If you are old enough, you might remember when skinny jeans burst onto the high street, seemingly from nowhere, in the early 2000s (in Wellington, at least). I remember it clearly because I was working in a large chain store, and when the first super skinny jeans hit the market all of my buddies selling tops for $19.95 and I were confused and horrified. The proportions just looked so weird – your feet looked strangely huge, and the extremely narrow cut meant that you looked a little bit tapered, like a carrot. Also, the literal trauma of putting on a pair of skinny jeans – I once had a pair so tight that they bruised my hip bones. After spending my teen years in wide leg jeans and Dickies, I was not ready for the skinny jean trend.
Eventually though, skinny jeans became de rigeur (see also: pointy shoes, which I hated and now wear almost exclusively for work). In the last few years we’ve discovered boyfriend/girlfriend cuts, then the waist line has risen and hems have been cropped, which I have loved, and then we saw the hybrid of those two things in the “mom jean”. At the same time, culottes and gaucho pants have become chic, and wide legged pants are now poised to be everywhere. It was only a matter of time until the denim trends and the pants trends merged, giving us kick flares.
I am not opposed to a pair of cropped pants, which is strange because I am really opposed to three-quarter pants that look like they were purchased at Postie Plus circa 2005. I think the key for me is to avoid a fitted leg, so you don’t end up looking like an understudy in a local production of Grease. In Wellington, where the weather is never ultra hot, culottes and these cropped styles are perfect spring and summer options. This particular pair also have another couple of features I love: the super light wash feels summery, and the sailor style button fastening is super comfy and just a good time. Who doesn’t want to look like a sailor wearing the pants he was marooned in 6 months ago???
This style is not one that is limited to short girls with a shocking lack of muscle tone – you too, can wear a cropped, slightly wide leg style. The key is to balance the proportions on the bottom. This pair are a little big on me, so I used one of my five favourite looks for these photos and went boxy on top to balance out the proportions. If you are curvier, you won’t need to create an artificial block with a top like this, and you can go straight to a look that I think looks particularly modern – a plain top, tucked in, with a pair of statement earrings and some bad ass sunglasses.
I’ve since taken the jeans in to be nipped in at the waist, so I can wear it with a fresh white tshirt for that breezier look. I’m tempted to give it a whirl with a striped tshirt, for full on naval vibes, and it will be awesome with a skinny knit if the temperature drops again between now and December (which it almost certainly will!). Regardless, this top is a perfect match to the shape of these trousers, and a particular favourite of mine due to the open back feature and textured fabric.
Because of my well-documented shortness, these pants are definitely longer on me than they were likely intended to be by the designer. Luckily, I’ve recently gotten fully to a place of “I do what I want” vis a vis my weekend footwear options. It always felt like too much to wear dressy shoes, or shoes with a heel, on the weekend but the huge number of block heel options now available, as well as the revival of slingbacks, means that it’s possible to wear something other than plain black flats or white Converse sneakers. I get that sneakers are super comfortable – my Rita Ora Adidas are great times – but I’m surely not alone in tiring of the “off duty” uniform involving black or white sneakers?
The other week I walked past two girls having brunch together and they looked identical – I’m just finding this weird. Let’s branch out into some new options! And in particular, let’s wear shoes with a little bit of a lift to make these fun jeans look a bit more polished. If I was wearing my (admittedly grubby) Converse with these pants, I would look like a boy who outgrew his trousers, Depression-era/dust bowl style. I’ve recently cut my hair back to its natural state of a pixie cut, I own (and wear!) casual clothes made for 14 year old boys, and I don’t need to reinforce this boyishness thing any more than I already have! Right now, I’m day dreaming about these lovelies from Merchant 1948 (and waiting patiently for my hotpoints vouchers to arrive so I can snap them up). If you’re not into a 2-3 inch heel for weekend wear, you can still dress up a pair of nonsense pants like these with flat slingbacks, or the very popular slide style. I recently ordered these, and I can’t wait to wear them excessively this summer with white denim shorts, my taupe linen culottes, and of course with a range of breezy summer dresses. Just as comfy as jandals, I promise!
Jeans are from a store in Wellington called Chili, on Cuba Mall - I've bought a couple of things from here now, and love the eclectic range and great service. Shoes are from a Clarks collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, bought at Hannahs - there are a couple of current shoe options linked above. And the top is super old Cooper (sorry, once again for my unavailable outfits!). My sunglasses are from Sunglass Style and have a blue reflective lens, sadly lost in photography.