I love What Not to Wear, and hang on Stacy London’s every word, even when her hair reminds me of a sassy skunk, and my husband announces she is the cattiest woman on earth. (Maybe that’s why I like her so much. He’s also called Clinton the cattiest woman on earth.) So when Stacy recommends snagging a basic black pencil skirt as the ideal winter sale item, I listen up, and pass it on. Every female paralegal needs a flattering black pencil skirt (the guys can go with a well-tailored pair of black slacks).

Here’s three under $30:

Cute skirt. Shoes not so much.

If you’re like me, and already have every fully lined, stretchy black skirt available from Target, this Mossimo Women’s TRS Black Herringbone Pencil Skirt ($19.99) is a nice variation on a reliable theme. For me, stretch equals comfort. I wash all my professional clothes from Target on cold in the delicate cycle and hang them up to try. They hold up beautifully, and I can get a lot of mileage out of $20.

JCPenney offers a cute variation if you find the plain black skirt theme a little boring, with this well-tailored Worthington Pleated Pencil Skirt ($21.99, was $44) shown with much cuter shoes than the Target skirt. I’ve also had good luck with my JCPenney purchases, as long as I keep them out of the dryer.

Pleats make this interesting.
Short but not too short.

Finally, if you like to show a little more leg and enjoy rocking the black tights and skirt combo, Overstock offers this fully lined Michael Kors Women’s Drape Front Pencil Skirt ($28.99) with a draped detail.


But whatever you do, don’t buy this one for the office just because it says pencil skirt. Maybe I’m showing my age, but I want to know where the rest of it is…

Ixnay on the shoes as well. You might be able to pull them off with a much longer skirt, but your feet would not thank you at the end of the day in a busy law office.

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