A Study in Contrasts

Shortly before the holidays (December 2021), I confessed to buying a pair of camouflage pants.

The pants have elasticized cuffs.

Is it strange that I think these are cute?

I do.

I’m not saying I’m cute; I’m saying the pants are cute

Reclaiming my youth

When they arrived, I thought I’d remove the elastic and just have a classic straight leg, like all my other pants (except the gold pants that my mother despises).

But when I tried these pants on, they spoke to me.

The pants said, “Be cool, Directice. We’re of the moment.” They also made me remember, with great fondness, some jeans I had in junior high school, which had wide elastic cuffs at the ankles. I probably wore those jeans with Shetland wool sweater from Carroll Reed and Tretorns (please, no socks) in the middle of the winter.

Directrice, you’re yammering about cuffs; you haven’t gotten to the weird part yet
There’s no need to say it; they can see it

My blouse, with its immense sleeves.

Just the thing to balance the masculine pants. The sort-of-masculine pants.

Oh sleeves: You enchant me

I could not resist

Name That Sleeve, Directorate!

I have a few ideas of the style, but I’d like your best guesses.


Finishing things off, a pair of exaggerated kiltie loafers.

Not sure where the “kiltie” comes from. I guess the overlapping tongue looks like a tiny skirt?

These are from Yoox, a brand I’d never heard of — Paloma Barcelo — and are beautifully made.

Just like old times: no socks

As we head into the weekend, I think we could all use a little boost from Mr. Orange and Philo, no?*

Blouse: Ganni Smocked White Blouse (found it in a beautiful print here; Pants: Banana Republic Slim Utility Pant; Shoes: Paloma Barcelo from Yoox (sold out, but there are still many loafers on Yoox)

The cats are reading upside-down

  • I wrote this post in February 2022 and then put it aside with the farthest out publication date that I could think of in February 2022 — which was, apparently, September 29, 2022.

19 thoughts on “A Study in Contrasts”

    • Well, there was supposed to be a smiley emoji with heart eyes at the end of that, for punctuation, but we’ll all just have to imagine it.

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  1. Once again wishing the blog comments allowed photos, because then I could upload a picture of my camo jacket with a sanded finish and curved hem and nipped waist that bought my eye last spring.

    I like the pants. I have decided I like pants of all kinds that nip in at or just above my ankles.

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  2. This might be the most clever and harming outfit combo ever — I am loving the (hard) camo with the (soft) blouse. And those shoes! Well done!

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  3. Longtime lurker here, and I’m all in favor of the pants. In my opinion, noncommittal pants/trousers are usually the only weak link in an otherwise striking wardrobe. You often wear straight-leg pants that neither balance your voluminous tops nor make a statement themselves.

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  4. Off topic, but the NYTimes today has an article on post-pandemic menswear that prominently used the term “hard pants” … a description that I fully associate with the Directrice. The urban dictionary uses it in a sentence: “ During the pandemic, Victoria refused to wear hard pants.” 😉

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