5 Ways To Transform Your Pencil Skirt Into The Only Going-Out Staple You'll Need

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Pencil skirts are no longer just for work. While they've long been associated with business casual office garb — and therefore seem very drab and dull — the pencil skirt's setting has changed. We're taking them out for a night on the town. This versatile staple is a closet classic because it is such a flattering option. High-waisted pencil skirts hug the silhouette and look flattering on all body shapes. They tend to feature a longer hem — think knee to midi-length — adding an element of sophistication compared to their younger sister, the mini skirt. Plus, they are as versatile as a pair of jeans. You can dress them down, or dress them up.

There's so much variety that a pencil skirt offers — a perfect staple for both daytime and nightime styles. We're here to style several looks that will take your favorite pencil skirts from the buttoned-up primness of the office to give you nights out worth remembering — and posting.

Matching the edgy leather pencil skirt

We're seeing leather and vegan leather pencil skirts everywhere. According to Vogue, leather midi-length pencil skirts are exactly what we want to see and wear. We love them because they're such a perfect blend of edgy and feminine. Even better, black isn't the only option. We're living for camel, red, green, brown, and all kinds of glossy patents when it comes to this variation of the pencil skirt. The play on color makes it the perfect option for going out.

We saw Katie Holmes rock a brown, patent leather pencil skirt that was absolute perfection. The high-waisted cut offered a timeless silhouette while the thigh-high slit gave it some serious sex appeal. Play with the traditional office look by pairing it with an oversized men's button-up and vamp up the feminine edge with heels. A chunky sweater is also a perfect pairing with the form-hugging pencil skirt, offering a play on shapes. The midi-length hem offers an added play on formality, making a perfectly playful yet complex look.

Consider styling the look in monochromatic shades. If you've got a richly colored leather pencil skirt, play with variations on the same tone. The look is very grown up, but also bold and colorful: There's no way you'll disappear into the crowd. Accessorize with a different but complementary tone for shoes, handbag, and jewelry. 

The bold patterned pencil skirt

Since pencil skirts are having a Renaissance, we're seeing them in bold prints. TikTok user @sariouardi styled a pencil skirt that she bought on sale at Zara. The pencil skirt featured a print of classical artwork, so the print looked complex and classic. She styled the look first by pairing it with a dark green top, and later opted for a cream-colored crop top. She paired it with cowboy boots and a cream blazer. A comment suggested pairing the skirt with a dark green blazer, and Sari was all over this, saying "Maybe for a night look!" So obviously, pencil skirts are edging their way from day to night.

Other brands are jumping on this blissful style of boldly printed pencil skirts. We're seeing floral prints, Jacquard fabrics, and lace. Wolf & Badger designed a dark pencil skirt called "1001 Nights" based off of the Middle Eastern fairytale "One Thousand and One Nights." The skirt features figures together in a garden surrounded by birds and fruit.

What makes these bold prints so compelling is that the pencil skirt tells a story by itself, allowing for ease and versatility when styling it for a night out. Heels are a great option, but so are boots. The rest of the outfit can be as simple, like a plain white t-shirt, or as complex as you're feeling. Pair with a blazer and a bra underneath for the ideal play on sexy and structured.

Why we love the zippered pencil skirt

Nothing plays with texture quite like a zipper. We're seeing this added element to pencil skirts, taking the cult classic into an edgy and more contemporary look. Khaite features a leather midi-pencil skirt with a thick, silver zipper running up the front. The hardware is heavy-duty, playing with industrial pieces in a feminine cut. Best of all, you can adjust the zipper to increase the slit length. They've paired the skirt with a leather jacket, designed with equally as heavy hardware on top, making the perfect monochromatic look. To offset the biker tones, pair the skirt with thin, strappy heels.

Vex Clothing offers a latex pencil skirt with a full zipper up the back of the skirt. The custom-made skirt comes in over 25 color options, from liquid black to bubblegum pink, so the range is as wide as your tastes. There's no denying that the zipper embellishment offers a seductive way to make the pencil skirt something that's got no place in the office. When working with heavy hardware, keep accessories simple and elegant to maintain balance. Pair the skirt with a silk camisole and simple jewelry, so that the look doesn't become overpowering. 

Utility pencil skirts are great for a night out

In the quest for the ever-perfect pencil skirt, we've found a happy marriage of the utility skirt and pencil skirt. This creates the ideal harmony between the utility of the cargo, complete with functional pockets, and the elegant narrowing of the pencil skirt shape. Best of all, we've seen it in a range of fabrics. There's denim, heavy cotton canvas, and more. Rag & Muffin features the perfect play on these two worlds with a camo pattern, cargo pencil skirt. The skirt boasts several utility pockets with a thigh-high slit. Pair the look with heels and a crop top or tank top for an unexpected sexy styling, complete with the serviceable pockets.

For a more high-end look, Pilot and Powell also saw the merits of the cargo pencil skirt and created a cream-colored option. The skirt is high-waisted and boasts a slit up the middle, with waist pockets as well as pockets around the knees. What's so compelling about this look is the range of hemlines. We're seeing skirts fall to the knee and much farther below, creating a great range of midi-looks. You also have the option of pairing this statement with a t-shirt and belt to play with minimalism and maximalism. Since we register camo as a neutral, the t-shirt can be a bold piece with the army-inspired skirt.

Heavily textured pencil skirts

We're also loving richly textured pencil skirts, and the options are endless. The brand Whistles features a forest green sequined pencil skirt. Since the skirt is midi-length, it looks stunning when styled with strappy heels. Rotate also has a sequin skirt in pastel pink. Since it's so formal, the skirt would look balanced when paired with a denim jacket or fringe leather jacket and heels for a night out. Lafayette 148 New York offers a textured, fibrous pencil skirt with all-over fringe trim. The black and yellow color scheme creates a sophisticated canvas for playful accessorizing.

One of our other favorite options for seductive texture is the satin pencil skirt. The play on lingerie-like materials with a cut as traditional as the pencil skirt creates the perfect canvas for a going-out look. Amazon offers a high-waisted, Leopard print satin pencil skirt that's perfect with a crop top, a t-shirt, or a sultry tank top. For a more high-end option, Ivan Young features a pink satin pencil skirt paired with a red bustier top. The skirt invites seductive accessorizing. ASOS also has satin midi pencil skirts with a belt, in both a rich floral print and a coral, with matching strapless crop tops. Whether they're rough and raw fabrics or high-maintenance fabrics like sequins, the boldly textured pencil skirt is a perfect way to bring an interesting element into a night look.