Stick with easy-on-the-eye pattern for silk trousers
These Aerial Stripe Luxe Joggers from TopShop have an elasticized cuff and waist, $76. (Photo courtesy of TopShop.com / June 12, 2014)
Avid readers of Leandra Medine's blog "The Man Repeller" will be familiar with this. Her website is dedicated to high-fashion trends that are decidedly un-sexy, such as all things oversized.
It's no real surprise that men would rather see a woman in a sundress or jeans and fitted white tee than a baggy blazer and oxfords. Of course, our job when dressing ourselves is not to constantly impress our male counterparts. However, every so often they're right.
It's come to my attention that the average guy hates the music festival-inspired trend of cutoff mom jeans. I haven't gotten a great response as to why, except that "it's weird." It IS weird, guys! Gold star.
This summer, men's skepticism lies with printed silk pants. I received an email last week from a male friend requesting an answer to the question of whether "zubaz-style pants" are in for women, and whether they're appropriate for work. It was clear that this friend was not buying what the pants were selling, and I've since followed up with other men who expressed a similar hesitation.
I actually like this trend, and I think we should all wear printed silk pants anyway. But we should demonstrate a certain amount of discretion, because they are basically glorified pajama pants.
1. No animal prints allowed.
If you branch into leopard and cheetah prints, it actually will look like you're wearing Granimals. Your best bet is to keep the pattern small, like petite flowers or Swiss dots. I've seen some large floral prints that are cool, too, but they'll definitely call additional attention to your pants.
2. They're supposed to be loose-fitting, but not baggy.
When articles of clothing are made with the intent of not being fitted, you can buy your normal size and still achieve the correct look. I usually bring my size and the next size up into the dressing room and try on the largest one first. You never want your clothes to be too tight, either, and these pants look especially bad when they fit poorly.
3. Wear them with plain, fitted shirts.
For the most part, printed silk pants are shown in catalogs and on mannequins paired with simple, fitted tees. Because the pants draw so much attention, you want to pare down the look on your top half. I like a solid-colored shirt, tucked in. Usually the pants have a drawstring, and you don't want a poof right at your hips.
4. Go for a cropped style.
These pants tend to look even more casual when they're full-length and bunchy around the ankles. I think it's because they hearken more to sweatpants that way. Show a little ankle with a cuffed or cropped style.
5. Retire your flats for a day.
Printed silk pants look overwhelmingly better with heels or wedges that are on the daintier side. You want a ladylike shoe, and one that will dress up the look. This might even be a good time to wear those strappy sandals you love but can't pair with a pencil skirt for work.
(E-mail Kristyn Schiavone at email@example.com, or follow her on Twitter at @KKSchiavone.)
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