Pencil Skirt POW: Writing a Chic, Comfortable Play Day Saturday

Outfit Mission Statement: Write your own Saturday style with a pencil skirt, a bright print, and a stylish tee

I have a cute photobomber here

I have a cute photobomber here

Play Day Saturday are clothes for taking your kids to the park, running errands, talking your dog for a walk, shopping, picnicking, traveling, going to a museum or a zoo—out and about or home having fun clothes. These are the clothes you often live the best parts of your life in! The POW (Piece of the Week) is the pencil skirt in general, and the cabi Fall 2016 Sigourney skirt in particular. Once again, I’m offering too version of this outfit, a colder weather one and a warmer weather one. The key to a play day Saturday is mixing comfort and style. The right pencil skirt can be comfortable and stylish. Then just mix that with other comfortable but stylish pieces. This is a great time for a bold print and a fun accessory. I wore a similar top in both outfits, one with short sleeves one with long, to better highlight the seasonal takes. The cooler weather play day outfit far passed its comfort and style test, as I has the perfect play day and wandered around NYC in it (the pictures are taken in Morningside Park)!


  • To add some fun, choose a bold print and mix with neutral basics
  • If you have a busy play day, chose comfortable but enjoyable shoes—like clunky boots with a thick heel or owl flats (whooo doesn’t love owl flats?)
  • Consider adding a striking piece of jewelry, but one in a single metal to keep the focus on your bright print and keep the outfit tone more casual
  • For play days, look for casual and comfortable pencil skirts, like those made from a nice stretchy cotton knit or ponte
  • For a pulled together look, choose a main color and keep most of your pieces in this color
  • For comfort and style, choose a soft tee (long- or short-sleeved) in a stylish cut

Outfit Breakdowns:

Sigourney Skirt Outfit:



Spring Skirt Outfit:


*For all eSBe orders and questions, I recommend my eSBe Stylist, Suzanne Wall Joffrion—her ID is 246131.

Win money towards this beatiful jewlery in our April Style Challenge

Win money towards this beatiful jewlery in our April Style Challenge

Getting set up on a buys staircase

Getting set up on a buys staircase


Related Posts:

  1. Margherita POW: White Out Over Navy Saturday: Be put together and carefree in your sundress by adding layers and accessories in a variety of whites
  2. Pleated Star POW: Cozy Cabled Rocky Coast Saturday: For a cozy take on a pleated skirt, add comfy pieces like a big cowl-neck sweater and suede boots
  3. Off to the Races Saturday: For an effortless, preppy, horse-race-ready outfit choose modern takes on classic pieces, some mixing of prints, and the sophisticated combination of black and navy—plus a hat!

POW 13: The Wardrobe Essential Pencil Skirt

Do you have a pencil skirt? Pencil skirts are a wardrobe essential, especially for office, dates, and special occasions, but can even work for casual and play. I wear them a lot myself, and have made them key parts of many POW outfits. 

Sigourney skirt, Zebra belt, and Bowie Tee from cabi clothing Fall 2016. Fuzzy boots from  JustFab .

Sigourney skirt, Zebra belt, and Bowie Tee from cabi clothing Fall 2016. Fuzzy boots from JustFab.

It is past time I featured a pencil skirt as a POW. So, let me introduce you to our next Piece of the Week—the pencil skirt! Pencil skirts are slim, body hugging skirts that tend to end around the knee.  The pencil skirt is a classic, feminine, elegant, polished, and sexy wardrobe workhorse. It is also a rarity in that anyone can rock a pencil skirt—young, old, slim, curvy, athletic, short and tall. These flatter everyone. Part of the reason is that they show off the calf part of the leg, which is one body part that tends to look great on all women regardless of size or age (the shoulders are another). The classic also enhances curves, slims, boost confidence, and gives any outfit the chic, cool elegance of a Parisian woman. Every woman should have at least one. I have… well… a lot. So, if you are new to pencil skirts or want to wear them more, check out all my posts and outfits that include them!


Fit and length:

You want a pencil skirt to follow your natural curves and fit at both the waist and hips, which can be harder to find if your waist to hip ratio doesn’t match the “standards” clothes are designed for. My hips are larger than these standards (or waist smaller), and I have a hard time finding something that is smooth across my hips and not too loose across my belly. I recommend if you have fit problems, going for a stretchy fabric such as a knit or ponte, or getting something that fits the bigger body part and getting it altered to fit the smaller part.

