I have been thinking about pants for a while, and about what constitutes flattering pants for my figure type. Kate’s recent post on Jan 13 gave me the push I needed. The article discusses different variations of the classic pants shape suitable for various figure types.

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But I very seldom wear classic pants and I don’t wear jeans. Ever. I do like jeans on other people and this is not a value judgement. I wore them a lot from my early teens, when they appeared on the fashion radar in Europe, to my early fifties. Then I saw the light and realised that they did me no favours.

Just to be clear on this. A pair of jeans on a slim and leggy woman looks fantastic.

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If I could look like that I would be wearing jeans. With bells on. But the reality is that I am a pronounced pear. Short legs, big bum and thighs, not to mention saddlebags. Even when I was very slim it was an uphill battle to find jeans that made me look good. These days I am a couple of kilos above the normal weight range, which is eons above the weight of that model. Not to mention the long legs >sigh<. No matter what I do to my body, it will never look like that.

A few years ago I got serious about wanting a flattering jeans pattern and did some comparisons of different ones to see what looked best on me.

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Clearly, the pink pair on the left are the worst. This taught me to steer clear of any pattern that curves in below the hips.

The middle pair is actually not a jeans pattern but a classic straight leg pant that I used as a comparison to see if jeans looked any good on me at all. They do. The ones on the right look fine. They taper in a straight line towards the ankle without the curve inwards of the pink pair.

But I was 6-8 kgs lighter when these pictures were taken. And I still wore high heels and platforms happily every day. This makes quite a difference to proportions if you have short legs like me.

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This is the difference in look from bare feet or flats, to medium high heels to very high platforms. Alas, I have sworn off high heels and platforms for everyday wear. I am now only willing to undergo this torture for special occasions, which means pretty rarely. Since I have discovered the daily comfort of flats, style has had to take a back seat. The fact that you need full mountaineering kit to get up to our new house from the car port may have had something to do with it too.

So my high heels have been shown the door, my jeans pattern has been retired and my dress pants are hanging out in the back of my wardrobe, twiddling their thumbs and waiting for a meeting with an important corporate customer to see the light of day. I still take care to dress conservatively for the latter. But in my ordinary day to day life I have thrown caution to the wind. Instead of striving for long, lean and leggy I have gone for short and round. Of course the quest for the perfect pair of pants goes on, but it is no longer in the least about crotch curves and drag lines, but about proportion and a pleasing overall silhouette. If you are a shape like me and interested in liberating yourself from the tyranny of conforming to the classic pants shape, then read all about my ongoing quest in my next post.

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