My Best Friend is a Pencil

18 Mar

I’m starting to believe that spring is coming.  I am pushing aside all my boring black pants and looking for the skirts shoved to the back of the closet.  After hibernating all winter, I am ready to show my pale white legs to the sun.  I am ready to swish when I move.  I am ready to strut down the runway.  I mean sidewalk.


Through this search, I am starting to find my favorite skirts, almost all of which are pencil skirts.   Turns out I really like that slim, tailored look – so flattering!

The pencil skirt actually started life as the hobble skirt, a longer skirt from the start of the 20th century that literally hobbled the wearer.  Oddly enough, the fashion did not last long.

Next came Dior, who shortened the hem in the late 1940s.  This time the look worked, and released women from the boxy ’40s wartime silhouette.

The pencil has remained in fashion ever since.  It lost popularity in the ’70s but came back with a vengeance in the ’80s power suit.

Now it is a mainstay in both fashion and business attire.   Dress it up, dress it down, have fun with it or wear it to a conservative job interview.  You can’t really mess it up.

And thank you, Wikipedia, for providing an entertaining explanation of how to wear the skirt:

Walking needs to be done in short strides; entering and leaving a car gracefully takes practice; and when sitting the legs are held close together which some can find restrictive (though others like the feeling of their legs being “hugged” by the skirt). Activities such as climbing ladders and riding bicycles can be very difficult in a pencil skirt. In spite of these apparent disadvantages, the pencil skirt does have practical benefits: it is warmer due to the reduced ventilation, and is less likely to be blown up by gusts of wind.

Note to self: do not ride a bike in a pencil skirt.


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