Help. I’ve fallen into a Skinny Pants Rut.

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You know, I think I’m stuck in a pants rut. Or a trousers rut, if you prefer. Every pair of pants I own are either skinny cropped, skinny ankle length, or skinny full length. With a dash of flared jeans, and even then only slight flares, almost boot cut. 

And so I’ve been considering… maybe… trying to shake things up a bit. I now have a board on Pinterest devoted entirely to pants. And I’ve been sitting on my exercise bike, perusing blogs and fashion websites on my i-pad for pictures of pants that are… pleasing to me. Like these. I love skinny cropped pants. With longer tops and flats, or heels, or oxfords. Yep, I sure do. 


great cropped pants looks
Looks from The Chic Street JournalDeath by Elocution, and  The Edit on Bloglovin’

And since the looks above are kind of hard to pull off in a Canadian winter. I pinned this one. I love the proportions here, the longer coat and the rolled cuff on the pants. I could do this in the winter. Wait a minute, I DO do this in the winter.

great look for skinny pants and ankle boots
And that, my friends, is the problem. 

I see a shot of an outfit, I sigh, and think, “Oh my, I love that.” Then I clip it from a magazine, or pin it from a website. And only when I see all the shots together do I realize that I love that look because I’ve always loved that look. And have been wearing a version of it for years. Skinny jeans or pants with my ankle boots, or tucked into my high boots. And I do this over and over.
How I wear my boots with my skinny pants
Three looks I’ve been favouring for a while now: skinny pants and low boots, or skinny pants tucked into high boots.


Now don’t get me wrong. We all have our fashion comfort zone. Our own little niche in fashion-land where we feel at home. And I’m totally in favour of that. I mean as women of a certain age, we’ve been choosing our own outfits for decades now, and should have culled from our wardrobes those things that don’t flatter us, and in which we don’t feel comfortable, or ourselves. Call it our “signature style,” if you want. 
Me. I love simple, classic looks. Not too fussy. And I love skinny or narrow leg pants and jeans. I feel I can pull them off because I have long skinny legs. And I feel good in them. Similarly long tops that don’t cling. And that hide my very short waist and tendency to put extra weight on my middle. That’s my niche. And I’m very comfortable there. 
But every now and then maybe we should stretch a bit, don’t you think? So, inspired by two of my favourite bloggers ( Sue at Une Femme d’un Certain Âge, and Frances over at Materfamilias Writes) who both made the foray into cropped, flared denim in the last few months, I thought I might try a bit harder to shoehorn myself out of my pants rut. 
And I chose these three outfits to help me do that. I love the proportions of each of these. Especially the blue culottes with the leather jacket. I just might be able to pull that off, since the flat pleats in the pants would hide a middle-age middle, and the short jacket balances off the wide pants. The other two are lovely as well. And I just love the look of culottes with boots. 
great looks for culottes with boots or heels
Outfits from Forage FashionCut Y Paste, and Le Fashion
You know, I can’t actually believe I’m saying the words “culottes” and “love” in the same sentence. My friend Liz will laugh. A couple of years ago when she was working at Holt Renfrew, I remember us guffawing at the prospect of ever, ever again wearing what, in our youth, we called “gaucho pants.” Gaucho pants and Fry boots… what we wore in the seventies… and thought never to wear again. Ah well. Never say never, eh?
So, in an effort to try a facsimile of this look, and since I don’t own culottes, I hauled an old pair of capris out of my closet. I bought these dressy, black Theory capris a few springs ago, when I was still working. I like the flat pleats in the front, the pockets, and the fact that like most Theory pants they actually fit me in the butt. And I paired them with a striped tee from ALC, and black Le Pepe boots. 
And the result was. Well. An outfit I would not be caught dead in… at least in public. Ick. Yuk. No, no, no. The pants are a good length but entirely the wrong shape. They’re too narrow, and they taper at the bottom when they should flare. The whole look is not flattering on me at all. And no I will not show a close-up. 
short pants with boots
Me in my no go outfit… over and over and over. 
I posted this shot on Instagram the other day. Two views, over and over. And I had to laugh. I look like I’m doing an Irish jig, I said to Hubby. I swear I could hear the faint strands of “The Irish Washer Woman” in my head. My grandfather Sullivan used to play the “Irish Washer Woman” on his harmonica at family gatherings when I was a kid, and I’d step dance. 
Listening to this version on Youtube brings a tear to my eye. And my feet just can’t stay still.


But of course I’m digressing into family lore…as I am wont to do. 

So, this experiment may have been a failure. But, I haven’t given up on the idea of finding a pair of wider leg, cropped pants that will work for me. In fact, I’m just getting started. And my research has given me some idea of what I like, and don’t like.  

For the moment, though. I’m still stuck. At least until I can find a pair of cropped flares. Or …gasp… even a pair of culottes that will enable me to climb into some non-skinny pants and out of my pants rut. 

What about you dear readers… fellow pants wearers? Been stuck in any pants ruts lately? Are you a fan of the flared cropped looks? Or of culottes? Or not.

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21 thoughts on “Help. I’ve fallen into a Skinny Pants Rut.”

  1. You look so good in your skinny pants, though! And if you still love them. . . I have to say, though (and thanks so much for the mention) that I do really like having one pair of rather dramatically wide jeans (and by coincidence, I'd actually included a photo of myself wearing them in my post today) in the rotation. I'm probably more likely to save them for wearing in the city — they're a bit awkward for everyday life here on our little island (wore them home from Rome, then Vanc'r this week, and realised I'd have to keep their flapping width out of the spokes on my bike for the last kilometre of the journey. . . ). But it's fun having one pair in a more fashion-y, less sensible style than my skinnies and my boyfriends. I suspect you'll find yours eventually, although I also suspect they'll be better suited to summer, in your climate, especially if you can find them in a light weight.

