the papercraft lab

Fall Capsule Wardrobe - Where Are My Pants?

About the LabAnandiRCComment

I'm about a week into using my capsule wardrobe and loving it. Which is not surprising since so much of it is brand new. I love new clothes, especially this time since I didn't buy the cheapest thing in front of me without trying it on. Everything I bought fits and looks good.

Today's post is about pants. I hate shopping for pants only slightly less than shopping for a swimsuit. My waist and hips are at least two sizes apart, which makes it a challenge, and pretty much forces me to buy yoga pants and give up, or get pants altered. This fall, I chose the latter.

I chose a day to go shopping at my local Macy's and focused only on pants. I ate a good breakfast and got enough sleep the night before so I wouldn't be grouchy (er). 

Everyone over 35 raves about NYDJ brand jeans (short for Not Your Daughter's Jeans), but I just can't get over the fact that it sounds like an old lady brand. My daughter is 5, so I don't think I'll be confusing our jeans anytime soon.

However, I set aside my annoyance and tried on a few pairs. They were fine, decent, ok, but expensive and definitely needed to be hemmed. I wasn't in love.

And then I spotted them - a pair of Ralph Lauren dark-wash trouser jeans on the clearance rack. $24. They fit pretty well, but needed to be taken in at the waist and hemmed a few inches.

Turns out Macy's has alterations, just like my beloved Nordstrom, so I left them there and picked them up a few weeks later. They don't have any spandex in them, so they're not as stretchy-comfy as my other jeans or leggings, but they look nice. I wore them to our family photo shoot on Sunday.

Jones New York pants have always fit me well, though I only like their jeans. I bought a few random pairs on Amazon because they were SUPER cheap, but they didn't fit correctly.

However, one of those pairs was an awesome corduroy with teeny, tiny "lines" (I think it's called "microwale" officially). I looked them up on the Jones New York site and swooned when I saw they were available in grey (my favorite!) and an AMAZING plum color. I swooned again when I saw they were on sale for $30, with free shipping and returns, so I bit the bullet and ordered both.

Amazingly, they fit beautifully. Corduroy = fall to me and I love it. I haven't yet worn the grey pair, but the plum pair went on a lunch date with my husband (and me!).


I wanted a pair of nicer black pants - a wardrobe staple, right? But I just couldn't get into that suit-pant type fabric.

I saw these Alfani embossed leopard-print, slightly shiny pants and thought 1) not my style and 2) kinda bad-ass. I tried them on and OMG, it was love. So comfy and a nice straight leg cut. I'm unsure, but looking forward to wearing them. 

My last pair of new pants was a simple pair of charcoal grey leggings from Eddie Bauer.

I'll be surprised if my 4-year-old black leggings make it all the way through this 6 month season, so I wanted a "backup" pair and was delighted to find these in not-quite-black.

Eddie Bauer apparently has vanity sizing, because an XL is HUGE. They're not form-fitting and I was thinking of returning them, but decided I was ok with them being a little looser, which will make it easier to throw them in the dryer and not worry as much.  (I may regret that later. Live and learn.)

Besides these five fabulous pairs of new pants, I've got three pairs I already owned in this capsule. My favorite jeans are a dark wash stretchy straight leg by JAG, purchased at Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale last year and hemmed for free. I <3 Nordstrom.

Last year I decided I "needed" a pair of brown leggings and found this really cheap pair of French Terry ones on Amazon. They're very warm and toasty, but only look good under skirts and dresses. They don't really coordinate well with most of this capsule, but I love the way they look with my tall brown boots, so I kept them in. They may get relegated to the "loungewear" pile after this season since they are not particularly versatile.

Finally, I have a pair of black Evans leggings purchased immediately post-nursing in 2010. I wasn't sure about them at first, but really grew to love them under skirts and the occasional tunic. Sadly the store I bought them from has gone out of business, so the only way to order from Evans is online without free returns, so when these die (which they will soon) there won't be more.

In total, that's 8 pairs of pants (that fit!), which is actually MORE than I've ever had at once. Most of them are neutral colored so they coordinate well with nearly every top. I love having so many options, and having choices I love makes me far less likely to just "give up" and resort to yoga pants. 

You can see my entire Fall/Winter capsule here:

So, what's your story with pants? Love 'em? A necessary evil?

See related posts at The Papercraft Lab