Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Minimalist Multitaskers: Black Dress Pants

Minimalist Multitaskers

To piggyback on yesterday's post, I'd like to introduce a new series: Minimalist Multitaskers.  Yesterday afternoon, I picked out my items for my minimalist wardrobe.  I packed the rest into an extra large vacuum compression storage bag (it's mind boggling how much one can fit in these things, but man was it heavy!) and tossed it to the top of my closet for safe keeping.  

In the past I had a strict minimalist wardrobe.  I sometimes missed having color in my wardrobe (and that's why I kept my other things instead of immediately selling them off), but it truly was easier to get dressed in the morning.  I knew everything fit and everything went with almost everything else.

Now I know you folks don't need help with putting outfits together.  What I'm trying to do is give a fresh perspective on what you've got in your closet by showing you what's in mine.

Black Dress Pants

I hope you all have this wardrobe workhorse in your closet - the ubiquitous black dress pants.  The ones I have are from Express (but I scored them on eBay for a bargain - if you like these pants, I bet you'll be able to find them on eBay in any size and color).  I like them because they have a bit of stretch (ultra flattering no matter your build), aren't wool (wool+Florida = fail) and aren't lined (less bulk).  They have a bootcut leg opening which is also flattering on all body types.  I usually wear flats, so I made sure that the inseam would be suitable for wearing flats, but I can wear up to about a 2.5 heel with them without them being garishly too short, so I've got some wiggle room and more versatility with that.  Because of the stretch, I actually find them more comfortable than jeans and I find myself wanting to wear them for everyday wear.  They might not be for everyone, but they come highly recommended by me.  Other retailers to check would be Loft, Ann Taylor, Gap and of course, my all time fave, J to the Crizzew.

The Ways I Like to Wear Them

I'm sure there are no surprises here, but in case you could use a refresher or some new ideas, I'd like to present my favorite ways to wear these pants.

1. Solid tees & scarves.  The ultimate no-brainer.  I'm not the biggest fan of black and white (classic, I know, but too much contrast... contradictory, no?), but I absolutely love grey and black.  I like to pair these knits with sophisticated scarves.  I don't go for patterns in scarves like all-over florals or patterns in darker colors (burgundy, purples, oranges).  It's hard to describe what I like in a scarf, but when I see it, I know it.  These guys are from Target.  With the tees, I like to stick with closer fitting tees, but if you can find one with a more generous cut with a dolman sleeve and a blousy drape, it could definitely work with these bottoms.

2. Chambray/denim button downs.  What can I say - chambray and denim pairs perfectly with black bottoms.

3. Solid oxfords & gingham button downs.  These days you can find a good quality oxford at any price points and size types (important for me, as I'm a petite).  The ones I have here are from Lands End.  The gingham is from J. Crew and you can generally find these in many colors.  I like how even though it's a black and white gingham, there's another dimension of color where to two meet when they cross.

4. Shoes.  Like I mentioned above, I typically like to wear flats.  J. Crew's Cece flats are my hands down favorite.  I have literally walked 4 miles to and from work in them without a blister or any discomfort.  My animal print of choice is tortoise, so I like to wear my tortoise flats with my matching belt and I've got the little details that turn an assemblage of clothing into an outfit.  I can also wear my Lucca suede sandals with the pants without them being too short, which with these pants, can be the foundation of an evening outfit.

5. The finisher.  Okay, my favorite category.  Rarely will you ever see me without a 3rd piece, even in the middle of a Florida summer.  It's my best weapon against overzealous a/c (not that I'd want it any other way... not enough a/c can result in smelling... things... and people...).  It can come in the form of a cardigan or blazer.  It also elevates the outfit to the next level.  Not sure what that level is, but it's like Emeril says... BAM - take it up a notch.

Get ready folks, there's more where this came from.

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