It’s been ten years since skinnies and variations on the tapered pant silhouette resurfaced on the runways of fashion week. Bringing back the ‘80s tapered leg was a HUGE change after the ‘90s, which was filled with bootcut, flared, palazzo and wide-leg jeans and trouser silhouettes. Looks like we’ve come full circle because skinnies are extremely rare on the Fall 2014 runways so far. At their most tapered, the pants are fluid straight legs and not sausage-casing skinnies. Now the runway is all about wider pant legs.
This is an acceleration of the trend I mentioned in my forecast for Spring 2014 (trend #10). If my hunch is correct, we will see it continue to gather momentum.
There are two main variations of the silhouette:
- Wider all over and down to the hem. Think boot cuts, wide legs and flares.
- Baggy and wide on top, but tapered at the hem. Think baggy and slouchy styles like upscale track pants and harem pants.
As I watch the shows I pin trends and inspirations along the way as a frame of reference. I love to see how the trends on the runway filter down to retail. Some get there right away, some take a while, some stay fringe and others don’t filter down at all. It’s a fascinating process. Here’s a peek at the pant silhouettes I have pinned recently:
- Denim jumpsuit fabness.
- Forest green man coat with cream wide legs.
- Tomato column of colour.
- Wide tapered trousers with oversized coat.
- Dressy track pants.
- Oversized ‘90s soft suit.
- Cropped wide legs with voluminous layering.
- Wide, wide trousers with tailored jacket and oversized topper.
- Wide on the bottom, fluid on top.
- Genie pants with straight blazer.
- Slouchy straight legs.
- Wide Winter white.
- Stunning straight lines and proportions with lots of movement.
- Floor sweepers with belted retro coat.
- Magical cuffed culottes.
- Elegantly sloppy.
- Cropped, baggy and tapered on the bottom, oversized on top.
- Bootcuts with wrap coat.
- Baggy and wide Winter white.
- Wide, wide plaid.
- Tapered wide leg jumpsuit.
- Pleated, casual, wide and tapered with toggles.
- Roomy denim with oversized topper.
- Big suit.
- Bootcuts and colour blocking.
- Patchwork boyfriends.
- Baggy patchwork boyfriends.
- Bootcuts with fluid top and loose topper.
- Midi dress over bootcuts.
- Mega wide and tapered at the hem.
- Genius oversized volume with a little structure.
- Wide suit with tapered hems.
- High-waisted bootcuts.
- Perfect structured slouch with tapered hem scrunch. LOVE.
- Wide legs become pantaloons with ski boots.
- Big all over.
- Baggy low rise with inverted pleats.
- Wide legs with painter’s smock.
- Baggy, baggy, wide and baggy.
- Wide, cropped with wrap jacket.
- Apricot elegance.
- Wide and cropped.
- Layered, wide and cropped.
- Modern equestrian magic. My favourite.
- Oversized classics.
- Roomy cuffed ankle pants.
- Wide and elegant.
I did have the occasional apoplexy when I saw outfits with cropped wide ankle pants because the silhouette is my poison eye. But I do include them on my board because the look is trending. As for the rest, I welcome wider pant legs. We desperately need an alternative to tight, tight, tight. Of course, many of these catwalk looks are exaggerated, unflattering, and impractical to wear. Rest assured that wider pant leg silhouettes will be streamlined for retail purposes.
While skinnies are scarce on the catwalks and wider pant legs are all the rage, it’s important to remember that silhouette changes don’t make their way to retail overnight. And even if wide legs do filter down in a big way, that won’t necessarily mean that skinny styles will become unfashionable or dated. Although skinnies did disappear in the ’90s and early noughties, I think their practicality, combined with a fashion era that is more tolerant of variety, will keep them in fashion.
That said, I’m not encouraging my clients to purchase more pairs of body con skinnies. I’m suggesting that they wear skinnies a little looser all over when they purchase a new pair, or opt for a straight leg instead.