This fall, the pants have it. When important designers such as Miuccia Prada send almost solely pants down the runway, you know it's a major trendsetting statement. The stylish Italian designer has decided that dresses are over, and she is "convinced by trousers." So there you have it, the pronouncement of the fall season. And don't we all deep down love it? We enjoy wearing pants to work, to the theater and, yes, even to weddings.
But don't worry if you're not into skinny jeans. This fall, there's a trouser for all shapes and sizes. The narrow trouser does reign, but the fuller, flared pants are flowing down the runway, too. Pajama pants, anyone? They're out there.
The key? Show your shoes. Show your ankles. The ankle-baring pant is the trendiest way to put your pants on -- whether you roll up those colored denims or crop your menswear plaids, the shorter pants are the newest way to show off your legs.
And what to wear with all these new trousers this fall? Start with volume. Pants will have a starring role under the big top. With fashion's latest design structure taking on an architectural twist, be prepared to celebrate both what's on top and what's on the bottom. But there are still a few helpful hints to keep in mind:
--Always remember this rule of thumb first: Buy only the shapes that look best on you, regardless of trends. That's Rule No. 1. But there are tricks to making the cropped trousers work even if you normally don't wear them. We all want long and lean, not short and choppy, so pair your new, shorter trousers with matching opaque tights or complementary boots and get the taller look without the shortening effect.
--Shoes matter. Try on your new pants with different types of heels. Higher wedges and platforms will look great with the wider-leg trousers, whereas flats and sleek boots may work better with narrower silhouettes. Designers on the runway chose the more "chunky" shoes and boots to accent cropped trousers.
--It's all about color. The fastest way to update your wardrobe this fall is to buy a pair of colored pants. The slim jeans are fast becoming a classic in colors such as burgundy, teal, mustard and cobalt. You can find them at all price points in both a boot-cut style and a cropped look. Pair these with blousey tops or longer jackets and coats and you've got instant chic that goes way beyond traditional denim jeans of black and blue.
--To print or not to print. I advise sticking to the solids, but the printed pant is making a trendy statement in animal prints or graphic geometrics. If you do have to have a pair, keep the top simple and in a solid color. Or cover it all up with a long jacket and layered tees or sweaters underneath.
--The key is balance. The bottom line to fall's newest trousers is to keep it all in proportion. If you've got long legs, go for the fuller pants; otherwise, if you're on the petite side, stick to the slimmer pants with fitted jackets and higher heels. Keep the volume on top; never, never wear pleats, please!
Sharon Mosley's weekly column, "In Fashion," can be found at creators.com.