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Trend spotting: How to swap in soft pants - PHOTOS

blog by Alyssa Hood  • 

Hallelujah. There is a new pant style besides the skinny jean.

And guess what? They are the sweatpants’ cousin! Thank you, thank you, thank you. It is now totally acceptable to leave the house wearing cotton pants with a drawstring.

Soft pants are here to stay, and I am not surprised. When they first came out, we girls were a little intimidated by their shape.

Baggy at the top and tight at the bottom, the pants made me wonder—in what world are these flattering?

For people not up to date on trends (ahem, most guys) you may have most likely received a comment from them like ,“What, are you bustin’ a sag today?”

The crazy part is that even though the inseam may be a little lower than your regular pants, somehow these can shape your body into something awesome.

With slight pleats at the top and a definitive low waistband, these pants actually let you wear them instead of them wearing you. Your jeans just can’t compete.

In all seriousness, every girl knows jeans give you anxiety. Will they fit right today? Are they the right wash of denim? Are these daytime jeans or nighttime jeans? Are they going to stretch? Are they going to be comfortable in the car?

These are just a few of the questions that give us a furrowed brow when staring into our closet each morning.

Finding the right pair of jeans is such a hassle for women these days that it has become an actual business opportunity. There are now denim boutiques everywhere dedicated to finding you your dream pair. (Editor’s note: Ask Avery once investigated boyfriend jeans, and then tackled men’s jeans, too—which, let’s face it, can also be a struggle).

It sounds delightful, right? Don’t get me wrong, I love shopping, but for some reason, my blood pressure spikes the second I walk into a denim shop and the salesperson starts shoving different options at me.

Obviously, it’s easy for them to be excited. They aren’t the ones wiggling their legs into unforgiving fabric in an overheated dressing room crossing their fingers they won’t look ridiculous, all the while being begged to come out into the store to “show them off.”

Please. To quote that sad curly-haired woman in “Happy Gilmore,” “Mista Mista, get me out of here!”

So all I am asking is that you put your jean anxiety aside for a day (or maybe even two) and make the swap for soft pants. You are probably going to love them so much that they double as your sleepwear. Shhh, I won’t tell anyone.

Not only will you be capable of cartwheeling down the street wearing these trousers, but you will also look like you came straight off a NYFW runway sporting this spring’s hottest trend.

Now, you are absolutely not allowed to throw these pants on with sneakers or worse: Uggs. Since they are already pretty relaxed looking, make sure the rest of your outfit stays classy. A chic pair of leopard flats or booties works perfectly. If I can sport them in the snow so can you.

It is important to avoid covering up even an inch of the pants with a knee-high boot or a long shirt. The thick waistband and drawstring along with the definition of the ankle is what makes these pants special.

Now shopping local in Buffalo is always encouraged, but if you are ever looking for a specific trend like this that you can’t find, I promise you that the Walden Galleria’s H&M will have it.

H&M is dedicated to studying runways and replicating pieces at a cost that your wallet will appreciate.

A flaw of mine is the inability to find basics when I shop, so naturally these fun pants caught my eye when I was there. 

As I snatched them up, I knew I wouldn’t have a simple shirt to go with them, so I skimmed the racks to find my pants a loving partner. I needed a shirt that had structure to offset the looseness of the pants.

This white t-shirt-style top boasted a heavy fabric quality that I liked and was the perfect length of short to keep me from looking like one of Britney Spears’ back-up dancers. 

(If I had chosen a regular long, white, cotton t-shirt to go with these pants, I might as well be a homeless person or ready for basketball pre-game warm-ups).

Unfortunately, looking down at my finds I was disappointed in my color choices: gray and white.

For some reason, H&M takes me to Europe, so I always picture what I would wear walking down a cobblestone street in Italy, straight off my cute mint-colored Vespa with perfectly blown-out hair. Yes, everything is prettier Europe.

I knew I could add a pop of color with red lipstick, but when I saw this crimson hat that was born and bred from a classic fedora, my Italian get-away outfit was complete.

That’s the best part about H&M. They have so many options that you can peruse and within minutes pull together a refreshing new look for yourself using trends that first walked the runway in Milan.

Now you don’t have to break up with your jeans, but playing hard to get never hurt anyone.

Show them that they don’t own you by mixing in a pair of soft pants. An open mind and some originality can go a long way. Your jeans will still be there IF and when you ever go back.

(All photos are courtesy of Buffalo.com photographer Don Nieman. You can see his other work for the website here).

TAGGED: alyssa hood, don nieman, fashion, fashion week, h&m, photos, pierce arrow building, walden galleria

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