Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Come again?


Can anyone explain the link between the following two paragraphs from the usually accurate Lisa Armstrong?

Trousers. They’ll be everywhere – and not just the old fall-backs of jeans, straightlegs and drainpipes. The tailored trouser is back. The most modish are high-waisted, short-legged (they stop at the ankle – it’s a must) and need to be worn with heels and neat, tucked-in tops. YSL’s are the template, but Gap will have good versions, so will Joanna Sykes at Matches and, under the expert eye of Jane Shepherdson, the new, rebranded Whistles should be your first port of call. These are worth stalking, I promise.

For the first time in ages, we have genuine fashion statements that flatter pear shapes. Time to stock up.

28 comments:

greying pixie said...

She says that YSL is the template and then fails to mention the most important feature of them, ie. pleated tucks at the front waistband. In my opinion it is this feature alone that makes them perfect for the female curvy figure (forget 'pear shape', it's such a negative description). Anyone over 45 will remember them from the early 1980s. The image she shows is nothing like the YSLs, just a shorter version of the unflattering skinny, low slung style of the past decade.

Linda Grant said...

Actually, that's just an image I found, haven't seen the YSL's. But those pleats around the waist added bulk, surely?

Geraldine said...

The only shape that flatters regular women imo is flat front and invisible side fastening. I can't wear trousers with thick waistbands - much as I'd love to 'tuck in' my waist is too high. This coming season lovely feminine blouses are everywhere, but you have to tuck those in, don't you? Boo-hoo. I'm going to have to scour the shops for fitted tunics, if they exist. Definitely not smocks.

knitwit said...

Don't despair, Geraldine . . . there are lots of nice, not-overly-blowsy tunics around for fall, eg
http://tinyurl.com/66qyyu
I for one am feeling quite optimistic about the current trends!

greying pixie said...

Sorry Linda, I thought the image was from the article. I guess the pleats issue is a matter of personal choice. I cannot bear anything tight around my waist and hips and pleated, tapered trousers are my answer. They also allow extra room for slightly heavy thighs and are really flattering for short legs. So all my problems are solved in one stylish pair of trousers! Sometimes new styles take a little getting used to, but this is a style I have always loved and I'm breathing a sigh of relief that it will be available again.

You can see the YSLs on the Vogue.co.uk website. If I remember rightly they are worn in pale grey with a pale grey sweater with YSL on front.

Deja Pseu said...

Ugh, pleated pants are my nemisis. They just accentuate my worst area. The only time they looked ok on my was back in the 80's when I had starved myself down to my teenage weight following a divorce, and that lasted for about 10 minutes.

One of they things that cracks me up most about style writers is that they tend to find whatever is on trend at the moment "flattering for pear shapes/curves!" I remember stylists telling us a couple years back that pleats were a huge no-no for women with full tummy/hips.

Linda Grant said...

I cannot speak for all pear-shaped women but I can speak for me. What are flattering are: trousers with a waistband slightly, but only slightly, below the natural waist, which don't cling to the thighs and then fall in a moderate flare coming below the ankle. And under no circumstances will anything be tucked into them. So basically, I'm doomed.

Deja Pseu said...

Linda, that's exactly what I've found to be my best fit as well, and fortunately have found a particular style of Banana Republic trousers ("Jackson" cut) that meets those criteria to a T. I've never been able to tolerate tucked-in shirts either; they bug me and I feel I have to keep re-tucking, plus the look tends to cut short-waisted me in half.

Linda Grant said...

I've never understood the attraction of low cut jeans. If they come to just below the waist, they act as a form of what our mothers would call a girdle. If they come to mid hips, then they just make a bulge mid-line, and what's the point of that, exactly?

Mardel said...

Linda, that description is exactly what I look for in pants as well, and I will second the recommendation for Banana Republic's Jackson Fit as they are fabulous on my curvy hippy self even though I am tall and long through the torso

Linda Grant said...

Two recommendations for the Jackson. I have no idea if Banana Republic in Britain sells them as they don't have much of an on-line presence, you have to go to the shop on Regent Street, but I haven't noticed them selling trousers by fit. I'll go and take a look.

Elaine said...

Make that three recommendations for the Jackson. I bought two pair last week. I would've bought more but they only came in three colors and I've already got a similar pair in black.

Belle de Ville said...

I don't believe that there are any truly flattering pants for pear shapped women. The more pear-ish I become, the more dresses and skirts I wear. But...I think I'll duck into Banana Republic today and try on the Jackson trousers.

Deja is totally right about the pleats. No one but a model type looks good in pleated pants.

Duchesse said...

Deja & mardel, I agree! Though I love the slouchy attitude of wool crepe pleated pants, they pooch out over my already 'defined' tum.

