Trend Alert: Feeling Fancy?!

For all of you ladies out there who would like to add a touch of whimsy to your spring ensembles, I have the perfect trend for you.  Fondly referred to as "Fancy Pants" by Ken Downing and Kareen Mallet, this trend is all about (you guessed it!) patterned pants.  P.S. I am including pants in bold colors in this category as well.

Not too long ago (maybe longer than I would like to admit), I remember my warm weather pant options being limited to cropped (ankle length was not available) light khaki, dark khaki, black and white.  If I wanted to go with the cargo look, I could find an olive, fatigue print and possibly navy.  That was it.  Boldly colored or patterned pants did not exist, and if they did, I can guarantee that you would probably get some crazy looks for wearing them.  I feel like I may have owned a pale pink pair at one point or another... I was such a risk taker!

Anywho, wearing "Fancy Pants" is a great way to change up your look without making to large of an investment.  You can play it safe with a solid bold color such as green, blue or pink, or jump in feet first and purchase a floral, animal print or other fun patterned pair.

Sticking to solids?  This is the perfect opportunity to colorblock, play with fun shoes or a patterned top.  A blazer or denim jacket/vest/shirt is a great way to tone down the look if you are tad nervous about the bold color.  Another option is to go for a monochromatic look.  The key for this to be successful is mixing shades of the same color or varying the textures of the pieces in the look (cableknit sweater, silk pants, etc).  If not, the look might fall flat.

Dress up a sporty pair of pants for a fun and playful look.


Pair a neutral top with a silky pair... keeping it cool and casual.

Tibi SS 12

Subtle patterns give the sense of a solid or more neutral piece.  More importantly, this look is a great example of mixing textures in a monochromatic look.

Tory Burch SS 12

Jumping right into a patterned pair?  Next, comes the question - what do I wear with them?  
Well, since mixing patterns has become such a giant trend, the answer is... anything goes!  However, if you want to come off looking polished vs looking like you got dressed in the dark, stick to these guidelines..

1.  Keep your top solid and simple.  Stick to neutral (white, khaki, grey, navy, black) no-fuss tees or blouses.
2.  Adding a blazer or denim jacket is a great way to tone the pattern down.
3.  A textured top (cableknits, tweeds, lace, etc) is a great way to keep things exciting.
3.  When mixing patterns, remember...
                - there must be one common color between patterns
                - one pattern should be on a smaller scale than the other
                - a great way to mix is by mixing a more structured pattern with a more fluid print
5.  If you decide to wear one print head-to-toe, it is best if it is broken up by a belt, peplum or some other accent.

Bold floral and simple top... fun, but polished.

Peter Som SS 12

Keeping a butterfly print chic with a blazer.
Erin by Erin Fetherston SS12

Mixing geometric with a fluid print... it will get you noticed, but still pleasing to the eye.

Milly SS 12

Breaking up a head-to-toe print with fringe... it works.

Jil Sander SS12

A pic of my fancy pants.  I love to break wear them with solids and color, but I am thinking about mixing some patterns soon... 

                                                                                                                    - Allison
*Photos courtesy of nymag.com.

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