Fall Fashion 2012: PANTS | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

September 7, 2012

Fall Fashion 2012: PANTS


Everybody's wearing them.

Let's all agree: there are good pants and bad pants. Jeans are good, but if the cut is wrong, you can be pulling the Mom Jeans look without even knowing it. Yoga pants are fantastic for lounging around the house (or yoga class, as the case may be), but you aren't going to wear them to a nice event. Leggings were in last year, but wear them with a short too short and you're a total fashion faux pas. Long, short, skinny, flare: there are so many styles of pants mixed with so many body types, it's easy to make a wrong move!

I was really interested to hear what my awesome Style Panelists had to say on the topic of Pants. Their advice is spot on, and with many panelists agreeing on several key points (Spoiler Alert: BOLD, COLORED DENIM), I know what items I need to put on my shopping list.

I asked the Fall Fashion Style Panel the following questions (you can tell I had quite a few burning things to ask):

Jeans: what color, style, and how to wear them? What shoes go best with what kind of jeans? Colored denim – yay or nay? What about non-jean pants (aka "trousers")? Are corduroys a no-no? Khakis? Will leggings still be “in” this season? When to wear them, what to wear them with?

Here is what they had to say:

"I’m totally addicted to jeans. They are always in style and they can be dressed up or down to be appropriate for {almost} any occasion. This fall skinny jeans are back with a vengeance, and you get bonus points for bold colors! You will see lots of red, plum and my favorite fall 2012 color trend, cobalt blue!"

"All kinds of styles work on different bodies. The best advice I have is to commit to trying on a ton of pairs and finding what works for you. I have longer jeans for heels and boots with a heel. I get ankle length for flats. Colored jeans are awesome in the right fit. I love my corduroy skinny pants-I scored 5 pairs on sale for under $50 from Banana Republic. They look great with boots or flats. Khakis I generally avoid since wherever I go it looks like I work there (gym, Target, etc.). I once asked someone in a red shirt and khakis something in Target and she said she didn’t work there, so don’t wear those to Target! "

"Jeans: Dark and Vintage washes are in for fall. If the word vintage wash has you tilting you head sideways, look for brownish blues or blue grays - these jeans look worn but still nice. Vintage washes are very different from faded old other jeans, don’t try to say last years jeans you accidentally washed with bleach are vintage. Shoes with jeans: For Fall it’s all about boots! If you have a straight leg or skinny leg jean you can pretty much where any boot over your jeans. If you like wide leg or bootcut styles, go for ankle boots. More to come on this topic! Colored denim is hot right now, but it is a trend and thus will be short lived, so only pick up a colored pair of jeans if you really love the shade, the fit, AND they’re cheap, because you won’t be wearing them next Fall. Jewel tones are in for Fall especially dark violet and evergreen or teal. Corduroys are probably a no for us real women. You may see them on the Runway or in a Mag (i.e. Ralph Lauren) but the fit has to be very precise and the wale (width of the stripes in the corduroy) should be very fine if you’re going to do it. If you wear like to wear Khakis to work look for a wide leg or straight leg trouser you can wear with boots. Ann Taylor makes great reasonable dress pants in lots of shades of Khaki. Leggings are still in and if you choose to wear them just make sure you butt and your you-know-what in front are COMPLETELY covered. And honestly if you’re over a size 12, probably just don’t participate in this trend, sorry. I’m a 10, I’m not hating, but I know there are certain things I can’t wear."

"Pants – since I work form home, I typically live in jeans or yoga pants.  I was a Boot Cut only girl for a long time,  but recently purchased a few straight leg styles.  I love jeans with everything – a dark denim pair with heels and a great top (maybe a jacket), boots and sweaters go naturally with jeans.  I also cuff mine up and throw on converse and a shirt for a day at the zoo with my kiddos.  I have a couple pair of cords I love – I think if done right they are a great fall and winter option.  This season, we are seeing a lot of color mustard, cranberry, eggplant. If a color isn’t you, wear it in an accessory or on your lower half (pants or a skirt)."

"I’m all about jeans that compliment--so I never recommend baggy jeans. This year, you’ll see a lot of skinnies and straight legs, but boot-cut and trouser will still look good when worn with the right shoes. What shoes go best with what kind of jeans?  This really depends on the height of the wearer. I’m short, so I ALWAYS wear heels with jeans. When you wear trouser or bootleg, pointy toes will elongate your legs (this is a key tip for short women.) This fall jeans are dark, or brightly colored. I think bright pants look great, with a balance piece on top. You don’t want neon yellow pants and a hot pink top. Patterns were a bit out there last spring. I’ll never forget the Versace cat jeans that just made me scream NO!!!! But a small pattern, like dark leopard or reptile will look sharp when worn right. Trousers will always be a yes but not for everyday picking up kiddos in the pick up line. Buy a good pair or two for the winter and you’ll be fine.  Corduroys are back again at the stores. They usually follow the same rules as jeans and are just another material. Personally, I don’t think they’re as comfortable. Bright opaque tights are VERY in, so you can often use leggings in the same manner. With tunics will work, as long as you dress up the tunic. I mean, it’s not the leggings t-shirt look with a sweatshirt tied around the waist to hide your butt anymore the way it was when we were in college."

"For jeans, you cannot go wrong with a dark, trouser jeans. Wear the long with a slight heel and you will look sleek and stylish. They elongate the legs and balance out the hips - and are flattering on any body type! Wear them with a casual top or sweater for everyday or dress them up with a blazer. If you want jeans to wear with sneakers or flats, go with a flare. Colored jeans are still all the rage - try jewel tones for fall. Think deep green, navy and brick red, as opposed to the brights of summer. Leggings and Jeggings are still totally in for this season - and they are so easy to wear!! Just remember to wear a longer top so you don't have your bum hanging out ;-)"



Is your wardrobe right on? Or do you need to do some purging? I want to find some good, long tops to wear with the leggings I bought last year. And I believe I need to take a step out in faith and purchase a pair of BOLD COLORED JEANS. Was that not a unanimous tip?!

Have your Style Say: What do you think of the advice? What items can you "shop your closet" and rework for this season? What trends are you inspired to try?

Check back next week when our panelists share the good, bad and ugly with Tops (I'm thinking my beloved turtlenecks will not make it through the chopping block).

And for a visual on Mom Jeans (in case you are like me and need to SEE to understand):


  1. Love all the great advice here. Thanks Steph for putting this series together and including me!

  2. Great advice here. I definitely want to try a pair of colored jeans but I find most are too short in the crotch area. Any thoughts on that?

    1. I have that problem, too, even with regular jeans. With my post-twins tummy I have a hard time finding enough rise without getting mom jeans.

  3. Can I tell you that a few weeks ago I stepped into the Banana Republic outlet and almost cried? The clothes were all so adorable, but alas, they are all currently unwearable. Don't get me wrong, being pregnant is fun and all, but I'm really starting to miss my pre-pregnant body and the fun clothes I was able to wear. Let's hope next fall's wardrobe is equally as awesome (and that I'll be able to fit into it...)

    Can't wait to see your sassy new pants! Please post some pics when you've got them!

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