Pencil skirts are a fashion item that is always in style. They can be worn dressed up, in an office setting, or even dressed down with tennis shoes for a more casual look. The options with pencil skirts are just about endless. If you have a pencil skirt or are looking into buying one, you may be wondering what you should wear underneath the skirt. We're here to help you out.
Ultimately, the decision to wear something underneath your pencil skirt is up to you. However, some sort of shapewear or stocking works best underneath a pencil skirt. The decision between the two can have a variety of factors, two of the biggest being personal preference or weather.
Continue reading to find out the difference between shapewear and stockings/pantyhose/tights, which shapewear works for which skirt, and even how to hide a muffin top or belly fat under a pencil skirt.
Why Wear Something Under A Pencil Skirt?
If your skirt is long, you may be wondering why you need to wear anything other than regular underwear under your skirt. The answer is, smoothing. Wearing a piece of shapewear or hose underneath your skirt makes your waistline and upper thighs smooth underneath the skirt. That way, when you put the skirt on, you do not see anything imperfections through the skirt.
Another reason to wear something under your pencil skirt would be the weather. If you are going to work in the dead of winter but still want to wear a professional pencil skirt, you may need to get a pair of tights. If it's warm outside but you're less than comfortable showing your legs off, grab yourself a pair of skin-colored tights. The good thing with tights and shapewear is that there is an option for everyone and every setting.
Check out these tights in multiple shades on Amazon.
How Do You Hide a Muffin Top or Belly Fat Under a Pencil Skirt?
As stated above, the right shapewear will help hide a muffin top or belly fat when wearing a skirt. The right shapewear should be form-fitting, but of course not uncomfortably tight. It will typically be a skin tone color or black and feel a bit stiff when you get them on, which is the compression aspect of the shapewear in action.
Under a pencil skirt, the right piece of shapewear will almost look like biker shorts. When you slip the shapewear shorts on, you should visibly be able to see a smoother figure due to the compression. If you are not seeing a difference, the pair you've chosen most likely does not have enough compression.
A good brand for compression shapewear that is comfortable and holds up well over time is Spanx.
See tummy control shapewear from Spanx on Amazon here.
How Do I Know Which Kind of Shapewear to Buy?
The answer to this really depends on what you are planning to wear over the shapewear. For a normal pencil skirt hitting at your belly button, a mid-rise form-fitting pair of shorts should work best. If your skirt is longer in length, you may want to opt for a longer pair of shapewear. If your skirt is shorter, your shapewear would be shorter as well.
Ideally, nothing under your skirt is visible. If it is, you've chosen the wrong cut of shapewear. If you have a high-rise pencil skirt, you will want to choose shapewear that comes up as high as the waistline of the skirt. This way, your hips are smoothed out. Your choice of shapewear can also depend on your body shape. Check out the pin below to learn more about choosing shapewear.
Shapewear vs. Pantyhose/Stockings
Pantyhose or stockings are different from shapewear because they are meant to be seen underneath your pencil skirt. Shapewear is meant to provide a compression, smoothing effect but it's meant to be seamless under your dresses and skirts.
So, when you wear shapewear, your legs are showing bare. Stocking or pantyhose are still worn under skirts and dresses but they go all the way down your legs. You can opt for skin color hose that are less visible, but you can also make a statement with colored or textured stockings.
How Do You Decide Between Pantyhose and Shapewear?
The answer to this question is simple. It really is up to personal preference. If you don't want the skin on your legs to show underneath your skirt, you would opt for pantyhose or stockings over shapewear. Skin-colored hose can offer the look of natural skin while still masking your skin itself. In order for this to not be noticeable, your hose needs to be spot-on skin color. Other than personal preference, this can also come down to the weather.
A few other factors that may influence the decision between pantyhose/tights and shapewear could be the occasion you're dressing for, or the location you're dressing for. In an office setting, for a typical day at work, you may go with shapewear and a shorter pencil skirt. For a winter business meeting, you may find yourself wanting a longer, more structured, pencil skirt and some darker tights. While a more casual setting, like a day shopping with friends, would call for light shapewear under a less dressy skirt.
What to Wear Under a Pencil Skirt in the Winter?
When it's cold outside, you may find yourself reaching for a pair of hose or stockings over your shapewear, just to add a thin layer over your legs. In the colder months, many women wear darker colored hose under their skirts.
You can also venture into other colors and textures as well if you are feeling a bolder look. An example of a skirt with tights is pictured below. Although the wearer can decide any color during any season, colored tights, especially darker colors, are definitely more reserved for the winter months.
What to Wear Under a Pencil Skirt in the Summer?
When the temperatures are a bit warmer, you may not want any added layers on your legs. Summer months are perfect for shapewear shorts that are not visible under the skirt and allow your legs to be bare. If you still wish to have something over your legs and it's hot outside, go for a skin-tone colored pair of pantyhose. Pantyhose are typically very thin and breathable while tights are a little heavier.
The answer to this question really is so simple, it depends on the wearer's personal preference. You could not wear anything under your pencil skirt if you so choose. However, for maximum comfort and the best possible look, shapewear or pantyhose/tights are your best option. If you are looking for the option with the best ability to hide imperfections such as a muffin top or belly fat, you may find yourself reaching for a pair of high compression shapewear.
When you are deciding between the two, think about where you are going, or what you are doing. Then you may factor in the weather, so as to keep yourself as comfortable as possible. The bottom line is, when wearing a pencil skirt, you cannot go wrong with a good pair of shapewear or tights underneath.
To learn more about skirts and other fashion related topics, check out some of the articles below:
Do Pleated Skirts Suit Everyone?
Can You Wear A Maxi Skirt As A Dress? [Here's How]