A pencil skirt is a slim-fitting skirt with a straight, narrow cut. Generally the hem falls to, or is just below, the knee and is tailored for a close fit. It is named for its shape: long and slim like a pencil.
The pencil skirt may be worn either as a separate piece of clothing or as part of a suit. A pencil skirt usually has a vent at the back, or less commonly at the sides, since its slim, narrow shape can otherwise restrict the movement of the wearer. Sometimes a kick pleat, which exposes less skin, is used instead of a vent. Pencil skirts made from stretchy knitted fabrics do not normally need vents or pleats.
Some classic shoes for wearing with a pencil skirt are pumps, or high heels, with sheer stockings or tights. Back-seamed hosiery recalls the classic pencil-skirt era of the 1950s. Pencil skirts can also be worn with flats for a more casual, youthful appearance that echoes the 1960s. Pencil skirts and loafers are classic “Prep".