I have several suits and suiting dresses in my wardrobe and they are almost all navy, black, various shades of gray, pinstripe or menswear plaid. This spring the forecast is for color so I made plans to add some colorful suiting to my wardrobe.
Although I have many pencil skirts in various colors, I don't consider all of them suiting. The thick double-serge wool and nubby tweeds are not as formal as a finely woven fabric. I have the Pencil Skirt in Super 120's in black with a matching jacket and trousers. They are great to wear as separates or to pair up as a pant or skirt suit. I recently bought the pencil skirt in Royal Violet.
I ordered size 4 and it fits fine. I'm usually between 4 and 6 in J.Crew pencils and lately find the 4 to fit best. I liked the skirt paired with this vintage coral blouse in a key and tassel scarf print.
It's a lovely color and the wool feels lightweight and fine. I can easily wear this skirt from autumn through winter and into spring. With spring in mind I had fun styling it with silk blouses. This is an abstract paisley print in silk chiffon from J.Crew HO09.
Worn here with another vintage scarf-print in a nautical theme with ropes and seashells. One of the shells has the exact same color of violet as the skirt.
This basic ribbed Calvin Klein sweater is a real wardrobe workhorse. It is silk and cotton so it is light enough to be tucked but has enough body to be worn out as well. I like this look with the gray belt matching the tights and Chie Mihara Kalu shoes.
If you're interested in the color comparison between Super 120's and the No.2 double-serge cotton pencil skirt in the same Royal Violet, the cotton version is on the left and the wool version on the right. The online copy for the Super 120's skirt lists a coin pocket but it is not shown in the stock photos, and this season there wasn't one. I use that little pocket when slipping out for coffee or to pick up lunch and I just want to take a small amount of cash with me. I suppose removing that bit of tailoring is just one more cost-saving measure but I miss it.
I also bought the Super 120's Pencil Skirt skirt in Deep Lagoon, in the same size 4. The color is a nice deep teal that will mix and match with a lot of things in my closet. I tried it with the Milla cami thinking that the olive portion of the print would pull it together but I'm not sure if it works. Perhaps with the right cardigan.
This tiered silk blouse works for a tonal look, which I always like because I think it is more understated than wearing multiple colors. I often get compliments on my tonal outfits so they must be a good look for me.
Another tonal look with varying stripes. I wear a lot of blue, turquoise and teal so I can probably make a dozen tonal outfits with this skirt, and it seems a bit more neutral than the violet. Even though I want to add color, when it comes to formal suiting it must be subtle.
I tried a bit of colorblocking with this drapey silk blouse in emerald green. This is one of only two green tops I have, the other being a very pale green silk cardigan with pearl buttons. I don't wear a lot of green because most green looks awful with my complexion. This blouse has a hint of blue to it so it's fine.
If I'm rushed and don't have time to try on tops I can always fall back on my white Calvin Klein sweater, belted at the waist.
Overall the Super 120's pencil skirts are great additions to my wardrobe. They are well-made, comfortable and flattering. Have you bought any of the Super 120's suiting over the years? What's your take on it? I have more colorful suiting to come soon. Stay tuned!