Tracy James of ChicMadeSimple joins us today with her take on the season’s hottest printed shorts and pants. Welcome, Tracy!
“Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.” OK, so Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada had a point. But it wouldn’t be spring if we weren’t ditching our dark winter duds for bright prints. While florals (feminine to funky) certainly abound for spring/summer 2015, a variety of other patterns are splashing their way across garments this season, as well. Of those garments, my hands-down favorites are the cute, semidressy shorts in stores now. (Full disclosure: I have a bit of a shorts addiction, owning no less than 20 pair.) Not comfortable in shorts? Not to worry … there are just as many super chic printed pants out there that offer the same advantages as the shorts: eye-catching style and fabulous comfort.
My affinity for printed shorts and pants is in part because I like fashion that defies predictability. When I work with clients who are style beginners, I initially teach them to “paint by the numbers,” so to speak. Solid-colored, wardrobe staple bottoms, paired with printed tops. But once they have that down, I offer tips and tricks to spice things up—how to mix patterns, create creative color combos, etc. Or, simply reversing the initial formula, and selecting printed bottoms and solid tops. There’s something about boldly printed shorts and pants that seems slightly impractical and thus frivolously fun. As if to say, “Take THAT, boring black pants and khaki shorts!”
A question I often receive is, “Can women with pear-shaped figures wear print on the bottom?” The answer is YES. To borrow a phrase from my mentor, stylist Tim Gunn, I am a “make it work” kind of girl. Dressing to flatter involves camouflaging those areas we aren’t crazy about and highlighting our attributes, and while there are many tricks of the trade to achieve this, in most cases, keeping proportion in check is key. Therefore, if you are pear-shaped, a slim ankle or track style printed pant, paired with a loose top may be a better bet than a loose, flowy, palazzo pant. That said, I am a big fan of wearing what you love and what makes you happy, so if you love the printed palazzo pants, wear ’em! Just pair with a shorter, more fitted top to avoid looking overwhelmed or tented.
When it comes to shorts, many ask about proper length. Inseams range from 3-inch to full Bermuda, and your choice is a personal preference based on age, leg shape, etc. The 3- and 4-inch inseams are the most prevalent, but if you are more comfortable in a longer length, selecting a slim cut will keep the look current.
So pick the printed britches that speak to you—floral, abstract, graphic, painterly—there is an option for everyone. Find the one that best expresses your own personal style.
Interested in donning this look? It’s easy, as local stores are chock-full of playful prints this season. Here are some of my top picks: