September 27, 2008

If you like (sigh) khakis...

... try neutral trousers instead.

Khakis... there is nothing inherently wrong with them. In fact, set them up with a polo and some flops and you've got a classic outfit. However, you'll also end up looking like you're still in college, going to your only class at 2pm on Friday, and heading straight to Happy Hour after, and it's a special $2 HH and you know you'll get so drunk you'll spill on yourself, or get spilt on, so you don't want to ruin your nice clothes.

When it comes to wearing trousers at work, khakis just don't cut it any more. Khakis are for unpaid interns. Trousers are for the women who they try to emulate. There is a casual quality to the dimpled hems, rivets, ubiquitous stone color and (shudder) cargo and/or painter's pockets they may have.

Ladies, you can do better.

Below are some neutral, lightweight trousers in lighter colors. They will match literally everything in your wardrobe, and are easily dressed up with black, jewelry, a jacket or a great cardigan. They will serve the same function as khakis (comfortable pants that match a lot and aren't hot), but will look a helluva lot more sophisticated.

When your pants are a lighter color than your top, it can be easy for your legs to look thick. Extending your leg line with long hems and heels skinnies you out. Pairing light trousers with flats makes you look stumpy, and the same goes for cuffs, unless you are already long-n-lean.

Finally, my favorite trick with light-colored trousers: if you normally wear average length pants, go for the long length, and throw on some huge platforms or tall heels underneath. The heels give the pants smooth, long lines, straightens your posture, and serves as a nice surprise when you cross your legs or stride down the hall. In certain cuts, it's also a less extreme way to participate in the wide-leg pants trend.

Viva las Trousers!

Arden B, $78

Banana Republic, $78

Gap, $44.50

Gap, $54.50

JCrew, $89

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