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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 12, 2010

The pencil skirt


By Paula Rath
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Stephanie Matsumoto, Kaimuki.

NORMAN SHAPIRO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Laura Chang, Pearl City.

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Toby Portner, Palolo.

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Melissa White, Tantalus.

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The perfect pencil skirt is a classic that's almost always found on fashion editors' top-five list of wardrobe must-haves. Versatile and flattering on nearly every figure, a pencil skirt can gracefully segue from day to evening, denim to silk, casual to court-ready.

Four of our Fashion Forum members showed us how they style their favorite pencil skirts, at both high and low price points, from American Apparel to Salvatore Ferragamo.

Do you have a favorite pencil skirt? Send us a photo and we'll put it up on our blog (http://www.hawaiisfashionforum.honadvblogs.com). Let us know what you love about it, where and when you found it, and how much it cost.

STEPHANIE MATSUMOTO

Career: Attorney, fashion and lifestyle writer and speaker
Neighborhood: Kaimuki
Her skirt: Salvatore Ferragamo cream quilted cotton, cut narrow at the hem
Favorite feature: "Versatility; I can pair it with a tank and cardigan or a suit jacket, and both looks are classic, modern and feminine. I opted for the suit jacket as it is the ultimate power suit, and yet the suit can be worn from day casual to evening dressy."
Cost: $500
What makes it ideal: "A classic investment piece that will last a long time. I can mix and match it with a lot of different clothes. As a suit I could wear it to a client meeting or to court."
How else she would wear it: With a tank and cardigan or a fitted blouse in a bright shade such as fuchsia.

LAURA CHANG

Career: Student
Neighborhood: Pearl City
Her skirt: Black Banana Republic acrylic blend
Favorite feature: Invisible side zipper
Cost: $80
What makes it ideal: "Not too fitted but not too baggy; nice inside lining."
How else she would wear it: "With anything colorful and edgy. I use it as a blank slate for my outfit. It can be worn with any other color, any accessory and almost any pair of shoes. I like to wear scarves with it, especially in Hawai'i, to remind local folks that scarves are OK for the Islands."

TOBY PORTNER

Career: Educator, Hawai'i Fashion Incubator (Hifi) co-founder.
Neighborhood: Palolo
Her skirt: Levi's jeans skirt with a touch of lycra
Favorite features: Jeans styling, pockets, narrow cut
Cost: $58
What makes it ideal: "Its diversity and it enables me to bring out the belts."
How else she would wear it: With a black T-shirt and high heeled wedges, rubber slippers or sandals.

MELISSA WHITE

Career: Co-founder, Hawai'i Fashion Incubator (Hifi), new mom
Neighborhood: Tantalus
Her skirt: America Apparel jersey knit tie-dye
Cost: $35
Favorite features: "It's form-fitting, has a high waist and is in a casual fabric in a stretchy knit that makes it versatile. It's also kinda funky."
What she loves about it: "It's on trend. I'm liking the Herve Leger styles now, and this is an affordable version."
How else she would wear it: "It can be mixed with a bright top and have a modern look, or I could roll down the waistband and wear it with rubber slippers and a tank for a more casual look."