history of the pencil skirt

Inspired by this post, I decided to explore the history of the pencil skirt today. Maybe you already know? Maybe you don’t.

Pencil skirts are slim and narrow in shape and usually at least knee length (currently). They often have a slit in the back or side so that you can walk. They come from the hobble skirt..

Basically, the hobble skirt made it so you had to hobble to walk. It was so tight on your legs! I’m so glad that style went away. There is more info on Wikipedia if you are interested. Then comes Christian Dior..

However, it was the French designer Christian Dior who introduced the pencil skirt in the late 1940s, using the term H-line to describe its shape. It quickly became very popular, particularly for office wear. This success was due to women’s desire for new fashions in the wake of the drudgery of the Second World War coupled with the austere economic climate, when fabrics were expensive and rationed, and full-skirted garments were seen as wasteful. Wikipedia

70 years later pencil skirts are still very popular for office wear! What’s interesting to me is that they chose the name “pencil skirt.” We don’t normally say people are pencil thin, they are stick thin. Right? Why wasn’t it a stick skirt? Dave’s Mechanical Pencils has a great post about the different things named “pencil _______” Check it out! I love the pencil boat.

Shop lots of cute pencil skirts on the Find!

  • Nice post! That hobble skirt definitely looks unmanageable. Thank goodness for Christian Dior!