Sunday, December 1, 2013

Class-ify It: How to Wear Turtlenecks and Pencil Skirts

Today I've got a really special post planned for you guys! It's been on my mind for awhile, and I'm so excited to finally be writing it! I've started a new category on my blog: Class-ify It. Some of my favorite posts to read are ones that talk about figure flattery, how clothes should fit, and elevating outfits. The fashion world has very strange views about what looks good, and with all that chaos, it's pretty easy to loose sight of what actually does. In these posts, I'm going to try and show how making a few simple changes can go a long way in turning something from frumpy to classy.

Turtlenecks and pencil skirts are a wintertime classic for lots of people. They're warm, fun, and make great go-to's for lots of different occasions. Like everything, however, there's a right and a wrong way to do it. While turtlenecks are cozy and comfy, they've gotten a rather bad rap because people tend to associate them with 'frump'. It's really too bad, though. With some searching, soft and fitted turtlenecks are great additions to your winter wardrobe.

While I've always enjoyed dressing up and wearing nice clothes, it's only been recently that I started to understand figure flattery. Because of that, outfits that I would have thought pretty classy look really frumpy to me now. Below I've re-created an outfit I would have worn as recently as last winter (left) and the class-ified version (right).

Outfit Details: (Left) Turteneck//hand-me-down, pencil skirt//thrifted, tights//Walmart, flats//Payless. (Right) Turtleneck//thrifted, pencil skirt//thrifted, tights//George via Walmart, heels//thrifted.

These photos were taken on the same day, wearing the same skirt. Yet the left looks frumpy, while the right is put-together. Looking at the pictures, I feel like I not only look taller, but also a little slimmer and older in the right picture.

Let's talk about the outfit on the left.

I mean, there's not a lot wrong with it. It's passable. My two biggest problems with it are that it's boring and makes me look a little stumpy (For reference, I'm about 5'7"). Here's what's contributing to the frumpy look:

  • My hair is pulled straight back in a bun similar to what I exercise in, and I'm not wearing any makeup. Both those things make the outfit appear less put-together.
  • The turtleneck is definitely not as fitted as it could be, and is a bit rough with those 'ridges' that seem a little granny-ish.
  • The plain, opaque tights keep it boring, and also provide never-ending-black.
  • The flats elongate my feet and just don't look right with the classy skirt...they make the shoes seem like an afterthought rather than an actual part of the outfit.
Now let's look at at the right outfit:

I think this outfit to look more thoughtful and sophisticated, and therefore more mature. Here's what's making it classier than the left outfit:
  • Here I have my hair off to the side in a full, 'fluffy' bun. I'm also wearing a simple, 5 product makeup look: concealer, foundation, eye shadow, mascara, and lip balm.
  • The turtleneck is much more fitted and softer, with small details like pleats at the neck. Plus the fact that it's gray, instead of black, makes it less monotonous.
  • It's hard to tell in these pictures, but these tights actually have a fun diagonal pattern to them. Much more interesting than plain opaque!
  • Heels are always a good idea. Period. They only make outfits look better. Here, they continue the theme of a more sophisticated, mature look.
What do you think? Are turtlenecks and pencil skirts one of your go-to's? How do you make  your looks classier?

PS. Don't forget to like Young Yankee Lady on Facebook! 


  1. Great idea! I hope you do more of these posts, because I enjoyed reading it. The only thing was that for the after picture, your foot got cut off, so I couldn't see your shoes as well:)

    1. Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it; I'm hoping to do more. Yeah, what with the extra height with the heels, it was difficult to squeeze the picture in. :)