How to wear a pencil skirt in spring

Mon, Jan 21, 2013, 00:00

STYLE CLINIC:I bought the most lovely leather pencil skirt in Paris in the summer. I’ve worn it a bit during the winter but I’m wondering how I could wear it in springtime.

Siún, by email

Leather pencil skirts were all the rage last season, but the heavy fabric does seem more difficult to work with, come spring. The good news is, it’s unlikely that the weather is going to get too hot for it – the trick is to wear yours with separates that will make it look up-to-date and fresh for spring/summer.

I’d suggest pairing yours with lighter fabrics and patterns. You don’t say what colour it is, but whether it’s black or brown, a light white blouse would work really well. This rhinestone-detailed blouse from Zara (€69.95) is a really simple piece that you’ll get a lot of wear out of, and the unexpected embellishment is nicely surprising (underarm detail being particularly rare). It is sleeveless, and it is from Zara, meaning it will probably not suit those who don’t wish to expose their upper arms, or those who are larger than a UK 10.

Another option is to go for a lighter fabric in a pale pattern. This shirt, confusingly titled the Josh Lotus, from Reiss (€135) will look very cool tucked into a leather pencil skirt and worn with a pair of chunky sandals or ankle boots. Button it up to the neck if you’re not too busty; otherwise open two buttons and wear with a necklace – but don’t go too “statement” and let the print suffice.

Lastly, it’s never any harm to keep things simple. This lace-detail tee from Warehouse (€46) is cute and pretty, without making any great waves. It’ll look lovely with your pencil skirt and keep things fresh and casual for spring.

What shoes to wear with printed trousers?

I’m shortish (5ft 2in) and have been looking for a nice pair of printed trousers, but to no avail. Are they just for the leggy ones? Also, what shoes would you wear with them?

Olive, by email

You can definitely buy printed trousers with a shorter leg – whether or not you want to do that is another question entirely. You don’t say what size you are, so what I will say is this; the louder the print, the more attention will be drawn to your bottom half. If you are self-conscious about your legs, go for a more subtle print. If not, go mad in a high-octane pattern.

Topshop petite has a few pairs of printed trousers. This tile-print pair (£40 on topshop.com) are quite lovely, and will go with an array of things on top (blouses, loose sweaters, printed T-shirts). Roll them up one or two turns for a slightly cutesy look.

Marks Spencer has a pair of petite floral print corduroy jeggings (€34) that sound far less beautiful than they look. The petite range is designed for those who are shorter than 5ft 3in, so they should be perfect for you. The high waist is really comfy, and very flattering.

Finally, Asos’s unicorn-print drawstring trousers (€52.78) come in petite and are adorable – although, I will concede, they are perhaps not to everyone’s tastes.

In terms of footwear, I’d go for a chunky sandal or a sexy court shoe – with the aim of showing as much of your foot as possible, which will draw the eye down the leg and give the illusion of length. That said, if you’re opting for the unicorn-print trousers, you can wear whatever shoes you like as no one will get past the tiny horses to look at your feet.

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