14 October 2018

Kenya: How Both Women and Men Could Wear Pants

It rarely ever seems anything is a trend that comes up, gets hot and goes out anymore.

Everything and anything seems to work in fashion. Take pantsuits for women.

They are not a common choice for us local folk. But there are women who wear them and little else. But if you look at pop culture, you would be forgiven for thinking pants are spanking new as a trend.

The cut is minimalist, with a cropped hem a la Janelle Monae.

The fit is as close to the body for women as it is for men. Until it comes to a formal red carpet event and there are full on tuxedos, blazers worn with nothing but the daring of youth underneath, bralettes, tee shirts, a basic white shirt and tie to a couture blouse.

The result is pantsuits have a reputation for being something tall, lean Amazons can wear because they have their pick of pants.

POWER SUITS

Here is the mind-blowing part. Trouser suits, aka pantsuits, aka power suits, have been walking around since 2016.

Come 2018, and any stylish female personality has been photographed in a pantsuit. The best part, they are nothing alike.

From long, fluid lines, bootcuts, cigarette pants, wide legged, straight legged, shorts, culottes, wrap blazers, one button, three button, double-breasted, oversized, second skin, high waisted, with vests, on the Duchess of Sussex, Naomi Campbell, Anyiko Owoko, Lucia Musau, curvy beauties like Avril, Amina Abdi to Akothee, supermodels, three-piece, with rubber soles, strappy sandals, court shoes, with lingerie, bralettes, cut out blazers -- you think it, someone has worn it.

Be it Chanel, Victoria Beckham, or local brands like Citti Official, The Undisputed Woman and The Suit Guru. Everything from 1950s menswear inspiration, 1970s sassy style, 1980s suits powered by shoulder pads to tuxedo cuts.

This all makes it sound like cake. Except it's not. Pantsuits are like any other trend.

There tends to be a fixation with specific versions and cuts even if they may not suit a body. Which is why it is great news that any kind of pantsuit is more than welcome.

What it takes is tailoring, fabric and fittings. When you buy a pantsuit, take it for further fitting with a trusty tailor.

DESIGNS

If you are having it made from scratch be sure to work closely with the design team. Look at the type of legs you have. Yes, because few people will tell you what's what.

If you are bow legged, you can pull off cigarette/peg/tuxedo pants. Fuller at the hips and butt? Think straight leg, wide legged and high waisted as well as a bootcut.

Athletic? High waisted and straight leg. Petite? Consider straight leg pants.

Of course, with pantsuits being what they are, you can have a selection of day/work and night/play options. Night time options could be anything from suede, velvet, embroidery, metallic, to sequinned.

And, you can break your suits. Don't get stuck on the idea of wearing it as a monochromatic outfit.

You just need to get your colour scheme sorted so that you can mix and match, and, by the way, you could wear those pants with vests, tee shirts, cardigans, waistcoats and shorts as separates, and the blazers can be paired with dresses, denim, corduroy and even leather, faux or else.

It makes pantsuits more interesting as separates than skirts tend to be.

Look beyond pinstripe, black, navy, grey, red and blue. Mull over bold prints, black and white, floral, Ankara. Don't make your pantsuit collection staid and predictable.

Mix up mustard or pinks and blues with yoursutisinstead of white shirts. Try black on black or sharp contrasts for edge.

Even though flats are welcome, be sure to hem your pants according to your preference. Nothing brings down a sweet look like an undecided pair of pants.

Even if that means asking the tailor to show you how to take your break up or down with pins and needles. Let pantsuits be something you enjoy.

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