There’s so much talk these days about the difference between fashion and style, personal style. How women needn’t be slaves to the most recent trends, how we should dress to please ourselves, how style is what we do with the clothes we buy. Okay. I agree with all that. But what the heck do we do when we can’t find anything that flatters and looks good on us? When the stores are filled with trends that leave us cold?
|Let’s talk about the long and short of personal style, shall we?
Of course, we could shop our own closets, try to remake new outfits with old pieces. We could shop in vintage or thrift stores. Yep. We could do that. And I do do that on occasion. I also take old pieces to the tailor to have them altered. Like I did with my old Max Mara pant suit last spring, when the pants had to be let out… considerably. Sigh. I’ve also had ginormous eighties shoulder pads removed from an Alfred Sung houndstooth blazer from the eighties which I still love and want to wear again. And in the past I’ve had pant legs narrowed, or let down, or hemmed and cuffed to make them more current.
In my youth, pant legs were the bane of my existence. In fact pants in general were the bane of my existence. When I was a teenager jeans and dress pants were usually too baggy in the butt or too short in the legs for me. I’ve written endlessly here on the blog about the Sisyphean task of shopping for jeans. But since the demise of the hipster, low-rise jean, and the advent of the high-waisted skinny jean I’ve been pretty happy shopping for jeans, and for pants in general. I’ve found that I can easily find jeans and other pants which flatter me, and which don’t make me feel as if I’m walking around in someone else’s clothes.
Until lately. Lately I’ve been trying on a plethora of ugly pants. As my grandmother might say, there are more ugly pants in stores than you can shake a stick at. Ha. I love that expression.
A case in point. Recently I’ve been shopping for plaid pants. Plaid pants that are cropped to a flattering length, and which will look great with my burgundy loafers, and maybe my burgundy Akris sweater, or my Uniqlo down vest.
|These Veronica Beard and Aritzia pants were definitely built for someone else… not me.
Here are two of the many pairs I’ve tried on in the past few weeks. A beautiful pair of plaid Veronica Beard pants, on the left, that I had great hopes for, but which looked ridiculous on me. Too baggy on my hips, and cropped at a distinctly unflattering length. The pants on the right are from Aritzia. They were comfy, and fit me around the waist perfectly, but the width of the leg and the length just looked silly on me, I thought. In these pants I felt like I was seventeen again, and not in a good way. I remarked to the salesperson at Aritzia, that these pants somehow made my legs look stubby, and that’s hard to do since, according to Hubby, I have “high hips” and am about 96% leg.
When I came home from the mall, I checked out both pairs on-line. And even on the models, where one assumes the pants fit as they’re supposed to fit, I thought they looked unflattering.
|Veronica Beard at Nordstrom, and the Babaton “Jimmy” pant at Aritzia
|Feeling pretty pleased about my new (longer) Rag and Bone plaid pants.
|A slimmer line and a longer leg than the other pants I tried suits me better.