Harem Pants Are Your Diet’s Best Friend
Three ways to go bigger and look thinner
-Lois Joy Johnson
Fat and skinny are having a race — and fat is winning! After years of skinny jeans, voluminous pants are edging their way back into our closets. You can blame boyfriend jeans, those slouchy, destroyed, turned-up-cuff baggies for flipping the switch in fashion proportions.
Aladdin-like draped “harem” pants are showing up in store displays all over, and I have to say, they look appealing despite the fact that I’m still sloshing around in clingy vintage wash AG jeans, stuffed into boots and a big cowlneck sweater the size of Minneapolis.
Remember how we loved the relaxed feeling of cargos, or the bliss we experienced when Juicy Couture sweats first hit the racks? Once you get past the initial shock of not having a firm grip on your behind or thighs all the time, harem pants are the new comfy. I know exactly what you’re thinking: These are OK on a runway model, but how do I wear them without looking fat or like I’m in costume?
Here are the 3 style tricks that make harem pants a hit:
Make this a balancing act. Wear your harems with a waist-defining top that is closer to the body. Ralph Lauren’s version on the runways sticks out in my mind as particularly easy to mimic. He combined the pants with a big gutsy belt, a silky camp shirt tucked in, and gold peep-toe platform heels for a modern kind of global-sexy.
Choose harem pants in a neutral solid color. Splendid’s matte-jersey look in gray or black ($120) or Vince’s lean and slouchy style in a silky black cotton/viscose blend ($195) are chic and functional. Add a cropped blazer and bow-tie blouse, clutch and strappy heels and you could wear them next Saturday night. It’s my basic fashion editor’s never-fail trick: Buy trendy items in black and classic items in a trendy color or fabric; I’m sticking to it. You should too!
Look for a modified style. Pants with too much volume at the sides or a super-low droopy crotch and poufy derriere are not for you – or anyone! I don’t care if they’re a thousand dollars marked down to $50, by a super-famous designer like Stella McCartney or Alexander McQueen, or your best friend found them at a sample sale. When a trend wears you, and the other way around, it’s time to just say no.