Saturday, January 8, 2011


Marc Jacobs
Fall 2010

Trousers were popular in many designer's Fall/Winter Collections this year.  Some harked back to a classic, Charlie Girl look of the '70s.  No wonder -- it is flattering and looks confident.  It puts women back in the mood when everything was possible -- corner office plus a nightlife!  That was before recessions, lay offs, maybe giving up jobs to raise children (for some, this can be a positive).

Charlie Revlon perfume ad from the '70s
with Shelley Hack

Lauren Hutton, 40 years later, in Tom Ford's Spring 2011 collection looks even better than her Charlie Girl days.

Lauren Hutton modeling
Tom Ford's Spring 2011 collection
from Harper's Bazaar

Pulling off a trouser look can be tricky.  Women's physiques morph as they age, particularly after childbirth.  Tops and dresses from single days might still fit.  Not so for old trousers!

Consequently, the hunt for perfect pants can be as discouraging as swimsuit shopping.  Unless you have a great tailor, better to go to a trusted boutique or department store where you can try on several sizes and styles.  Save the bargain hunting on eBay for the other stuff instead.

Chloe Fall 2010
high-waisted, wide leg slacks

For curvy-hipped women, the most becoming shapes tend to be flat front slacks that fall straight or slightly wide.  Boot cut trousers also have a balancing effect.

Narrow-hipped women can create the illusion of hips with pleats.  Or, they can take advantage of their boyish shapes and celebrate it in slim pants.  I love this minimal look too.

Celine Fall 2010
cropped slim pants
Now let's talk about pant length.

Crucial: always have it hemmed to the pair of shoes you will wear it with!  Nothing mars the image of a great pair of pants more than falling short of your high heels, or sweeping the floor in your flats.

For a long and lean look on slacks, the hem should fall to the top of your shoe vamp.  I like mine about an inch from the ground in the back with a soft "break" in front.  The tips of your shoes should be visible but not your skin if you are in pumps.  Only cropped slim pants look good above the ankle.  Some trends deliberately go against these "rules", but in general, they only look great on models.


  1. Jenny - I love love love this post. (The Chloe pic is my fave image from A/W '10). As a fan of 'true trousers' (straight or slightly-flared for me!) I used to cringe at the thought of skinny jeans. Am soooo glad I'm on-trend now, hahaha.

    - mei-mei

  2. Great, Mei, glad to find another one who loves classic trousers! ("Classic" need not be synonymous to "Boring", right?)


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