While pencil skirts tend to be knee length, you can find or alter them to be different lengths to flatter your height:

  • Shorter: If you are shorter or want your legs to look long, go for a pencil skirt that ends above the knee. Don’t go too far above the knee, maybe one to three inches, if you go too far, you lose the lengthening look of the skirt.
  • Average height: Look for skirts that hit right at knee length. You will get the lengthening of the pencil skirt and can show off lots of leg.
  • Taller: You can rock pencil skirts that go below the knee. They tend to make people look shorter, so keep this in mind (but you can get away with that). I suggest wearing heels if you go with the longer length. You can also wear shorter styles too.

A solid pencil skirt is universally flattering. If your bottom half is a “problem” area for you and you want to hide problems, go for darker solid colors. If you want to show off your bottom half or your curves, consider bright colors and prints.

You can make a pencil skirt work for anybody type. If you want to know how to rock it for your body shape, check out this great post “How to wear the pencil skirt” on How to dress like a Parisian, which goes over how to wear a pencil skirt for any body type.


The skirt:

For this POW, I am featuring the cabi Fall 2016 Sigourney skirt. Unfortunately, the cabi Fall 2016 season has closed, which means this fabulous skirt is no longer available via the traditional means. If you must have this piece, here are some ways you may be able to get it:

Sigourney skirt and Tempest Blouse from cabi clothing Fall 2016. Boots and choker from JustFab. Clutch older.

Sigourney skirt and Tempest Blouse from cabi clothing Fall 2016. Boots and choker from JustFab. Clutch older.

  • First, always try your stylist. She may have a sample available, know of another stylist with a sample available, or have other ways to get it. If you do not have one you may reach out to my stylist Joni Allen (via email or phone: 770 502-5243 [call or text]), Leigh Cheatwood-Harris (a friend’s stylist whom I have worked with also and can recommend: email and her site), or find a cabi stylist near you.
  • Second, check out resale, such as ebay or the Facebook groups or apps that allow people to sell their cabi.
  • Third, wait until August, when the outlets will get the Fall 2016 line and to go or call an outlet to see if they have this. Many outlets will allow you to order over the phone and then ship it to you.



But, pencil skirts are amazingly easy to find, and you have lots of option that are available. If you want a turquoise pencil skirt, check out:

There are so many options in different colors and prints, here are a few that I found:

Sigourney skirt from cabi Fall 2016.  Bistro Tee ,  Dot Jacket ,  Lock & Key Necklace , and  Lock & Key Bracelet  from cabi clothing Spring 2017. Shoes are from  Stitch Fix .

Sigourney skirt from cabi Fall 2016. Bistro Tee, Dot Jacket, Lock & Key Necklace, and Lock & Key Bracelet from cabi clothing Spring 2017. Shoes are from Stitch Fix.

Do join us for the thirteenth POW and discover seven ways, from the playground, office, home, or even a night on the town, and more to style this laid chic, flattering, and classic wardrobe staple, the pencil skirt!


My Favorite 10 (11? 13?) cabi Spring 2016 Pieces

Anyone who has spent any time on this blog or my Instagram feed or who has met me knows I am big cabi fan. In fact, it is due in part to my great experiences with cabi that I started this blog. Now the first season of cabi since the blog started, Spring 2016, is coming to a close. So, I thought I’d share my ten favorite (plus some extra) pieces from the collection, most of which you have seen here.

What are your favorites?

1.       Traveler Pants: While I did not feature these in a POW (Piece of the Week), I did feature them as one of the seven transitional pieces you need now and they were part of a POW outfit with the Plume Top. These pants are amazing! They are so soft and comfortable! I lived in them this spring (just check out my Instagram feed!). I love that they are very on-trend (Jennifer Aniston has a pair just like them) and have a rough, practical military feel. I knew they weather travel with a toddler quite well (which is as close as I ever hope to get to a war zone).  The have a slight crop and can easily be rolled up for more of a cropped look and/or to show off those cute heels or sandals. The elasticized ankle cuff, reminiscent of some track pants, gives them a sporty feel. The fit is slim, so they are a comfortable fit that is not skinny or baggy. They are made from a cotton spandex sateen that feels great on but has a certain ruggedness. I ended up buying second pair, because I was wearing them so much! Shopping tip: Size down one to two sizes below your normal cabi pants size. I normally wear an 8 (style dependent), but got these in both a six and four and the four is the better fit (and I need to unbutton them to get them off). I ADORE THESE PANTS!

