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September 13, 2011 / HL

Style Files | How to Wear Colored Pants

Everybody Everywear does a monthly style challenge for bloggers. This month’s challenge – The Colored Pants. I remember when I started to see this trend crop up, I think I moaned. Sheesh? What is this? A throw back to middle school? I had images of 12-year old me in braces and awful color slouchy jeans. But as the summer dragged on, I realized this trend is forreal so I finally ventured myself into colored pants (again). Once I tried some on, I realized that these skinny versions are definitely more grown up then the bright red jean shorts I had back in the day. Suddenly, the styling opportunities were endless! Here are some of my favorites out there:

AG Stevie Ankle Anthro

Row 1: AG Stevies in Kelly Green, Pilcro in Moss, Rag and Bone in Cobalt Row 2: Gap in Bright Watermelon, J Brand in Red, Zara in Pink

How to wear colored pants/jeans:

Beginner Level – Wear with neutrals

If you are shy about this bold trend, I recommend pairing your colored pants with neutral tops (black, white, grey) and keeping shoes simple. This way, your pants are the main statement piece of your outfit and they can stand out among the neutrals. If you want to step it up a notch, you can mix the colored pants with a simple patterned top (stripes, polka dots) also in neutral colors.

Color pants with neutrals

Advanced Level – Mix-and-Match

You can take it to the next level by adding color, patterns, or both, depending upon how comfortable you are with color. I know that most people are afraid of being too colorful, so you can ease into this. The first look below (left) incorporates a patterned top that highlights the same color from the pants. The subtle yellow in the otherwise neutral patterned top is an easy pairing with the yellow pants. The second look (center) features the color-blocking technique, which uses analogous colors (colors close on the color wheel) since blue and green are color neighbors. Color blocking also works with complimentary colors (opposites on the color wheel) or triadic (three colors spaces equally apart). I recommend watching Wendy’s pairing video on color blocking if you want know more about this styling method. The last look(right) incorporates both styling techniques – color blocking and patterns – since the yellow patterned top is complimentary to the purple pants.

color pants and patterned tops

Here’s my rendition of the color pants which I wore on a date night with Dub-C. I did a mix of keeping it simple with the white top but color blocking with the orange shoes.

what I wore

Lace top and green denim (Zara), Shoes (Seychelles Gypsy)I picked up the top and pants during my trip last week to NYC, since again, there’s not a Zara in Seattle. Luckily for all of us, Zara finally started online shopping last week, so hooray!

I had some hesitation about buying the orange shoes, but I think that they can work with a lot of my outfits since I’m not scared of color. In fact, I get a lot of wear on my colored shoes (purple, yellow, blue, etc). I’m loving these Seychelle Gypsy sandals. I think the biggest challenge would be to try to transition these shoes into the fall!

I love the top with its scalloped edges. Even though it’s white, the lace gives the top a lot of texture and a feminine touch. I like the way it instantly dresses up the pants. Here are some last tips for wearing this trend:

  • Pick a pair of pants with a color that you are comfortable with. I find that the cool colors (green, blues, purples) may be easier for starters.
  • Fit is everything, so don’t get a pair if the fit bothers you. I tried on many that I didn’t like on me (J. Brand, AG, Gap…) until I found these ones that work for my body.
  • Lastly, because of the stretch that is in many of these pants, check with a sales associate about how much they will stretch out. Many SAs I’ve talked to recommend buying pants that are initially very tight when you try them on because they will stretch. And yes, sagging jeans are a no-no.

Good luck all! I would love to hear about what your decide to wear with your colored jeans. Check out the other girls of EBEW and see how they styled their colored pants:

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Leave a Comment
  1. claracasey / Sep 13 2011 8:33 AM

    I love that pant/shoe combination! I like pairing colored pants with a tan shirt…I think it adds some sophistication to the look!


  2. BiblioMOMia (@BiblioMOMia) / Sep 13 2011 8:51 AM

    ACKS! I love the green and lace and orange shoes! I have a similar lace top, and it might just be making an appearance with my red pants and teal shoes. Thanks for the inspiration! I found you through EBEW–stop by and say hi if you get the chance.

  3. Style Journey / Sep 13 2011 11:24 AM

    Really good tips on the colored denim. Love the scalloped top and those orange shoes are just fantastic! I am not scared of color either, so I just love this whole outfit! Heather

  4. Salazar / Sep 13 2011 11:34 AM

    Love the orange sandals paired with the green pants!

    14 Shades Of Grey

  5. gcampanale / Sep 13 2011 11:45 AM

    I love this blog post!

  6. Meggy / Sep 13 2011 1:20 PM

    I LOOOOOVE how you’ve worn your colored pants – first, great color of pants – more unexpected than all the blues and reds flying around, and love the lace with the bright pop of coral shoes. cute!

    Meggy from Chasing Davies

  7. Pheobe / Sep 13 2011 2:51 PM

    What a great pairing of colors–loving the coral shoes with the blue/green-ish pants. So unexpected, but definitely lovely.


  8. Linda W / Sep 13 2011 4:32 PM

    The pants with the orange shoe is brilliant. A great way to play off the green. I love that.
    Thanks for joining us at EBEW!

  9. Erica / Sep 13 2011 5:58 PM

    Love the color combo and the top!

    Erica from Feasting on Life

  10. Terri / Sep 13 2011 7:00 PM

    You have some great advice here (I’m partial to Rag and Bone’s Cobalt color). But the shoes with these pants are excellent.

  11. Audrey Tom / Sep 13 2011 8:22 PM

    The top is beautiful! I love the outfit with the Gypsy sandals too.

    Audrey @ Putting Me Together

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