While perusing J Crew’s lovely new Regent Street store (for research purposes, obvs) last week I spotted a selection of perfect pencil skirts. In particular, this beautifully printed navy and antique white one, which looks like a bit of wearable Delft pottery.
It is everything you might want from a summer pencil; the fabric is robustly sumptuous cotton with a small degree of stretch in it for comfort, the print is gorgeous, it is lined for further support and general grown-upness, it has a small, easy to wear waistband that is generously shaped to its wearer and it has just the right combination of colours (navy, white and bright blue) to go with pretty much everything. Also for J Crew, it isn’t too expensive at £98 and it’s available up to a size 20 (if I’ve calculated my fashion maths correctly).
Anyone who did needlework A level (me) will of course be spluttering into their bircher muesli at this point and shouting things like ‘I could run up seven pencil skirts on my Bernina for £98!’ but of course you wont, will you? No one has the time…so I’d seriously consider giving this one a go.
Isn’t it lovely?
Now, what to wear with it. I rarely do ‘tucked in’ waistbands now, as even if I could hold my tummy in for long enough to fool the world it was flat, I can’t be bothered and we all know that no good comes of wearing clothes that don’t make you feel fabulously comfortable. The ‘half tuck’ on the shop mannequin above is rather a neat way of implying flatness while covering up most of your curves, but might be met with hilarious derision by the more practical of you….
A beautiful crisp cotton poplin blouse worn over the skirt would do nicely here, perhaps in navy or the cornflower blue Jane told us about recently. J Crew does excellent cashmere in a range of colours so comprehensive that you’ll actually find it difficult to pick just one. But for anyone who wants a bit more coverage, I’d recommend a sweater with a high-low hemline like the one I admired at Jigsaw recently (the camel is excellent and is in the sale if you are quick.
If you wish to be on trend with your pencil this season you’ll need to put a slash in it at the front, as on the J Crew geo-print rosewood version above, or you could go with the excellent No 2 pencil in dark-ground printed floral, which would be my second choice after the Delft print version (the No 2 pencil is a J Crew classic and excellent to wear, I have two).
If you haven’t been to J Crew on Regent Street, make some time to visit, it’s a properly grown up place to shop (at least on a week day) with clothes displayed amongst books, bits of sculpture and eye-catching jewellery. And space in between to think and admire.