2. Verde Jacket: I’ve also not focused on this jacket much here. I considered it for a POW, but ran out of time. However, I did style it with the Destructed Slim Boyfriend jeans (“Destructed White: It’s Terrific Being Green Thursday”). This bright “jelly bean green” color is striking and unexpected. I get compliments every time I wear it! The jacket had a vintage, feminine feel to it, with adorable box details on the pockets (which are not overly girly in implementation). It has a very flattering cut with a peplum waist—clearly highlighting/creating your hourglass shape, and hiding that extra you may have around your waist. This jacket can easily be dressed up or down. So far, I’ve mostly worn it for work, as it makes a light, professional layer. I must admit, part of my love of this jacket is how good the color looks on me. This is not a color that with work as well for everyone—but certainly is something many a redhead can rock (and many others too).

3. Margherita Dress: Yes, we have here a POW! This fun, easy, breezy sundress was my eight POW. As I show, it is very versatile and can work for office, play, dressing up, or whatever! You can buy it in two prints, this navy and white print version or a prism pattern. One of the best things about this sundress is the pockets! It is a longer length—not quite maxi—with an asymmetrical hem. It is a light and cool viscose fabric. It moves and blows easily in the breeze. Check out the POW for more!





4. Cruise Jacket: This classic, high-end styled jacket was featured in my “Go-To POW: Working It Classic Nautical Wednesday” and you will see it again soon! This is an amazing piece with great details, like the gold and email buttons. It is a “Love, Carol” piece, which is a special sub collection of higher-end pieces designed by Carol Anderson (the CA in cabi). It has a nautical feel to it with navy, cream, and red stripes. The fabric is a very soft woven fabric that is light and cool. It is a tailored jacket that creates fine lines. The jacket works well for work (I’ve worn it a few times), but can also be dressed down with some destructed jeans for a fun, casual look. This piece is really special.


5. Go-To Trouser: This is another POW and during that POW I really fell in love with them. At first glance, they may seem to just be black trousers. But looking closely, you will see they are a shorter style pants (“ankle skimming”). They are a light, but sturdy, blend of cotton, modal, and spandex, which means they move and stretch wonderfully. Which also means, they are very comfortable. The shorter length allows you to really show off some fun shoes. While perfect for work (especially on hot summer days), they can easily for nearly any occasion, as I show in the POW.  I highly recommend these wardrobe essentials! I could go on forever about them, but why don’t you check out the POW?


6. Bardot Shirt: Yes, we have another POW—the lovely, boho & boutique vibe Bardot Shirt. This shirt turned me from not liking denim shirts on me to loving them. I’ve even bough another since. The navy embroidery gives it a boutique and Southwestern feel, which is a fun combination! It works well as a cover up or layer, along with as a blouse. It can easily be dressed up for work, special occasions, and dates. The faded blue makes it an easy choice for the denim-on-denim trend, as it will likely be a different color then the other denim pieces you are wearing together.





7. Lido Skirt: You cannot go wrong with a navy ponte pencil skirt. I’ve talked about how ponte is the perfect work fabric. I’ve also suggested ponte knit pencil skirt is a must. Plus, navy is a fabulous new neutral and power color. Combined, you have the perfect skirt! I did not feature the Lido Skirt as a POW, but did post about is a transitional piece you need now and styled it in the Fall into Spring outfit. Pencil skirts are flattering and can work on many different body types. I love them for work. This one has a few cool features. First, it has pockets! And it also have a tiered hem for a subtle touch of style.





8. Sleeveless Double Drape Tee: This is an incredibly flattering top. The draping gives you curves if you don’t have them and it flatters what you do have (even hiding if you have a bit extra).  I styled this in the Michelle POW: Working It Navy Power Wednesday if you want to see how great it is for work. It also can be worn casually and really would help you rock a date. I know women from XS to XL who love this top! Plus, it is navy!







