Wardrobe Staple: Black Pants

Now, this one is not a big surprise. It’s pretty much guaranteed that all of us have at least one pair of black pants in our closet (or several, as in my case). But finding the right pair is not always an easy task, with the huge number of styles, fits and cuts available for the choosing. So, here are some tips to help you pick a great pair.

Great shape. Fabric really does make a difference. My go-to pants usually feature 56-65% rayon or polyester, with cotton and mixed in for good measure. I love how they retain their shape (no elephant knees!) and have a bit of swing. They make great every-season pants – just layer with tights in the winter to a bit of extra warmth.

A pressing matter. In addition to the main ingredients listed above, when you take a gander at the label and look for my favorite word – spandex! Just a hint of spandex can completely change the fit of your pant. Even your linen pants. Don’t worry, it’s not butt-clinging biking short spandex, but rather a touch of stretch that allows the fabric to have more movement. Look for 3-5% spandex or elastane to flatter your figure.

Flat to flatter. I’m not a big fan of pleated pants. I find that they add extra material at exactly the one place no one wants to appear bulkier – at the waistline. Flat-front pants, particularly ones with a bit of spandex, give you much cleaner lines. And if you pick pants with front pockets, try for pockets made from thin, slick fabrics like nylons. Thicker pocket fabric tends to bunch.

At great length. Though black pants are always fashionable, the cut seems to change each season. Whether it’s boot cut, wide leg or skinny, you want to get the right length every time. Many brands make petite, ankle, regular and long versions of their pants to accommodate different leg lengths. Also, think about what type of shoe you most often wear. Do you wear a lot of heels? Then make sure your pant length hits the floor in bare feet. Do you favor flats? Then the bottom of your pant should skim your ankle bone.

Fade to black. Remember, blacks lose their color over time and washings, so I always suggest purchasing your black pants at a retail discounter since you will be purchasing plenty of pairs in your lifetime!

And my current favorite?
The Banana Republic Martin Skinny Pant, in black, natch (see photo).These pants are super slimming and really elongate the leg. Plus, I’ve finally found a skinny pant that works with my athletic calves – now, that’s a win!

What’s your favorite black pant right now?


March 22, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Wardrobe Staples.

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