Thanks to the Spring '13 runways from Derek Lam, Altuzarra, and Erdem (to name a few), we've embraced the pencil skirt as far more than an office staple. The ultrafeminine classic is getting a new lease on life via fresh florals, lace trim, brilliant hues, and, ahem subtly sexy slits, which means you'll be thinking of about a hundred other ways you can wear it — when you're not at your desk. The bonus with the pencil skirt is that it's hardly season-specific. The silhouette lends itself just as easily to tights and ankle boots as it does to bare legs and your favorite heels. So no matter what the weather — or where you're headed — we pretty much guarantee these skirts are a smart investment for your work wardrobe and beyond. Click on to shop the 13 we're eying right now.
Peplum is a huge Hollywood trend right now, and you can wear it many ways: casually glam like Ashley Madekwe did in LA, or professionally chic like actress America Ferrera's style in NYC. She paired a purple Elie Tahari peplum top — here are the black and aqua versions ($248) — with a black pencil skirt and purple suede Ash pumps. A simple gold bracelet and stud earrings completed her feminine and sleek look. Either invest in America's exact top in black or aqua, or get this similar ASOS peplum top ($38) to match with your pencil skirts for work.
Jordana Brewster flew to London to promote her new series Dallas, and we can't stop staring at the sweet ensemble she chose for her daytime appearance. The actress paired a sleeveless pink top with a matching printed brocade pencil skirt, both by Dolce & Gabbana, then finished off with gray suede Jimmy Choo sandals, a black Kotur clutch ($595), and a few sparkly baubles. We've already established that brocade jackets are amazing, and now we're totally sold on brocade skirts. Jordana's ensemble would turn heads at a fancy luncheon or bridal shower and even at the office with a blazer. All you need is an equally smashing brocade skirt — check out the chic selection at ShopStyle — a matching top, and killer heels. To toughen up your brocade, match it with a leather top and booties for night.
Kate Beckinsale nailed the colorblocking trend by tucking a coral tank into a blue pencil skirt, both by Diane von Furstenberg, then adding a little edge via spiked Christian Louboutin pumps while promoting her new movie Total Recall in Ireland. The brunette beauty accessorized her brights with celebrity-approved white sunglasses, Melinda Maria drop pyramid earrings ($80) — available for pre-order — and a high ponytail. Re-create Kate's bright colorblock ensemble with a coral tank, blue pencil skirt, and embellished pumps for a professional, yet playful look.
Courteney Cox was spotted in NYC's SoHo neighborhood working a floral pencil skirt with black Pedro Garcia ankle-strap wedges — here's the tan pair ($450). She kept the rest of her outfit simple via a black scoop tank, a black leather bag, a Kindred Stones zodiac necklace, and gold hoop earrings. What's great about Courteney's look is that it can just as easily work for the office as it can for a Summer party. You can also throw on a white blazer for a fresh take or swap the black tank for bright yellow for a flashier twist. Then come Fall, your floral pencil skirt can brave the chill with tights, a black turtleneck, and a fabulous trench coat. To get Courteney's look, shop similar pieces below.
What's amazing about accessories is that they can really change an outfit. Just take a look at Rashida Jones in Altuzarra at a Los Angeles Film Festival party in LA. Without her coin belt, her printed pencil skirt and black plunge top would have been fine, but not as dazzling. But with it, her look went from office to party. Of course, her Jimmy Choo black Loila sandals ($975) and cocktail ring helped, too. If you've been wanting a new twist on your pencil skirts, look to Rashida and consider topping them with a flashy coin belt. You can even keep your belt in the drawer of your desk at work and throw it on over your ensemble for after-work drinks. To get Rashida's look, shop similar pieces, including her exact shoes, below.
During the promotional tour for The Amazing Spider-Man, Emma Stone has been on a chic fashion streak, working the most lust-worthy looks including this right-off-the-runway Burberry Prorsum ensemble. Emma tucked her navy-and-olive striped blouse into a black ruffled pencil skirt, then slipped on a pair of red patent Brian Atwood pumps and a turquoise statement necklace to seal her stunning Seoul style. Perfectly sleek locks, a few gold Jennifer Meyer accessories, and au naturel makeup polished off her impeccable look. Work a similar striped top, black pencil skirt, red pumps, and a statement bib necklace to re-create Emma's classic look, fit for the boardroom or happy hour.
If you're taking Spring's affinity for all things ladylike to heart, then surely you've taken stock of the season's most shoppable ultrafeminine silhouettes. From dainty collar details to full-skirted dresses, it's all about indulging our girlier side. To keep this trend fresh and just a little bit funky, we've honed in on the form-flattering pencil skirt — scouting out the prettiest, and some of the boldest, printed versions we could find. Dolce & Gabbana sent vibrant veggie-themed skirts down the runway, Prada fired up its leather-infused pencil shape with flames emblazoned on the hem, and Peter Pilotto took bright to the next level with its plethora of cool digital print iterations. The fun, and sometimes fantastical, designs do the work for you, so styling's super simple — just add slick heels and a breezy topper. Want to snag your perfect printed pencil skirt? Shop our top picks in the slideshow now.
January Jones and Solange Knowles are in two different cities — New York City and Austin — but they're on the same fashion wavelength. While out and about in NYC, January sported a bright blue pencil skirt, while Solange popped up at SXSW in an equally loud red knit skirt. Two totally opposite vibes, both fabulous in their own ways. If you have a ton of bright skirts just sitting in your closet, step inside to get ideas on how to work them in two different ways for upcoming Spring.
Let's be real: the body types that walk the runway aren't necessarily the ones that walk the streets — so it can sometimes be daunting to find fashion trends that will actually work for your figure. Luckily, Spring's runways showed some universally pleasing trends that have the potential to suit any shape — and there are surprisingly easy ways to make them work for your real life. First up: cutout shoulders. There's really no easier or faster way to show off toned arms and lend a bit of sex appeal to your look. Click through to see more of Spring's most flattering silhouettes, and get tips on how to try them yourself.