9.  Destructed Slim Boyfriend: These white jeans are my current POW. They are an amazingly soft denim in a vintage white. They have striking contrast trim, for a special touch. The slim boyfriend shape is flattering and comfortable. The destruction (rips) add an edge and can be a fun element, especially in otherwise fancy outfits. They roll up nicely, to show off fun heels or sandals. For an on-trend white jean, it doesn’t get my better!








10.   Multiple sleeveless tops: I can’t decide. So, I’m cheating a bit here. There are several nice sleeveless tops in the collection this season, and I couldn’t just pick one. They all have very different features and style. So, among my favorites, you can pick yours:

a. Luisa Tank: This bright floral, racer-back style tank is cheerful and fun. I didn’t really like it until I tried it on and then it became a must have! It works great for work, play, dressy, or casual. See it styles for work in “Run Around POW: Elegant Layers and Brights Manic Monday.”

b. Bella Top: This graceful, feminine beauty looks great on. The flowing, ruffled layer under the straight layer, gives it a unique look. The soft floral has a mix of colors, so this top can go with a lot. The merrowed edges give it a modern touch. I did not style it on the blog yet. But, expect to see it on Instagram a lot this summer! It goes well with a lot, but I love it with denim cut-offs.

c. Tivoli Top: In contrast to bright or feminine, we have this fierce black, ivory, and taupe animal print top. It have wonderful touches like lacy mesh and a keyhole closure.  Its wonder for work (especially with the Go-To Trouser), but works for dates or anything. I’ve styled it for work and with one on-trend bright jeans and a fall black jacket.

11.   Martini Top: This is my “honorable mention” as it deserves to be on the list. This navy print blouse (with whiter and green “olives”), has a swingy relaxed fit in a button-down style. It has a bit of a 60s feel to it. It has ¾ length sleeves for a cool summer look. While it can be styled down, I find it perfect for work. I styled it on the blog in a few different ways, including Run Around POW: Off to the Races Saturday and Michelle POW: Analogous Color Fun Saturday.




I really did love this season of cabi, and it was hard to choose just ten, or eleven, or I guess 13 favorite pieces! Which are your favorites? 

If you would like any of these contact your cabi stylist ASAP! I believe the season ends June 30th. If you do not have a stylist, please contact me in the comments or via email, reach out to my (Joni Allen via email or phone: 770 502-5243 [call or text]), or find a cabi stylist near you

POW 9: The Southwestern, Boho, Boutique Staple Denim Shirt

I’ve never been a fan of the denim shirt, at least not for me. They look great on other people. They are a wardrobe staple. They are incredibly versatile—easy to dress up and down, wear as layer or wear on its own. But just not my thing.

That is, until I met the Bardot Shirt. Yes, this is another cabi Spring 2016 piece. It is also not your typical denim shirt. It is a faded blue, which you can find many a denim shirt in. But, it also has a boho, Southwest feel with lovely navy embroidery. This shirt makes me think of New Mexico or maybe Arizona. Clear blue sky, turquoise jewelry, horseback riding, red dusty ground, and that desert vibe. It also has a casual, but tailored fit and distressed silver buttons. Plus, each one is unique with the fading of the denim. My cabi stylist, Joni Allen, says this is like a boutique version of a denim shirt, and I must say I agree.

Outfit:  Bardot Shirt ,  Villa Pant , and the  Marisa Top  from cabi Spring 2016. Earrings and Necklaces by  Shine Chaser Jewelry . Bracelets by  Solid Treasures .  Acme Bootie    by Crown Vintage, sold at DSW.

Outfit: Bardot Shirt, Villa Pant, and the Marisa Top from cabi Spring 2016. Earrings and Necklaces by Shine Chaser Jewelry. Bracelets by Solid TreasuresAcme Bootie by Crown Vintage, sold at DSW.

Outfit:  Bardot Shirt  and  Destructed Curvy Skinny  jeans from cabi Spring 2016.  Yet Another  sandals from Aerosoles. E nglish Arrow Wrap Bracelet  by Sloan Ranger. Earrings by  Solid Treasures . Necklace from  Target .

