4 Ways to Style a Black Pencil Skirt

how to style black pencil skirt petite

I got so much great feedback on my first IGTV styling video, I’m back with another one featuring a piece most of us already have in our closets: the classic black pencil skirt! Click here to watch the full video, with a few styling tips & tricks that I apply to my everyday outfits.

Featured item: Express high waist stretch skirt (I’m in 00 regular)

Fit notes: This skirt is very stretchy but it’s not bodycon or too curve hugging (which you’d want to avoid in the workplace). It’s made in office-appropriate material with lining and actually fit my natural waist without waist alterations! The back center slit comes up pretty high so I will be stitching it closed about 2 inches.

1. Night Out
  • Bristols 6 Nippies
  • H&M lace cami xs (similar)
  • J.Crew earrings (similar)
  • Ann Taylor sandals sz 5 (updated version)
  • Chanel wallet on chain (shop preowned)
  • Blank NYC faux leather jacket xs

date night outfit ideas lace cami style

2. City Chic

olive green trench coat gucci belt stylish petite outfit

3. Professional
  • Uniqlo shapewear S (light level of control)
  • Ann Taylor scallop top xxs
  • Similar black headband
  • Chanel pearl brooch (similar)
  • Banana Republic cap toe pumps 5 (my review)
  • Tory Burch small Robinson tote (older version)

business formal professional outfit ideas

what to wear to a professional interview

Professional alternative: top with a cropped collar-less blazer for a sleek black suit look

4. Casual
  • H&M nursing camisole XS (older version)
  • Madewell whisper tee XXS
  • Clear elastics (also useful for this too-long belt trick)
  • H&M denim jacket (similar in petites by J.Crew (very shrunken fit!) and LOFT)
  • Gucci soho disco bag (duty free w/ free shipping)
  • Soludos espadrilles sz 5

casual summer mom outfit extra petite

Styling tips summarized from my video:

Tip #1 (Night Out): Mix materials and textures like satin, lace, and leather to add interest to a simple black & white color palette.

Tip #2 (City Chic): When wearing your trench coat open, tie a bow at the back to add a little shape and to keep from losing the sash.

Tip #3 (Professional): Tuck tops into shapewear shorts to help keep them in place and smooth under skirts.

Tip #4 (Casual): Layer a neutral nursing tank top under regular tops for easing breastfeeding access.

Tip #5 (Casual): Roll up the waistband on your skirt (only works with some fabrics) to make the item a little shorter for certain outfits. Cover up the rolled waistband with your top.

Tip #6 (Casual): Use a clear hair elastic to knot up a shirt hem to define your waistline

Which Look was your favorite?
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  1. Molly wrote:

    Love your casual outfit! Do you have any tips for preventing little holes in the Madewell whisper tee? I always seem to get holes in my thin cotton tees.

    Posted 6.15.19 Reply
  2. Jenny Yang wrote:

    I’ve never thought of using my pencil skirt in so many ways – esp not casual ahaha but this definitely changed my view on them! Such a great way to make my closet more verstaile
    xx jen

    Posted 6.14.19 Reply
  3. Megan wrote:

    Loved the outfits and thank you for putting everything in the description!

    Posted 6.14.19 Reply
  4. Jessy wrote:

    Love the outfits!! Did you guys have a new and bigger home???

    Posted 6.14.19 Reply
  5. Valeri Pighini wrote:

    What a darling video. I loved it. You are the CUTEST! Thanks for all the tips Jean and thanks for sharing photos of Nori. Love, Val

    Posted 6.13.19 Reply
  6. Ruth Josey wrote:

    Four wonderful looks – but I think the first is my favorite – just in love with your new shoes! I love the tips like tucking a blouse into shapewear shorts to keep it where it belongs – brilliant! And using a clear elastic hairband to knot up the hem of a shirt to define your waistline. I’ll be putting those to use for sure. You look gorgeous and the pictures are fabulous!


    Posted 6.13.19 Reply
  7. MBH wrote:

    I loved the all – inspired by everything!

    Posted 6.12.19 Reply
  8. Nicci wrote:

    I think I like the city chic look best, but love them all. What great ways to wear the same skirt and make it look so different! I’d never think to wear it casually.

    Posted 6.12.19 Reply
  9. Love all of the ways that you styled this pencil skirt <3 🙂 Such a wardrobe staple! Super versatile too!

    XO, Elizabeth T.

    Posted 6.12.19 Reply
  10. JGCHOW wrote:

    Very fun yet practical video – so cute with Nori dancing at the end. Where is the hat in the casual outfit from?

    Posted 6.12.19 Reply
    • Angela Yu wrote:

      Could you please share how you got your hair to look like that? Also, I’m curious to know whether if you have ever considered getting your hair permed?

      Posted 6.12.19 Reply
  11. Dianne wrote:

    The elastic knot—genius!

    Posted 6.12.19 Reply
  12. susan r rawls wrote:

    Wow! Great video. Love the the different styles and ways to wear them. . I got some good ideas on how to put some of my pieces together and add to existing pieces. This is exactly why I love your blog. Thank you so much.

    Posted 6.12.19 Reply
  13. Janine wrote:

    I love a good pencil skirt, because they are so versatile, as you showed here! I am in looove with the city chic look, but all of these outfits look perfect, I’ll definitely take inspiration from that!
    xx Janine

    Posted 6.12.19 Reply
  14. Roses for Fridays | by mia wrote:

    Love ♥️the black pencil skirt … always a beautiful timeless look!


    Posted 6.11.19 Reply
  15. Ah, so pretty! 🙂 And these are such creative ways to style the pencil skirt, I especially love the all-black look! Great post, Jean! ❤️✨


    Posted 6.11.19 Reply

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