Goodwill Essentials: The Pencil Skirt

Today is the last full day of summer – are you ready for the new season? If not, no sweat; here’s a Goodwill Essentials by our fantastic Emme tailor-made for you, all about one of our favorite streamlined fall finds (available in spades at your local Goodwill): the pencil skirt!

Black on black oversized houndstooth is super chic while the more subtle geometric pattern in camel is a guaranteed classic!

Fall maybe mean back to school to some, but to mean it’s a call back to basics. If you’ve been following along, we’ve showcased the LBD, the perfect pair of jeans, and the trusty blazer. Today we’ll take a look at one of my favorite pieces, the pencil skirt. Get comfy, thrift fashion fans, cause here we go…

Why is it essential?

Like all of the essentials, the pencil skirt can be dressed up or down according to the occasion. The shape is flattering without showing too much skin. You’ll be able to wear a pencil skirt at any age. It’s an item that can add a dose of va-va-voom glamour. And a true mark of an essential: it never goes out of style.

Here’s what to look for!

  • The mark of a pencil skirt is its tailored shape, starting snug at your natural waist and following the lines of the hips and thighs. Don’t go for the loose and flowy, it’s all about the defined form!
  • The length of the skirt is crucial. Make sure it hits no shorter than 1 inch above the knee. This is the most flattering hemline on everyone and keeps it versatile.
  • A skirt in a neutral color (black, gray, camel) will get a lot of use but don’t disregard a bright color or an eye-catching pattern.

There are tons of color options at Goodwill. Reds and plums are the go-to colors for fall!

  • Look for details that make the piece unique: buttons, pockets, slits (on the front, sides or back).
  • Look at the tags. Wool skirts keep you warm and are generally of good quality but must be dry cleaned. Check the tags for fabric content and cleaning instructions.
  • For a skirt that will stand the test of time, look for the following details: hook and eye closure or some other kind of reinforcement, a lining of good quality, sturdy seams.

Love the details on these options... Pockets (for lipgloss and Metrocards!) and a built-in belt!

Sure, it’s easy to confine this piece to your work wardrobe (where undoubtedly it works wonders), but I love dressing it down or wearing it on the weekends.

  • Pairing it with a t-shirt, whether a solid or graphic, and flat oxford brogues screams casual chic.
  • Mixing patterns might not be work appropriate but will make you stand out at a dinner party. If your skirt boasts a houndstooth pattern, wear a polka dot top. The trick is to keep it in the same color family and to balance the size of the prints.
  • A sexy twist to this otherwise prim item is pairing it with knee-high boots. The trick is to make sure there’s a couple of inches between the hem and the top of the boots (like this!)
  • And in case you were wondering.. Yes, the chambray shirt is a perfect accompaniment to the pencil skirt.

The sleek minimalistic skirt is Calvin Klein, while the leather-accented snug number is straight out McQueen

For work, the pencil skirt is a powerhouse item that can be worn multiple times a week but still looking different each time with the right tops and accessories.

  • If your skirt is in a neutral color, go ahead add color with your blouse or accessories. If the skirt is a bright color, then keep the rest subdued.
  • If you work in a corporate setting, don’t feel the need to match your skirt and blazer. A great wait to look less stuffy and more chic is mixing different fabrics or a solid blazer with a patterned skirt.
  • Mix patterns in a subtle ways by wearing textured hosiery or through accessories. Essential heels anyone?
  • Channel your inner Mad Men retro girl by pairing a pencil skirt with a fitted sweater. Lucky for you there is a sweater sale going on at Goodwill this weekend just in time for the Fall sweata weatha!

Already own this essential? How do you wear it? Write your own pencil skirt fashion story and share it with us by commenting, tweeting at us (@GoodwillNyNj) or posting on our FB wall!


3 thoughts on “Goodwill Essentials: The Pencil Skirt

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