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13 Easy Ways to Style a Pencil Skirt

It's not just an office staple!

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A good pencil skirt outfit is the best of both worlds. The structure of the skirt is polished and professional by nature (there's a reason it shows up in office attire so much!). But it's such a simple base layer that it works equally well with a blazer, leather jacket, tee, crop top, or vest. You can also play around with shape, length, and fit, depending on whether you're wearing your skirt for a night out or for a huge presentation at work. In recent years, the pencil skirt has even gotten in on the sheer trend, working as a layering piece over pants or full-coverage underwear.

Keep scrolling for some pencil skirt outfits that will work for the office and beyond.

As a Maxi

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Pencil skirts stereotypically fall to the knee, but they don't have to. A gorgeous column skirt that extends to the ankle is an updated silhouette (not to mention a cool trend piece!) that gives added height to any body type. If a color feels too intense, opt for black.

Over Pants

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The skirt-over-pants trend might feel a bit dated (we really loved minis over jeans in the '00s), so to prevent it from looking like a costume, opt for a matching skirt and trousers. The fact that the jacket is hemmed to exactly the same length as the skirt helps the whole look feel tailored.

With an Oversized Blazer

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An oversized blazer is excellent for transitional weather, but instead of a pair of trousers, swap in a chic pencil skirt. This one is high-waisted and midi, so the length complements the width of the blazer. Wearing heels will prevent the blazer from overwhelming you, especially if you're short.

As a Tonal Piece

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When your bottom and top match, the end result is a cool optical effect: This looks like a dress except for the small sliver of skin at the waist. Even though this is tan and therefore neutral, there's visual interest with buttons at the hems and shoulders.

In All-Leather

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Let's say you're used to wearing skirt suits. If you want to spice things up a little, opt for a leather skirt and jacket instead. Keep everything else classic; The skirt hits right at the knee, and the jacket has a wide collar. The bag even feels like an elevated briefcase.

As a Sheer

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Sheer skirts are having a moment, and the pencil skirt is the perfect way to channel the trend. If you're wary of going with a see-through item on your lower half, opt for an oversized blazer that covers your hips, and use full-coverage matching undergarments.

With a Crop Top

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Believe it or not, the pencil skirt is a crop top/bra top's perfect match. It's long, structured, and sleek, which provides contrast to the minimal coverage on top. If a crop top is still too edgy for you, opt for a matching cardigan like this.

In Denim

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Entrepreneur Juny Breeze has an eclectic and whimsical style and the denim pencil skirt is the perfect match. In contrast to her other pieces, which are light, fun, and colorful, the jean skirt is dark and substantial. If you'd rather not have quite as much color, opt for a white cardi.

In Neon

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Let Heidi Klum be your guide to serotonin dressing! This might feel like a lot of color, especially if you're not used to wearing neon. If it feels like a bridge too far, have only one piece be green, or opt for a lighter mint color instead.

With Texture

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Joyful dressing isn't just about color: This shirt feels like it would be so soft to the touch, and it's a more surprising choice than satin or silk. The pencil skirt is the grounding base layer, which (when paired with simple heels) helps the shirt stand out even more.

In All-Black (but Fun!)

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A black maxi pencil skirt is a must-have for your wardrobe. It feels more elevated than a mini (and would be more comfortable if you're headed out for a long night). And it works beautifully in transitional weather—throw a blazer on over this, and you're good to go.

With a Vest

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Spring and summer don't have to mean you give up your layers. This light vest can be thrown over a white top and pencil skirt for some added structure without being bulky or making you feel hot. Add a little sparkle to jewelry and accessories, and it's a perfect dinner outfit.

As a Matching Set

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This might be the perfect upscale summer outfit. The midi pencil skirt is white, but not see-through. The crop top is perfect for the warm weather. The black pointed-toe pump helps ensure that the look doesn't skew too casual. And bonus points for the matching nails and sunglasses!

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