Topshop PVC pencil skirt, black, navy and camel versions still available here
As I’m sure you all know sexy chic made a glorious return to the runway for AW13 (I did a post on it here). PVC, leather, latex, peek-a-boo detailing and other saucy styles appeared on the catwalks of Jonathan Saunders, ANTIPODIUM, Prabal Gurung and Jason Wu to name just a handful. Hell, even Burberry got in on the act with Christopher Bailey channeling sixties seductress, Christine Keller. Despite my penchant for all things blousey, bow trimmed and otherwise manrepelling I couldn’t wait to try a little fetish fash for myself. It was merely a matter of when, how and what the hell would I wear it with. Part of the answer to this conundrum presented itself in August. I was both completely broke and hopelessly late for a meeting when I saw this baby in the window of Topshop and stopped in my tracks. I first wore the skirt at the Belstaff bash during London Fashion Week and, while I adore it, haven’t managed to give it another outing since. You see, a pink PVC pencil skirt is pretty eye catching. It’s a conversation starter, but you don’t want it starting the same conversation with the same people at a bunch of different events. So I challenged myself to make it work 3 distinctly different ways, in the hope that my much loved (if seriously bloody uncomfortable) shiny pink number could have life in it yet.
Firstly I just have to clarify that my “casual” doesn’t usually look much like this. If I’m working at home, hitting the library or under the weather (read: hungover) then no make up, skinny jeans, breton tee is my can’t-be-bothered recipe. I probably won’t be swapping this fail safe formula for squeaky PVC anytime soon but I wanted to prove that it is possible to make such a garment vaguely daytime appropriate even if actually attempting to run around town in it would be a frustrating experience to say the least. I initially attempted operation dress down with the addition of my Kenzo cloud print sweatshirt and leopard print slip ons. Then I realised I was quite literally a walking (well, shuffling), talking, tweeting parody of a fashion blogger and decided to change toute suite. Instead I went for my beloved Chinti and Parker heart sweater with co-ordinated grey tights and a mini satchel. The pony tail was meant to make up for the fact those Russell & Bromley pumps are totally not casual… Kind of works, I think.
Worn with Le Monde D’Ines blouse (similar here), Anne Bowes Jewellery necklace (available here), L.K. Bennett pumps (available here), Wilbur & Gussie clutch (available here), Accessorize ring & hairband (similar here)
It’s official, I’ve found my calling in life, to make potentially sexy clothes deeply unsexy. Somehow I’ve managed to transform a wiggle-tastic, pink, PVC pencil skirt into a bottom half cover-up that your average Sunday school teacher would consider tame. Am I embarrassed for having turned a garment consisting of a fabric predominantly worn by strippers into the kind of get up one might reserve for meeting the boyfriends conservative and elderly parents? Hell no! If anything I feel this particular prep-over is among my greatest sartorial achievements to date. Whether boys actually find pink, PVC pencil skirts appealing or they’d prefer their lass in jeans and a fitted, V neck sweater is a whole other story but 99.9% of the men in my life don’t swing that way so I’m probably not qualified to comment. With Peter Pan collar and pumps in place I decided to really push the prep factor with the addition of a hair band. PG13 transformation complete.
I suspect my after dark take on the PVC pencil skirt could technically come under the preppy category but the elements of black chiffon and sparkle make it, I hope, the most late night of the three. I bought this top in Whistles at least two winters ago and on a cost-per-wear basis it’s paid for itself at least ten times over since. The shoes too have proved hard workers, pulverising my toes during London and Paris fashion weeks and at countless parties since. The Stephen Webster for Swarovski snake ring is possibly a little too badass for the rest of the ensemble and possibly me in general but it’s so glittery and generally cool that I couldn’t resist. I’ll definitely be working this look over the Christmas period, possibly even for New Years Eve…
I hope you’ve enjoyed the return of 3 Ways To Wear It! Which look would you pick?
Love Ella. X
Images by Lea Salomone