Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Style Essentials 5: The Pencil Skirt

What is a pencil skirt?
Pencil skirts are very similar in construction to straight skirts, but they narrow slightly towards the hem, resulting in a slim and narrow shape. That narrowness means that they need a vent or slit at the back (less commonly at the sides) or a pleat, to allow movement.
I often see straight skirts and even A-line skirts announced as pencil skirts, but the silhouette they create is completely different, much more body-conscious, even curvaceous.
Pencil skirts are absolute style essential for Body type Bs and Cs, while Body type As will benefit more from choosing a straight or slight A-line skirt (See below).

Style Essential 5: The Pencil Skirt

Pencil Skirt by Caroline Grant. White on top and bottom creates an AUL and makes the emerald green shine.
A thin belt could be added to the skirt, but rather tone on tone: you already have a necklace on.
The flounces over the shoulders in the blouse are discreet enough for those with wide shoulders, although they will not be the most flattering for people who carry weight on the upper arms. The slight vertical line does not add volume and at the same time compensates for the high waist in terms of giving a longer length to the torso.
The black and white necklace makes the accessory less predictable or matchy-matchy than other options (metallic or white).

L'WREN SCOTT High-Waisted Pencil Skirt / Green Falbala Round Neck Puff Sleeve Chiffon Top / Reiss Liotta Stitch Detail Leather Jacket / Nine West Women's Kimery Dress Pump Shoes / Caroline Charles Handbag / Monies NecklaceKate Spade New York Stud Earrings / River Island Paper Braid Fedora Hat / Tom Ford Lipstick in Scarlet Rouge / Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Carnal Red.

Styling tips for Body type B
The ideal for Body type Bs when dressing is to make their waist the focal point. Also, they will look their best not hiding their natural contours and keeping their body line long (optimally, by using monochromatic and tonal colour combinations).
Pencil skirts are actually Body type Bs best bet in skirts, with some requirements:
  1. No waistband or a small contoured one (a straight waistband will stick out) hitting at natural waist.
  2. A high-waisted style with no waistband or one you can add a thin belt to, but taking care not to make the torso look shorter: choose a crew , ballerina or boat neckline top instead of a V or U neckline. Check your proportions in the mirror!
  3. Worn at knee length, just below or just above.
  4. Medium-weight fabrics with drape that skim over their curves. Light-weight fabrics will show everything underneath, so take that into account when choosing underwear (full coverage is the best option). Heavy weight materials will add volume, so proceed with care.
  5. Slightly tapered at the hem to keep the curvy (as opposed to creating a straight line) silhouette.
  6. Always choose a back slit skirt. Check that it does not go too further up and reveal everything when you lean forwards.
Styling tips for Body type Cs
One of the tips to achieve Body type C's best silhouette is to create definition at the waist and elongating their torso, especially if they are short-waisted or carry a significant amount of weight there. The second is to soften their shoulder line.
Pencil skirts can help with that if you choose one with a cut and pattern that help create the illusion of a balanced, curvier silhouette.
That means:
  1. A style that can be worn at the low waist.
  2. No waistband.
  3. Fabrics in any weight, although clingy ones may reveal too much and make your bottom flat. In contrast with Body type Bs, a bouclé wool would be a good option for them.
  4. A hem hitting just below the knee to accentuate your legs.
  5. A slightly tapered hemline (to maintain the illusion of a curvier silhouette).
Styling tips for Body type A
Their best option is not a pencil skirt but a straight one with a small or no waistband, worn at natural or low waist. A top hitting at high hip, will help creating a longer body line.

Check the labels Body type A, Body type B and Body type C. They are easy to understand silhouettes that will help you navigate the blog.

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