I’m been in a bit of a pant quandary: I don’t seem to have the right ones right now. I bet you’ve said this to yourself from time to time, that you don’t have the right something or other. What I have are jeans: distressed jeans, boyfriend jeans, blue jeans, dark indigo jeans, high rise jeans, white jeans, cropped white jeans…jeans, jeans, jeans. I have an orange pair of cotton summer pants that are a little on the big side. I have a couple of linen trousers; one in ivory, one in a gray blue. But I’ve been missing loose, easy breezy, summer pants.
Guess what? I found a pair that are just right! It’s an artisan paisley print, full-leg crop pant with lots of berry colors on a black background. It’s got an elastic waist and POCKETS! It swishes when I walk (I LOVE that feeling!). It’s super soft and from J.Jill.
I put this outfit together to go with Russ to Boon Fly Cafe, a restaurant we often go to on the weekends. It’s part of the Carneros Resort and Spa in Napa. While I was sitting next to Russ at the bar (avoiding a 45-minute wait for a table) I was admiring the print. This will be a great pant to go into warm fall days. The black background makes it an ideal print for fall. In fact, I’d wear this outfit on September 15th but probably substitute the woven vintage straw bag for a leather one. It will be important to me to have outfits that look like fall even while the weather is hot, hot, hot. This would do the trick.
One person’s easy pant is someone else’s hard one
Some of you may have drawers full of this kind of easy pant style. This pant is actually outside the box for me. I go for more tailored pants or slim jeans. All last year I tried to bust out and find a pair of loose-fitting print pants that looked decent on me and I NEVER found it!
For starters, this print is more up my alley. It’s a classic print and appeals to that part of me that likes classic things. I love the paisley, the colors are classic, and the shape is pretty classic, too.
Anatomy of my outfit
Because I like my casual outfits to be on the fancy side, what I saw in this pant was the invitation to build an outfit that leans on classic, sophisticated elements.
Paisleys have been with us forever. Originally they were worn exclusively by privileged people and were symbols of power and luxury. Read here about the history of paisley. And go here to see a graph of the historical timeline of paisley. In current times we see paisley in mens ties. In recent history women often wore paisley blouses with their suits to exude a sense of power in the workplace.
I treated these paisley pants as royalty and luxury. I felt they called for some fancy and sophistication. How did I do that?
ONE. The clothing pieces–my Max Mara top and Eileen Fisher linen swing cardigan–are simple and drapey. Anything in black with soft drape says luxury and sophistication to me. For that matter, these pants have a soft drape to them, too, so everything was in harmony. (Note: I’d tried a different top and added a denim jean jacket and the print pants said, “Oh no you don’t; not with this outfit!”
TWO. I wore Alexis Bittar earrings that have crystals all around them which catches the light.
THREE. I wore a Sol Sisters necklace that has crystals and sparkly beads that are pretty and refined.
FOUR. My ring is arty and has little diamonds in it. My leather Calleen Cordero cuff is a little more rocker but I liked the texture with the pattern of the pant. (A nice little Beauty Bundle here in the earrings, necklace, ring and bracelet.)
FIVE. I added simple Gabor black suede wrapped ankle sandals. I tried on my platform sandals but they made the outfit too casual; not special enough.
SIX. Although this bag is vintage, it’s brand new to me. This was my first time using it! Inside the framed bag it says it was made in Italy. I like that! My daughters, owners of SAX, a consignment store, set it aside when it came into the store because they thought their Mommyfoxy would like it and buy it. (She does and she did!) It’s not a floppsie moppsie style. It’s got a defined shape that is quite tailored. It’s actually good-sized. I was able to slip the Sunday Style and Business sections of the NYTimes into it.
When I feel the way I felt in this outfit, I walk taller; I don’t rush; I take each step in a ladylike measured way. I’m not running around solving problems or trying to reach my 10,000 steps; I’m luxuriating in the moment. I’m breathing the air, admiring the flowers, listening to birds singing in the trees, enjoying the company of my love, Russ.
I’ve slowed down to the speed of life.