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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
High Heels in the Wilderness is for women like me. Women who love clothes. And books. Who dream of travelling to amazing places. Who want to explore their own lives, and their own potential, now that they aren't twenty (or even forty) anymore.