Here are two things you might not know about me.
- When it comes to pants, I feel gifted. Pants are the easiest thing for me to buy.
- When it comes to pants, I feel challenged. Pants are the hardest thing for me to buy.
Could both statements be true? YES! And I’ll tell you why!
I’m a straight pant girl
Me and straight-leg pants get along great. Buying and wearing a straight leg pant, slack, or trouser is as easy as eating apple pie. They just work! And when something works, you just keep working it, right?
There’s only one problem and that leads you to my deep, dark secret.
I get a shaking-like-a-leaf feeling when I’m invited to a dinner party, attending an art opening, going to the theater, or celebrating someone’s birthday. I never feel like I have the right thing to wear. I work SO HARD to get a straight leg pant into an outfit that looks celebratory and when I arrive at the gathering, I always feel like I missed it by a long shot.
So what do I do at such events? I cling to the person I came with–Russ and/or family members. Instead of being a reveler or a merrymaker I’m a party pooper. I insist on heading home early and tell myself it’s because I’m more of an introvert than an extrovert.
But now, after playing around with a non-straight pant, I think I know what the problem is: I never had the right pants to wear!
I’ve been working on this for a while. I observe people and observing is so easy to do when you’re hiding in a corner being shy at a party! The thing I noticed was that other people were wearing happy pants, fancy pants, novelty pants. They wore pants that didn’t look like they’d just come from the office. People wearing them looked interesting. I imagined they had interesting lives, hobbies, and homes. I’d probably enjoy talking to them!
Weeks go by while I’m avoiding parties and then lightening strikes. I meet Lisa Bayne, CEO of Artful Home, which is a catalog business that features art and apparel for the home. All 20,000 items shown in their catalog are created here in the U.S. and in small batches. She invited me to choose a couple of things from the catalog and try them. When the holiday catalog arrived, there was a picture of a woman wearing a pant that looked like one of those pants I saw on other people at festive events! What are the chances of that? It was way out of my comfort zone because it wasn’t a straight leg but I felt compelled to try them. Was I hopeful? Nah, not so much. But I was curious.
I ordered it. It’s called the Crepe Barefoot Pant by Lisa Bayne. Right, Lisa is the CEO and a hands on designer for the apparel.
I love crepe. It’s got an elegance to it that always makes me happy. I haven’t had a crepe pant in years and when I did it was a trouser cut!
They arrived this week in the mail. And what happened when I tried them on? Oh my. You should have been there. I slipped it on and peered in the mirror. A smile showed up randomly. The shy, introverted person I’ve claimed to be felt excited inside. Maybe I’m actually a life of the party person! Hugging a corner wearing these pants at a party was out of the question. I felt ready be in the center of the action wearing them!
Am I overstating the difference a pant style can make? NO! Let me tell you about a client we have. When Erin and I start creating outfits for her in a styling appointment, we do things she’d never do on her own. She looks at herself in the mirror and can hardly stand still. She says, “Okay, I’ve gotta leave now! I’ve got to wear this outfit right now! See you guys later! Life is calling.”
Well, that’s how I felt after making three party outfits in less than fifteen minutes using this new pant style.
Outfit number one: The Sassy One
I call this first outfit the Sassy One because I’m wearing a navy blue/maritime blue Banana Republic top from this season that looks like neoprene but feels like a sweatshirt. It has a tied bow on each side. They call it a Couture Sweatshirt. I slipped the couture sweatshirt over my head, added my blue silk tasseled necklace that I made, dug through my small handbag department and pulled out a teal blue little bag and said, “Beam me into a party right now!”
I’m wearing black microfiber socks with my Aquatalia pointy-toed suede ankle boot (waterproof). I’m comfortable, feeling like an interesting person myself, and ready to enter a room wearing this outfit and a smile. Clock it, less than five minutes folks.
Oh, did I mention the Crepe Barefoot Pant has an elastic waist and pockets? POCKETS!
Outfit number two: The Pretty One
Next up, the Pretty One. I feel so pretty and ladylike in this outfit. I’m wearing my gray Tippi Merino wool sweater, the one I use as smooth T-shirts under jackets. It’s a J.Crew classic piece that I’m still recommending. (Read here for why it’s such a great support piece.)
My daughter Erin thought I might like this necklace that had come into her and Caitlin’s consignment store last week. It’s got chunky gray beads and pearls and has some gold in it. I love it with this sweater. I added the crystal necklace I made with Erin’s help. I really like the fact that the beads around my neck are chunky, the beads on the pendant are daintier, but the crystal pendant is chunky. The necklaces relate to each other but are different. I added two Alexis Bitter cuffs, one on each wrist. They are mushroom colored with sparkle detailing. My sparkly leaf ring joins the gathering.
Erin gave me a getting-back-to-normal gift bag after we got back into our home once the Wine Country fires got under control. It’s a sweet little leather bag, perfect for party-going. She said, “It’s called L’il Smoky.” It might have been a little soon to have a memento of the fires but I said “Thank you” and knew I’d warm up to it. That was quicker than I thought as it’s perfect for this outfit.
To keep the gray theme going, I added this scarf over one shoulder. (Wouldn’t a lady just toss a scarf over her shoulder like that?) It was a gift from my Swedish friend, Maggan. (Thank you, Sweetheart!). On my feet I’m wearing my AGL patent pointy toe flats with velvet bows. More ladylike details. Invite me, invite me please!
Outfit number three: The Kinda Sexy One
Next up is the Kinda Sexy One, the outfit that makes me feel romantic. I’m wearing my vintage Chanel sweater with all those darling appliqués attached to the lace inset. I often wear this with a black tank underneath it so it reads all black. But I figure someone’s party can handle me wearing it so it looks like NOTHING is underneath but my skin which of course is a lie. I’m wearing a nude colored tank top. I added my bee sparkly necklace and some gunmetal bangles, my sparkly leaf ring and my satin bow bag.
I kept my AGL booties on with my microfiber socks so I could be kinda sexy and comfortably warm at the same time.
Three outfits ready for festivities
There you have it my friends! I am so ready for events. I may have to create some just so I can wear these outfits ASAP.
Here’s what I discovered when I went out of my comfort zone. When I wear a pant that says, Hey, let’s go have some fun!, it makes dressing the top part of the body so easy! Before, when I was trying to make a festive outfit using my tailored pants, I had to work really, really hard to get enough party atmosphere going on above my waist because there was no party atmosphere going on below the waist. I had to rely on two pieces to do the work: a top and a jacket and of course, accessories and still ended up feeling a bit uptight.
How fun to experience something new and have it work out so well. Who knows what’s going to happen next? I may have a more interesting, exciting life now that I changed my pants!
How are you when it comes to party-type outfits? We’ll all have some sort of party coming up soon so let’s share tips!
Artful Home sponsored this post. The words, opinions, and ah-has are all mine. To get a catalog delivered to your door, sign up here.