Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wearing the Pants

Even though it just got really cold in New York, now is the time when retailers start unveiling their Resort offerings online, and while I'm not jetting off to St. Barts any time soon, it makes me think about warm weather gear.

A major sartorial shift for me, in 2011, was that I began dressing a bit more boyishly. I became drawn to utilitarian-but-luxe pieces like silk button-downs from Madewell and wool straight-leg trousers. With spring fashion on the brain, I've begun scouring the internets for some warm-weather alternatives. These are all from Nordstrom, and some are a bit out of my price range, so I'll continue searching for less costly alternatives.

Let's start with my favorite: the Paige "Gilmore" Crop Slim Leg Pants, $298. I love "cigarette pants" like this one - they're gamine and slightly retro, but the raspberry color makes them totally fresh. One of my favorite blogs, Corporette, is all about looking professional and stylish, and experimenting with color is a big part of that. So instead of wearing these pants with a tried-and-true white button-down and black heels, what about a navy blouse and yellow pumps? Or, if you did decide to go the safer route, you could add a turquoise belt and lapis-hued necklace to add interest.

Also fun: these Elie Tahari Exclusive for Nordstrom "Sloane" Crop Pants, $128. I've been seeing this shade of blue everywhere lately. Having spent many, many hours of my adolescence creating websites, I know this hue well: it's "cornflower blue," AKA #6495ED. Anyway, it'd pair nicely with a yellow blouse. Or maybe a cream shell and red heels? Ooh.

Because every woman needs a pair (or several) of great black pants, I've included these Vince Camuto Cuff Ankle Pants, $79. They are petite - good for me because I'm 5'3, bad for you if you're genetically superior. Anyway, one of the "rules" discussed on Corporette is that you should always have 2+ colors (besides black) in an outfit at a time. In other words, don't wear this with a colorful blouse and black heels - throw bright shoes or a vibrant scarf or even a bold pair of earrings into the mix, too. Or go for head-to-toe black - I like the idea of wearing these pants with a silky black tank, black ballet flats and gold jewelry for a modern take on Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face.

On Banana Republic's website, I like these "Sloan" slim fit ankle pants, $89.50 (yes, same-ish name as the Elie Tahari pair; both conjure memories of Ferris Bueller's girlfriend, which is not a bad thing). BR touts these as a seasonless staple, and I covet clothing I can wear year-round. (Although, really, the only garment befitting sweltering New York City summers is a cotton sundress.) These are navy, which is my #1 favorite color to wear (so much so that I've banned myself from buying anything navy for awhile), but they also come in black and khaki. It's worth noting that I have a similar, slightly more cropped pair in black, also purchased from BR, that I wear all the time - with heels, with flats, tucked into boots, in the winter, in the summer, for work, for play. So... these would probably be a smart buy.

Speaking of summers in the city, what's your stance on bermuda shorts?

This pair from Vince, $195 (available in khaki as well), would satisfy my dedication to pants without causing heatstroke in the summer. My office is pretty casual, so I could see myself wearing these with a cotton tee, a wispy cardigan or linen blazer, and shorter heels or wedges, and looking polished but comfortable. What do you think? Am I deranged? Give me your best armchair diagnosis in the comments section.