50 Classics For Your Closet Part 6: Pants

So far, I've looked at footwear, accessories, baubles and tops in Matchbook's list of 50 Classics for your Closet, so now it is time to turn our attention to the bottom half and look at pants. Pants and trousers are probably the one item of clothing I find really difficult to buy off the rack, and most women I know feel the same way. For a classic hourglass gal, if it fits in the hips, then it will gape at the waist; if you are like me, and carry a bit of a tummy, then if it fits at the waist, then the hips will be huge. My one bit of advice, for all pants - get to know a good tailor!!


  1. Jeans
  2. Black cigarette pants
  3. Khaki trousers
  4. Striped pyjamas

Well, you know jeans are a staple of my wardrobe, so I would be a a tad hypocritical if I didn't agree with Matchbook including them as a classic for your closet. I have 3 different styles of jeans; skinny, bootleg and wide-leg/trouser, and love them all. I was definitely a late adopter to the skinny jeans trend, and this was more due to me not being able to find a flattering pair, rather than not liking them. I prefer mine with a slightly higher rise - not high rise, but certainly not the low rise that most skinnies come in - and with a skinny, rather than skintight, leg. Skinnies are not my favourite look, as they can highlight my problem areas, but they are the jean du jour, so I wear them with careful styling.

The bootleg jean, while not "in" fashion, is not "out" of fashion in the way mom jeans are. I find these to be the most flattering cut for most body shapes, but since they are not the current style of jeans, tend to reserve them for casual wear, as they seem to look a bit off to the modern eye.

I wear my wide-leg trouser jeans a lot, almost as much as I wear my skinny jeans. I love the slightly retro look, and with heels, these are an incredibly flattering shape. Beware, though, of wearing these with flats, unless you want to look shorter and dumpier than one of the seven dwarfs!

Black cigarette pants are what made me fall in love with Audrey Hepburn's style, and had me trying to squeeze my hourglass shape into waif-like clothes (unsuccessfully!) for a very long time. These are absolutely a classic, and I've seen them on almost every classic movie star, including curvy ones. But fashions have changed over time, and a cigarette pant that exists in this day and age, tend to suit those with Audrey figures, and not more Rubenesque ones. If you are curvier and still want to wear a pair, then add a pair of heels to visually lengthen your pins!

Is there any pant more associated with the soccer mum than the classic Khaki Pant? The butt of jokes and endless skits on TV and movies, the pleated khaki is often seen as the pant that fashion forgot. But truly, I don't think there is another pant on Earth that can elevate your look from casual to casually elegant. The key is to pick a pair that is cut right for your shape and to pair them with the right tops and accessories. I prefer a wider leg and a waistband that sits just under my natural waist, but slimmer builds may like a lower rise and a slimmer leg. Make sure your top is fitted (no wearing baggy tees, please!) and throw in some accessories to take it up a notch. Look for shoes with a bit of substance; nothing too dainty. I love a colourful wedge, and loafers are a classic pairing.

I find the striped pyjama pant an interesting inclusion on the list of classics. Yes, a white tank and striped PJ pants is a great bedtime look, sexy in its androgyny, but does it really deserve a place in a short list of classics? I'm not convinced. I do own a pair, in whisper soft jersey (much more flattering on fuller figures than cotton), but I can't imagine wearing them any other time other than bedtime or on lazy weekend mornings. And why is a stripe the classic, and not, say, a delicious silk paisley? I'd love your thoughts on this one!

So there you have my thoughts on the four pants that Matchbook consider must-have classics. I'll see you soon for part seven, when I look at my favourite category of clothing, dresses and skirts!

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