Wardrobe Essential – Party Pants


Let’s start with a definition:

Party pants n.  A pair of trousers that boast a unique, loud, usually colorful pattern.   Style and cut vary widely, the essential element is that, when worn, the pants bring a smile to your face and to those around you.  Usage note: Party pants are not to be worn to work, or to formal affairs.  They are used for those special occasions when you need a clothing pick-me-up, or when you know you’re in for a night of unabashed revelry.   


The fun of the Party Pants is that when you put them on, you know you’re going to have a good time, no matter where you are. The bright colors on these Tibi pants makes me think of a sunny paradise, even if it’s the dead of winter.

I’ve always had some variation of party pants in my closet.  Currently, I’m wearing this pair of black watch plaid pants from J.Crew. 

These might not appear terribly outrageous unless you know that this is the exact plaid of my high school uniform skirt.  It took me more than 20 years to be able to wear this pattern again.  When one of my former classmates sees me wearing these pants , they cringe.  But, then they laugh, and that’s why they are party pants.

And, as I noticed from the November issue of W Magazine, they really aren’t that dated.  If Rag & Bone has plaid leggings, they must be hip.

Unlike the model in the photo above, for us regular gals, I think it’s critical that you wear the party pants with a neutral top and shoes. 

Tropica Crops from Anthropologie

Vogue‘s November Index shows an abundance of floral pants, a trend for Spring 2012.

How could anyone resist those luscious, hot pink floral pants by Roberto Cavalli?

I love the Citizens of Humanity white, floral denim pants, on the right side of the page.  The pattern resembles the wallpaper in my grandmother’s powder room.  Fun!

You might question why I list the Party Pant as an essential wardrobe element, since they lose their cachet if they’re worn too often.  Whether they come in the form of a skinny jean or a pajama pant, Party Pants transcend trends, so they can be kept in your closet for many years.  In fact, party pants improve with age, and the passage of years will serve to endear them to you even more.  Better yet, hang on to your favorite party pants and pass them on to the next generation.  The sage people of Brooks Brothers have been doing this for years.

 Don’t get carried away on the Party Pant train.  You want to be fun and funny, but you don’t want to look like a joker.

See you at the next party!


Images, top to bottom: Tibi, W Magazine, Anthropologie, Vogue, Brooks Brothers.



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2 responses to “Wardrobe Essential – Party Pants

  1. I’m so glad that floral pants are cool! I’m making a pair because winter needs flowers, you know? This post is extremely validating. Thanks.

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