White Pants Now and Always Again

I told you the white pants would be right back.

Navy and white, the timeless spring and summer combination.
Here, it is stretching into fall only because I have been delinquent in finishing and publishing my summer posts. I am not suggesting that this outfit is appropriate for wear after Labor Day. Indeed, I look like I have just risen from a cryogenic nap out of season.
Well-rested, but out of season

Now as then!
We will assess the outfit nunc pro tunc, or now as it were then.
You may remember that I realized after wearing this top (last seen here) that it was lined in the front but not the back. Hmmmm.
I considered asking Fatima to fashion a full lining, and then realized that that would be an expensive, but not creatively fulfilling, undertaking. Instead, I asked her to sew little lingerie strap loops into the narrow shoulder seams so that I could wear a camisole (which I already owned) under the top. Et voila! A cheap and peppy fix. With the straps fixed in place, the camisole does not show — despite the cut-in shape of the armscyes.

This lightweight summer shell has a pretty band, lightly gathered, at the waist — which is elasticized.
Elastic = forgiving

Another nice detail is the cobalt blue tie at the neck.
If possible, you should look as good going as coming

Rounding things out, the delightful fabric-covered bead necklace gifted to me by a colleague. As you will see in another post this summer-fall, these beads really do go with everything. Their versatility is astonishing.
The fabric-covered beads enhance everything

Top: Emporio Armani from YOOX; Pants: JCrew; Shoes: JSlides; Bag: Sophie Hulme Bolt Bag

16 thoughts on “White Pants Now and Always Again”

  1. I love, love, love your creativity with tops and dresses and shoes. But I have to confess that I don’t understand your tendency to pair everything with rather baggy pants. I think the trend right now is for more slim-cut pants and while we don’t have to follow trends completely, many of the more flowy tops seem to cry out for slimmer bottoms. And while sometimes super-flowy bottoms might be appropriate, these pants (and others you have posted) seem to be betwixt and between, neither on-trend or opposite of trend. They just seem kind of “meh.” Can you share your reasoning on them? I know this sounds like a criticism, but I don’t mean it to be. Because I fully recognize that you have more style in your little pinky than I do in my entire body. But the pants just look “off” to me, in almost every post. Can you elucidate?

    • Oh Ashley, I fear that the answer will elucidate but not reflect well on me! You are not the first reader to question my choices regarding the fit of my pants. I simply can’t bear tight slacks! Ideally, I like my dress pants to sit below my natural waist, fit smoothly through the abdomen and hips, be trim around the upper thighs and then fall straight or with a slight boot cut. Some of my pants do this. Some of them do so when I am at my ideal weight and some do at IW+5 but not both. I don’t like pants that fit closely over the rump; I prefer a dropping line. And then for khakis and jeans, I like them loose — turn your mind back to Meg Ryan toward the end of You’ve Got Mail — but I think the extreme loose trousers of this season are a bridge too far. I have long been opposed to toothpick-style and tapered pants as well as skinny jeans; I don’t think these silhouettes are flattering, but know that I am in the minority (possibly alone, on a desert island) in holding this view.
      I have a theory that the pants worn in fashion magazines and on professional bloggers are not for the real world; I am not sure how a working person could be comfortable sitting and moving around in really close fitting trousers (even with some stretch fiber added), even though they might look excellent in photos. I will put together a post on my sad pants. I do have a few pairs of dress trousers that are more fitted and will show you!
      With regard to these particular pants (which I recently confessed to owning in four colors), I bought them in an effort to update the fit of my pants with a new silhouette. As AC and others note below, they are on-trend — but that doesn’t mean they are universally approved. (My mother does not think they flatter me.) They do, however, make a great slapping-flapping sound when I walk (so much stiff fabric) that I think any wearer would enjoy.
      So glad you enjoy the blog, pants notwithstanding!

