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Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Pants in My Family

Look, I know it's a holiday weekend, and you probably have a date with some guacamole, chips and a beer, but can we talk about pants for a moment? Here's what I know about pants. They have the following options:

high-waisted a la Katharine Hepburn (good)

high-waisted a la Mom Jeans (bad)

pleats (bad) // flat front (good)

hip huggers a la Three's Company (depends on your hips)

low rise a la the hip and fashionable (depends on your hips AND your underwear--or lack thereof)

low rise a la the absurd (depends on your ability to stay perfectly vertical every second of the day so as to avoid Hot Fashion becoming Stone Cold Plumber's Butt (those first three links take you to girls who really just shouldn't have; the last is for the actual plumber's photo credit)

and then there are pants that are just a joke (one hopes)

Moving below the waistband (assuming your pants haven't already taken that liberty for you by removing the waistband altogether), the options include:

straight leg (good)

skinny leg (disaster. if you're below a size 6, you don't have a pants problem, so don't gloat. just wear your skinny legs if you must. preferably on a very bad hair day to be fair to the rest of us.)

boot cut (fine if you're wearing boots)

tapered (what is this 1985? if they have an ankle zipper, back away slowly)

flare (fine if you're yachting)

bell bottom (fine if you're Marcia Brady)

capri pants (once called cropped; long ago known as clam diggers; timelessly good for looking summery and pretending you're Audrey Hepburn)

cropped via rolled-up-cuffs (good for splashing in puddles)

very long with cuffs (elegant)

culottes/gauchos (good. if you've never heard of these, you were born after 1973; but you do know what they are; you just know them by the far less simple name of "those slighly swishy calf-length pants that look really great with high boots in the winter" -- doesn't roll off the tongue quite as nicely as "culottes," now does it?)

Here's what I don't know about pants:
what is in style right this very second?

As you can see, there are a lot of options, and I haven't even begun to get into the whole fabrics question. (No, the question is not to acid wash or not to acid wash; I do know that much.)

But here's what I really really really want to know about pants: do you think it's great when a woman wears the looks that suit her body type and personal style? Or do you think *sniff* how outre when I she shows up somewhere in tailored wide-legged cuffed wool slacks when everyone else is wearing the super-skinny stretch-wool pant?

Because it's clean-out-the-closet weekend here at Chez MommyTime, and I'm tired of tripping over fashion "dos" that just seriously don't on me. So I want to purge them all (which I know is good). But some of what I want to keep is not "fashionable" -- it's just "classic." I look good in Katharine Hepburn's pants. And those are the ones I prefer for work. I look like crap in boot cut (which are always too tight in the thighs). I know better than skinny jeans or bell bottoms or ultra-low-rise on me.

But do I have to pay attention to the catwalks and the magazines and choose fashion pants? Or can I wear what makes me feel good, even if it's cropped when everyone else is wearing drag-your-cuffs-in-the-dust long? Or whatever.

Honestly? Finding flattering pants is nearly as hard as trying to buy a bathing suit. But I did have this brainstorm: if you buy pants that are made to cover a whole pair of underwear, you can avoid the dreaded muffintop by actually covering it with a waistband. And you don't even have to buy mom jeans to do it. All you need is to do is channel Katharine Hepburn.


Mrs F with 4 said...

Definitely stick with what makes YOU look AND feel good!!

I've discovered, but only have one precious pair of, 'Not Your Daughter's Jeans'. They seem to make a pair for every body shape, including the muffin top, and I swear they take off at LEAST 10 pounds. Which has to be good, right?

Obviously if they WERE my daughter's jeans, I would only weigh 35lbs... not a good thing, I'm thinking.

Have a great weekend!

Juli said...

I love the Katharine Hepburn look! They make jeans like that! I think they're called trouser style. Go for it! I get ridiculously expensive jeans handed down or up (depending on which way the wind blows) from my jeans-addicted little sister, lol. I like the low-rise, b/c of my baby pooch (so what if she just turned 2!?!?!). But you probably shold listen to my fashion advice, as I keep waiting to be ambushed by Clinton and Stacy from WNTW :)

Lisa said...

Wear what looks good on you. You are not a mindless slave to fashion! ;-) If anyone complains, they must just jealous of how great you look.

calicobebop said...

I agree with the previous comment - it's your body, wear what makes you feel lovely. Sounds like your style is "classic" - and that never goes out of fashion!

Mr Lady said...

Do you know how many times I have been hollered at for calling them culottes? I was beginning to think I was crazy, and that I'd made that word up.

