Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Our Favorite Things...The Pencil Skirt

Did you know that the modern day pencil skirt was inspired by an early fashion torture device named the hobble skirt? First appearing as a long skirt with a strap around the ankles in the 1880s, and later becoming popular in the 1910s by Paul Poiret, the hobble skirt featured an extremely tight hem. Hobble refers to the limited movement one experiences while wearing the skirt, though alternatively, the hobble was a strap used around the legs of a horse to restrict movement.

One can only imagine why this style became so popular again in the 1950s. Women did not wear pants and were supposed to act ladylike and this skirt did the trick. I think it was a Father’s dream outfit for his daughter as it shortens the stride rendering the wearer unable to run and allows virtually no leg spreading or any object to pass between the legs. No thoughts of trying out for the track team or necking in the back of Bobby’s parent’s Bel Air.

Regardless of the history, the pencil skirt embodies Parisian style mixed with beatnik cool. It is a timeless style that is constantly recycled. Any woman can wear it (especially the Spanx version with the modern day corset). This type of skirt elongates the legs and creates a sleek silhouette. The key to a flattering fit is to wear it slightly above the knee to not less than an inch and a half below the knee. If you have great legs, wear it as high as mid-thigh. If you have shorter legs, wear it with classic 2 inch heels, low vamp, and pointy toe.
Left: Spanx Pencil Skirt
Middle: Soda Blu Pencil Skirt
Right: High Waist Pencil Skirt


Chic and Charming said...

Personally I really love the pencil skirt! I just have no where to wear one.

mama's got moxie said...

what cool facts... i studied fashion design years ago and never learned that about pencil skirts. love the blog.

Lady Language said...

our secret is out, chic and charming - we really don't have anywhere to wear them either - need a job like those chics on Cashmere Mafia.
thanks moxie - glad you liked our cool fashion facts and please stop by again.

the iron chic said...

I find a pencil skirt is everyday wearable if it is made out of a nice heavy jersey. I have one from AA that is sort of thick material so your ass doesn't look weird. To me it is more casual than pants.

p.s. It is nice to dream about fashions past but how lucky are we to live now, really?

Lady Language said...

iron chic - so true..I would not want to be living in the 50s...good point about the ass problem in tight pencil skirts. Not familiar with AA - enlighten us Americans.

Lesha said...

These are very fab. I love pencil skirts.