Figure Flattery and Full Leg Pants

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Wardrobe Oxygen in the Universal Standard Tresa Wide Leg pants and Viva Boatneck with Jenny Bird jewelry and a Clare V. Foldover Clutch

In yesterday's post on what to wear to a movie premiere, I mentioned I recently got the Universal Standard Tresa Wide Leg Pant in petite.  I figured it made sense to show the pants with the blouse on me to help explain the look I created in the blog post.  In the post I suggested the Universal Standard Viva Boatneck also in navy; I ordered that blouse but have yet to receive it so I used the same blouse in white (see me wear it previously in this blog post).  This is a look that can transition beautifully into cooler seasons, but for this post, I dressed it for late summer.

Wardrobe Oxygen in the Universal Standard Tresa Wide Leg pants and Viva Boatneck with Jenny Bird jewelry and a Clare V. Foldover Clutch

blouse | pants | earrings | bracelet | shoes | bag

Wardrobe Oxygen in the Universal Standard Tresa Wide Leg pants and Viva Boatneck with Jenny Bird jewelry and a Clare V. Foldover Clutch

Blouse: Viva Boatneck c/o Universal Standard (XS) | Pants: Petite Tresa Wide Leg c/o Universal Standard (XS Petite) | Earrings: Monogram Hoops c/o Jenny Bird | Bracelet: Chloe Cuff c/o Jenny Bird | Shoes: Bella Vita | Bag: Clare V. (sold out; similar at a lower price)


Universal Standard Tresa Wide Leg pants in petite as seen on wardrobe oxygen

For those curious about the fit of these full leg pants, these are the XS Petite, unaltered, straight from the box.  For reference, I usually wear a 32 or 14 petite in pants and jeans. The pants do run high on the waist and if you don't have much of a curve at the waist or a round rear they may slide down a bit and be drop crotch. the belt is separate and long enough to be creative with (think how pretty it would be in a bow), the pockets are deep.  The back is made for a booty with tiny pleats to offer additional fabric.  The material has a bit of stretch and definitely a lustre like a pearl or matte satin. 

Wardrobe Oxygen in the Universal Standard Tresa Wide Leg pants and Viva Boatneck with Jenny Bird jewelry and a Clare V. Foldover Clutch

When I started Wardrobe Oxygen, I was all about figure flattery.  Choose clothing to highlight your assets and minimize your problems.  Choose looks to elongate the legs, create more of an hourglass shape, whittle the waist, hide the arms and tummy, make the body look taller and leaner.  Thing is, the older I got the less I cared about these things.  I want clothes that express me, that let me be me.  The rules for figure flattery were essentially saying my body was wrong and I needed to “fix” it.  And the older I got, the more I came to love this body just the way it was.  No matter what I wear, I will still be the same weight, the same height.  I found that clothes that fit and are the right length do more for flattering the body than following those rules, and when my clothes made me uncomfortable, no matter how waist-whittling and leg-elongating they are, I won't look good.  This outfit is a good example – it's not following any rules for figure flattery.  The pants make me look shorter and even shorter waisted.  The volume of the blouse hides much of my waist.  The shoes… well they're beat up and not trendy but they are comfortable and I love something about a full leg pant with a pair of flat sandals.  Point is, this look does not define figure flattery… but it does define me.

Wardrobe Oxygen in the Universal Standard Tresa Wide Leg pants and Viva Boatneck with Jenny Bird jewelry and a Clare V. Foldover Clutch

I love clothes that move and feel good on my skin.  I love a pair of pants that swish like an evening gown but let me sit comfortably and shove my hands in pockets.  I love pieces that look simple at first glance, but then you notice draping and pleats and other details that add interest and allure. I love this bag, it was terribly overpriced but I seem to find so many outfits that seem made for it (see it worn here and here). And I love opportunities to wear badass jewelry; I used to only wear silver as I am a “Winter,” but gold makes me happy so it now has equal space in my jewelry armoire.

Wardrobe Oxygen in the Universal Standard Tresa Wide Leg pants and Viva Boatneck with Jenny Bird jewelry and a Clare V. Foldover Clutch

Life is short.  Wear what makes you feel good.  What is right for you may not be what is popular or cool or “flattering” but if it tells your story or makes you feel fantastic when you wear it, wear it.  Confidence is always more stylish than a whittled waist.

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  1. Interestingly enough, I’m the opposite – even though I’m supposed to be a deep & warm autumn, the sorts of colours in which I get the most compliments are often ones like hot pink, bright yellow & lime green. I desperately tried incorporating more earth tones like khaki & burgundy into my wardrobe but I think most people could see that I’m most comfortable in bright colours. When you’re at your most comfortable & relaxed, it shows on your face & in your demeanor. To me, that’s much more stylish than trying to force yourself into a box.

  2. 99% of the rules in fashion (and design) are made by people who want to be uncomfortable! A perfect world is to be be curled up on a good looking, yet comfy sofa, in clothes that make us feel our best. Comfort can look amazing…just like you in this classic outfit!

  3. Looks great on you and I love the idea that the fabrics feel so nice. I am a curvy size 14 but my curves are between waist and hip, not the bustline. Most of the time I am glad to not have what my friends tell me is the burden of large breasts. But when it comes to outfits like this, or dresses without a defined waist , I do think bigger breasts or at least wider shoulders would be nice because on me the only part of the body with any volume is the belly. C’est la vie.

  4. Well, I just loved the way this looked on you that I bought the whole outfit for me. Hope I look as good as you do!

  5. I love this outfit on you. You look great in everything you wear. I have a stomach so I don’t think I can wear paper bag pants, but I do love them and the wide legs!

  6. I’m an “Autumn” and while gold does flatter me more, I wear both gold and silver. Likewise for fabric colors. It’s too stressful to stay within the rules of what an Autumn should wear, not to mention dull. If I want to wear a bright fuchsia or cobalt, the world will keep on turning. I think these types of rules can inform my decision, but ultimately it’s my choice.

  7. Love your words and the total idea of being at home with who you are. Plus the outfit looks great. Thanks, Alison!

  8. Spot on, Alison! Totally true that if we love what we are wearing, that is the surest way to looking good. Spunk and confidence are the key!

  9. I’ve been curious about high waisted, wide leg and paperbag waisted pants on our shape. I love these and don’t think they make you look shorter or anything. I wish the pants were more affordable- but I would love them. Pants are so tough because my shape is always shifting and I hate to spend much money on them- not an investment if I change sizes frequently.

    Can you feature other ways to style the wide leg pants and paper bag pants? Maybe other offering from other shops?

    1. I agree – I also have been wondering about paper bag pants. I bought a pair of paper bag capris at the beginning of the summer, and I haven’t worn them once, questioning what to wear with them. I’m going to go on a hunt for an elegant blouse that can be tucked in this weekend. Any other ideas would be welcomed!

      1. This is a fabulous and classy look on you. I’ve always loved a feminine white blouse with waist high pants. And, if the pants are wide legged, even better. I’m definitely a candidate for this look and styling. Thank you.

  10. I think you can read minds. Just feeling this way recently. Thanks for reaffirming us. When you can match style and comfort it’s a win win. You are very talented and special.

  11. Well, that settles it. Only question is “Do I get the navy or caramel color?”

    I love this look on you. Comfort (in clothing and your skin) go a long way. You’re making a statement by just putting on what you love.

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