My ideal clothes are those that I can get lots of combos out of. I want to be able to wear them to work, on the weekend, or for a date and have them somehow work in all those settings, and I want to be able to wear them across seasons as much as possible. I came out of 2016 with two pairs of pants that are in the culottes/gaucho pants family, and I felt pretty sure I could make them work for winter. I literally Googled “culottes winter outfit” for ideas. That’s a trick I learnt in my last job, where I would occasionally put people on hold while I “checked the file” aka “Googled their query”. Young professionals, watch me mentoring you via this fashion blog.
You might remember these pants from the summer, when I wore them with a shirred off the shoulder top and a long strand of pearls for a lunch date with my Nana. These pants are an example of the kind of thing I love in clothes – they’re a weird shape, they’re just kinda cool. This is why I have a wardrobe (okay, wardrobeS) full of slightly unusual things. It definitely sometimes backfires. For example, today I wore polka dot pants with an oversized black shirt with a big dropped hem/peplum situation going on, and black satin shoes with a massive bow on the front. Halfway through the day I realised the thing I reminded myself of was A CIRCUS CLOWN.
I also love these pants because: raise your hand if you’re sick of tights and skinny jeans already this winter. These pictures were taken on the first day of a polar blast, and the temptation was to just bowl out in a pair of jeans, boots and a chunky jumper. But no! A pair of wide legged pants like these, with long socks and ankle boots, is still a winter winner and a nice change from the usual. I wore these pants with flat slides in summer and it was a totally different look. That worked, I think, because you could see a bit of ankle. In this season I think a higher heel, like that in these boots, balances out how much volume gets going once you’re in a coat and scarf and carrying a bunch of stuff around.
I reallllllly wanted to wear these boots, and I did the A+ move of choosing my top to work with my pants and shoes instead of the weather. This plisse pleat top has elbow length sleeves and approximately zero warmth to it. I do not recommend doing this, but I was pleased with the combo, so meh. I wore a cardi inside my coat and a big scarf and it was basically okay – it’s not like Wellington became Siberia, and I spend most of my time inside anyway. Because I like to wear things trans-seasonally, I’m used to wearing layers within layers so that I can get down to a summer weight blouse once I’m inside.
I have this weird thing about pants with belt loops, where I feel like I have to wear a belt. These pants also have a high, flat waistband so it does look better when you wear something to break up the plane. This belt is a SaveMart find. None of the accessories in this outfit match – I have a pale pink bag, a cognac pair of boots and a tan belt, which is saying nothing about the scarf. Things don’t have to be matchy. You don’t need a black bag because you have black shoes, I promise! In fact, I think black accessories can be particularly difficult to introduce into a mix and match situation like this, because they are so heavy and definite. The key is to find bridging elements, like shared tones or shapes or ideas, and bring them together that way. The scarf was a big help because it filled in the coat and tied together the trousers and bag; the coat them introduced the camel element in a big shape which allowed me to use other brown tones without disrupting the pink and navy.