Saturday 24th February 2018
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15 pairs of trousers for dressing up or down

skinny armies

I am always looking for cool alternatives to my criminally over-utilized jeans, and I like trousers because they project a kind of togetherness I’m not always feeling on the inside. There are a couple of reasonably-priced options here, but not as many as I typically like to include, because this is a tough category for that. Cheap pants, unfortunately, look cheap. And a good pair of pants always wins the day in the cost-per-wear valuation. I like pants from The Great, and these skinny armies especially: they are so, so flattering on a person with hips, and are as comfortable as leggings (they have a ton of stretch, but happily don’t look as though they do). Here are their also-good slouchy armies.

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I’m also a big fan of Nili Lotan’s Tel Aviv pant: just the right amount of slouch, and such a good washed-out black (it comes in other colors too).

frame cargo trousers

Cargo pants are sort of here  forever, aren’t they? That’s cool, I like their utilitarian vibe. (And here is a similar black pair I like.)

helmut lang trousers

I’m including these, from Helmut Lang, because they are wool, and it is very nearly impossible to find good wool pants.

loft trousers

Loft has just started offering extended sizes, and they’ve got some good stuff, like these skinny black pants.

theory trousers

These are from Theory and they’re a wool blend, so you can wear them straight into spring.

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I think these pants are cute and reasonably well-priced, but I’m also including this because I noticed J. Crew has been using this not-scary-skinny model and I think it’s cool.

everlane wide cropped trousers

I am intrigued by this whole wide leg cropped pants look, but don’t want to spend a lot on it, which is why this $68 option is appealing. It also comes in quite a few good colors, and a version with regular slit pockets if you’re looking for something more streamlined.

eloquii trousers

I make a habit of not pointing out when one of the items featured here is for extended sizes, because that annoyed some of you. But you can’t tell from the model’s body here that that is necessarily the case, so I’m going ahead and saying it. These come in a huge range of colors, and are pretty well-cut.

everlane work pant

Everlane calls this their work pant, but I can see wearing it on the weekend with a big sweater.

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Nili Lotan’s super-slouchy Paris pants in a brilliant tomato red.

vince trouser

I like the front seam on these, from Vince.

j crew cropped pants

A jaunty cropped pair fabricated of crepe.

j brand trouser

A navy blue pant is so chic and French.

6397 silk trousers

These silk trousers are just divine, and seriously evening-worthy.


Posted on February 14th, 2018 18 Comments

18 Responses

  1. Betsy says:

    Great post Kim and I’m particularly thankful that the vast majority have a fly and a zipper. Pull on pants are great but anyone over the age of 4 needs big girl pants and they are increasingly difficult to find!

  2. gk2829 says:

    I am searching for trousers as well. So thanks for the list. But my question is why is it that my favorite pants are from Helmut Lang?

  3. Heather says:

    Whenever I try to shop for pants I’m reminded of the Frank Zappa lyric describing the struggles of the Valley Girl, which include finding “a pair of jeans to fit her butt.”

  4. Sharon says:

    Thanks for this post! I am headed for the Theory pair right now. A while back you posted a pair of Topshop cigarette pants with a super low price. I bought them on your recommendation and have worn them to work at least 10 times already.

  5. Viajera says:

    I know no one has time for a tutorial, but I am confused by the notion of cheap pants looking cheap. I can tell if things don’t fit, I can tell – more or less – whether it’s good fabric – do these things comprise cheapness?

    And expensive casual pants might confuse me too. And then there’s the distressing.

    This kind of thing is fascinating. I would love to know all these things, though I don’t know that it would change my cheap-pants-wearing behavior. Or maybe I would be sorry? I am just thinking out loud here.

  6. jenny says:

    Am I the only person who avoids shorter pants? I am slender, but with shorter legs, and I look super-stubby unless I wear a longer pant with a similarly colored shoe/boot/bootie,, to give me a longer, unbroken line. I guess that’s just me:(

  7. Katrina says:

    I just bought a pair of high waisted wide leg pants from Uniqlo. I’ve worn them out once and so far I kinda like them, I think? The silhouette needs some getting used to, especially when trying to match it with a top so we’ll see how it goes. Uniqlo also has sleek pants/trousers that come with an elastic waistband. They are great for flights if you want to look sleek and still be comfortable.

    Oooh, can you do a flight essentials post?

  8. Jaime says:

    I’ve noticed that almost all the trousers shown right now (not just here– all over) are cropped and shown over bare ankles – which doesn’t work for 6 months of the year in New York, especially commuting every day. I am always excited when I see a good look with a full length trouser or one that can be worn fashionably with socks or ankle boots, like that Loft option.

  9. Morgan says:

    I am not a fan of the cropped pants. It’s not a good look for me. You seem to show this type of pant 90% of the time and I see it worn maybe 10% of the time (especially in the Northeast). Maybe you could show a full length option that’s similar to your cropped style?

  10. Debra says:

    GOACA UNITE!!! As many of these comments indicate, we will NOT be held hostage by current fashion trends. And I LOVE that about us.

  11. KimFrance says:

    Apologies to all of you who feel I over-rely on cropped pants. I post what I see in the stores I like, and most of what I see there these days is cropped (also, bear in mind that many pants look cropped but aren’t; they’re just being shown on very tall models—-that has been my experience with both Nili Lotan and The Great). I will look to include more un-cropped options in the future.

  12. Personally, I appreciate the “extended sizes” callout, because honestly, models don’t really clue me into whether or not something is available in my size, and there’s no bigger bummer* than clicking through and finding out that something is only up to a 12-14.

    (*Because obviously, there are plenty of bigger bummers!)

    • Mamavalveeta03 says:

      I don’t mind either for the same reasons. I appreciate the term “extended sizes” rather than “plus size” (plus what?)

      • Viajera says:

        I will meditate on this “extended” business. It might work. There’s no value judgment in it, since it could be “extending” in any kind of direction. (I don’t really get upset about this stuff, but I find the language very interesting. And fun!)

  13. Caroline says:

    I’m actually fine with the whole wide leg cropped pant thing for spring and summer., especially since I wouldn’t be caught dead in shorts..
    A. my legs are not my best feature.
    B. I’m not sporty so anything too sportif makes me feel like a poser!
    actually ordered those Everlane ones yesterday in white!

  14. kate says:

    I too like the extended sizes notes. I love knowing beforehand that something goes higher that a 10 or 12.

  15. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    Nice choices. I’m still on the hunt for the right pair of black trousers. Fit is always the problem.


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