The pencil skirt

Pencil skirt how to wear it and how to wear it like French women do - Black leather pencil skirt, clutch bag

The pencil skirt has been a staple in women’s wardrobes for 70 years.  Christian Dior is often credited with introducing the pencil skirt to women in 1954 but some form of a straight skirt had been in circulation for a while before that.  From the beginning of the twentieth century women had been wearing some form of very straight skirt.  The hobble skirt, so called because of the wearer’s inability to take proper walking strides due to its restrictive, straight style, was popular in the early 1900s.  Flapper dresses were short and straight.  War-time rationing in the 1940s brought in clothing made with a minimal amount of fabric so narrow jackets and straight skirt were prevalent.  In one form or another, the pencil skirt has been with us for a while.

A sign of female emancipation in the work place, these straight skirts gradually morphed into the short, straight and practical pencil skirts that we wear today.  If a combination of women’s liberation and social necessity fuelled the rise in the straight skirt, or pencil skirt as it was termed, our modern pace of life adopted it for its own.  Teamed with a jacket to form a suit, it is a sign of professionalism and that a woman wants to be taken seriously at work.  It is very easy to wear, practical to travel in and can be teamed in endless combinations of clothes.

Read moreThe pencil skirt

The wardrobe staple the pencil skirt

Woman in a black pleather or leather pencile skirt with a sleeveless white top working frocks

The wardrobe stable the pencil skirt

Do you have one

For so long it has been the wardrobe stable of the working woman

You might not think of the pencil skirt as being sensual


and sophisticated

You  might just think it’s corporate

or very sexy

But take another look

It could be just the practical but glamourous addition to your wardrobe that you need

Take one wardrobe staple pencil skirt

in black

or camel

or bronze


one beautiful top in a beautiful fabric

or an oversized top with balloon sleeves

Then keep everything else quite sleek

Slingback shoes or high heels

Or if it’s summer bare legs and sandals

black sandals look great with bare legs and a black pencil skirt

Keep make up light

add a slick of lipstick

Brush your hair and have it ‘au naturel’

Revive the wardrobe staple the pencil skirt

It’s easy to wear when working from home

or back in the office

Keep it glam though

Woman in a black pleather or leather pencil skirt with a sleeveless white top working frocks


The pencil skirt forms part of our French capsule wardrobe collection.

Read about creating your own capsule wardrobe collection here.

Read about putting together a French style capsule wardrobe here.

Come and join the Working Frocks list.

Well it’s not really a list, it’s a group of women who want to look amazing every day.

I send out a letter once a week and the subject is whatever the Working Frocks theme is for the month.

February was wardrobe journalling, March is French capsule wardrobes.

Each month is something different.

There’s no pressure, but there is serious advice for upleveling your style

whether you always look sensational

or need a hand getting back to gorgeous you.

Click the image below to join.

I look forward to seeing you in there.

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Capsule Wardrobe Collection

What is a capsule wardrobe collection?

Hello everyone!  We are preparing a short series of blog posts for you, to show you how you can incorporate a capsule wardrobe collection into your life with minimum hassle and maximum benefit.  Here at Working Frocks we believe that a capsule wardrobe should help you look your best.  We see so many articles and images that are all about leggings and tee shirts.  While there is definitely a place in our lives for that  we think that a capsule wardrobe has a much more interesting role to play in your life.  One where you wear the distillation, the essence of who you are in a small collection of items.

We have prepared a contents section for you so you know what’s coming up…..

Read moreCapsule Wardrobe Collection

Creating a capsule wardrobe

Creating a capsule wardrobe woman in a floating knee length dress and beret working frocks

The idea behind creating a capsule wardrobe

is to free up your time and your brain

from preoccupation with what to wear

while looking great, your best

Take away everything you don’t need

pare your wardrobe back to essential and loved, beautiful garments

then wear the best

That’s all you need

Get rid of those clothes that don’t fit

that you don’t like or

are in any way a compromise

Be brave

You’ll be glad to be brave

Every woman who shines out and looks stunning

has got rid of all that she does not need

Creating a capsule wardrobe leaves you nowhere to hide

No more hiding in clothes that don’t do you justice

Wear those clothes and shine out

We love the idea of creating a capsule wardrobe

the appeal is so enticing

But are we brave enough to go there

Are we brave enough to ditch our comfort clothes

to get rid of what might be good

in order to go for great, amazing and awesome

What stops us from going there

from looking unique

from being brilliant

Even short people can suffer from tall poppy syndrome

Is it fear we will be pulled back

cut down to size

Who does she think she is

Well who do you think you are

That capsule wardrobe stands between two thoughts

What do they think of me and

what do I think of myself

Only concentrate on the latter

the former is none of your business

Take your time, journal, think

Remember that you are created to be awesome, talented, clever

Could you abandon everything in your wardrobe

that is a compromise

and really be who you are created to be

I’m not talking about creating a capsule wardrobe full of leggings and baggy teeshirts


I’m talking about wearing clothes

that fit your personality like a glove

Dip your toe in the water

Start to create a collection of clothes

that are uniquely you

You may be surprised by what you discover

and you may discover that being bold



feels like coming home

Creating a capsule wardrobe

For more information on wardrobe journalling, check out our wardrobe journalling page.

