Plaid Pencil Skirt

Springtime in Chicago tends to be a long, steep climb, with lots of switchbacks and speed bumps and ruts along the way. It’s hard to overcome winter—either mentally or sartorially—when you have a stiff wind in your face.

But—praise to the powers that be—we’ve had a very mild spring so far. Consequently, this post feels horribly out of season right about now. My apologies.

I completed this skirt about a month ago, partially to cheer myself through potential April snow showers, and partially to overcome the rut I’ve found myself in lately. I’m not sure whether it’s an attention thing or what, but I have about a half a dozen projects in progress right now and seemingly zero intention of finishing any of them.

To try to snap myself out of it, I decided to go back to something very basic: Simplicity 2906.



This is about as simple as it gets: two pieces of fabric, a zipper, a strip of twill tape and a hook and eye.



So, to compensate for the overall yawniness of this post, I thought I’d share what was on the back of my mind while I was making this: The Cape.

I bought a glorious, vintage, Made-In-Austria, wool cape at a charity consignment sale last fall for a mere $5. It’s beautiful—and I didn’t wear it once all winter.

Basically every movie and TV show I’ve ever seen affirms that ladies in capes embrace living on a grand scale. They go to masquerade balls and have their own couturiers and sing in the streets and leave home to have adventures only to discover that happiness was in front of them the whole time. No demure and shrinking wallflowers they—they are confident, brassy and never afraid to speak their minds.

That’s a lot of pressure.

CapesShelley Long in Troop Beverly Hills | Source
Leighton Meester in Gossip Girl | Source
Megan Follows and Schuyler Grant in Anne of Green Gables | Source

As I was finishing up this skirt, it occurred to me that it might be a great match for my cape—and perhaps the impetus I needed to actually leave my apartment in it.


Alas—The final proportions are a little more matronly than I would like. I should probably pair the skirt either with a calf-length trench, or with a jacket that’s cropped at the waist. Likewise, I would wear a shorter skirt with the cape—maybe channeling the Blair Waldorf look and adding fishnets.

Hopefully by the time cape season rolls around in the Fall, I’ll have it all worked out, with capeworthy confidence to boot. Perhaps it doesn’t take a certain type of person to pull off a cape—perhaps the wearer draws her powers from the cape itself?

What do you think? Aside from a Sound of Music sing-along, is there such a thing as a cape-appropriate occasion in real life?

3 thoughts on “Plaid Pencil Skirt

  1. Your cape and skirt look amazing! I would say that a cape can be worn whatever the occasion, but I am a cape convert so I’m pretty biased on this subject! 😉

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