Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Your Closet Profile: Pants

Pants come in one of two categories for me: acceptable and unacceptable. I will outline here what you must have and what you should never, ever purchase/borrow/steal under any circumstances.


1. Basic black pants

In all-weather wool, silk, or heavy-weight cotton. These are non-negotiable for anyone with a job, and pretty much anyone without one, too. Buy the best quality you can afford.

2. Neutral pants

These are your alternative to black pants in solid gray, navy, or chocolate. These are also non-negotiable. Again, get the best you can afford.

Dressed up or down, these two pairs alone can take you through countless occasions over many years.

3. Patterns

We're talking pinstriped and glen plaid, not floral, people. Patterns on slacks should be subtle and from a distance read as a solid color.

You should have at least two pairs- I recommend one pinstriped, and in a SUBTLE window pane or glem plaid. Again, think longetivity: pink pinstripes might be fun for a while, but an off-white stripe will be more versatile for longer.

4. Colors

You should consider adding a psuedo neutral to your pants rotation. Olive, burgundy, cream or white (which are neutral but rarely used), and even light blue are all great pants colors that are almost as easy to wear as neutrals.

Don't worry, my budding fashionistas, I will discuss options for blouses, tees, and other tops in due course.


You should have several pairs hemmed for flats, and several others for heels.

Pants can be hemmed quite cheaply, so don't let the length of a pair stop you from purchasing. If the pair fits properly, a tailor or even the old lady at your dry cleaner's can shorten- and sometime even lengthen- a hem.

Do Not Attempt Under Any Circumstances

1. Floral Print

I don't care how many times floral prints come back around, they do not belong on your pants. I can think of no circumstances when this would be acceptable, so don't do it. Just because it looks cool for 1 second on a 6 foot model does not mean it will translate well on real people. And why do you want to walk around looking like something is growing all over your legs?! If you must have floral on your bottom half, get a damn skirt.

2. Other Obnoxious Prints

You know what I'm talking about- that really fun pair covered in martini glasses seemed so great when you got them at that tacky shop in Key West, but they are NOT ok. They are hideous. I really don't give a rats arse if it was The Most Fun Purchase Ever because the guy who sold it to you after 4 margaritas was just so damn cute. They. Are. Gross.

The same goes for pants with words of any kind of words beyond a (preferably small) label. I find seeing a woman's arse covered with the words "Hard Tail" to be entirely obnoxious and attention-getting in the worst way.

3. Bright Colors

There are a few select people who can carry off red slacks or fuchsia cords. If you are one of them, you are already know who you are. For the rest of us mere mortals, these just look cheap and juvenile. Steer clear if you have ANY doubt.

For the denim-lovers among us, I have not forgotten you. A post dedicated solely to jeans is forthcoming. However, a few choice words on colored denim: VERY few people can pull it off without looking like an 80s throwback in the worst, most costume-y way. Remember the rainbow-colored Bongo jeans options? (Shudder) This is one trend from the last century that 99.9% of us can do without.

No comments: