Friday 23 February 2018

How to wear... the pencil skirt

Meghan Markle's favourite silhouette is making a return for spring

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle
Luisa Cerrano shirt, €330 from Arnotts
Marella skirt, €165 from Arnotts
Curved heel courts, €125 by Nine West from Arnotts
Striped Breton, €68, by Studio by Preen from Debenhams
Button detail skirt, €72 by Studio by Preen from Debenhams
Ribbed knit, €34.99 from H&M
Nude courts, €59.99 from H&M
Pink check skirt, €34 from M&S
Bottle green skirt, €55 from M&S
Circle handle bag, €49.95 from Mango
Embellished mohair skirt, €1,690 by Prada from netaporter.com
Navy skirt, €525 by Roland Mouret from Brown Thomas
Structured top, €49 from & Other Stories
Draped blouse, €98 from Topshop
Sequin skirt, €560 by Victoria Beckham from Brown Thomas
Faux leather skirt, €47 from Warehouse
Crew neck knit, €40 from Warehouse
Yara Shahidi
Neck detail shirt, €39.95
Slingback courts, €39.95 from Zara
Belted check skirt, €49.95 from Zara
Pearl stud hoops, €3 from Penneys

Meadhbh McGrath

For many years, the pencil skirt has been a workwear staple - not least for Meghan Markle, whose screen wardrobe for TV show Suits was filled with them.

But the nipped-in shape has more recently become a hallmark of the Trump women, Melania and Ivanka. Whether in gleaming white Michael Kors, gingham Altuzarra or textured pieces from Ivanka's own line, the First Lady and First Daughter are frequently seen wearing pencil skirts, with belted jackets or ultra-feminine blouses.

In response, it seems the fashion world is trying to reclaim the skirt for spring. It was all over the catwalks at fashion week, looking distinctly un-corporate - and un-Trumplike. Victoria Beckham offered sheer organza pastels, Erdem covered skirts in sequins and 3D flowers, while Fendi's skirts were chevron striped and Calvin Klein's rendered in stiff leather.

Good news for those who prefer not to shuffle about in skin-tight skirts: this season's fit is slouchier and more boyish, with the hemline sitting slightly lower than usual, as seen at Prada and Bottega Veneta.

It's the perfect workwear wardrobe refresher for spring, both stylish and practical. Keep the look contemporary by clashing patterns and choosing directional accessories. M&S's pink checked skirt recalls Gucci's runway version, but can be toned down with a ribbed knit and a chic handbag.

We love Zara's bold checks, especially when paired with a smaller print on top, and some block heels or knee-high slouch boots.

Or try a cool black and navy colour clash like Meghan Markle (right) in a Roland Mouret skirt and slim-fit top with contrast stitching for a clean, modern look.

The pencil skirt has definitely wiggled out of the office into eveningwear and even off-duty looks. A sequinned number can be amped up with an elegant draped blouse and slingback heels, or dressed down with an oversized roll-neck and chunky boots.

Blackish actress Yara Shahidi offsets Prada's richly embellished mohair skirt with a graphic sweatshirt and studded hoop earrings. Follow her lead by tucking in a slogan T-shirt or crew neck knit. The result is both relaxed and polished.

While the new longer lengths can be worn with trainers, for shorter women, a pointed toe is your friend, ideally one with a few inches, to elongate the leg. Apple and pear shapes should opt for a skirt that sits higher, and tuck in your top or finish off with a belt to accentuate your waist.

Irish Independent

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