3 Key Fall Pants for Every Body Shape

Don’t go shopping for pants this fall without reading our guide to the season’s best pants - for every body shape.

Pants were having a something of a moment on the Fall/Winter 2013 runways, with many designers eschewing dainty skirts and dresses in favor of a more masculine vibe. The good news for us is that there are plenty more pants options available than the usual perennial favorite, the skinny jean. Whatever your body shape and style preference, there’ll be a fall pants trend for you.

Cropped Pants Outfit Combinations

Cropped Pants

Cropped pants and capris were fairly prominent for spring earlier this year, but for fall they have been reincarnated in more cold weather-appropriate fabrics: think wools, tweeds and jacquards. The cropped, just-above-the-ankle length is very reminiscent of one of our favorite style icons, Audrey Hepburn – especially when worn with a striped long-sleeved top and chic ballet flats.

The key to a flattering pair of cropped pants on all body types is to get the hem to hit the narrowest part of the leg, not the middle of your calf. Petite ladies should also choose slim-fitting cropped pants, for a leg-lengthening effect; wider fits, flared hems and cuffs all make your legs appear shorter. Wear with nude flats or heels for further elongating of the legs.

Those with slim hips and thighs will probably find cropped pants easier to wear, but pear-shaped women can also pull this trend off well by opting for styles without pockets, since they can add unnecessary bulk to the hip area.

Printed Pants Outfit Combinations

Printed Pants

Printed pants were another big trend on the Fall/Winter runways, with many designers choosing colourful polka dots, graphic patterns, stripes and animal prints over standard neutral colours. Mixing a few patterns and prints into your basic pants wardrobe will definitely raise your spirits on a dark and gloomy fall morning, and printed pants actually turn out to be surprisingly versatile. Don’t pass over the floral pants, either: florals aren’t just for spring, but opt for floral prints featuring more fall-inspired tones such as mustard, burgundy and navy.

Short or petite women should choose a smaller pattern design, since larger prints could overwhelm your frame. If you’re pear-shaped, bottom-heavy or just don’t feel comfortable wearing bright patterns on your bottom half, then look for tone-on-tone prints and darker background colors for an instant slimming effect.

Let the pattern do all the talking and pair printed pants with a simple neutral-colored shirt or fine-knit sweater – or if you’re feeling more confident, score major fashion points by opting for matching prints on top and bottom. But if you really want to make a statement, mix and match your prints: stripes and florals, polka dots and checks, leopard and stripes… anything goes!

Slouchy Pants Outfit Combinations

Slouchy Pants

Slouchy pants have taken on a number of turns for this fall. The crotches on controversial harem pants have been raised to produce a more formal slouchy pant, while sweat pants have undergone a high-fashion makeover – made out of dressier fabrics, they look effortlessly chic while still being incredibly comfortable. The most surprising hit, worn regularly by fashion bloggers and celebrities, has been the slouchy leather track pant. Who would have seen that one coming?

This season’s slouchy pants have a loose fit in the hip and thigh area, some settling high on the waist and others lounging around the hip, and are tapered down the leg to hit at the ankles. Some have an elasticated waistband and zipper or elastic detailing at the cuffs, to mimic jersey sweatpants. The key is what has been oxymoronically termed ‘unstructured structure’: slouchy and loose, but not oversized, tailored to fit perfectly while retaining an air of easy elegance. Easier said than done.

It might take a while to find the perfect pair that fit you, but once you do you’ll find that they’re surprisingly flattering on many body types, and a perfect alternative for jeans or skirts throughout fall. Boyish figures will welcome the slouch offering the illusion of a fuller frame, while fuller figures will find the draping masks problem areas in the thighs and hips. But it’s important to keep height, and proportions: wear with heels, especially if you’re on the shorter side, and tailored, slim-fit tops and jackets to balance out the slouchiness.

Cover photo: weheartit.com

About the author

Natasha Cornall

Natasha Cornall is the editor of Drawdrobe. She's a keen baker and a writer specializing in fashion and beauty.

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