Closet Staples: The Ever Faithful Black Pants

Who can argue with black pants? Perfect for packing, perfect to go with lots of different tops, perfect for dress-up evenings, and perfect for most body types. What else is there to know?

Here are a few style tips that we will demonstrate in today’s outfits.

  • First of all, keep the style of your black pants up to date. You’ll be wearing them a lot and they will either give your outfit a stylish edge and make you look, despite your efforts, out of date.
  • Next, pick the fabric of your black pants with care for several reasons:
    • There are many different shades of black. Make sure the ones you buy match other blacks in your closet.
    • Black pants pick up lint. We all know this, but some fabrics are worse than others. Cotton is tough as well as some synthetic blends. The good news about a wool blend is that you’ll have lint but it is easier to remove. Before you make your purchase, experiment with other light-colored items in the store to see about “lintiness”.
  • Black pants may be dark and therefore forgiving in terms of our figure flaws, but it is still important to be a tough critic of your look before you go out. You may need Spanx or you may just need to iron your pants very well.
  • Make sure they are the right length. If there was ever a time to buy two pairs of identical pants and hem each for a different heel height, this is it!
  • Finally, cut is very important. You want to make sure the cut of your black pants is both stylish and timeless so your investment will last more than one season. Here are the cuts we recommend:
    • Cropped and slim (sometimes called pencil or matchstick pants): this cut is flattering on most, depending on how skinny you go, and also is very in right now.
    • Slim and full length: again, very flattering and super stylish. This cut looks great with both flats and heels.
    • Bootcut or slight flare: this style is perennially stylish and looks great with heels. Be careful though – a bootcut with flats can make your legs look shorter.

JBJ 12-20-12 1JBJ 11-13-12 2

Ankle pants: Cynthia Steffe (similar)

Jeanne says: Black for me is kind of like an empty canvas and usually the backdrop for a great jacket or sweater. Since I’m all about ankle pants this year, these are the black pants you’ll see me wearing. Interesting note: if your black pants are ankle length, they go with heels and flats – no need to buy two pairs to hem at different lengths!black pants collage

Black jeans: DL1961; Bootcut pants: Gap; Ankle pants: J.Crew Factory

Kate says: I like to have a variety of black pants, although I’ll agree with Mom that I’m mostly wearing ankle pants this year. In the far left photo above, I’m actually wearing black jeans, which have been one of my most-worn wardrobe additions. I can dress them down like normal jeans, or dress them up for work or going out.

What are your favorite pairs of black pants? How do you wear them?

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