This ensemble is based on an outfit I wore earlier this week. It’s all about lengthening the leg line of ankle pants with ankle strap footwear. By keeping the colour of the ankle strap the same as, or very similar to, the colour of the pants, you extend the visual length of the pants and create flattering proportions. Also, the slither of ankle skin between the ankle strap and the hem of the pants creates an interesting effect as you stride.
Here are the components:
- Ankle Pants: Choose a style that is tapered at the hems and cropped to just above the ankle. By all means roll a full length pair of pants to create this length. I’ve chosen black ankle pants because they are easier to match with black ankle strapped footwear. But any colour will work as long as the ankle strap and pant hems are a similar colour. An alternative to ankle pants is oh-so-trendy leather track pants. In silky fabrications these are just as fab. They are often cropped to just above the ankle, or can be pulled up to that length, making them a magical combination with ankle strap footwear.
- Top: I vote upscale sweatshirt, welted raglan sleeve pullover, basic welted pullover in a neckline of your choice, drape front blouse or high-low sweater. All in a fluid fit and left untucked to create a little movement and drape. These tops create “Relaxed Polish” by bringing an unstructured integrity to an otherwise structured outfit. Choose a print or solid, in any colour, and either high or low contrast to the pants. Scrunch the sleeves for extra structure.
- Footwear: An ankle strap that fastens above the ankle is key to the ensemble. Your choices are ankle strap pumps, ankle strap sandals, ankle strap cage heels and sandal booties, or cutout booties.
- Topper: If you need a topper, opt for a trench coat, blazer, moto or denim jacket
- Accessories: Finish off the outfit with a structured bag to contrast and complement the relaxed vibe of the top, and/or track pants trouser option. No need to belt or add a scarf. Add eyewear, watch and jewellery as desired.
The version with the slim ankle pants and heels is on the casual side of business casual and work appropriate in some settings. If I don’t want to wear jeans I will sometimes wear this combination to work with a client who leans casual. If I had silky track pants, I would wear them in this way too. I’ve found the outfit combination comfortable on cool Summer days and very mild Autumn days.