January 20, 2012

Today's Everyday Fashion: Tricky Trousers







































I have a real love-hate relationship with these pants. On the one hand, I love a cropped trouser and I think they are such a chic alternative to your usual (boring) work pant! On the other hand, they have a drop-crotch/somewhat harem style that just doesn't look good when you wear something short. So it's tough to find things that look "right" with them. Thankfully, I only paid $15 for them. (I also took them to a tailor - they look better now, but still didn't quite come out how I wanted them to!) I recently came up with today's look based on this Gap photo, and it got me thinking of other outfits I've done with these pants.... so I picked three and shared them below! I think overall the only one that really works is #2, because the shirt is long enough to cover the top part of the pants. Not ideal to have a pair of pants that only work with super-long shirts, but I love how they look in #2 so I will attempt to do more outfits like that one in the future! Do you agree that #2 is the only outfit "win"? How would you style these tricky trousers?

Inspiration photo: Gap
Leather jacket: Banana Republic, $150
Sweater: Banana Republic,  old
Pants: Gap, $15
Shoes: Restricted from Endless, $40
Necklace: Stella & Dot
Ring: My Stella & Dot website, $49







































Total win. (My outfit was in InStyle magazine!) This shirt is really long, but somewhat sheer, so it provides the right amount of coverage without looking frumpy. One of my favorite looks of all time! (Original post here.)








































Okay. This shirt is just barely long enough and the shoes elongate my feet, making the pants more flattering. I want to zest up this outfit a little though - maybe add a scarf or sweater vest? And ideally I wish the shirt was just a tad longer. (Original post here.)








































Total fail. I think this blazer and shirt are just too short for these pants, unfortunately. I think I need to style these pants more like leggings and stick to very long shirts like look #2 going forward! Overall, untraditional clothing items like these pants can be tough to style, but I think it's worth the trial and error to create outfit "wins" like #2. (Original post here.)

Get your own tricky trousers! (j/k, hopefully these will fit like a dream!)


1. Forever 21 cropped trouser, $22.80
2. Frech Connection cropped trouser, $29
3. Calvin Klein cropped trouser, $49

59 comments:

  1. Not a fan of the pants-- they look more ill-fitting opposed to a 'style' of pant.

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  2. Love the black/white/gray look above.  I also  love your tan leather jacket!  I recently tried to buy a similar one but was between sizes.  Sigh.  

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  3. agree. those pants are absolutely hideous :( i never understood harem pants...but if they were to be worn, i think the pants have to be made out of a flowy fabric like jersey and not stiff and structured like the gray ones shown. i hate how the pants are so tight on the calves, and then so loose and baggy everywhere else. not flattering at all.

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  4. I kind of like your pants, but agree with PP that they do look like they just don't fit very well.  They are kind of too tight at the bottom of your leg area.  This look can be so much easier to pull off by simply wearing your normal dress pants and just tight rolling the bottoms and cuffing a few times.  This way at least the pant fits you well already and you don't have to worry about finding the perfect cuffed trouser that ends up looking too harem, (which isn't flattering on anyone)!  The French Connection pant you highlighted above is perfect, but is an easy way to show you that your normal trouser can just be rolled up a few times and tight rolled for a free way to wear this look.  xx

    Pip
    http://chicstayathome.blogspot.com

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  5. Those pants fit horribly.  Time to let them go.

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  6. i also love your jacket and i'm looking for one similar, but having no luck.

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  7. No way! Look #2 is one of my favorite outfits of all time!

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  8. Not a huge fan of the pants, but I definitely like the inStyle-inspired one the best. The shirt covers up the harem-ness without looking bulky. 


    Every time someone mentions a tailor, I hear my mom saying "see?"  I never bring anything to one even though I probably should...either that, or I should finally retrieve my sewing machine form my parents basement.