    1. Thanks, Frances. I can imagine it's not easy pedaling in wide-leg pants. It will be interesting to see if I can make wide legs work for me… with my short, wide waist… I dunno:)

  2. I can very much relate to you! I also love my skinny jeans (and those photos of you in skinny jeans in different colors & different boots could be me!) and have been thinking it may be time to change things up! (But I do have to say you look great in skinny pants, so I am sure they will always be your go-to pant!).

    I bought a great pair of flares a few months ago, but I haven't decided yet if I really want to wear them with rather high heels or get them hemmed a bit and wear them with more sensible heels, so right now they don't get taken out much… I guess the answer is really that I need to get them hemmed to get more wear out of them…

    And funny that you have been entertaining the thought of culottes! Until very recently I very much disliked them, but little by little they have been growing on me. So much so that I can picture myself wearing them…

    Looking forward to seeing what you'll end up with!

    1. That's the trouble with flares, isn't it? They have to be hemmed for heel height, and then they're not as versatile. And you're right I'll always have a pair of skinnies in my closet, cropped or otherwise

    2. Not so for cropped flares though, which is why I love mine (Citizens of Humanity "Melanie"). I don't have to decide whether to hem for flat or heeled as they land above my ankle anyway. Granted, they're a very wide leg, and not for anyone, but the same idea is out there in a narrower cropped flare.

  3. I think the cropped skinnies look great. What I'm finding after having tried several pairs of cropped flares now is that cuts that are narrow but with a slight flare look best to my eye at this point. I'm not saying "never" to wider legs or culottes, just that they'll take a bit more "eye adjustment" than I've made so far. Surprisingly, I find I can style these almost the same as skinnies. Keep trying until you find the pair that feels right for you. Thanks for the mention!

  4. I think you look great in cropped skinnies. I know for my body type the culottes will not work, but I would love to see them on you just to see how they do. I love a cropped skinny and think it has a more classic,chic look. Sometimes the wider cropped pants can get a little frumpy. But again that has to do with my body type…you are more svelte!

  5. I do like skinnies & if I had your long legs I'd wear them but I'm happier in trousers that are tapered in a skimming way . I've got crops , some more flared , for summer but I find winter flared crops are tricky because of the footwear . I struggle with my one pair of navy wool cropped flares as none of my winter boots seem to look right with them . Personally , I'm not keen on the long boots with shorter cropped trouser look .Culottes are not good for long bodied , short legged folk like me either . As you can see , I haven't got my head round all this . Plus , unlike New York , old York isn't exactly cutting edge fashion – well not the places I go , so I'm not rushing to be a trendsetter. I'll see how you get on
    Wendy in York

    1. It's all about the boots in winter for me too. No sense buying pants that will only require me to buy a new pair of boots to go with them. I can see that for long-bodied, short legged women a cropped full pant might not work. Similarly for short waisted, long-legged people, (like moi) high waisted and wide legged cropped makes me look like a block on skinny sticks. Fashion is a battle. "Old York"… that made me laugh.

  6. Hi Sue, my style is almost identical to yours … and probably quite a few of the readers who comment here! It took me a while to try skinnies but as you say they're so versatile … winter or summer ( except for very hot days) having seen Maters cropped flares I'm keen to try a pair. Possibly, like the skinnies we'll all be wearing them in a few months!! I feel they'll definitely be a little harder to style and could easily look frumpy if not a good fit, proportion wise. Although I thought you look fine in your capris I understand how you feel. I've done that with outfits that work in my mind or on the hanger but then look dreadful on me!! 🙂
    Take care and have a good week …… I'll be in touch soon about our route etc it's been a busy week!

    1. Those capris are going to the thrift store in the spring. I gave them three years to see if I might wear them again. This was their last chance. In Kondo/Konmari-speak…they do NOT bring me joy:) I'm interested to see what your travel plans will be.

  7. Yes, but… You look so great in those skinny pants! (You have miles of beautiful legs, you lucky thing, you! And your "rut" shows them off even in pants. You look fab!)


    1. Thanks DA. But I'm getting a bit tired of that look. We'll see. A short, wide upper body and long skinny legs may NOT work with culottes, we'll see. I wore them in my twenties… but a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then…not to mention 20 pounds.

  8. I loooove skinny pants, especially skinny jeans! They look great on you, and frankly they look great on me too 🙂 I refuse to call it a rut. It is my signature style 😉 i recently ventured out of my comfort zone and bought a pair of slim boyfriend jeans (from Aritzia, of course) and I adore them. I also own the same Studio D pants as you, which I wear in the summer. But all of my other pants and slim fitting. I say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

  9. I'm short, with skinny legs, non-existant torso where all my menopause weight sits and no hips to speak of. I also have a decent size chest for my size… which means… I have to be very careful with tops that fit my chest but then blouse too much and make me look pregnant (heaven forbid!). Also… since I don't have a waist, if I wear wide legged pants they just make me look shorter and frumpy.
    So, for me personally, I LOVE the look of skinny pants (as long as my top covers my rear and my menopause rolls) and I plan to wear them until people tell me I look ridiculous. LOL Your styles look a lot like what I personally like. Why change it unless you have to? 🙂
    And yes, I wore gauchos once upon a time, I can't believe they're back in style!!!

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