Thursday, February 6, 2014

Building A Capsule Wardrobe: Pants and Shorts

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Let's get it straight, pants, are the greatest freedom. Pioneering for women to wear pants was one of the greatest things women like Gabrielle Chanel ever did. Now, I love dresses, skirts and feeling feminine, but I like to do this with a touch of manliness. The juxtaposition between male/ female is the perfect spot to reside in for me. Comfort, is a major factor for me when it comes to getting dressed, women who kill themselves to fit into something uncomfortable for days on end make me frustrated. A lot of primping and product application can be fun, but everyday it is just tiring. I am not a fan of lots of hairspray, product, etc. I do love to dress up and feel beautiful, but I do not like to sacrifice my sanity and comfort to achieve this. In the world of fashion, I often feel perplexed watching what I dub as 'overdressed' women. Posing in platform neon heels, a bikini and bangles for photos is confusing. Wearing heels on grass, is confusing. If you are going to an event like the races, or a picnic, please do not wear heels! I feel at odds with myself the second I step on to unsturdy ground in a heel- even if this is for a moment. I find flatform shoes confusing, they are just so unattractive! The list goes on, but at the end of the day, to each their own.

I wear jeans, a lot. For a while, when I had gone through a super girly phase, jeans really bothered me. I hated seeing them on everybody- all looking the same. The thing is though, it is comfortable, often warmer, and you CAN personalize your style even if you are simply 'in jeans'. These days they are also widely worn in dressier circumstances, with a good pump heel, or ankle boot they can elongate the legs and look amazing. Find a good brand and stick to it. For me I love Rag and Bone, J-Brand (they are worth the $$ because the fit it is incredible), Sass and Bide, Dr.Denim and One Teaspoon. 
I do prefer to wear trousers or jeans as an everyday thing- rather than when going out for dinner, to a show or the like. For occasional wear I will switch back to a skirt or dress. Don't underestimate how valuable a well tailored black trouser can be, they will come in handy, are great for the office or official business and work in summer or winter. I ensure I have a matching black blazer, just in case I want to suit up.

For years I thought shorts were for men in summer, for Mickey Mouse and for children. I didn't see that they had much of a place in a womens wardrobe. It took me a while to see how I could feel like they were appropriate and found a place in my own day-to-day. Now I wear them all summer, and consider them to be a staple- again, in my day-to day, I leave shorter shorts out of the office and prefer not to wear them out to an event or dinner. They certainly can be worn in dressier ways- when tailored correctly, I feel they can look rather nice. The trick is to get the proportions right. A short short with an exposing cami top feels to me like I am showing too much skin. A cami top and longer shorts, is a little better, but best suited to culottes. Shorter shorts I feel team up best with a shirt or tee which has full or 3/4 length sleeves. When it comes to buying denim shorts I tend to go up one or two sizes, so they are looser around the thigh area. It is more flattering that way, and gives you plenty of room to move. I don't mind the torn hems, as long as the overall short covers your butt (ensure you bend down when you try them on- just to check you actually can without exposing cheek!) and I tend to stay away from embellishment, at least when building the essential capsule wardrobe.

Here is the breakdown of my 'Must Have Pants and Shorts For Any Woman':
- 1x Dark Denim jeans (skinny, fitted or flared- to suit your own body shape best)
- 1x Blue, Khaki, Bone, White or Oxblood coloured jean (again to suit your own body shape)
- 1x Torn 'Boyfriend' jean (I love the One Teaspoon Awesome Baggies, buy in a size or two larger)
- 1x Black linen long shorts- around knee length, slightly wide in the leg
- 1x Black tailored dress trousers for occasional wear and office wear
- 1x Black jeans (again, in a cut to suit your body shape)
- 1x Light Grey suit-shorts, can be short or longer, wear with an elegant flat or kitten heel for a dressier look
- 1x light washed denim or black denim cut off shorts (long enough to house your butt and worn tastefully!)
- 1x White leather shorts (or black- you would wear both, but start with one)
- 1x Black Leather Shorts (I wear mine too much!)
- 1x Culottes (not pictured) midi length, wear with cropped tops or blouses

If you have missed any of the 'Building A Capsule Wardrobe' series, check out the previous posts here
I will be bringing you more of this sort of post in coming weeks, so stay tuned, and please share any comments or ask any questions below. 
Happy Capsule creating! 
xx Jenelle
Instagram @jenellewitty


  1. I definitely need to invest in more shorts... I love the grey and black pairs!

    1. Hi Carys,
      I had no idea how useful shorts were until I had a couple of good pairs. The black and grey are so handy to have in the collection.
      xx Jenelle

  2. i agree with your breakdown! so hard to narrow it down isn't it? i need to do this to my wardrobe badly!

    reckless abandon

    1. Hi Jas,
      Narrowing down my wardrobe was a really handy way for me to establish my style.
      xx Jenelle