Squawk Radio

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Lisa Fashionista on "The Girl's Guide To Perfect Pants"


There is nothing so flattering and useful as a great pair of pants. But if you're like me, you have a collection of some great and some not-so-great pants in your closet. If only shopping were like dating, we could take a pair home, go out together a few times, and either commit or tactfully break it off. "Pants, it's not you, it's me." "Pants, I just don't think we're meant for each other."

But no. You have to make your decision, cut the tags off, and then they're yours for good. So if it's helfpul, I will share a lifetime's worth of hard-won wisdom on pants buying. Argue with my rules if you like--but make no judgements until you have someone take a polaroid of you in the disputed pants. If you like what you see, that's all that matters!

Ten simple pants rules:

1. Panty lines are evil. They make you look like you have two sets of butt cheeks. Not a good look for anyone, no matter what size your derriere. "On Gossamer" makes some super-thin mesh panties that work pretty well. Thongs also work well, although I personally find them too uncomfortable to wear for more than, say, three minutes. You might try full-coverage panties, or those new boy-short panties. Just remember, even if you don't see your back view for most of the day, many other people will.

2. Ankle-length or cropped pants make your legs look shorter. If you're tall, you don't care. If you're vertically challenged like me, just know your legs will look like a muppet's. Which on occasion is fine, and I own a few because they're great in warm weather.

3. Pleats always make you look bigger. No, don't argue. They do. If you're skinny, you can wear pleats, and the rest of us don't want to hear about it.

4. Super-skinny jeans look good on almost no one. Even super-skinny women.

5. Flares look good on almost everyone, and this is why : you don't want your hips to be the widest part of your body. Flares balance out your shape. Not extreme flares, just nice regular ones. Bootcuts are fantastic.

6. Low rises are fine within certain limits:
a. They must never be so low that the rest of us can see your butt crack.
b. They should sit just a little below your waist
c. They must never be so tight that your sides bulge out over the top. And don't assume an overblouse will hide this. I've tried it. Doesn't work.

7. Stretch denim is our friend.

8. Dark rinse jeans are more flattering and expensive-looking than paler shades.

9. Big patterns make you look bigger. Small patterns are more flattering. No, don't tell me about the big-patterned pants that work so well for you. I'm not listening, la la la la la la. . . .

10. Avoid "whisker-creased" jeans . . . you know, the ones with the white stripes across the tops of the thighs to make seem as if they're already old when you buy them. These usually don't flatter anyone except women with perfect thighs. And if you have perfect thighs, please keep it to yourself. Also avoid buying jeans with holes already in them.

Have I forgotten something? Or do you know about a great brand of underwear that will save us from the dreaded panty lines? What is your favorite brand of jeans, the pair you always reach for first?
Lisa Kleypas, 2:05 AM