How Not to Wear a Pencil Skirt

Pencil skirt hemlines should hit at your knee.

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Pencil skirts create a slim hourglass silhouette that's subtle enough for the office and sexy enough for a dinner date. This fashion staple is versatile and easy to wear, but there are some crucial do's and don'ts. Make sure you know the most common pencil skirt mistakes so you can select the right skirt to showcase your shape.


Length is key. Don't wear a pencil skirt that's too long or too short. Pencil skirts should hit right at your knee or just below it. Too long, and your legs will look short and chunky. A pencil skirt that's too short isn't appropriate for business and won't give you that leggy silhouette.


Stay away from super-tight pencil skirts. The fabric should hug your hips and legs, but it shouldn't strain. A snug fit is fine --- needing to suck in your stomach to zip up the skirt is not. Make sure you can comfortably walk and sit down in the skirt, too. Most pencil skirts have slits to make this easier, and some have some stretch in the fabric.


Don't let VPL -- visible panty lines -- spoil your outfit. You can't always tell by looking in the mirror, so have a friend check while you walk or wear a slip or thong to be sure.


Avoid light-colored pencil skirts if you have full hips or a curvy bottom. A dark-colored pencil skirt --- such as black or navy --- will slim your shape while showing off your curves. Dark-colored pencil skirts are also most flattering on petite women because they make your legs look longer.


Don't choose a pencil skirt if you're trying to camouflage large hips or thighs. Pencil skirts make your curves look alluring, but if you really want a looser silhouette, look for an A-line, flared or circle skirt.

Tips & Tricks


A great pair of heels makes your legs look even longer, but pencil skirts also work with flats.


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