Nineties fashion has been dominating the trendscape for years now, resuscitating formerly outdated items like fitted-waist blazers, sock boots, and corsets in the process. One silhouette from the era that I didn't expect a fashion renaissance for, however, was the pencil skirt aka the often-drab skirt genre that's not quite maxi or mini and has long been associated with "professional office attire." Constricting and rarely flattering, the style fell out of favor for anyone outside of the C-suite years ago—and for good reason. But now that Miuccia Prada and Victoria Beckham have taken them under their wings, pencil skirts are gearing up for a comeback of epic proportions. And this time, I can't say I'm mad about it.
In their spring collections, Prada and Beckham as well as Peter Do, Courrèges Artistic Director Nicolas Di Felice, and longtime Max Mara Creative Director Ian Griffiths played with midi- and knee-length pencil skirts in unexpected and surprisingly enticing ways, designing them in leather with matching boatneck jackets (Prada) and adding eye-catching details like oversize cargo pockets (Miu Miu) and fold-over waists (Victoria Beckham). The result? A spring selection that deserves attention as well as a spot in our actual wardrobes. Below, see how pencil skirts were displayed on the runways last September and the street style looks that followed. And while you're at it, shop the skirt trend that's about to be everywhere.
French women like Sylvie Mus have mastered the difficult art of styling pencil skirts in ways that feel elevated and exciting as opposed to blasé.
You can always count on J.Crew to absolutely kill it in the pencil-skirt department.
At Max Mara's S/S 23 show, Griffiths made a case for camel pencil skirts, and let me tell you—it stuck. Expect to see similar styles dominating the quiet-luxury trend.
For a more daring take on the trend, dare I suggest this low-rise cargo-style skirt from Miaou?
Any time I need inspiration to try out a new trend, I go to stylist Elly McGaw's Instagram feed, and nine times out of 10, she has a photo wearing it. The same goes for pencil skirts, which she styled here in leather with a matching distressed jacket and knee-high socks. So chic.
I tried this skirt on ahead of fashion month in February, and it's perfection.
For an NSFW take on the pencil skirt, look no further than Victoria Beckham's spring show, where models paired folded-over pencil skirts with sheer bras and peekaboo hosiery.
Paired with a simple white tank and a hyper-cool pair of thigh-high sheer socks, a pencil skirt takes on a whole new persona.
It doesn't get much chicer than this leather zip-up pencil skirt from Khaite.
At Courrèges, the office took a day trip to the beach. Models donned low-rise pencil skirts with crop tops and thigh-high boots on a sand-covered runway.
I swear I add this skirt to my shopping cart at Mango at least once a week.
This built-in whale tail is going to be my downfall.
Don't be afraid to venture outside of the classic office colors (i.e., navy, black, and gray) when it comes to pencil skirts. This off-white version is arguably the chicest one I've seen to date.
Buci is one of my absolute favorite NYC-based brands right now, and it just launched on Revolve. You know what to do.
It's been roughly seven months since this leather pencil skirt debuted on Prada's S/S 23 runway, and I haven't quite found a way to shake it from the forefront of my brain ever since.
Pair this skirt with a pastel-colored button-down shirt tucked in. Trust me—it'll be chic.
Give your pencil-skirt look some much-needed edge by pairing one with an oversize leather moto jacket and knee-high boots. They're just what the silhouette needs.
Run, don't walk, to buy this skirt while it's still in stock and on sale.
If you're like me and already decided that pencil skirts will be your entire personality this year, there's no reason why you shouldn't invest in one that's of the utmost quality.
Miu Miu went rogue with its suiting selection for spring, with Prada leaving sleeves intentionally unattached and hems purposely raw. In the pencil-skirt arena, she added large utilitarian pockets to the front, something that could've felt frumpy, but since it's Prada, it looked irresistibly cool and chic.
If you're not a fan of knee-length silhouettes, this maxi option from Zara is a great alt.
I'll never get over this Miu Miu skirt. Never.
Post-work, pencil skirts are continuing to be a viable going-out option, with playful options that include sequins and belt details proving to be just as chic as classic office-appropriate picks.
I simply adore the concept of wearing a pencil skirt with a crop top. So rogue.
Peter Do's spring show during New York Fashion Week was a lesson in unexpected ways to style basics, from a button-down shirt to jeans to a pencil skirt.
Banana Republic has the simplest, most timeless wardrobe staples.