The Straight And Narrow.

Life lately has been a little hectic. What with a new job and....well, that's it really. My new job has me constantly occupied and when I'm not doing that I'm probably sleeping - I don't remember the last time I've been so exhausted. But it's the best kind of exhausted - the kind that means you've spent all day being mentally stimulated and challenged - and I love it.

For the first couple of weeks I allowed my new role to take precedence and control my waking hours. OH understood - I saw him at weekends - because week nights were for me, the bath and a book (hence my absence from here too.) And it was going well, until I realised I hadn't seen some of the most important people to me for a while. My friends. So last week I decided to rectify this and, as a result, spent a hefty chunk of the bank holiday weekend in the local tapas bar with friends and vino. An excellent choice, I'm sure you'll agree.

It was here that I was posed my first sartorial challenge that genuinely stumped me. A friend asked me for some advice on how to wear her new pencil skirt. Shoe wise. She said she was obviously aware that the general way to do it is with heels but what about day to day? How do you factor any other kind of footwear into things? And you know what? I wasn't sure either. And it's been annoying me since.

So today, free afternoon ahead of me, I decided to face the conundrum head on and really work out a response. I mean, I work in fashion and blog about it as a hobby. If I can't come up with some plausible suggestions then surely I'm in the wrong game. And that, I am certainly not.

So here goes...
Camo print top | Hypebeast | £88.00
Sally Pencil Skirt | Matalan | £15.00
Maddie Neon Laser Cut Clutch | | £18.00
Cranberry Cocktail Ring | | £18.87
Laser Cut Pumps | Topshop | £24.00
During our brief (and disappointing to her, I'm sure) discussion we agreed that ballet pumps were perhaps a little 'ma'am-ish'. But after further thought I wasn't so sure. Y'see, I think Topshop do an excellent line in contemporary ballet flats that keep them up to date and fun while remaining wearable in every day situations so they were my first stop. And they did me proud.

Laser cut has been on my radar for a while now so I picked these little gems and paired them with a plain skirt, on trend camo top and laser cut bag. I'm a sucker for a cocktail ring to finish off an outfit. Slick of mascara and you're done.

Next up we have riding boots.

Navy Jersey Biker | Dorothy Perkins | £30.00
Basic White Tee | Zara | £18.00
Green and Yellow Statement Necklace | Modeets | Sold Out
Francine Pencil Skirt | People Tree | £38.00
5050 Boots | Stuart Weitzman | £390.00

This is a bit more of a work look. We can't deny that the weather's been a little less than Spring-like of late. So most of us are still firmly in our leather boots and could be for some weeks yet, if the weather forecast is to be believed. And with that in mind I decided to introduce you to the world of Stuart Weitzman and his incredible '5050' boots. Possibly the pinnacle of versatile boot styles on the market at the moment. Yes, I know they aren't the most inexpensive but they are the most investment-worthy I've come across in a long while.

I've been wearing my Zara pair, that I blogged about here, a lot recently with pencil skirts and dresses, a-la Victoria Beckham, and I've been roundly complimented for the look. So those of you who are worrying about clashing hemlines and boot tops, don't. However they fit together they're a match made in heaven.

Collarless Blazer | New Look | £24.99
Lace Top | Madewell | £39.00
Stud Handle Bag | | £20.00
Thelma Skirt | Project D at | £195.00
Studded Sandals | Balenciaga at | £365.00
This is in case the sun does decide to appear in England this Spring/Summer. It's easy for people to pigeon hole pencil skirts as slightly more formal clothing because of their structured nature. But I think there's something intrinsically playful about them once you add a print. Which is exactly what Project D have done. I also don't think they always need tops tucked into them. This chic lace tank top would look perfect loosely layered over the skirt and, with a light blazer and sandals, ready for the warmer temperatures. The bag is from Boohoo again - these guys have got some seriously good accessories in stock at the moment so if you get the chance have a look.

Boyfriend Blazer | cozbest | £30.00
Neon Breton Silk Top | Scotch & Soda | £65.00
Black Pencil Skirt | Reiss | £85.00
Bangle Stack | charmandchain | £16.00
Jet Set Tote | Michael Kors | £165.00
Biker Boots | Matalan | £22.00

Biker boots were a suggestion made to my questioning friend when she first posed her dilemma to someone else. But she dismissed them as not really her look. I'm hoping that here I've created something that makes those of you who feel the same way begin to reconsider. Biker boots are such a great way to change the look of an entire outfit and make it all a bit more edgy. Not forgetting that brighter, longer days are coming soon I've made sure there are some vibrant colours throughout this ensemble that make it wearable until we get to sandal temperatures.

Embellished Silk Top | Moschino at | £196.00
Printed Pencil Skirt | Whistles | £60.00
Green Clutch | Boticca | Sold Out but similar here
Strappy Sandals | Steve Madden | £98.00

And finally, the quintessential pencil skirt look - with heels. I thoroughly enjoy an azure colour palette so have gone with it for this look. Some people think wearing brights together is a bit 'too much' but I feel very differently - I love clashing colours and prints. The brighter the better! I used to own an amazing pair of green heels similar to these but they broke through over-wearing. It may be time for a new pair as I found they went with a surprising number of things in my wardrobe and I miss them. The only thing I will say, if you're thinking of going down the bright pencil skirt route, is to keep the makeup palette basic. Nudes and taupes are your friends here. Otherwise you risk merging into TOWIE territory and nobody wants that.

Unless you're going for the 'ironic look' of course.

In which case, get off my blog.

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