I'm having fun observing what "they" are trying to get us to buy during a recession.

anna said...

Linda, do you recall where the trousers in the picture are from?

Linda Grant said...

Gap

Anne (in Reno) said...

I have to add my recommendation for the BR Jackson fit trousers - I hardly ever wear pants if I can get away with a skirt but this fit has pretty much converted me. The waist is not too low, the leg is not too narrow and the fit is lovely.

Liverpool lass said...

Think we might all need to go with skirts this season - it's definitely a way to wear the pretty blouses Geraldine is keen on without making your bum look enormous. Tragically, Banana Republic isn't an option for us northerners, but I've always found French Connection/Great Plains worth a try. In amongst the skinnies and too on-trend cuts, there's always a few pairs of really great simply cut wide leg trousers in neutral colours.

Rhiannon said...

I'm with Belle de Ville, the more pear-ish I become, the more I stick with skirts and dresses. I remember well that article Linda linked to where Liz Hurley commented on how 'as soon as she put on a little weight' she was straight back in skirts and dresses. Of course, Liz Hurley would die with horror if she were ever my size but whatever, it was an interesting comment.

the one up-side to my pear shape is a relatively defined waist, skirts and dresses allow me to play to that and keep the eye high.

greying pixie said...

Well, I'll just have to swim against the tide on this one. I love pleated tapered trousers, worn on the waist with a belt and a shirt tucked in! It seems I'll be the only one wearing them this season so if you see someone in Oxford Street, Shepherds Bush or Liverpool Street dressed like that, it's me!

Bronwyn said...

I also like pleated tapered pants, in fact the more man-styled the better. But then my body shape is more man-like-with-boobs than pear-shaped.

What I take issue with is the "short legs cropped to the ankle" bit. Short trousers don't suit anyone who isn't skinny with super-long legs.

Robin said...

As a pear with shorter, heavier legs, I find that I look best in flat front trousers that sit just below my waist, with wide, straight legs (alas, I'm a couple of sizes too big for BR). Tapered trousers make me look like the Venus of Willendorf, and capris make me look stumpy. As for blouses, though I love them, I prefer to have them tapered to show my waist and then wear them untucked. And knit tops are frankly more flattering -- and more fun to accessorize!

Geraldine said...

iiOn the High Street yesterday having a mooch was thrilled to see that sleeveless woollen tunic tops that cover the hips are all the rage for the autumn. For me that means I can wear mannish shirts with trousers and I get the lovely collar and sleeves but without the 'tucked in' effect.

Knitwit, thanks for the link! Alas, out of my range but Hobbs and Principles do that cut, which I think is lovely.

And Linda - agree about the low-waist jeans. Muffin top hell! Great for fourteen year girls, but that's about it!

Lindsay said...

Well I'm beyong pear-shaped - in fact I'd go as far as to say I have a big arse - and I'd recommend the trousers at Hobbs. Linky: http://hobbs.co.uk/index.cfm?page=1123&showall=true

rb said...

Ugh. I have to wear higher waisted trousers because I am tall and the low waisted trousers fall too low on me, but there is no way I would tuck anything into them. A truly high waisted trouser makes the rear end look gigantic! And, frankly, the pleated variety doesnt look good from any angle.

lady julia said...

American beauty revivalist Christopher Hopkins, who did Hillary Clinton's appearance for her campaign, says: Embrace pinstripes. Flat front, natural waist, straight pants are best.

He specialises in making over mature women, the non-surgically enhanced kind. Apparently he's more interested in reality.

My kinda guy.

I think pleats look dreadful. They add bulk, and disguise nothing.

greying pixie said...

Linda, just received the Toast catalogue in the post and they have a double page spread on different shaped trousers, including pleated Oxford Bags (I'm saving up for them now) and flat fronted straight legs. I can't find the image on their website though. Anyway, thought you might be interested.

Anonymous said...

My skirt to pants wardrobe ratio used to be about 1:10, but a few years ago after turning 40 and putting on a bit of weight, I stopped wearing trousers bar a pair of wide leg jeans for kicking around in the weekends during winter. I have an OK waist and reasonably good calves, so I wear knee length dresses and skirts everywhere and always make sure I have some waist definition & great footwear. For weekends I've been wearing cotton skirts, knit wrap dresses & on cold days a wool pinafore; work is usually tailored dresses & lately I've been experimenting with full skirts belted at the waist with a tucked in shirt. Giving up on trousers has been entirely liberating and has enabled me to really have fun with shoes, boots and hosiery. Occasionally I try on a pair of pants and inevitably start worrying about tummy, thighs etc, also being short legged I'd have to take them to a tailor - so much more stress and angst than buying a skit. If finding the right trousers causes you a headache, I totally recommend giving up on them.