Although most people immediately picture a wide, flared skirt when they think of women's fashion in the 1950s, the pencil skirt was actually just as popular. The hourglass silhouette that was the look of the fifties was easy to create in this form-fitting skirt. There are several types of pencil skirts a well-dressed lady of the 1950s might have worn.
About The Pencil Skirt
The pencil skirt is a straight-sided skirt that hugs the curves of a woman's figure and stays close to the body over the hips and down the legs. Although today's pencil skirts usually fall just above the knee, in the 1950s the pencil skirt fell below the knee and partway down the calf. Some pencil skirts include a pleat or slit that make them easier to walk in; those without have earned the nickname "hobble skirts" due to the difficulty of walking in them.
Pencil Skirt Suits
One of the common styles of pencil skirt in the '50s was as part of a suit. The jacket that went along with the pencil skirt was often very tailored and may have flared around the hips to help create the hourglass silhouette. This was a common look for women working in offices or for running errands during the day.
Also known as "wiggle dresses" because of the wiggle they put in a woman's gait due to being tight around the knees, dresses with a pencil skirt were popular in the 1950s as well. They were usually belted at the waist to further enhance the hourglass silhouette.
Although the traditional '50s party dress was usually a more flared skirt, there were also pencil skirts suitable for evening wear. These were usually made of satin-like fabrics and paired with elegant blouses but could also be satin cocktail dresses with pencil skirts.