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

Friday, 5 September 2008

The Peg

Don't my legs look long in these!

You know you are entering a dark tunnel when the general public is being sent to fashion Re-education Camp. You remember the great film The Manchurian Candidate when the US soldier was captured by South Koreans and brainwashed into believing he should kill the president (approximate plotline)?

This is what's happening to trousers this season. You know, I know, the whole world knows that trousers that balloon around your hips and thighs, cropped above the ankle to make your legs looks shorter are NOT Flattering.

This is why we have to be told repeatedly, that we are totally wrong and they are.

The Guardian today devotes a whole piece to them:

Bona fide peg-leg trousers aren't hard to spot. They usually have two front pleats at the waistband that are designed to add volume in the hip area, then balloon out in the thigh before tapering in again at the ankle. They can also be cropped on the ankle and high-waisted. Admittedly, they sound alarm bells for most of us - extra volume around the thighs is always a hard sell. What's more they look rubbish on the hanger. But, if you want to look on-trend for less than £50 this autumn, this is the only retail leap of faith you need make.

At the collections six months ago, the new trouser shape instantly stood out. At YSL, models wearing black bowl-cut wigs, polo necks and fierce ankle boots marched peg-leg trousers down the catwalk. At Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs paired them with rounded shoulders and spiralling headpieces, which sounds fearsome enough without the knowledge that some of these trousers were actually in leather. Challenging is perhaps the best euphemism for those particular peg-legs. Even Phillip Lim, the American designer who has won the hearts of women in search of wearable, fashion-forward clothes, showed a peg-heavy collection. The gauntlet had been well and truly laid down.

Here's my prediction. Women are now far more savvy about trends than they were even a decade ago, and we have the make-over shows to thank for that. Most women over the age of 20 are just not going to wear unflattering clothes. Most women didn't wear skinny jeans for obvious reasons (the clue being in the name). And after languishing a couple of years, of guess what, the boot cut is back. Why? Because they're the only shape that's flattering for pears. And there are more pears than beanpoles. Women are just not that stupid.


greying pixie said...

This is the last comment I am ever going to make in support of the peg-leg. I said what I had to say in your previous posting on this subject, and I noticed that by the end of the strand I had convinced quite a few bloggers to at least go and try them.

So my last comments are:
1. At the moment peg-legs are at the high end of the market, and therefore quite extreme in their design. This, of course, does not appeal to everyone. But my predication, for what it is worth, is that in a couple of years when the design has trickled down to a more manageable shape and we have all got more used to the overall silhouette, they will be very popular.

No one remembers to first hipster trousers by Alexander McQueen because it is so long ago. We forget that it is he we have to thank for that whole builder's crack look. Yet in a couple of years the tamer version was acceptable everywhere. I'm sure the same will happen with peg-legs.

2. Pleated fronts don't have to be teamed with the tapered leg to look good. For the more discerning (mature?) woman, a pleated front on a wide or straight leg could be better. I tried on a pair in Jaeger this week which were very high waisted, pleated at front and fell in a straight leg, (very Katherine Hepburn) and even on my curvy wide hipped figure they looked great.

3. I had a quick gallop up Bond Street and around Selfridges yesterday to assess this season's collections and I would say that the overall peg-leg shape looks better for daywear and with a covered upper body. So the image you show of trying to glamourise the look wouldn't really work for anyone over 35.

4. To avoid leg shortening they MUST be worn with flat shoes and preferably same colour socks.

Right that's it from me. Nothing else to say. I've said it all. Now I'm off to shorten my newly bought peg-legs!

Linda Grant said...

Well someone quoted in the piece says they MUST be worn with heels.

Anastasia said...

The longer I look at them, the more they seem like a comeback of what we used to call The Infamous Carrot Pants in the Eighties. They also were pleated and they were approximately the same shape.
I was thin and long then and I looked quite awful, I'm still long but today I'd look even worse. I've only recently recovered from not being able to buy trousers long enough for my legs - I really will not buy shorter pants ever again.
Plus, if something looks weird on models, whose job it is to look amazing in anything, it certainly won't look good on me.
No carrot peg legs for me.

Linda Grant said...

Correct. They're what we used to call the carrot

indigo16 said...

These trousers seem only able to be worn successfully with the top half either tucked in or sat just on the waistband. This favours the young and/or very slim and/or very tall. If you tick these boxes enjoy, if not I am hoping other trends maybe weaving their way into fashion editors minds soon, because the emphasis on this trend is getting a little repetitive.

Anonymous said...

Oh goodness, pleated trousers have to be long to look good on even the body shapes that suit them (me and GPixie and that's it by the sound of it?!)Proper old-fashioned trousers that reach the bottom of our legs where our feet are, and keep going.
Eek, I wouldn't touch a cropped pleated trouser with a barge pole.

Duchesse said...

The tip-off is the phrase "you need to make". The cliff is over therrrrrre,

materfamilias said...

voice of dissent here. I'm not confident that I'll love the pegleg once I try them on, but I will at least try them. They're just another option as were the skinny jeans (which I came to find a useful addition, with boots and tunic). In a fairly fluid fabric, I love the playfulness/funkiness of these (really love that pocket placement in the version you show. I admit I'd have to wear them with a decent heel though.

Anonymous said...

Peg Leg? Wrong just wrong. The name says it all..just a trifle piratey. What,s next hooks for hands?

Toby Wollin said...

My thighs and rear end are big enough, thank you very much. Those pants would just add another 25 pounds to me.

Geraldine said...

I have a horror of trousers that don't brush the floor or reach to the bottom of my high heels. I too spend a long time finding trousers long enough to achieve this look and I ain't giving them up for no one.

Anonymous said...

I try to avoid wardrobe items that require a whole new set of other items to wear with them. And if I wore them in the past, I doubt I'd wear them again.

I'm sort of a hourglass going pear, so I never tried skinny jeans. They do look terrific on some women though.


greatkiwipoet said...

Well, I followed an otherwise gorgeous late middle-aged woman along the street (in Wellington, New Zealand) and she was wearing these unbelievably unflattering cut-off pants with heeled ankle boots, so they were high, but there was a gap between them and the pants. I desperately wanted to tell her they made her hips wider than her legs were long so she would never wear them again, but I restrained myself. I figured she was old enough to live with her own clothing mistakes, and if what she saw in the mirror looked better than what I was seeing from behind, who was I to ruin her day?

Duchesse said...

I have photo evidence of me in these pants, London, 1983, when I was willowy. The rear view of the peg, even on my thin-to-normal seat, was not flattering. If you are of model proportions you can work just about any shape, but there are hordes who are not, and I don't think advising the peg leg is a kindness to them.

Anonymous said...

Don't agree. I have them on at this very moment and they are very flattering. I'm tallish 5.8, but nowhere near slim (size UK 14 at best.
I wear them with high heels obviously and they look good and very slimming.