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  9. Thank you! So hard to tell, but the sweater is navy. I love a navy/gray/brown look! :-)

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  10. Thanks Pip! I agree that the harem part is not flattering - that's why look #2 is the only one that I declared a "WIN" above, because the shirt is long enough that you can only see the bottom part of the pants! 

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  11. Not sure you if you read the post or just looked at the pictures? 

    This is another version of the "outfit fail" post I did last week. More outfit fails and why they don't work. (other than #2, which is one of my favorite looks of all time!)

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  12. Hmmm... Not sure you if you read the post or just looked at the pictures? This is another version of the "outfit fail" post I did last week. More outfit fails and why they don't work. As I said, (and you seem to be re-iterating?) these pants only work in look #2 because the shirt is long enough to cover the harem part of the pant. 

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  13. Your second outfit looked the best! The shirt hem peeks out from underneath the sweater at just the right spot!

    http://www.theprettyfactor.blogspot.com

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  14. I love your In-Style inspired look but am not a fan of any of the other looks.  I dont think the pants are horrible; your fave look shows (to me at least) that they can be great if style properly.  Any clothing item that's a bit untraditional is going to take some trial and error, and that's kind of what your blog teaches us a lot of the time anyway!  I absolutely love the French Connection pants you show at the bottom...must check them out!

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  15. i read what you wrote, but you didn't mention that the first outfit photo was a fail. actually, according to what you wrote, you said you "love this outfit in person"--thus it must be your post and the wording therein that is not clear.

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  16. Thank you Elizabeth! This is exactly what i was trying to convey with this post! "Tricky"/untraditional clothing items can e fun to add to your closet, but can take some trial and error to get it right. I've learned that only #2 works with these pants and wanted to share that insight with you guys today. :-)

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  17. Under the last outfit, I declare that only long shirts (aka #2) work for these pants! The whole point of this blog is to share my learning journey with you guys, so today I was trying to share that after a bunch of trial and error I've learned that really only looks with long shirts such as #2 works with these pants. I think it's fun to see/talk about past outfit fails too and an be a great learning tool!

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  18. Hey J,

    Are you sure these aren't supposed to be higher waisted than how you've been styling them? I am just curious because in photo #4 (the one wit the plaid blazer) it looks like you can higher the waist and in doing so, some of the crotchal region (harem section) wouldn't be so baggy???  Just curious.  And yes, you're right: #2 is best because it covers some of the "harem-ness"...  Loves it. :)

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  19. That's a great question... they actually come up past my belly-button but there is still some drop-crotch showing when I do that/pull them all the way up. I think I better stick to just covering up the top part completely. :-)

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  20. I definitely think #2 is your win.  I didn't think the pants looked bad in your first picture, but after number 2, I couldn't stop staring at your crotch in the other pics.  That came out weird.  #notastalker

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  21. #2 is a great look, and I like that you are letting the pants hang without pulling up the legs.  The harem look is definitely awkward and I agree with other commenters that they just come across as ill fitting, and I wonder if the baggy knees created by pulling up the legs contributes to that?  Hopefully you can find some non-harem cropped pants which will fit well for the other 3 looks!  (I really like the top half of #4)

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  22. The InStyle look is also one of my favorite outfits I've seen on your blog. You should do post about your top 10 looks! That would be great to read and have your best outfits consolidated in one post. :)

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  23. I love that idea and look #2 would definitely be on that list! :-)

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  24. J, you take criticism very well.. I wish I could!!! Maybe a skill you have learned from blogging, but just remember people always say things on the internet they probably wouldn't say in person!! I admire your openness to hearing others' opinions. :)

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  25. I agree. Number 2 is my favorite. I can understand why its hard to work with these pant. I would probably copy all these outfits just with fitted gray pants easy. Thanks for always inspiring! This weekend I am going to wear the maroon VC skirt I bought with a snakeskin blouse I purchased. (its actually a super short dress) I hope I can pull if off like you. Thanks for making me think out of the bubble. LOVE your blog!
    ~ Nina

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  26. my favorite is definitely the instyle inspired look. 