PS: You are absolutely insane, and I love you more daily for it.

zoeyjane said...

screw fashion, i say, and wear what makes you happy. me? i'm an eternal fan of low rise, boot cuts. but i'm smaller than a size six (not gloating) and still find that without an ass, there are few good looking options.

rest your mind, we all have pants issues. for some of us, it's also trying to remember to keep them on!

fawn said...

a) I've never heard them called culottes. Must be an American thing. 'Cause that's French for panties. But then "pants" mean the same thing to the Brits.

b) You are blessed with a long torso (which you lamented in your bathing suit post, as I recall) but those of us who are short-waisted (or, like me, RIDICULOUSLY short-waisted) absolutely cannot wear high-rise pants. Because they would stop somewhere right under my boobs. I'm not even kidding, that's where my waist is, and that look just makes my boobs look saggy. Hey, they sag, but not THAT much! So muffin-top cannot be covered by waistband in my world, unfortunately.

c) I concur with everyone else. Wear what makes you look good. That's what style is *really* about, isn't it? (Look at me, talking like I know anything about style.)

McMommy said...

Wait a second...so my ankle-zippered jeans are a fashion don't??

Geez! The next thing you are going to tell me is that my Z.Cavarecchi pants aren't in style?!

lattemommy said...

I'm totally with Fawn - I have a ridiculously short waist, and pants are a nightmare for me. There's no way I can wear anything high-waisted, so my muffin-top is out there for the world to see all the time! I can never wear a shirt tucked into pants because I just look awkward. It sucks.

I think you should wear whatever feels good. Screw fashion. If I wanted to be fashionable I'd have stopped eating in 1988.

MommyTime said...

I thank you all kindly for telling me to do what I want to do. I always love that.

Also, I can't wait to check out the jeans you recommend, Mrs F. They sound fabulous (assuming they don't require me to weigh 32 ;)

Juli, hahaha -- I keeping hoping for that ambush too!

Zoeyjane, it sounds like you've found what looks good on you, which is the best thing I think.

Mr Lady, so very happy to know I'm going crazy for someone's amusement anyway.

MultiplesMommy said...

As long as your styles are truly classic (not a 1980's relic, but classic styling, mind you) then you should ALWAYS wear what looks good on you. The problem, of course, is finding said styles when you need to buy something new, since classic is not currently in, and Muffin Top Mania is the fad of the day. Personally, I'm close to giving up on pants and just wearing long dresses... that way the muffin top doesn't show. Oh, and my other bit of tummy-flab-camouflage advice? Wear solid pants with a patterned top. The pattern helps to distract the eye from the various bulges and lumpiness. It works. Trust me.

mommytherobot.blogspot.com said...

omg! so glad you did bring this up! i've been thinking the same thing. all winter i have been a fan of skinny jeans (i'm 5'2" and they are the only ones that don't end up dragging on the ground) but summer, i need something free-er. i have this pair of mlle. hepburn pants you may like. but i've also been loving jcrew's heritage chinos- neither too wide leg or too slim or too boot cut or too whatever. its classic, stylish, made for whatever. if you have to go for jeans, boot cuts are the most flattering cut to be honest, they give you skinny looking thighs and great butt. the ones out right now don't have too much flare in the bottom or too low slung. if you're short like me, don't go for too baggy or too wide leg bec that will only make you even shorter. but if you're tall and fab, then you can wear anything!

foolery said...

What a photo gallery! LOVED it.

I owe nothing to fashion, because really, what has fashion ever done for me? Not losing sleep over what Clinton and Stacy might think of me, ha ha.

I agree with pretty much everyone here: wear what looks good on you. And Katherine Hepburn pants are to die for. If only I could make them look they way they look in my head, instead of how they actually look on my butt. Sigh.

mommypie said...

Meh, stick to the Hepburns if that's what makes you comfortable! I may be a bit biased, because I too, am a fan. It's a timeless look.

Fashion, schmashion.

MIQuilter said...

I'm so far out of the fashion loop that I HAVE to say "wear what you like" just to preserve my commitment to not buying more than $75 a year on clothing for myself. As much as I would, frankly, LOVE to look fashionable, the frustration of actually shopping kills any desire I have to find something nice and just find something that sorta fits.

Oh, and you look fine in capris..... I, however, being so short just look like I'm wearing pants slightly too short for me. On me, capris TOTALLY SUCK... which sucks because it seems like that's ALL that have been in fashion for the past few years.

I can only pray that Clinton and Stacy are stalking me, as that's truly the ONLY thing that will rescue me from the fashion disaster I call my "wardrobe".

Cocoa said...

Just wear what makes you feel and look good. That's what I do cause I'm so short. But then again there's only cows, antelope and coyotes out here to see me looking unfashionable. :D

Kimmylyn said...

This is a post for me if I ever saw one.. I am a jean addict. seriously.. I own about 20 pairs of jeans.. all of them I adore. The newest pair is about 8 months old. I buy what feels right and looks good. The oldest pair I own is about 10 years old but it is a timeless vintage pair of Levis that I adore..

You need to buy what feels good AND looks good.

K8spade said...

I have exactly 2 pairs of pants, because the others are too big and too small. And I bought them 3 years ago, so I'm pretty sure they're not burnin' up the catwalk right now. Plus I just hit 30...so I think I should probably start dressing like it, don't you think? I need more help than you do!


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