The very first clothing item I made on my sewing class was a black pencil skirt, with of course my own unusual touch – a green zipper and a green underskirt! I rarely wear pencil skirts in everyday outings – I usually wear them to work or work related events, combined with different kinds of shirts and jackets.
There are a lot of unusual fashion items in my wardrobe, but without that classic item my collection would be incomplete. When I don’t have a clue what to wear (and that often happens), I know I can’t go wrong with a black pencil skirt. It gives something elegant and sexy to a woman’s figure – it’s one of the best clothing investments you can make!
Black pencil skirt made by myself – all the knowledge and sewing skills I got from my wonderful teacher Mia at Kreativna radionica šivajmo (Creative sewing workshop) in Split
Fairysteps leather handbag
The history of pencil skirt starts in 1908 when Wilbure and Orville Wright chose Mrs Berg to be the first female airplane passenger. As the dresses were very long and made from lots of materials, brothers decided to tie a rope around the bottom of the skirt to keep it from blowing up. It became an instant hit and it was called hobble skirt.
In 1940, Christian Dior created the first pencil skirt, a shortened adaptation inspired by the provocative shape of the 1910 hobble skirt.
After the shapeless gowns of the flapper era, and decades of covered legs and ankles, women immediately embraced the curvy shape of the classic pencil skirt. The slim-fitted pencil skirt with a straight, narrow cut falls to, or just below, the knee and is therefore named for its shape: long and slim like a pencil.
Dior was a master at creating shapes and silhouettes. This form-hugging piece of clothing that followed the curve of the leg to the knees then became one of the icons of the decade and, with time, one of the great classics in women’s garments.
Due to women’s desire for a new style after World War II and Dior’s predictable execution of reinventing fashion, the pencil skirt quickly became very popular, particularly for business and office wear.
Joan Holloway (played by Christina Hendricks) in TV series Mad Men
After the release of the Dior Classic in 1940, celebrities fell in love with the pencil skirt. The pencil skirt was strutted by notorious pinup Bettie Page, screen goddess Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and became a staple in the classic wardrobe of Princess Grace of Monaco.
Elizabeth Taylor in the movie Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
In the 1959 movie Some Like It Hot, there’s a scene where Marilyn sashays by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon at the train station. She’s wearing a pencil skirt. They watch in awe, mouths gaping open.
Highly feminine, confident and sensual, the pencil skirt feels different from looser skirts, and for the wearer can take some getting used to in terms of movement and posture. Coming and going, boomerang-like, on the whim of trend, the pencil skirt has earned its reputation of infallibility and deserves a permanent place in every woman’s wardrobe.
Pencil skirt today: Agyness Deyn, Michelle Williams, Angelina Jolie
Marilyn Monroe – I wanna be loved by you