The Easiest Way to Look Instantly Sophisticated

Any time I’m looking to go for a more sophisticated look I have a few go-to items. A pencil skirt makes the top of the list. There are so many reasons why I love them! They have a special way of hugging in all the right places and still remain classy. They carry well from day into night and will never go out of style. Depending on the fabric and how you style it, you can pull off a feminine or edgy look (or both if you’re up for it!). Last week I grabbed my faux leather pencil skirt and paired it with the perfect top – peplum style! In my opinion, pencil skirts and peplum tops are a match made in heaven. Read more to find out why!

Black and White Peplum Top and Pencil Skirt

Black and White Peplum Top and Pencil Skirt
Why this combination works:
  1. It’s slimming.

    Pairing peplum tops with fitted bottoms such as pencil skirts or skinny pants is instantly slimming. They create the perfect illusion of an hourglass figure. Who doesn’t want that?!

    Black and White Peplum Top and Pencil SkirtBlack and White Peplum Top and Pencil Skirt

  2. It’s timeless.

    For this look I chose to stick with neutrals. Wearing black and white will always be a classic, something that definitely adds to the overall sophisticated feel of the look. I love to add a pop of color in my accessories such as my purse, earrings, or my lipstick. I’m wearing this fun bright coral matte color called Relentlessly Red by MAC.

    Black and White Peplum Top and Pencil SkirtBlack and White Peplum Top and Pencil Skirt

  3. It’s practical.

    The side slits on this top are so cute, but not the most practical if you don’t wear a camisole underneath! So I’ll let you in on a little style secret for how easily I solved that problem. I paired it with a high-waisted skirt which made it work out perfectly to not show any unwanted skin. You can try this same concept by pairing higher waisted bottoms with crop tops.

    Black and White Peplum Top and Pencil SkirtBlack and White Peplum Top and Pencil Skirt

  4. It’s classy.

    The high collar and sleeves of this shirt make for a classy and flattering top (especially for us smaller chested ladies – no shame!). Combined with a pencil skirt it becomes a very tasteful look that will have you looking totally chic for the office or date night!

    Black and White Peplum Top and Pencil SkirtBlack and White Peplum Top and Pencil Skirt

Style Tip:

Avoid wearing ill-fitting tops. This is a rule in general for all types of fashion, but peplum tops in particular need to fit just right. Read my post on Peplum Tops for more tips on finding the perfect fit.

Black and White Peplum Top and Pencil Skirt
I’d love to hear from you! What’s your go-to item for adding sophistication to your outfit?

Keep smiling!


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Thanks to my girl Samantha for the amazing photos! Check out her website: Samantha Weissbach Photography

Molly Lawson

I’m Molly Lawson! I live in Seattle and am an optimist, adventurer, and bold lipstick wearer. I created this space to inspire and empower women with words of encouragement known as #MollysWords and share inspiration through my personal style. I always want my readers to leave with a smile and I hope you do!

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook



  1. Michelle Joseph
    March 14, 2016 / 1:48 am

    Love the look. It’s so classy. I love peplum tops but I’ve never tried a faux leather skirt before. I need to come out of my comfort zone and give it a go. Xx

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:21 pm

      Thanks Michelle! I must say having a faux leather skirt is essential in my closet! Love it!

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:21 pm

      Thanks! So glad you think it’s a great combo too 😉 You rock!

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:22 pm

      Aww Lauren this made me smile! Thank you so much for taking the time to write such kind words 🙂

  2. Greta Hollar
    March 14, 2016 / 10:15 am

    That peplum top is DIVINE! Also love the pop of color in the accessories.

    Greta |

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:22 pm

      Thanks Greta! I love adding pops of color!

  3. Lindsay Katherine
    March 14, 2016 / 10:48 am

    So chic!! I am mourning my favorite black peplum top from a few years ago, back when I had size A boobs. After pregnancy, I fluctuated from DD to D and now to a more comfortable C, but it makes me sad that a lot of my tops don’t look well on my bustline anymore.

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:23 pm

      I hear you Lindsay! There are so many different cuts to peplum tops that it is hard to find one that fits your body type! I hope you find one you love soon!

  4. March 14, 2016 / 11:21 am

    Great post! Loved your classy outfit and sophisticated look. 🙂

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:23 pm

      Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words! Have a great week!

  5. March 14, 2016 / 11:24 am

    love this top!!! Pairing it with a high waisted skirt is a great idea!

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:23 pm

      Thanks! It was helpful to hide the slits 😉

  6. Casey Oakley Bennevault
    March 14, 2016 / 1:06 pm

    Everything about this look is just so perfect, right down to the bag!! Love your blog!

    Casey |

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:24 pm

      Aww thanks! I love to pick up unique bags like this to bring a little extra something to an outfit! Have a great week!

  7. Kait Elizabeth
    March 14, 2016 / 4:26 pm

    I used to be so scared of peplum tops, but when you find the right ones they really so flattering!!! You look stunning love. Hugs, Kait

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:24 pm

      I used to be so scared of them too! Then I discovered that there are SO many different fits that you just need to search around a bit for one that’s just right for you! 🙂 Thank you!

  8. March 15, 2016 / 2:44 am

    This outfit is so cute!! I’ve been meaning to upgrade my wardrobe. I’m going to have to pin this so I can come back to it while I’m shopping 🙂

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:25 pm

      Awww thanks so much! That made me smile! Hope you find some similar things you love 🙂 hugs!

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:25 pm

      Thanks Shell! Three things I love to be! Have a great week!

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:25 pm

      Thanks my dear! Hope you have a wonderful week!

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:26 pm

      Thanks Merel! You’re right I do put a lot of effort into my posts. SO nice to have a friend who notices! love you!

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:26 pm

      Thanks Jessica! It’s the little accessories that can make or break an outfit!

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:26 pm

      You’re so right! Love pencil skirts for that very reason! Thank you!

  9. Monika
    March 20, 2016 / 11:41 pm

    I am totally sold on trying out this combination 😀 I always love how you explain everything so well. You look gorgeous and I especially loved the earrings and purse. Have a great week, Molly <3

    Monika |

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:27 pm

      You MUST try this combination! I know it will look amazing on you! Can’t wait to see it when you do! Thank you!

  10. Heather Johnson
    March 25, 2016 / 9:13 am

    So gorgeous Molly! I love the tips you gave regarding the pencil skirt! While most of my blog and Instagram styles revolve around more casual looks (hence my blog name, he he), I actually turn to the pencil skirt quite often in my “real” life and I couldn’t agree with you more – instantly slimming, polished, and put together!

    Gorgeous as always Molly!

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:27 pm

      Aww thank you Heather! Pencil skirts are fun and I totally think you can make a great casual chic look out of it! It would look great on you! 🙂

  11. May 6, 2016 / 3:37 pm

    Love you Kendall! You are a dear friend!

  12. August 7, 2016 / 12:20 am

    Thanks Natasha! You named to things I love to combine when I can – sassy and elegant! 😉

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