Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pencils Come From Pennsylvania

Pencil Skirt Galore!
I love me a good pencil skirt! But lately, I've been droning on and on about skirt length, knee caps, and the proverbial flats-heels difference. Let's explore those feelings.

These spreads from the J.Crew Aug 2012 (right) and Sept 2012 (left) Style Guides showcase the inspiration behind my celebration of all skirts pencil!

The No. 2 Pencil Skirt (left), as worn by this unrealistically tall model, fits ideally for a slimming and lengthening look:
sits at waist, hits at knee. Boom.
The heather acorn Sterling Skirt (right) looks lovely paired with camel hues.

The ideal skirt length undergoes peri-patellar variation from season to season. For example, J.Crew put out some long pencil skirts last spring that hit below the knee.  The ideal skirt length also depends on the wearer's height, and whether said height has received boosting by high-heeled footwear. Skirting with long lengths = teetering on edge of danger, as in too-long a skirt can make one's legs appear short and stubby. A good skirt length also probably depends on one's torso:legs ratio, but that is just getting too technical!

Top row: my shorter skirts hit above the knee
Bottom row: my longer skirts mostly hit mid-knee
I tried to standardize the pictures by selecting those in which I am wearing ~2.5" heels. You're welcome.
Skirt Casting:
TOP Vietnam | Anthro Just Right | Anthro Paisley Paths | J.Crew Pencil (2011) | J.Crew Feathered Paisley
BOTTOM Vietnam | Anthro San Pedro | Target | Anthro Trenchcoat | Zara

Wow, I sure own a lot of pencil skirts! And the above smattering doesn't even include my new acquisitions

And now, the adventurous installment of my post...altering my J.Crew pencil skirt in the wee hours of the night!!

I let out the hem by an inch. The back pleat was especially tricky, but nothing that some heavy-handed ironing can't fix!
Comparing with the sterling skirt, which used to be the same exact length.
When worn, the pencil skirt actually drops much lower than the sterling skirt since it has a wider waist and sits lower.
 Here it is in person...only 1 inch longer than before, but I am immensely pleased with the results, especially when wearing heels :) In the following series, I compare the altered skirt (left and right) to a pre-alteration photo (center):
With heels
Middle picture = BEFORE: skirt hits above knee, blocks off  middle 3rd of body awkwardly, makes me look short, defeating the purpose of wearing heels.
AFTER: looks much more lengthening/slimming! Just like the disproportionately tall J.Crew model!
With flats
Middle picture = BEFORE: looks alright, I suppose.
AFTER: still looks good even with flats. Extra skirt length did not compromise illusion of leg length. Win!
The back pleats look pretty good, not like some amateur tore apart the seams and hand-sewed them back or anything...
And there you have it, a diatribe all about pencil skirts. Kind of like the time I described my views on jeans.

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