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  27. how does it look from the back? harem pants = saggy booty

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  28. In look #2? You can't see my booty. That shirt is long enough that it's almost as if I'm wearing wool leggings. :-) 

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  29. I agree with you about the fit. That cropped trouser could be great, but the crotch fit doesn't work for me. The same exact look with a normal fitting crotch area (how many times can I say crotch in this post?) would look great. For me, it doesn't look like the pants are supposed to be that way (i.e. "harem style" or whatever it's called, although it sounds like from what you're saying that it is intentional and that's a thing, but goodness why? Who does that look good on?), it just looks like they fit poorly. <-- Worst run-on sentence ever.

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  30. I'm not loving the slouch drop crotch.... I feel like it would look to sloppy for me.  It looks cute on you though, as does everything. #2 look is my fav.  Would it help if you have gone a size smaller maybe??

    fitfashlife.blogspot.com

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  31. Well, I ordered them online, which is not a great idea for pants. A size smaller wouldn't have fit over my calves though, lol! 

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  32. You are cracking. me. up. Tina! You said "crotch" twice and I love your run-on sentence.

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  33. This is such an interesting post--how many of us have had an item of clothing that is definitely trouble -making, but we just know there is a way to make it work? Everybody, I'm betting, unless you play it really safe and boring. Actually, I like the tighter aspects of the pant legs--you gain something that rolling or hemming regular pant legs simply wouldn't produce.

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  34. Yay, I'm so glad you like the post! I thought it was an interesting story. And I agree - I love the tighter leg and think that part of the pants is a "win."

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  35. I have a very similar pair of pants (slightly harem trouser pants Joe's brand found at TJ Maxx).

    I wore them with a fitted black blouse tucked in worn with a patent leather skinny belt and some black pumps.When you tuck the blouse in, the extra "sagginess" of the pants look intentional, which it is, and yet still flattering. Pair with a statement necklace and a cute high bun, and you're good to go! 

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  36. In summary, I don't think longer shirts is the only way to go with harem-esque trousers. Look #2 does look very nice, but I think a tucked in fitted shirt with a belt would look just as nice depending on where the pants sit on your waist :)

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  37. I Love the second outfit - I didn't even notice the poof of the pants. I don't think it's just that it's a long shirt that makes it work. I think the contrast between the white and navy is so stark that it draws the eye in. I like the third (w/the button up), but I agree, something is missing. Does it look bad tucked in? I often have those moments when I just feel like an outfit is incomplete. Maybe the last one would work with a bright shirt underneath, but I'm not sure what color you could pair with it? Purple?

    Anyway, I love the blog, and I just felt that I should comment so you know I exist rather than just watching you post everyday. Keep up the great work :)

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  38. Samantha - I totally agree! Not all harem pants are created equal, so I def don't think it's a "rule" that you must wear long shirts with all of them. These specific pants though, I think I probably should. :-)

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  39. Well I appreciate you commenting, I love knowing you exist! :-) And I love your ideas. It doesn't look great tucked in (see #4) partly b/c I think the tailor did more damage than help when they "fixed" them for me. 

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  40. I think #2 is the best, although I think these pants just don't work in general. For $15, I'd write them off and donate them to Goodwill....

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  41. Hi J, what I got from this post is "try, try again".  What totally different looks were achieved by the different items of clothing you tried and you did come up with a winner!  I'm sure I have an item or two that "just isn't quite right" in some respects that I should try some other pieces with.  You really showed how a shirt just a tad longer adjusts the whole balance of an outfit from losing to winning!  It was good to show the looks you felt did NOT work, revealing your method.  p.s. I was able to make it throught his whole comment without referring to or saying the word "crotch"!  haha 

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  42. I love cropped trousers too. You're right that it looks better with a long top. Bummer. 
    http://work-it-blog.blogspot.com/ 

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  43. I'm not convinced the pants length is the problem.  Even after tailoring, I think the pants are just a bad cut.  

