pencil skirts? I have found them to be flattering at a variety of sizes (oh, those post-pregnancy years when the weight just won't come off)... and, at any stature.

Again, we Lilliputians need to be extremely careful about hem length, though I've found slightly longer skirts of any sort are fabulous with a gorgeous boot.

And a red pencil skirt?

A must!

Murphy said...

Well, I'm all for the flirty shape, although a-lines are nice too. I actually am one of the shapes that style books are always saying should wear a pencil, but I've only ever had one or two in my life that I felt comfortable in. If I could find another like them, I might wear them again. I think my issue is that I have a long stride, and I have a hard time remembering to rein it in. Also you have to be more conscious of how you sit in a pencil.
As you might imagine, I wear pants A LOT of the time!

mette said...

I own neither, but if I h a d to buy a skirt, I´d opt for a tulip shape.

That's Not My Age said...

I rarely wear skirts these days but I actually prefer the flirty to the pencil. Less restrictive, more fun.

SE said...

When I found a lovely flirty skirt last summer from Ann Taylor- not too much fabric, flattering cut- I had a hard time not wearing it every single day. It was cool, easy, could dress up, dress down... I've never felt that way about my pencil skirts.

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Karen Albert said...

Hi Tish,
I really like the black/or charcoal and white pleated/ very smart.

Love pencil skirts with tights; they must have a longish slit in back or you cannot move.

xoxo
Karena
2012 Artists Series

Amelia said...

Love flirty skirts. I wear them with fitted tee shirts in the summer. Makes me feel feminine and light.

Blue Shed Thinking said...

I rarely wear skirts. Two reasons - assorted injuries have left me with scars, lumps & bumps on my shins and a mis-shapen ankle. And I like to be able to move freely, not being constricted by my clothes. Hence my usual attire is trousers and flat boots. When I do wear a skirt, it's A line with long boots. The second red skirt would be perfect.

The enchanted home said...

I do not wear skirts often at all but when I do I opt for a straight cut, not necessarily as severe as a pencil though I do find them flattering, just not terribly comfy!!
I think for me, its all about finding what style best suits your body. I am all for dressing to make me look 5 (or 10 even better) pounds lighter!

Joni said...

I can't recall the last time I actually wore a skirt. If I did, though, I'd go for the pencil skirt because anything else looks frumpy on my 5' 2" frame.

Christina said...

I feel 10 lbs thinner in an A-line.

tweedlibrarian said...

I prefer pencil skirts because I like a tailored look and they make me look slimmer. I usually don't find them difficult to wear but I was recently in a friend's sports car and getting in and out of the low seat was a challenge!


Mazl said...

Love the longer length flirty skirt. With pencils I have yet to find one that fits my waist and my hips. If it fits the hips the waist gapes, if it fits the waist the hips are impossibly tight. I have a lovely longer length grey flirty skirt that looks good with grey suede knee length boots.

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