Choose Your Best Trouser Style

Choose Your Best Trouser Style

Wide leg
Wide leg

Each season seems to introduce a different style of trousers.  We are supposed to love the new style and fill our closet with every color and nuance we can find.  This, of course, is good for the retailers but not necessarily for us, the consumer.   Good news!  This year, it seems that options are wide open and you will have your choice of those styles that fit and look best on you!

Pleated front trousers with a waistband are a recent return to the fashion scene.  Taken from men’s trousers, they present a professional look and are a good choice for an hourglass or triangle, provided they have a flat tummy.  If your tummy is your nemesis, pleats will only exaggerate that little bulge.  The straight leg should hang from the widest part of the hips.  Length should be close to the floor on any trouser with a wider leg.  The goal is to have the trouser form a continuous line from the waist to the floor elongating the legs.

Pleated high waist
Pleated high waist

Wide legged trousers are another excellent choice for a triangle figure where your hips are wider than your shoulders.  The width serves as camouflage for the hip width. If you have a longer body and shorter legs, straight trouser legs will be a more attractive look and cropped trousers should be avoided.

Skinny jeans or slender cut trousers will be a great choice if you have slender hips and legs.  They work beautifully with boots.   The biggest consideration is the cut does not accentuate hip width.   No one wants to look like an ice cream cone!

Straight, slim fit
Straight, slim fit

Many slacks are designed with a yolk or narrow waistband and flat front.  This style is a winner for minimizing a tummy.   It is also good for the figure-8 body shape – the body with a high hipbone.

One of the most challenging fits considerations is achieving good fit through the rise of the trousers.  Use the three-way mirror in the fitting room to carefully assess the fit from behind.  If the pants pull through the crotch or have draglines, they don’t fit.  Your alterations person will be your best friend when it comes to fit.  They will tell you if a proper fit can be achieved or not so rely on their expertise.

Pleated, wide leg cropped
Pleated, wide leg cropped

You will continue to see cropped trousers, adding a wide legged, cropped version as well.   This style will probably not endure but could be fun for the season.  Proportion will be important with cropped trousers so take a long look in the mirror.

The upcoming season holds great hope for the trouser-challenged lady.  Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution short of custom made.  Don’t forget to give a long, hard rearview evaluation and rely on your alterations expert.  Better to have one great fitting trouser than several ill fitting!  

 

Shopping in the Men’s Department

imagesHave you noticed that many menswear departments are placing smaller sizes toward the entrance?   According to a recent article, women are now choosing to shop for themselves in men’s departments.  If that seems a little strange, one only has to compare the quality of workmanship to find a clue.   Certainly, the designer departments in women’s wear usually exude quality but many of the less expensive labels are questionable.    Men’s wear, however tends to have a quality of workmanship that will endure several years of wearing without deteriorating.  One might ask, why?  It isn’t as though much of the women’s wear is less expensive.

I think much of the reason is the cost of new designs each season – an expensive process, indeed.   Styles for men’s slacks and jackets remain constant for a much longer period, thus, the manufacturer can use higher quality fabric and workmanship while maintaining the same budget .

Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel

A century ago Coco Chanel turned the fashion world upside down by artfully putting together pieces of clothing from closets of her various boyfriends.  It worked for her – but it won’t work for everyone!

Chanel had a skeletal body – one in which her bone structure was very evident.  Her body shape was rectangular: very little waist indentation, slim hips and small bust.  No wonder men’s clothing lines fit her.   Although a small woman, she had strong bone structure making the masculine looks work well for her.  She would have looked absurd in ruffles, soft drapes or delicate details.

If you are one of those ladies looking for quality in the men’s department, take a close look:  Does it fit your body?  Does the masculine style work for your overall persona?  If you answer no to either of these questions, maybe there is another option.

Let me propose two suggestions in finding quality pieces without paying a fortune.

Classic Look
Classic Look

Shop resale shops.  Many ladies have large clothing budgets and take beautiful designer items into these shops regularly.  Explore the different shops in your area to find the ones that carry your style and size in their inventory.  You can build a relationship with the owner and ask that they contact you when garments come in meeting your criteria.

Shop final sales in upscale department stores.  You can get on their email lists and receive their sale notices.  Comb through the selection of clothing that would add to your wardrobe.  Follow those items that you have selected.  You might even visit the store and try the garment on to confirm size if you plan to order online.  Depending on budget and patience, wait until the next big markdown occurs, then go shopping.  This is one of my favorite tactics and I found slacks and a sweater set at Saks in December for 70% off.

Make it Feminine
Make it Feminine

This method of shopping takes time and patience.  If this is not you, I encourage you to choose a quality piece that will last for many years.  Amortize the cost per wear and you will find that you have actually spent less money.  These items should be basics that can be worn with many different combinations.  Last evening I encountered a client who was a perfect example of how this is done.  Her high quality blazer was twelve years old, the blouse a recent outlet purchase, and skirt found on a sale rack.  She accented it with a belt, shoes and necklace from her collection.  She had expertly coordinated the shades of navy and looked fabulous.  

You too can look fabulous on your budget.  It just takes a bit of thinking outside the box!  If you need a little guidance, I’d love to talk with you.  404-428-2528

 

In the PINK for 2014

ChipDriveThis year it’s Radiant Orchid!  So what is Radiant Orchid?”  you may ask.   Pantone has chosen Radiant Orchid as the 2014 color of the year.  You may remember last year’s Emerald with Tangerine Tango being the chosen colors for the previous year.   As we move into this year’s new collections, we will be seeing more and more pinky purple shades in clothing, household accessories, appliances and Chevrolet is even offering a limited edition “deep magenta metalic” for their 2014 Sonic.

Pantone doesn’t actually pluck the color of the year out of thin air.  They poll manufacturers, designers, decorator supply companies and other related companies then, after evaluation, the Pantone Color of the Year is selected.  0413611386157_247x329Spring runway collections were replete with pinky-purples.  You will see Radiant Orchid appear in Converse tennis shoes, Burberry handbags, home décor items and even electric coffee makers.  The big question is:  Is this a color that you can incorporate into your life in the coming months?  Or, do you even want to?

_8673406Pink of any shade is feminine.   This shade also is a cool color and will not be as flattering for the warm-toned person – that is the person who looks great in yellow, peach and lime green.  Many men will not be drawn to a shade of orchid, especially if they are more of a rugged, outdoor type.  We should not choose colors based on what is popular this season but on what looks great on us and matches our personality._8499453

Orchid will look fabulous with gray, black and navy.  For business, a blouse in this color would add the perfect touch to a suit of one of these basic colors. Men can create a conservative look by choosing a striped or plaid dress shirt such as the one pictured, worn with a dark, solid tie.  If you want to add just a pop of color, make it easy by adding a clutchScarves are another excellent way of bringing in a color that might not be best in your color palette but that touch in a scarf can add an interest.    A dress in orchid will be romantic and feminine, perfect for a special evening out or a ladies luncheon.

Whether you choose Radiant Orchid for 2014 or decide to take a pass, make your color choices reflect your personal style and color.  People remember how great you looked long after they forgotten whether you were wearing the color of the year!