I finally get around to hemming my soft pants, and it rains for a week. Figures. But what are “soft pants”, you say? Isn’t that just an adjective, and not an actual type of pants? Harem pants, palazzo pants, challis pants….I believe all of these are encompassed by the genus “soft pants.”
Some people believe that ‘soft pants’ are basically pajamas that lazy Americans suddenly decided were ok to wear in public. I beg to differ. For one thing, the materials are completely different. At least, both of the pairs I have are made from rayon, while all of my pajamas are either cotton or polyester. Rayon is a material often used for delicate skirts and blouses, given its light, fluid movement. Thus, instead of simply looking like overly-loose pants reserved for the task of crawling in and out of bed, they have a flow and a gracefulness to them. Not only are they elegant looking, but they are breezy and cool, and therefore the perfect pants for summer. Afterall, they did originate in the Middle East. And Americans weren’t the first to try to emulate them. They were first brought to the west by a French designer named Paul Poiret, as an attempt to “liberate” women’s fashion …and while I’m not totally sure how one can “liberate” clothing, I certainly am grateful for the freedom of movement afforded by pants (but then, I’ve been a tomboy all my life and never partcularly enjoyed wearing skirts, except to special events).
Some people migh be afraid that because these are thin, soft pants, they will be “clingy” or “revealing”, but I find this not to be the case. The flowy material lets them flow away from the body, instead of clinging to it, making them uniquely comfortable. These were the first pair of pants I could wear after surgery when I was going crazy wearing nothing but pj’s and sweatpants for two weeks straight (I will keep this in mind for after a pregnancy!)
And while you may think these pants are only casual, they can actually be worn successfully in all sorts of circumstances (by “successfully” worn I mean that you elicit neither amused nor derisive stares from the peanut gallery). You can pair some wide-leg (“palazzo”) pants with heels and a blazer to work, or with heels and a statement necklace and clutch to a dinner out. Of course, the most common pairing is sandals and a tank top, afterall, it’s summer, right? Today my look is a slight variation on this. Instead of a tank top, I have paired my structured chambray shirt with my soft pants for some fun contrast, while still staying casual. Don’t let those people wandering around Walmart in their pajamas keep you from trying a pair- they’re the best!
(Pants: TJMaxx, Shirt: LlBean, Purse:Garnet Hill)