"Popular skirt shape cut from a straight block from hip to hem. Often knee length and worn with suit jackets1."
While a very sexy skirt worn correctly, it is usually tight and can be unflattering if worn incorrectly. Cosmopolitan suggests wearing dark-colored pencil skirt with a light colored sweater because the light colors will accentuate and dark will be less vivid. Also suggested is wearing a longer shirt with your skirt that stops at the widest part of your hips, or wearing a fitted blazer that is left open, showing your waistline. They also urge you to wear "ultrasexy pumps with the highest heels you can handle".
During the second World War clothes were rationed and simple military-esque clothes were more common rather than sexy styles. After the rationing this type of clothing became unpopular and more full skirts were the most fashionable, but the pencil skirt was also introduced around this time. They were "so long and narrow," said London’s Picture Post, "that the mannequins can hardly walk." These long pencil skirts were fashionable up to the mid-50s, designed to fit the ideal figure of the time; tall and thin, but with feminine curves. They were reintroduced in the late 70s and became an important fashion staple in the early 80s. Younger women usually chose shorter styles, while older women wore longer, sometimes tapered ones. Eventually they went out again, only to return to popularity at the end of '94 when grunge became officially uncool.2