What’s the Ideal Approach for Pairing a Houndstooth Pencil Skirt with Modern Tops for the Office?

April 5, 2024

The corporate world often calls for a sophisticated and professional dress code. But who says you can’t be stylish while abiding it? When it comes to making a sartorial statement, nothing says chic and classy better than a well-cut houndstooth pencil skirt. This iconic piece is a must-have for every working woman’s wardrobe. Not only does it ooze a timeless appeal, but it also offers the opportunity to showcase your unique sense of style.

In this article, we will be discussing the different ways you can pair a houndstooth pencil skirt with modern tops while hitting the right notes of business casual. We’ll discuss the use of color, texture, and accessory combinations that will ensure every outfit is a head-turner.

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Pair with a Classic White Shirt

A classic white shirt is the quintessence of any business wardrobe. It is the safest bet when you are unsure about what to pair with your houndstooth pencil skirt. The stark white contrasts beautifully against the bold pattern of the skirt. For a touch of originality, opt for a high-neck style or a shirt with statement sleeves.

To elevate this outfit, incorporate some leather elements. A slim leather belt cinching your waist or a pair of leather pumps can add a touch of modernity. Throw on a discreet piece of jewelry — perhaps a delicate gold necklace or a pair of pearl studs — for that final touch of sophistication.

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Match with a Black High-neck Top

Embrace the power of monochrome by pairing your houndstooth pencil skirt with a black high-neck top. The black adds a modern, edgy feel to the otherwise classic houndstooth pattern, and the high neck gives the outfit a touch of modern elegance.

To keep the outfit from appearing too monotonous, you could add a pop of color with a bold red lipstick or a bright blue handbag. A pair of black leather ankle boots would give the entire outfit a bit of a contemporary twist while still maintaining the business professional aesthetic.

Mix with a Navy Blue Blouse

The quiet sophistication of navy blue makes it an ideal choice for pairing with the louder houndstooth pattern. A navy blue blouse, perhaps one with an interesting collar detail or a unique cut, can balance out the strong pattern of the skirt while offering a contrast in color.

To style this outfit, you could opt for a pair of navy or black heels. A leather watch or a minimalist bracelet could be the perfect finishing touch to this outfit. For colder months, consider layering with a tailored blazer in a matching navy hue.

Combine with a Casual Denim Shirt

Who says you can’t mix business with casual? A denim shirt is a fashionable way of dressing down your houndstooth pencil skirt for a more casual work setting or a ‘dress-down’ Friday. The rugged texture of denim offers a fascinating contrast against the smooth, formal feel of the skirt.

The denim shirt can be worn tucked in or loosely tied at the waist for an unexpected twist. Pair it with some brown leather ankle boots, and you have an outfit that is business casual with a bit of an edge.

Style with a Bold Statement Top

For days when you are feeling a little daring, consider wearing a bold statement top with your houndstooth pencil skirt. This could be anything from a bright color, a bold print, or a top with interesting architectural elements. Remember, the idea is to contrast yet complement the houndstooth pattern.

Pairing this outfit might take a bit of thought, but when done right, it can be utterly striking. Keep your accessories minimal and let the top steal the show. Black or nude footwear would work best in such a case.

Incorporating a houndstooth pencil skirt into your workwear need not be daunting. The key is to play around with colors, textures, and styles of tops, and to accessorize thoughtfully. Remember, while the corporate environment demands a certain decorum, fashion is all about expressing your unique style, so don’t be afraid to experiment. These tips are not an exhaustive list, but a starting point from which you can create your own stunning combinations.

Partner with a Crew Neck Sweater

The intersection of comfort and style is a warm, cozy crew neck sweater. It’s an excellent choice to partner with your houndstooth pencil skirt. The soft, rounded collar of a crew neck offers an appealing contrast to the sharp lines of the houndstooth pattern.

In this pairing, color choice can dramatically affect the overall vibe of the outfit. A pastel-colored sweater in pink or mint green can exude a soft, feminine charm, while a deep burgundy or emerald green can add a dash of mystery and intrigue. The classic black or white sweater can never go wrong for a sleek, sophisticated look.

For a more structured appearance, consider tucking in your crew neck into the skirt. A black leather belt can effectively cinch in the waist and further define your silhouette. Additionally, pair with black leather pumps or ankle boots to continue the sleek, professional vibe.

Accessorizing can be kept simple. A leather tote or a minimalist wristwatch can serve as functional yet stylish additions. For colder days, a black or navy skinny blazer layered over your sweater can ensure you stay warm without compromising on style.

Elevate with a Dress Shirt and Blazer Combo

Elevate your houndstooth pencil skirt by pairing it with a dress shirt and blazer combo. This classic duo is a tried-and-true staple in every capsule wardrobe. The dress shirt provides a crisp, clean canvas, which allows the houndstooth pattern to shine, while the blazer adds a layer of formality and sophistication.

When selecting a dress shirt, stick with neutral tones such as white, cream, or light grey. These colors keep the look professional and allow the skirt to be the centerpiece. The blazer can be in a matching color with the shirt or in a contrasting hue. A black suede blazer, for example, could add an interesting textural contrast and elevate the look further.

Completing this look involves careful selection of footwear and accessories. Black suede pumps or a pair of smart ankle boots can add to the business casual aesthetic. For accessories, consider a leather tote or a sleek, silver watch. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could add a pop of color with a bright silk scarf.


Harnessing the power of a houndstooth pencil skirt in your work wardrobe can make a significant impact on your style game. It’s a versatile piece that, when paired with a variety of modern tops, can create a range of looks from sophisticated and classy to edgy and bold.

Whether it’s the classic white shirt, the chic black high-neck top, the navy blue blouse, the casual denim shirt, the bold statement top, the cozy crew neck sweater, or the elevated dress shirt and blazer combo, there’s a pairing that will surely reflect your personal style while keeping within business casual guidelines.

Above all, remember that the art of styling lies in the details. The right pair of shoes, whether they are leather pumps, suede pumps, or ankle boots, can make a difference. The correct use of accessories, such as a leather tote or a simple gold necklace, can transform an outfit.

Ultimately, the goal isn’t just to dress appropriately for the office – it’s about expressing your unique style and feeling confident in your skin. So, experiment with the mentioned pairings, play with textures and colors, and don’t forget to add your personal touch. Your houndstooth pencil skirt is more than a piece of clothing; it’s a canvas for your fashion creativity.