Wednesday, July 1, 2015

One Skirt, Five Eras: Styling a Black Pencil Skirt



Today I have an exercise in styling, utilizing the ultimate versatile item for a vintage wardrobe, the black pencil skirt! Though at first a black pencil skirt may seem like a strictly 1950's wardrobe staple, in fact, a basic pencil skirt can be styled for many eras! I styled this one skirt in five different eras, switching only which top, accessories, and hairstyle/cosmetics I paired with it. Lets take a look...

Skirt: Made by me, Top: H&M, Shoes: Target, Necklace: Made by me, Hair Comb: Vintage

Starting with a 1920's look, I paired my basic black pencil skirt with a boxy black lace top. The straight 1920's silhouette is maintained by not tucking in the blouse. Pair the look with a long beaded necklace, longer drop earrings, and if you can convince your hair to behave, finger waves! I achieved this style on my long hair by using mervin wave clips (from the 20's/30's and hard to find) and coiling the length back into a bun. Add to the flapper feel by filling in your eyebrows a bit longer at the end and drawing on cupid bow lips.

Skirt: Made by me, Top: Banana Republic Factor,y Faux Fur: H&M, Hat: Vintage 

 For a 1930's look, I paired the skirt with a geometric Art Deco print chiffon blouse, trucking it in but still leaving it quite blousy. I kept the t-strap heels, but added a slouchy beret and faux fur stole. Lots of different tops will give a 30's feel, even a basic cardigan tucked in would look very 30's with the right accessories and hairstyle.

Skirt: Made by me, Top: Made by me, Belt: Vintage, Earrings & Brooch: Vintage, Shoes: Modcloth

Nothing says 1940's like a strong shoulder, and though this floral blouse of mine doesn't have shoulder pads, the kimono sleeve and stiff cotton do give a bit of structure. Styling a pencil skirt for the 40's is super easy, but to look 40's not just "vintage" add victory rolls! I rolled the front of my hair into victory rolls and the back into a large rolled bun. A fun novelty brooch and strappy basket heels add to the forties feel even more.

Skirt: Made by me, Top: Banana Republic, Belt: Vintage, Scarf & Jewelry: Vintage, Shoes: Nine West

For the 1950's look I paired the pencil skirt with a lightweight knit tie-blouse. The aqua, red, and black color scheme feels mid-century diner ready, and with a cherry print chiffon scarf in my hair I felt rather pin-up inspired. Though black fishnets would have been a bit scandalous during the daytime in the fifties, in 2015 they read very "vintage" helping to keep the look from being too modern. A larger waist defining belt helps with the 50's desired hour-glass figure. I rarely wear my hair in a high ponytail like this, but it went with the 50's sock-hop sorta feel!

Skrit: Made by me, Top: Borrowed from my mom! Jewelry: Vintage, Scarf: Vintage, Shoes: Nine West

For my last trick, I mean look, I added a bouffant! Nothing says 60's like a bouffant guys, and a general haze of hairspray. I paired the skirt with an off the shoulder knit peasant top, a suite of groovy gold jewelry, and a net nylon scarf. The leopard heels add a bit more personality to a monotone outfit.

As you can see, a black pencil skirt is a seriously useful item in a vintage inspired wardrobe. The styling options are virtually endless! I recommend a longer length, at least to the knee or longer, to maintain the maximum versatility for different eras. You could easily pair a solid color pencil skirt with a classic cardigan and achieve a look from any era by simply changing your hair and make-up. Unlike some vintage ladies, I like to switch up eras, so having items like this longer pencil skirt allows me to switch from flapper one day, to fifties femme fatale the next!


14 comments:

  1. What a fabulously cool post idea and concept execution. You have done a marvelous job of capturing the nuances of each era and putting this black pencil skirt to work perfectly in each of them. Awesome work!!!

    ♥ Jessica

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jessica! As a girl who likes to jump around to different eras, I thought it was only fair to show how easy it can be without having a whole different wardrobe for each era!

      Delete
  2. This is a brilliant article. I had never really thought about how adaptable such a staple item is. Inspirational! Kx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it, as it took a while to put together :)

      Delete
  3. I love this post so much!! Absolutely brilliant. Just shows you don't need a massive wardrobe of era specific items to create vintage looks. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Porcelina! It is totally true, one skirt can give you serious milage!

      Delete
  4. Great post! You captured the feeling of the different eras very well! I love seeing pieces styled and reused for different looks. Multi-era pieces are such a great way to get a variety of vintage looks without needing a massive wardrobe.

    PS: I am super jealous of your Mervin Wavers. I have been looking for a set for ages. Your waves look simply beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Kate! It can be super hard to find the Mervin wavers, I bought each of mine (I currently have two, hopefully I'll find more someday) individually on etsy last year. I was just crazy lucky to find them! A dream of mine would be to find the patent/buy the rights and have them produced again to sell again for us vintage gals!

      Delete
    2. I think I might have actually found the patent: https://www.google.com/patents/USD111098 (I just discovered Google patent search and have been looking stuff up for hours!)

      Delete
    3. Oh my goodness! That's amazing! I wish I had capital, I'd be buying this intellectual property and reproducing these in no time!

      Delete
  5. Lovely post! I love my black pencil skirt however I am very limited when it comes to styling it , I have new ideas here...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lorena! My black pencil skirt is probably my most worn item in my wardrobe, can't beat such a classic!

      Delete
  6. This is such a great post idea! I really enjoyed looking at all your styling ideas. I really like the 1930's look, the print on the blouse is great.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...