In which I argue that pencil skirts are wearable


pencil skirt street style

I know the general impression is that pencil skirts look best on those who are long and lean, but I love the way they look on a woman with curves—very sexy and confident. I find that full skirts, with all their volume, tend to make me look bigger, and that a pencil silhouette can actually be on the slimming side. And I like how the woman here is wearing hers with a big slouchy sweater, which is so chic and also nicely casual (yes, I know her shoes tell another story).

lou lou skirt

The trim at the hem of this skirt from Tibi is such a nice hit of femininity, and I love that it’s asymmetrical.

max mara skirt

A denim pencil skirt  with a super-clean wash, which isn’t the easiest thing to find (I like this one from AG as well).

allude skirt

This one is ribbed cashmere, which would be so cozy to wear right about now.

mango skirt

Look closely at this check print and you’ll see that it’s a pretty great green-and-white pattern.

& other stories skirt

I am crazy for this asymmetrical leather choice from & Other Stories. It’s not cheap, but it’s pretty well-priced for a leather skirt.


universal standard skirt

And here’s a faux-leather option from Universal Standard (here’s another—quite well-priced—similar choice).

karen millen skirt

And another faux leather—this one in a pretty magnificent blue.

j crew pencil skirt

A nice simple grey option from J. Crew that’d be endlessly versatile

halogen pencil skirt

And here is a very reasonably-priced option.

camuto pencil skirt

I like the side slit here, and the fact that it, too, is well-priced.

theory skirt

I’m pretty sure I showed you this gorgeous ruched skirt from Theory before, but it’s nicely marked down now. It’s got a very forgiving cut.

whistles pencil skirt

This leather skirt also comes in a very nice burgundy hue.

standards & practices skirt

The lace overlay here is so lovely and sweet: I’d dress it down with a simple white tee.

milly pencil skirt

A sequined skirt is perfect for a party (and here is a pretty stupendous green sequined choice in extended sizes).

And in case you missed it: here is a post I did on black skirts a while back.

18 cute pieces for you petite ladies


eileen fisher jacket

I know this petite-friendly post has been a long time in coming, and I apologize for the delay. I also promise that I will provide more, specific posts like this in the future, but for the first time around I thought I’d throw out pieces I like in every category (except dresses, which proved especially elusive). I was pleased to see that Eileen Fisher has a not-small petites selection, and very much like this vaguely sculptural stand-collar jacket.

J Crew popover

J. Crew has petites too, although not as many as perhaps they should (and why don’t they get on extended sizes already while they’re at it?). I think the gathering on this popover makes it nicely feminine.

halogen sweater

A very well-priced  V-neck cashmere sweater.

anthropologie jacket

This jacket is just a tiny bit twee, but I somehow really like it, and cropped styles like this are nice and elongating.

eileen fisher jacket

As you may recall from my post last week on colorful tops, I am loving yellow these days, which might explain why I’m very much a fan of this quilted jacket.

J Crew denim shirt

A good denim shirt is such a solid classic that I don’t know why I’ve never included it in any of my rundowns of the best classics to own.

spacedye cardigan

This spacedye sweater is quite Missoni-esque, but not nearly so pricey as Missoni.

anthro floral blouse

The pink flowers on this sweet blouse are really good.

flutter sleeve top

This flutter-sleeve top reminds me of Ulla Johnson, but—as with the above sweater—it’s a lot more reasonably priced.

eileen fisher top

A crisp white tunic with a hi-low hem comes in handy on those for days when you’re not at all interested in exposing your behind.

anthro striped tee

This striped tee comes in a few colorways, but I’m partial to the black and white.

J Crew blazer

Just a really well-cut blazer from J. Crew.

anthro button down

I am crazy for the color of this button down, and the barely-there print.

J Crew downtown field jacket

I was pleased to see that the Crew offers their downtown field jacket in petites.

J Crew leather leggings

Leather leggings that are pretty well-priced for leather leggings.

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And here’s a super-affordable pair of cigarette pants.

J Crew white jeans

White jeans in a nice slouchy boyfriend cut, just how I like them.

pilcro jeans

And finally: a pair of perfectly clean, un-distressed black jeans.

A few new beauty products I’m liking


marc jacobs mascara

Even though I’m happy with my current mascara regimen, I can’t help but but ask every beauty store clerk I encounter what their favorite formulation in the store is, because my quest for perfection in that realm is real. On a recent visit to Sephora, I was directed to this Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, which is pretty fantastic: it goes on quite glossy and very black, and the volume it imparts is intense.

nars lip color

When it comes to lip color, my main priority (aside from the just-right hue) is something that goes on and stays stays put. I am also partial to matte as opposed to glossy, cause glossy is always so sticky. I am very much liking my new Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment in a color called Warm Leatherette. It’s on the pinkish side of berryish, so it’ll be even better when spring rolls along, but I’m wearing it now on those drab days when I need a little lift.

drunk elephant b hydra

Until quite recently, I am embarrassed to say, I didn’t moisturize: everything I tried on my sensitive skin has played hell with it, and felt too heavy to wear under makeup. But Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Instesive Hydration Gel is so super-light you can scarcely feel it on your skin, and it hasn’t caused any irritation.

drunk elephant c firma

After I put that on, I apply Drunk elephant C-Firma Day Serum, which is also quite light and does a good job of evening out my skin tone, which can be all over the place. If you are interested in either of these Drunk Elephant products but aren’t certain about making the (not small) cash outlay, try this travel size duo.

rohto eye drops

Bloodshot eyes can ruin a good look, so on the days that mine are less-than-pristine, I use Rohto Cooling Eye Drops and they get an almost otherworldly white.

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I loathe putting lotion on my hands, because it takes forever to absorb and I’ve got better things to do than just sit there and wait. But this Brazilian Bum Bum Cream sinks in shockingly fast, and smells delightfully of a Caribbean vacation, too.



Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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