Why is the black pencil skirt a wardrobe staple? The key factor is versatility. A black pencil skirt paired with a cashmere twinset and platform pumps is a perfect, and perfectly stylish, work option. That same skirt topped with a spare tank and glammed up with high heel sandals will take you to the best cocktail parties or your favorite nightspot. On top of this, pencil skirts are incredibly flattering. There is a pencil skirt for every body type-- go with a straight cut and rigid fabric to minimize a larger lower body; look for a higher waist and a curve-hugging fabric for boyish figures.
Got the bucks to invest in a black pencil skirt that will last for decades and look amazing each and every time you wear it? Go for a top notch designer and the best quality fabrics, like this stunning black Belted Pencil Skirt in a luxe wool blend from Akris Punto. Yes, the price is high, but the quality is unbeatable and the fit is to die for.
→ Buy the Akris Punto Belted Pencil Skirt, $460.00, at saks.com.
Akris Punto not in your budget? There are still plenty of quality, affordable pencil skirt out there. For a look that is classic, timeless and perfect for work, try out this Jones New York Pencil Skirt. The natural waist will flatter nearly every figure, and it's available in regular, plus and petite sizes. Nice.
→ Buy the Jones New York Pencil Skirt, $79.00, at jny.com.
If you looked up "pencil skirt" in the dictionary, this is the skirt you would find. From the sleek, mid-knee length cut, to the fabric that hugs curves just enough, to the back darts with double back vent, this Theory Golda Tailor Pencil Skirt is everything a pencil skirt should be.
→ Buy the Theory Golda Tailor Pencil Skirt, $190.00, at nordstrom.com
Legs a little shorter than you'd like? Don't worry, you can still wear a pencil skirt without taking inches off your appearance. Opt for a skirt that is made in a range of specific petite sizes, like this Gap Pencil Skirt, to flatter your shorter stems. This particular skirt is available in petite sizes 00 to 16!
→ Buy the Gap Pencil Skirt, $49.95, at gap.com.
Got a little extra baggage below the belt that makes you shy away from pencil skirts? Here's your solution. The Bardot Pencil Skirt from designer plus size line Igigi is made to flatter curvy, plus-size figures.
→ Buy the Igigi Bardot Pencil Skirt, $78.00, at igigi.com.
On a budget? Here's a great starter pencil skirt to get you rolling in the right direction. The ASOS Tailored Pleat Side Ponti Pencil Skirt offers a great combination of classic style and affordable price.
→ Buy the ASOS Tailored Pleat Side Ponti Pencil Skirt, $55.40, at asos.com.
Editor's Note: This post was last updated on 5/14/11 to ensure that all links are working correctly and prices and availability are up to date.