Outfit: Bardot Shirt and Destructed Curvy Skinny jeans from cabi Spring 2016. Yet Another sandals from Aerosoles. English Arrow Wrap Bracelet by Sloan Ranger. Earrings by Solid Treasures. Necklace from Target.

Outfit:  Bardot Shirt ,  Fresco Dress ,  Villa Necklace  from cabi Spring 2016.  Unisa Eavvi Sandal  sold at DSW.

Outfit: Bardot Shirt, Fresco Dress, Villa Necklace from cabi Spring 2016. Unisa Eavvi Sandal sold at DSW.

I see this shirt being what a flannel shirt is to me in the winter and late fall—a cozy shirt, a layer, something I throw on when cold or needing the lightest of jackets, something easy, practical, and worn on its own and as a quick go-to addition to nearly any outfit.

Now I’m a big fan of this denim shirt. And I may find my way to loving the more typical denim shirts. Yes, the Southwestern, boho, boutique Bardot Shirt will be my ninth POW (Piece of the Week). If you do not have the Bardot Shirt and are not interested in buying it, feel free to use any denim shirt in the styles I will show you. It will work best if the denim shirt is a bit loose so you can tie it. Otherwise, pretty much any denim shirt will work. You can also replace your denim shirt with a flannel shirt for fall and winter and try similar styles. I did feature a flannel shirt for the third POW, so feel free to follow those styles replacing the flannel shirt with a denim one!

If you would like the Bardot Shirt, contact your cabi stylist. If you do not have one, please contact me in the comments or via email, reach out to my (Joni Allen via email or phone: 770 502-5243 [call or text]), or find a cabi stylist near you. If you want a more typical or different denim shirt, check out L.L. Bean’s Denim Work Shirt (in two colors) or the Signature Chambray Shirt (on a huge sale!) or the classic Levi's® Long-Sleeve Denim Western Shirt at Macy’s (on sale and in four colors).

Do join us for the ninth POW and discover seven ways, from the office, night on the town, playground, home, and more to style this casual, versatile, unique wardrobe staple the Bardot Shirt!

Margherita POW: Working It Buttoned-Down Flowy Wednesday

Margherita POW: Working It Buttoned-Down Flowy Wednesday

Outfit Mission Statement: Turn a sundress professional by wearing a white button-down shirt and a blazer over it


Working it Wednesday outfits are professional career clothes, often a step or two above Manic Monday outfits. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the cabi Spring 2016 Margherita Dress. In some ways this outfit plays off the concept we discussed last time—adding a blazer or cardigan to a sundress to make it work appropriate. To be even more professional, take it a step further: add a blouse too! In this outfit I am treating the sundress like a skirt and wearing a blouse and jacket with it. With a blazer and blouse, you can turn many a thing professional, especially this sundress. I love the blouse and jacket over the more casual flowy skirt with pockets—a touch of fun and flow with formality!

A white blouse is another wardrobe essential, make sure you have at least one. While you can use a variety of different cotton button-down blouses for this look, the white is more professional.




Read More

Plume POW: Manic Pretty Strong Monday

Outfit Mission Statement: Mix a military-inspired jacket with skinny jeans and a feminine top for a strong, pretty, casual, yet professional work look


Manic Monday outfits are easy career clothes to throw on for manic Mondays. This Monday we focus on creating a chic work outfit. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the cabi Spring 2106 Plume Top. While styled with the ease of a tee shirt, this blouse can easily be styled up for work. It especially works is a more casual work look with a blazer and jeans. I’m a huge fan of the blazer and jean combination anyway. Add this Plume Top and you have an amazing, casual apropos of work look! Due to all the colors in this top, you can easily pop any of them with your accessories or shoes. I felt the orange made a nice contrast to the green and was less expected than purple or magenta. This top is great for the casual office look for many reasons, but one of my favorites is layering! If you get hot, you can take the jacket off, and not worry about showing off too much (including a bra strap). Make sure you have some blouses like this in your work (and rest of life) wardrobe!