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  44. Ok! Did you get these pants at a factory Gap? I bought a pair (not cropped) and thought it was a steeeeeeeeeal for $10! Well it also has a drop crotch! I thought the flaw was with me but my BF bought a pair too and expressed the same thing!! We thought it was a flaw and that's why they were so inexpensive!!!
    BTW no. 2 is definitely the winner!! I have to try something similar with the pants I mentioned but I really don't feel quite right wearing them at all so we'll see!!

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  45. I actually ordered them online but I wouldn't be surprised if they were the same pair as your! I also think they have a flaw which explains the price, but then my tailor just made them worse I think. I love these pants with a long shirt like #2 though, no one needs to know what harem secret you hold under there. :-)

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  46. I have to disagree Tess! :-) "Try, try again" was the theme here today!  I shared this journey with you today about how I learned what works with these pants to hopefully encourage you to try and to learn from my mistakes. I wouldn't dream of parting with these pants, b/c #2 is one of my favorite outfits of all time. :-) 

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  47. Mr. Taylor and his LadyJanuary 20, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    ohh, those pants are adorable! i wish i could pull them off :)
    xo TJ

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  48. Luv, luv, luv outfit number 2!  You look great in it!!!

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  49. Your Outfit #2 is just so, SO *chic*, i.e., I think you should return to Paris this coming April, ("April In Paris"!!), J............ simply so you could wear this outfit AT a little Outdoor Parisian Cafe'............ while sipping espresso and eating macarons!!   

    In Outfit #2, I also like how you successfully compensated----(i.e., for the too-long-"rise" of your pants)----by wearing a sheer shirt long enough to cover the top
    part of your pants!!    In addition to the fabric crotch being a little too long for your torso, the location of the two small reverse-pleats, i.e., way BELOW the waistband, most visible in Outfit #4............ (instead of *ideally* being anchored AT the waistband, like the pleats in both the French Connection and the Calvin Klein cropped trousers are)............ probably doesn't help very much, with the fit of your pants, either!!

    However, just like a woman can work around "flaws" in her figure............ or "flaws" in her face............ you've successfully shown that you............ can work around "the flaw" in your Gap gray wool
    cropped pants!!    Since you have great legs with shapely calves and slender ankles----(i.e., from
    one of your previous posts, I remember that even your own *grandmother* says that you have great legs!!)----you can, and DO, really wear cropped pants well............ so just go-right-ahead and "Style away, J!!"~~(i.e., with your Gap gray wool cropped pants)~~for all of your Readers to see!!

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  50. I give you credit for trying to make these work.  I would have just given up on them and donated them.  #2 looks good, but the pants also seem to be laying on you completely differently than in the other three looks. 

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  51. You did a fantastic job creating outfits with these pants! I know what you mean that this style can be kind of awkward but once you get it right, they look so fabulous.

    http://www.confessionsoftheglitterati.com/

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  52. Great outfits.I like yours better!

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  53. I vote #2! Absolutely spot on! Your blog is fabulous!

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  54. Before you even mentioned it, I notice the drop crotch.... Very obvious. I know you said you love look #2, but honestly, the pants look horrible in every look.

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  55. You have way too many cute things to ever pull these pants out of your closet again, LOL!

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  56. I agree with you that #2 is the best look out of all of them. However, I think you have many more pants that are much more flattering. If anyone can pull these off, you can. But the drop-crotch just looks funny to me---like they're too big or something. 

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  57. Those pants are hideous with every outfit you have on.  Try again.  I LOVE your blog, but you look terrible and you ALWAYS look AMAZING! Burn those pants, PLEASE. ASAP.

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  58. Please see today's post, LOL. "If Fashion Mistakes Are Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Right" http://www.jseverydayfashion.com/2012/01/if-fashion-mistakes-are-wrong-i-dont.html

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