  2. I feel compelled to add my two cents regarding the pants, even though obviously I’m not the Directrice! These types of pants are referred to as wide crops, and are actually very trendy right now, along with lots of other loose bottoms. One current trend is to pair loose or wide pants with loose or boxy tops, rather than always sticking to more traditional, conventionally flattering combinations (e.g., loose top/narrow bottom, slim-fitting top/loose bottom). See COS for examples of loose on loose silhouettes. See YLF’s trend report on fall jean silhouettes for a detailing of all the current pants and jeans shapes happening at retail (https://youlookfab.com/2019/09/11/fall-winter-2019-jeans/). Of course, just because something is trendy doesn’t mean we all have to like it, but the fact that these types of pants are quite current, as well as comfy, might be contributing to the Directrice’s fondness for them.

  3. The Photographer here. This is by no means the definitive answer to Ashley’s question, but one thing I’ve learned in the past few years is that the apparent shape and flow of a garment, particularly pants and dresses, can be very influenced by the lens I’m using and the way I’m holding the camera. I really don’t have the terminology to explain it very well. But basically, I think the part of Tory that’s closest to the lens tends to look a bit bigger and the rest tends to foreshorten away from it. So Tory’s clothes can look fairly different depending on whether I’m shooting low, e.g. on my knees, versus high, e.g. holding the camera above my head. I almost always use a Sony Distagon 35mm lens, which is one of the less “literal” lenses in my very small collection. By that I mean it distorts and foreshortens more than some of my other lenses–which, of course, is an effect I tend to like. But more than once Tory has looked at my photographs with obvious perplexity that they don’t show her what she sees in the mirror. I’ve never really figured out the ideal way to shoot a given piece of clothing, which is what separates me from professional photographers. I just shoot from several angles and hope for the best. All of which is to say: Cameras don’t tell the truth quite as much as people think they do.

  4. I have a structured navy top with bell sleeves by Sea NY that I’m wearing to work tomorrow. And I was going put it with pants in a fall shade of acorn but you inspired me to wear the white a little bit longer. I have a funky plastic necklace that a similar, incredible versatility as your beads. So I’ll put that with it. Shoes? I’ll probably punt to black as you did. And I agree with the photographer. Pictures can lie. I wore the puff sleeved top to a work function with navy wool pants. The top has this wonderful 3-D structure to it and I got a million compliments. I was feeling great. But we had a professional photographer at the event and I swear I looked like a barrel when the pictures came back. So the photographer should feel pretty good about how his pictures turn out every time so beautifully because I have seen pros who can’t manage to make that happen.

    • As The Photographer tells me when I observe that a photo (a reject) is unflattering, “The camera LIES!” Sea makes great things — I have a top that you can find by searching for “blue nun” that has such life and dynamism to it. I hope your co-workers appreciate your efforts to enrich their visual field!

  5. I’m with AC, this outfit is completely on-trend. Wide-legged crops were fringe a few years ago and are mainstream now. But I am a bit puzzled by the suggestion that white shouldn’t be worn after Labor Day — surely the Directrice’s style transcends these old maxims??

    • You are correct, Rhizophora! I will be wearing the pants deep into the fall — but with grey or earth-toned sweaters. That’s my big plan. But this sleeveless navy top w/ white (with sandals) read summer to me.

  6. Thank you for the detailed – and kind – response. I’ve been worried that I offended you.

    I am prepared to admit that the wider-leg pants seem to be starting to come in style now, but I thought they were more flares or cropped – not straight and full length, which looks to me like loose-fitting khakis. And I’m still seeing slim-cut pants everywhere, particularly at work. When people my age (40s/50s) are venturing out casually, I’m seeing more of the big cuffs and the frayed/uneven hems and even boot cuts, but all slim through most of the leg. Maybe we’re just catching up with all you style mavens.

    But regardless, as I said, I love the blog and your sense of humor. Thanks for taking the time to put these posts together and to even respond to comments.

    • Hi Ashley — If you look at the link AC provided to Angie Cox’s blog, You Look Fab, you’ll find a recent discussion of pant widths. In it Angie points out that retailers keep stocking skinny jeans/pants simply because consumers like them, even though the silhouette isn’t common on the runways anymore. It’s a matter of taste, but in my opinion, it’s the rare person they flatter.


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