There are two types of people in the world: Those who love pants, and those who loathe them. I’ve always fallen in the latter category. Since I lived in Los Angeles for the past four years, my wardrobe did not require pants. In fact, at one point, I only owned one pair of jeans because why wear pants when it’s not required? Alas, upon purging my wardrobe to move to New York City, I realized that the new climate would require the one thing my wardrobe was lacking. You guessed it: pants.
So in the name of explorative journalism, I decided to try to wear pants for a week, and to be honest, I failed miserably. In the beginning, it felt like a week of experimentation, but it quickly turned into feeling like I was forcing myself to wear pants. And while I failed to wear pants for seven days in a row (I can’t become a pant person overnight), I did manage to tolerate and—dare I say—like pants at the end of my journey. So for my anti-pant people everywhere, here are small trials you can do at home to rip off the Band-Aid and put some pants on. I promise it won’t hurt.
Trial #1: Try on a suit.
Okay, my anti-pant people—I know you might have nightmares about ill-fitting jeans, but I’m here to remind you that there are other types of pants in the world that aren’t denim. As someone who spent no time in pants for four years and loathes most denim, I decided that elevated slacks would be an easy way to rip the Band-Aid off. In fact, suiting, which is one of the season’s biggest trends, is the easiest way to slip into a pair of pants. Plus, who wouldn’t want to wear a velvet suit?
If you’re not committed to jumping into a full-blown relationship with pants yet, may I introduce jumpsuits? Like many before, I found shopping for pants—both new and secondhand—draining, but with jumpsuits, the stress is gone. This secondhand Guess sweater-jumpsuit was as easy to put on as a dress, and I ended up throwing it on every time I was running late. Basically, a jumpsuit is like a chic set of training wheels for the pant novice.
Trial #3: Embrace the idea of leather pants.
I knew that if I were going to do this whole pant thing, then I was going to try leather pants. I'm here to report back, my friends, that they aren’t that scary. They’re basically like jeans but way better. In fact, I couldn’t stop re-wearing these faux-leather patent pants from Good American. The key to pulling them off, I found, is picking a pair that works for you—i.e., in fit and fabric—and then pairing them with something über-cozy (like this Rails sweater) to balance out the look.
Trial #4: Opt for a flare fit.
So you’ve made it this far, and you’re starting to become a seasoned pant person. It’s time for the next level: jeans. Before you roll your eyes, let me state the obvious. Jeans can be problematic, especially for anyone who's pant-averse. Not only are they not appropriate for most traditional workspaces, but finding a pair you love on your body is no easy feat. That being said, I found the key to pulling them off at work is all in the styling. When I opted for a dark-wash flare fit from DL1961 and paired it with my favorite secondhand Fendi bag from LePrix, I found that jeans can, in fact, look polished enough for work—so much so that they also have the power to convince the most anti-denim person that denim is—gasp—not that bad after all.
Trial #5: When in doubt, go vintage.
As a curvier woman, I found shopping for jeans rather demoralizing. But in truth, I just didn’t know what I liked, nor what sizing would be best for me. In challenging myself to wear pants, I had to find out what types of cuts, washes, and fits I wanted. It took time, but eventually, I found a good vintage pair of jeans that I actually feel comfortable wearing (at least on the weekends). What I’d suggest for anyone looking for jeans is to give themselves time. Go to Nordstrom or a thrift shop and try on every type of fit and wash until you have a clear idea of the type of jean person you are because that’s half the battle.
Trial #6: Don't doubt the power of basic pants.
I must admit that I really was trying to avoid the whole basic-pant lecture—but it’s inevitable. Anyone whose wardrobe lacks pants must accept the hard fact that you should own at least one pair of pants you call your staple pants. You can opt for skinny jeans, you can opt for black slacks, or you can opt for black jeans (like I did), but on the coldest of days, your legs will thank you. I can attest to the fact that having a great pair of jeans that are stretchy enough (like these Good American ones) to be layered underneath for the colder winter days is necessary. And with time, this “basic” piece will become not so basic.
Trial #7: Invest in a statement pair.
Part of my contemptuous relationship with pants can also be attributed to the fact that I don’t want to be spotted in the same pair of skinny jeans as everyone else. If you’re anything like me, I highly recommend investing in a unique pair to avoid falling into the basic-pant trope. I never thought I’d be able to believe in love at first sight with a pair of pants, but these two-tone pants from Choosy had the most skeptical pant person believing in love. And while that seems like a lie considering the fact that a few weeks ago I wouldn’t dare step near the pant rack, what I’ve learned from this experiment is that I will always love a good pleated skirt or wrap dress, but the key to becoming a pant person is finding the pairs you really love.