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The History of Pencil Skirts

The modern pencil skirt made its fashion debut in 1954 as part of Christian Dior’s H-line collection. However, precedents can be seen in the boxier shapes of 1940s skirts. The work of Dior’s contemporaries should also be noted – particularly the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga, who cut clothes directly onto the contours of the body. The pencil skirt quickly became a defining garment in the 1950s and early 1960s. A chameleon of sorts, it could be worn many different ways. Notably, it made a name for itself as a practical garment for working women at a time when they were entering the workforce in ever-greater numbers and needed a way to look business-ready yet chic. Today, this legacy lives on and the pencil skirt remains a crucial part of many women’s business wardrobes.

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