Pants stance: pump up the volume

March 10, 2016  |  New York, NY


I’ve always had a thing for wide-leg trousers, à la Katharine Hepburn. According to an article I found on Time.com: “The actress’ fondness for pants—before they were considered ladylike—was not only a fashion statement but, to many, a symbol of stubborn independence and a declaration of modernity.”

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While I can attest to being stubbornly independent since approximately birth, and although my affinity for said trousers trails Ms. Hepburn’s pioneering style by many decades (and skews towards a much fuller leg), I have never considered voluminous pants unladylike. Quite the opposite. There’s something about the swishing, sweeping movement of draping layers of fabric (with a bit more structure than a classic palazzo pant) — not to mention the inevitable hourglass-enhancing effect provided by a full silhouette that culminates with a fitted waistband – that renders these must-haves wildly feminine. Perhaps even flirtatious, and definitely dramatic: an effect not unlike a grand ball-gown skirt, but a more practical version that doesn’t include tulle and that you can wear with sneakers.

Whether the trousers are wool, silk or denim, my favorite pairings include soft cotton or cashmere t-shirts, leather motorcycle jackets and all varieties of flats and sneakers (scroll down for more outfit pix). For the occasional boost, I’ll reach for a pair of flatforms or wedges, but never, ever a stiletto.

Length is also an important detail. The perfect pairs will just barely skim the ground (shoes not visible) or will be cropped just at or just above the ankle bone (shoes visible). Shorter than that, and you’re in the culotte zone (which I fully support), but out of trouser territory. Anywhere between the ankle and the ground, however, and you quickly enter that-looks-awkward territory.


Conveniently, my renewed obsession for these untamed trousers syncs with what many designers sent down their runways for Fall/Winter 2016…a few examples of which I’ve shared below.

Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Round-Up: Who Wears the Pants?

From left: Sea New York, Rosie Assoulin, Christine Alcalay






 J. Crew ultra wide-leg trousers  |  Elizabeth and James Corlyn jacket (on sale!) or via Rent the Runway  |  Krewe Julia sunglasses  | Stuart Weitzman NUGGETS sneakers |  Chanel bag, vintage

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