For more on capsule wardrobes see our previous posts:

Capsule wardrobe and microcapsule wardrobe

For more on emotions and the clothing choices you make see:

Why there are more emotions than clothes in your wardrobe


Stay in touch with us and receive our weekly newsletter round up with tips, advice and general encouragement.  You can sign up here, we’d love you to be part of our group:

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Have a great day!


The six steps to wardrobe journalling

6 steps to wardrobe journalling working frocks picture of a woman in a cafe writing in her journal

Today’s blog post takes a dive into the six steps to wardrobe journalling.  As you may know we are spending time exploring the idea of wardrobe journalling here at Working Frocks.  Today’s post gives you the details on the order we use as part of the process.  We hope it gives you a good insight into how you can get started on this wonderful journey.

If you haven’t read any of our blogs on wardrobe journalling, what it is and how to get started with it, then you can read these: 

Read moreThe six steps to wardrobe journalling

French Chic

French chic woman sitting on a pavement cafe in France Working Frocks blog post

French chic

Gallic charm

Call it what you will

but there is something about French women

that is so stylish

and chic

corny though that may sound

Maybe we can’t define the undefinable

but we can describe how the undefinable looks

It looks simple




It looks playful

and bold

It is simple

a plain white top or shirt

French chic woman sitting on a pavement cafe in France Working Frocks blog post styling tips section

It celebrates the body

a pencil skirt

It is rigourous

plain colours in a neutral palette: white, black, beige

It is playful

bold colours or pattern mixed in with the basics

leopard print snake print gold trainers

It is formulaic

pearls and discreet gold jewellery for the day

large chunky necklaces for the evening

one bracelet one necklace

It goes with the rules

hair in a bob, discreet make up

It is confident

No make up

or heavy eyes and red lipstick

It is simple

don’t make it fussy

Trousers top ballerina flats

you’re done

It is not self conscious

it is confident

Channel your inner French woman today

Pare back

Get rid of all that is extra and fussy

French chic is not fussy

Wear fewer clothes

of better quality

Be confident

French women exude confidence


You can read more two minute styling tips here: Styling Tips


If you liked this blog post you might also like:

Plan your weekend

How to dress like an A-lister

How to find your unique style


If you like this tip and want more advice to help you become a stylish and confident dresser, come and join the Working Frocks list:


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If you would benefit from some tlc lavished on your wardrobe and feel you need a mind boost to help you feel better about yourself, your life and your clothes, then join our 3 Day Wardrobe Detox:


Sign up form for 3-day wardrobe detox


Have a great day!


7 ways to organize an overflowing closet

Do you know how to organize an overflowing closet quickly and efficiently? A messy, disorganized, cluttered, overstuffed nightmare of a wardrobe, who would want that?  While most women love the idea of a wardrobe which looks like a calm, peaceful oasis and may dream of an idyllic walk-in wardrobe which is beautifully organized and is a haven of luxurious organization, the reality is often that messy, disorganized, clutter of possessions.

How does it get like that? Or rather, isn’t it so easy for our clothes to get like that.  One day everything is beautifully organized and the next it has turned into a seething pile of clothing larva, ready to erupt, or sometimes looking like it has already erupted.

Read more7 ways to organize an overflowing closet


Women have a voice you have a voice and we don't have to conform Your voice creates life creates your life Working Frocks Styling tips

Your voice

It announces your style

and it describes your style

Women have a voice

you have a voice

and we don't have to conform

Your voice creates life

creates your life

Your voice stakes a claim in the world

We hear the language

and we hear the voice

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A voice is not just for describing instructions

do this do that don't do this walk here don't walk here eat this stop that pick this up put that down

it's also for describing experiences

conveying emotions

explaining thoughts

And that is your style

as much as a dress

or a pair of shoes

The life you want to live

will be conveyed on the wave of your voice

What you speak out

will be reflected in what you wear

And what you wear

will be reflected in what you say

Try it for yourself

Wear one of your favourite outfits

and see how differently you think and speak

Your voice will also be a reflection of your lifestyle

and your thoughts and feelings around the life you have chosen

Quiet confidence sometimes comes in the form of a soft voice

a voice that doesn't need to shout

Your voice encapsulates your style

Your voice is your style

an audio version of your style

Women have a voice you have a voice and we don't have to conform Your voice creates life creates your life Working Frocks Styling tips

For more two minutes styling tips visit the Styling Tips page here: Styling Tips

If you've enjoyed our Styling Tip on voice then try a five minutes blog post on a similar topic.  For example:

Why there are more emotions in your wardrobe than clothes



Have a great day!




