Getting to the Bottom of Summer

by Phyllis Collar

Wisconsin summers can be a bit unpredictable, from cold, windy nights to hot, humid days. With that in mind, I wanted to weigh in on what we might be wearing on the bottom as the shifting summer temps are upon us.

No matter how much my kids protest, it seems pant legs are widening. Although skinny jeans will remain a classic staple, bootcut and flared jeans are making a comeback this year. Wide-leg jeans can be cropped or full length, as long as they are high waisted. Say goodbye to fear of the muffin top and pair your high waisted jeans with tiny feminine tops and cropped sweaters. When it comes to jeans, ripped and distressed is all the rage. Pair the casual, rugged bottom with a sophisticated high neck blouse or a cropped blazer and throw on a pair of pointed heels for good measure.

Wide leg styles are not just for jeans this summer. Celebs are donning mesh pants and they are super cool (pun intended). They are a perfect layering piece for chunky, oversized shirts. Wide leg trousers flatter nearly any body type and come in many textiles such as cotton or linen, with or without pleats, cuffs or pockets. Whether solid, pinstripe, or houndstooth (which is also making a comeback), wide leg trousers create a relaxed, yet sophisticated look.

Another pant trend this year – paper bag pants – are one of the most flattering styles you can ever own. A wide waist pulled tight by a stylish belt makes your middle look narrow, while the wide legs fall straight down minimizing your entire silhouette. Don’t be afraid to tuck your shirts and even chunky sweaters in!

Speaking of pockets and wide legs, cargo pants are another trend for this year’s bottoms. Cinched at the ankles, or wide and cuffed, these pants are no longer bulky and camo-covered. In textiles such as starchy twill or flowy nylon, they can be dressed up or down. Pair with a vintage sweatshirt and lug sole boots to shop on Saturday afternoon; add high heels and a fitted turtleneck for a sleek, sophisticated evening ensemble.

Slim fitting pants are still a classic in any wardrobe and leather pants are making a fashion resurgence. Apparently pairing slim, buttery soft, leather slacks with a double top set is all the rage with celebs.

I can’t neglect one of my all-time favorites in this discussion about pants. The jumpsuit makes getting dressed a no brainer. Jumpsuits are versatile, going from day to night with a quick change of accessories. An easy one-and-done ensemble, it flatters most any body type.

Finally, Wisconsinites wear shorts whether it is 40 or 100 degrees out, so get ready as cropped pants and culottes make way for Bermuda shorts. Also called “mom shorts,” Bermuda shorts typically hover just above the knee and are styled with a belt at the waist. In leather, denim, corduroy, satin, nylon, and many other types, these shorts are pleated, pocketed, and even embellished. They are great paired with cropped tees and sweaters or blazers and delicate blouses alike.

So, step outside your style box this season, step out of your skinny jeans, and try a new pant on for style!