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  • Alicia McCaslin

Getting a Leg Up on Pants

On my way to New York a couple weeks ago, I sat next to a lovely woman who wanted to engage in conversation. I had more than enough to do on my train ride for the next three hours but she had explained how she cannot read on the train due to motion sickness. She was actually looping back home to Philly after having left earlier that morning for her monthly meeting in D.C. Turns out she is an engineer with a graduate degree from MIT. This has a lot to do with why she gets motion sickness. She described herself as only being able to focus on one thing at a time, that her brain resists multiple information.  I discovered a lot about her husband and her two boys, about being a working mom, and lots of information about how the additives to our fuel will be decided in the coming months that will affect the changes in the car industry…among other things.

I did a lot of listening but at one point we started talking fashion and style. Turns out the MIT grad and I had a favorite movie in common: “The Devil Wears Prada.” I chuckled as we started to dissect the plot and how the left brain and the right brain contingencies could both find this movie utterly entertaining enough to watch over and over. My new friend also shared how she loves looking at magazines to get inspiration on how to wear her clothing. I explained to her at this point that I was a stylist and utilized this technique with my clients often in order to provide them with visuals as to how to wear a trend or pair their separates in their wardrobe.

Many times I try and introduce a new concept to my clients. Sometimes they resist the nudge I am giving them because they only understand what they have come to know about themselves and the way they wear their clothing. For instance, I am going to make a prediction that you are about to see more pants on the racks than you have in a long time. This is not groundbreaking by any means since pants were last fall’s major trend. However, when you live close to D.C., the most current trends seem to take a bit of time to infiltrate the Beltway.

I can say without a doubt that I have not focused on pants to this degree for quite some time. Dresses have been dominating both the runway and the racks at boutiques and department stores for nearly a decade. One reason that pants don’t retail well is that they are harder to fit than dresses and skirts. Many woman have already made up their mind that their bodies are not built for pants and don’t bother to introduce anything beyond denim. If ever there is a season to try pants, it should be this one since there is an abundant variety of styles and prints.

Here are a few tips on what style pants are best for each body shape, along with a few visuals on how to wear the hottest separate for fall (and spring 2017).


Universally flattering, the bootcut creates a long leg and balances the hip no matter your shape or size


Boot cut and flares are great styles for an apple shape. Also try the higher rise 9″+ wider leg crop with a sporty shoe OR a statement heel. Try wearing solid dark colors to minimize and avoid brights, nudes and ivory.


Cropped Trousers fit the hourglass shape since they won’t overwhelm. By showing a little ankle below the pant you are adding a little height to yourself. Adding a slight flare can delicately accentuate the shape of the leg in proportion to the hip.


The petite woman should consider a straight leg pant for the correct scale instead of the wide leg, which can be a bit overwhelming – again, adding too much volume to your lower half.


This is the new relaxed look. The crop keeps it fresh and gives you an opportunity to show off some kicks. Think sporty and comfortable. Inviting this style into your wardrobe will keep you looking relevant. We wonder why European woman look so chic. It’s because they are not afraid to explore new silhouettes, and they tend to get there before we do!


No doubt the most popular new silhouette this season.  If you have a pair of pants that you are no longer wearing, taking them to a tailor and having them cropped to show a little ankle this fall is a great way to appear taller. If you are worried about what shoe to wear once it gets cold, the ankle boot is the answer. Until then, wearing them with a little flat or slip on loafer will be très chic.


I feel like I’ve been a broken record with my clients when I tell them they need print pants. As far as getting more out of your wardrobe, a pair of print pants will be a tremendous asset. All of your solid sweaters, blouses, and jackets have been yearning for a pair of print pants! They are so fun and add instant style.

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