I have to wear pants to work (engineering/construction inspector). Unfortunately it’s a field of men, so I don’t have a lot of examples to look to, hehe. I would love to see a piece on how to make a utilitarian pants outfit more interesting (and no, I can’t do it with shoes…steel-toed boots are a must)! I just feel like I wear the same outfit in different colors all the time.
Ahhh, there are so many fun things that we women can do to jazz up pants-based ensembles. Here are just a few suggestions:
If you’re confined to pants, why not invest in some pants with personality? If red, green, and electric blue pants are too over-the-top for ya, navy, maroon, and olive are all fantastic options, too. Color is always a marvelous way to enliven your looks, and challenging yourself to incorporate some new shades into those pant-based ensembles is a great way to branch out.
Artistic or funky patterns instantly add spice to otherwise bland outfits. I’m not big on patterned pants, but texture and pattern in tops is always a good bet. For a more conservative look, put a graphic blouse in subdued tones beneath a blazer or cardigan. Turn up the heat a little by swapping in a blouse with a brightly colored pattern. Or if you want the pattern to be the focal point, go for a patterned blazer, cardigan, or other outer layer.
Just because you’re wearing pants doesn’t mean you have to confine yourself to blouses, sweaters, and tees. Mix up your proportions by throwing a few tunics into the mix. Since Tiffany is doing steel-toed boots, she may have a tough time finding a pair of slim-fitting pants that look natural. And although tunics often look best with skinny or slim pants, they can work with bootcut and widelegs if done right. Go for a close-fitting style, a belted version, or a shirt-dress design with some structure and fitting.
Hopefully those of you required to stick to trousers for work can add a few embellishments here and there. Throw a belt under your blazer, tuck a vibrant scarf beneath your cardigan, or grab a bright leather handbag.
“Utilitarian” and “jewelry” don’t always play nicely together, but there are a few pieces that can be beautifully unfussy. Brooches sit close enough to the body to pose few risks, and some simple rings are often both decorative and durable. Long necklaces and earrings may seem like overkill, but tasteful studs and simple chains will work wonders to add elegance to a pared-down ensemble.
Those of you who work in labs or factories and are required to wear pants but DON’T have Tiffany’s footwear restrictions, I’d encourage you to explore fun and funky shoes, too. Expressive and interesting shoes needn’t be heeled, expensive, or uncomfortable! There are loads of brands and styles out there designed for comfort and ease-of-wear. And there’s hardly a thing in the world more happy-making than a darling pair peeking out from beneath your pant leg.
Top image courtesy Old Navy.
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Originally posted 2011-02-17 06:23:08.