Pencil skirts can be tricky to style. Add a blazer or cardigan, and you run the risk of looking like a corporate drone. Pair it with a feminine top or kitten heels and you could look over-the-top retro. Still, the curve-friendly style looks amazing when worn right, which is why we picked out a $108 black paneled number from BCBG, gave it to up-and-coming model and art-world star Coco Young, and handed over styling duties to the staff members of five of our favorite local boutiques: Pixie Market, Alter, Seven, Edith Machinist, and Patricia Field, who paired the staple item with everything from floaty blouses to Gaga-worthy bustiers (one guess which store was behind that decision). Click through the slideshow to see what each of our impromptu stylists came up with.
Sales associate Meghan Lavery paired the body-con BCBG skirt with a sheer, floaty Shape Shiftr blouse ($187 online). She also dressed Coco Young in a Daydream Nation leather and fur cuff ($99 online) and peep-toe, leopard-print wedges from Shakuhachi ($440 online).
Co-owner Roy Caires wanted to give pencil-skirted model Coco a casual, everyday look, so he dressed her down with OTBT Hutchinson buckled boots ($160), a Cheap Monday tee ($24), and Alter's signature chained scarf ($35) and chain/PVC necklace ($45).
We knew we could count on Seven to make our basic a bit more avant-garde. Sales associate Julian Garcia loaded Coco up with industrial jewelry (including a Gareth Pugh leather and metal hook ring for $135, a FAUX/real black rubber and metal bracelet for $225, and a FAUX/real gold necklace for $235), Raphael Young Eagle One platform booties ($995), and a Mark Fashion bra top ($227.50) that looks as if it were custom-made for this skirt.
Sales associates Moto and Reiko styled Coco in an outfit of Lady Gaga proportions. Our pencil skirt is barely recognizable under all those glittery layers, including an ostrich-feather boa ($85), Bordello Gold Fairy Dust platforms ($88), a Timmy Woods Adam and Eve purse ($260), vinyl top fishnet thigh highs ($14), MiniMini fingerless black leather gloves ($34), a Gasoline Glamour spike ring ($72), an Ophelie sequin UFO hat ($100), a Noir Keith Haring cuff ($168), Bernhard Willhelm ski glasses ($525), a V Moda hourglass corset ($770), and — lastly — a Natasha Midnight Raven bodysuit ($136).
Owner Edith Machinist and sales associate Kim Lease descended upon Coco with armloads of vintage shoes and bags. Eventually, they settled on a sweet floral eighties clutch from Laura Biagiotti ($180) and vintage Ferragamo heels ($235), paired with a forties cotton top ($145), vintage belt ($75), sixties sterling-silver cuff ($305), and sixties sterling-silver ring ($255).
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