In the beginning, Giorgio Armani said, let there be pants. And lo, after years of being a lone voice on the subject, suddenly pants are back — big-time. Not stretch-to-fit, pull-you-in, chuck-in-the-wash-and-don’t-worry-too-much-about-the-ironing jeans but proper tailored pants with proper fitted waistbands, made in wool or crepe or silk satin or lace. Some are jewelled, many brocade, a few rubberized, and just about all of them will end in tragedy should you inadvertently toss them in the wash.
Should we be worried? Thanks to Marlene Dietrich, Kate Hepburn, and Coco Chanel, pants-wearing has been the cornerstone of gamine sexiness since about 1930. As markers of social and economic change in women’s status, they are unparalleled. However, let us be honest, the question “Will my thighs look fat?” clearly takes precedence over everything.
Pants! Anytime! Anyplace! Really? Yes, really! Like Miuccia Prada, designers are especially excited this season about the evening pant—in velvet brocade and worn with a matching tunic or a peplum top. The floaty-pajama style that Stella McCartney pioneered a year ago, when she turned up at red-carpet events in printed pants and made everyone else look overdressed at worst, and heavily sedated and ill at ease at best. It is everywhere.
Nothing lasts forever: The dress has been a great ally these past few years, but there is a collective desire among women to find a garment that telegraphs how attuned we are to the current puritan ethos. Or maybe we just want an excuse to go out and buy a new wardrobe.
Here’s a complete to-do with pants that you can wear at every point in the day.
At the Office
Never underestimate the power of slim ankle-length pants and a pair of classic pumps. If you work in a traditional office, this is an especially important combo to have on hand. A neutral colour and a not-too-tight fit are what keep this must-have looking professional and sophisticated.
- Go for a nude or muted colour. Keep it simple and team it with a tucked-in solid coloured shirt and a slim belt.
- Don’t wear anything too tight. Remember, this may be the 21st century, but most offices have the same outlook.
Lunch is a time of the day when you can add a bit of colour to your wardrobe without drawing disapproving stares.
- If you are going directly from work, add an interesting belt to your attire.
- Spruce it up a little. A dash of colour, nothing too bright, but a darker colour can do wonders.
The very Englishness of tea asks for a suave, sophisticated look. Summer colours work best for tea-time.
- Tea with friends can be a relaxed affair and such restful evenings call for lounge pants. Lounge pants are nothing more than pyjama bottoms but more publicly presentable.
- Pair lounge pants with a smart but casual top to make up for the casual feeling that the pants give you.
In the Evening
- Evenings are glittery and glam filled. For a party laden night, pants with a slight shimmer pump up the mood.
- Bright colours like neon yellow, red and electric blue with a simple white shirt that accentuates the colour below can never go wrong.
- Experiment with hot pants and a loose top. Printed or otherwise, hot pants are a must-have in your wardrobe.