  • For a casual work look, combine a pretty top, nice fitting blazer, and skinny jeans
  • Pop a less expected color in the blouse with your accessories or shoes for added interest and sophisticate styling
  • Roll those jeans to show off your shoes and look more put together
  • Roll the jacket cuffs for a more modern take on the classic (and keep cooler during the summer heat or a hot flash)
  • Consider playing off the safari feel of the jacket with some fun shoes
  • Contrast the femininity of the blouse with a safari- or military-styled jacket for a strong, yet pretty look that is ready for anything
  • When doing business casual, lean towards darker washed jeans, as they look more professional
  • Look for blouses that layer well and can work without layer on top for when you get hot
  • With a neutral jacket and dark wash jeans (also a neutral), you can grab any blouse for a quick, professional work outfit


Outfit Breakdown:


Go-To POW: Manic Black & White Monday

Outfit Mission Statement: Rock your black pants in a long, lean, chic, and cropped black & white outfit

Manic Monday outfits are easy career clothes to throw on for manic Mondays. This Monday we focus on creating a chic work outfit. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the cabi Spring 2016 Go-To Trouser. This pants are work-ready. Thrown them on with a nice blouse, sweater, and/or jacket and you are good to go! But, you can do much more with them for a chic, professional look. Black pants are the perfect bottoms for nearly any top. But, it can be especially fun to make them the base of a black & white outfit. With the right pieces, like a linen blazer and dressy tee shirt, you can be chic, contrasting, casual, and comfortable! The shirt is the same cropped top you saw in Michelle POW: The Cropped & Contrasted Thursday.  Check out the post for tips on choosing a cropped top for you. Yes, you can wear the right cropped top to work—see!



  • Roll your jacket sleeves for a more modern look
  • Consider a linen jacket for a nice summer-weight fabric and a more casual career style (since it wrinkles so easily, it may not work in a very formal office)
  • No need to wait for Labor Day to wear white, especially a fun white jacket
  • Make sure your jacket works buttoned and unbuttoned so you can change up the look during the day
  • With a black and white outfit consider keeping your accessories light and mild to not conflict or distract (or go bold to add even more pop) 
  • Don’t rule out cropped tops for work—just be careful with your selection: go for a longer length and make sure your stomach is covered
  • With the right cropped clothing you can still create a long lean look:
    • Make a dark color your base (pants and top), with the contrasting color for the jacket
    • Wear heels in the same color as your pants
    • Don’t go too short on the cropped pants or shirt


Outfit Breakdown:

For this photo shoot, I am wearing the sample cabi Spring 2016 Go-To Trouser, which is a size too big. My own pair did not arrive in time. Keep in mind these should be a bit tighter and smoother if they fit correctly.










POW 5: Getting Down to Business

Black Pants. Black pants are a wardrobe essential for any woman. They are more essential if you have a career that requires business casual and dressier. But even those whose career is raising their child or something on the casual side should have a pair of flattering black pants. This next POW will focus on a pair of chic, flattering black pants that may be a perfect addition to your wardrobe.

Outfit:  Go-To Trouser ,  Cruise Jacket , and older Target suede pumps.

Outfit: Go-To Trouser, Cruise Jacket, and older Target suede pumps.

Let me introduce you to our fifth POW: the cabi Spring 2016 Go-To Trouser! These are a modern, chic take on the classic! The big difference is a slightly shorter length, making them ankle skimming (or so, depending on your height). They are a comfortable, flexible, and lifestyle-friendly mix of cotton, modal, and spandex for a crisp professional look you can move in. They are relaxed in the hip (great for those of us with bigger hips) and have a straight leg. The name is perfect—they will be my Go-To pants this spring and long into the rest of the year (and I suspect beyond). Do join us for the fifth POW and discover seven ways, from the boardroom, to the playground, to the fancy dinner, to style this chic version of a wardrobe essential.

In at least some of the photo shoots for this POW, I am wearing the sample, which is a size too big, including the pictures here. These pants should fit a bit tighter and smoother in the correct size. I hope to get my pair in time to finish the POW in them!


If you want to buy, please contact me in the comments or via email or my stylist (Joni Allen via email or phone: 770 502-5243 [call or text]) and we can get you set up.  It is possible any order you make will be included in a show total for me. If that is the case, for each $250 spent in my show, I get one half priced item. So, I’d be quite grateful of any orders! I promise to blog about what I buy!