What is journalling? Why is it important for you?

Do you keep a journal?  Journalling (journaling in the US) is a written record of our thoughts and feelings.  Whereas once you may have said that you keep a diary, these days you might say that you journal, or keep a journal, or have a daily journalling practice.  I like the word journalling.  It feels looser, more informal than ‘diary’, more encompassing of a wide range of thoughts and pictures.

Journalling tracks our every day life, or times in our life, or periods or projects in our life.  It tracks our emotional path through life as well as physical events.  Journalling is not a prescriptive set of rules.  You may have your own rules or guidelines, but there is no set way to keep a journal.


Keep a journal and figure out what makes you tick

The important factor for the purposes of clothes, and for Working Frocks, is that journalling helps us figure out what makes us tick, what makes us happy, or where we might be stuck in anxiety, depression or fear.

Just as journalling does that for our emotions it also does that for our relationship with our clothes.

What journalling can give us is a meaningful connection with ourselves.  Journalling is a way into our thoughts.  It is a way of collecting our thoughts so that we can then examine them or think about them.  A meaningful connection with ourself is a fundamental part of our lived experience.

Keeping a journal is an organisation and creative tool

If you don’t already keep a journal we really recommend that you spend time each day to reflect on your thoughts. Write down what you are thinking, without holding back. Write as if noone is watching.

As well as being a great creative outlet, journalling is also an organisational tool. Keeping a journal helps to organise out thoughts and put them into some order.

There are two steps to this organisational process:

  1. The first is to get your thoughts out, so just write them down, draw them, mind map them or just stream or consciousness them out.
  2. The second is to examine them.

It’s important that you don’t rush into just examining your thoughts without getting them all out.
The importance, though, of getting your thoughts out on paper is that it frees up our working memory. When our thoughts are out on paper, instead of in our head, we stop continually processing them. This, in turn, can mean that we sleep better. And as a result of that, our immune system gets a boost and so does our mood.

Creating your own mental space

If you keep a journal, you will find that you are able to create your own mental space. Away from your phone, work emails and family demands it is a space where you can be yourself and think your own thoughts. You can take off your ‘autopilot’ mode and work out what you are really thinking. Sometimes a short walk followed by ten minutes journalling, or the reverse, is a brilliant way of processing thoughts and emotions, like anxiety and anger, and getting back to peace and serenity.

Keep a journal and set goals

Your goals can easily be hijacked by the world if you don’t stay vigilant. When you are chasing your tail, are working like a machine and living your life in response to outside forces, you need to take a step back from time to time and check in with yourself:

Remember what your purpose is.
Reset your goals.
Take a deep breath.
And go back in there.

Noone will give you permission to calm down, to rethink and reset. It’s permission you give yourself. Set your own goals, have your own agenda. Take time out, withdraw from the noise and chatter, and remember what you want and why you want it.

Setting goals is best done, can only be done, in peace and calm. So take that time to set your goals in peace, and to reassess them in peace too.

One step further: Wardrobe journalling

Wardrobe journalling takes journalling one step further. It uses the same format and purpose of journalling but while you are writing you are specifically asking yourself questions around what you wear, why you wear it and what you would like to wear. There are times in our life when we let our clothes dictate how our character acts, whereas the flow should be the other way round: our character should dictate what clothes we wear.

You might go through years just wearing something out of habit, and it is only through the act of wardrobe journallling that you realise that you don’t like what you are wearing, and that it doesn’t reflect your personality at all.

A little more journalling reveals that what you would actually like to be wearing, that is a much better reflection of your personality, is something else entirely. Sometimes you might realise that you are almost scared to live up to the person you are revealing yourself to be. And there lies the challenge.

You have uncovered yourself, do you have the courage to step into that person? Or do you want to stay where you are, living a small game, hiding behind clothes that you feel are keeping you safe and comfortable. Whereas in fact that are keeping you stuck and living half a life rather than the full, overflowing life, you are created for. So, keep a journal, start today. Why not have fun with it and do some wardrobe journalling? We have the perfect worksheet to help you get started which you can download here by clicking the image below:

wardrobe journalling working frocks

We hope you will get started today, keep a journal and really reap huge benefits from it over the years.

Have a great day!


What happens when we write? The value of journalling

Hello there and welcome to the Working Frocks blog if you are here for the first time and welcome back if you are a returning reader.

Over the last few years I have written a lot of words.  Mostly I write in longhand, with a blue pen, on a lined A4 pad. I have a diary and I write out all my business thoughts, ideas and plans in longhand before they are typed up and loaded into my laptop.  I greatly enjoy writing things down and always feel quite energised when I have done so.  But I wasn’t really thinking about what happens when we write.  What effects the actual physical act of writing by hand is having on the brain.

Read moreWhat happens when we write? The value of journalling

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