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

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Fat or unfashionable?


Jess Cartner-Morley in the Guardian asks, I assume rhetorically of the new peg leg trousers:

In my ignorance, I initially dismissed the look as an unflattering trouser shape that would never catch on. The second time I saw it, I suspected it was a ruse to quieten the size-zero debate by making models look twice as broad as they are. But the third time I saw it, I had to accept it was a trend.

Ever since, I have been dreading the day I would have to write about peg-leg trousers. For photographic purposes I have wimped out of the cutting-edge version of the look, in which the trousers are the same shape but lopped off above the ankle, in favour of a more forgiving, ankle-length pair, but still. The brutal truth is that unless you are blessed with long legs and a tiny waist, they do you no favours. Yet the peg leg is indisputably the on-trend trouser shape of the season. So we are faced with a stark choice: to look fat or unfashionable?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'll stick with looking unfashionable, thanks!

Geri

Anonymous said...

How about neither?

lagatta à montréal said...

Skirts!

greying pixie said...

The reason I like peg top trousers so much is that they really suit my body shape. I do have quite a defined waist so I find a waistband and belt sitting on it quite comfortable. Also the high waist gives the illusion of a couple of extra inches to my rather short legs. But the main reason is that I have quite heavy thighs. As there is more fabric around the hip and thigh area of peg top trousers they fit well, skimming the thigh shape instead of defining it and leaving room for movement and comfortable sitting.

The trouser styles of the past decade have been completely wrong for my shape. Wide legged, flat fronted hipsters are no good for me as my legs are short and just give me a square stumpy look.

Also I have never liked heels with trousers. I don't think the tapered pegged look needs heels or court shoes which can shorten the leg. I much prefer them with flat brogues.

I don't think you need to have long legs to wear peg topped tapered trousers, just a bit of initiative.

Deja Pseu said...

This is my story and I'm sticking to it.

gp said...

Just seen the photo of Jess C-M in The Guardian - she looks really good in my opinion apart from the shoes which really cut off and shorten the leg too much. Apart from that she looks the best I've ever seen her!

greying pixie said...

deja - Naomi isn't the be all and end all of peg trousers or any other fashion style actually. I refer to my comments regarding accompanying shoes.

Arabella said...

I don't care if something is fashionable - if I don't like it, or it doesn't suit me, I won't wear it.

I like the Kate Hepburn type of wide-leg pleated trousers, and would wear them often if I could find a well-made pair in the right kind of flowing material. Perhaps GPixie has some tips?

greying pixie said...

arabella, I got a real Katherine Hepburn pair from the Toast mailorder catalogue last winter. They are doing them again this year in black.

And I've just noticed a pair in my local Jaeger window, but have not yet explored them further. They were also black, but I'm hoping they will be offering other colours.

I don't know yet about other shops.

phyllis said...

Peg trousers - not for any woman with any kind of booty, in shape or not. Ask Hilary - she knows ALL about this...as do I.

Arabella said...

Thank you Greying Pixie - I will try Toast and see how international they are.
A few years ago in Anthropologie, I spotted an expensive pair of 1930s style baggy trousers (grey with a fuchia pinstripe)- very high waist and sash belt. I knew they were too wacky for general taste and simply waited for them to quickly go on sale. I think of them as transforming trousers: they show off my curves but elongate at the same time - even my bust looks good in these!

Tee said...

Hmm Peg legs - my first reaction was 'pass the skirt' but Greying Pixie's comment has made them sound enticing to a woman with thigh issues and a liking for flat shoes.

I had a pair in the 80's. Not only were they peg leg and cropped but they had a paper bag waist. I shudder today but must have loved them at the time. I recall wearing them a lot but have no memory of how I looked.

Debra said...

Trousers in particular seem to confirm the cyclical nature of fashion - in the 80's I and all my classmates swore that we would rather die than wear 'flares' (by which we meant anything wider than a 501) - it seems trouser styles are resurrected only when they've been virtually forgotten - see bootcuts, leggings, skinnies, high waists...

GP - I agree, Jess C-M looks amazing. I'm slightly troubled by (but can identify with) the comments about looking fat, not least because she appears to be pretty much the same shape as me. In my case it's the curse of the long back; I always feel that my legs should be longer in proportion to my torso, with the result that I see them as stumpy (and hence as fat).

My solution has always been to wear heels under trousers, but it can be uncomfortable and kind of swanping. I'm definitely going to check out the Toast peglegs - thanks for the encouragement!

greying pixie said...

Just had a mini clearout this morning and came across a secondhand pair of Jean Muir tapered wool crepe trousers I bought very cheaply on ebay two years ago. They have never fitted me so gave them to my 13 year old daughter today. She wore them out this evening with black plimsolls from Top Shop and a 1940s inspired cotton blouse from Asda!

She looked and felt great. But isn't this wrong? Shouldn't I be disapproving of my daughter's clothes at this age?

Robo said...

If peg leg = harem/Turkish pants, I'd wear those. Otherwise, I'll risk being unfashionable and keep wearing wider leg pants. My hips and thighs won't let me wear skinny jeans or pegged legs. I'll also second lagatta a montreal :)

gp said...

Just to keep you updated. I went into my local Jaeger today and tried the pleated high waisted black trousers from their winter collection. For anyone interested, they are beautiful, flattering and definitely worth a try. I'm saving up as from now.