Lauren is here again to tackle my own personal dark murky waters of sartorial needs...

hello again, team fete! when last we met, i spoke of office-worthy menswear-for-the-ladies from the waist up; today we hit below the belt.

a fine pair of pants, to paraphrase keats, is a thing of beauty and very nearly a joy forever. the best pants i ever knew were a pair of inky-black marc by marc jacobs chrissie skinny jeans; I found them on some fly-by-night online discount site for $70, wore them every day for the next two or three years, and split them like a cheap piñata when I squatted down to retrieve the cat from my apartment building’s garbage chute (he is half-siamese and half-goat). there was no repairing them; they’d been out on the town so many times that the fabric in the seat had worn away and simply ceased to be.

the bad news is that the internet doesn’t appear to have any more chrissies for you, me, or anyone else (let’s be clear, though: i would fight you for them, and i would win). the good news is that arses are as individual as fingerprints, and what works for me wouldn't necessarily work for you anyhow. that said, be you a six-foot marathoner, a five-foot bombshell, or a five-seven former soccer player whose freakishly long-torsoed, short-legged parents chose love over giving the gene pool a good stir (thanks a million, guys!), we can all put ourselves on the path to pants-finding by asking a single question: what would kate lanphear do?


(kate lanphear via stockholmstreetstyle via fear lanphear, your new pants bible)

kate lanphear is elle usa's style director, and she works her trousers like a full-time job. i love almost everything she wears, but what's pertinent here is that her fit is unimpeachable. this cut is slim enough to feel contemporary without being gimmicky, the length is just right for her heel, and the scale suits her jacket perfectly (unless you're in a hypercreative or hypercasual office, taking serious gambles with proportion usually ends in tears). if you're a lady rocking menswear in an office, this woman is your touchstone.

achieving a look lanphear would sanction on a mortal's budget is tricky, but it can be done. if you need some cardio and can handle the bone-deep soul-ache of fast fashion, give your local h&m a try; for black pants, as one of the fashion editors at my office put it, they "can be surprisingly successful [if] you take the time to scour the racks and TRY EVERYTHING ON. their clothing is cut unpredictably, but sometimes you'll find the perfect thing; same with uniqlo." the latter isn't an option in san diego, i know, but if you're willing to spend a bit more, express certainly is; the editor pant and columnist pant come by their names honestly, as they're in publishing types' wardrobes all over town (and will set you back just $60). along those lines, some subspecies of the martin fit is inevitably on sale at banana republic; with a surly shoe, a pair would easily pass muster. (hedging your bets by investing in an armful of la lanphear's signature bracelets would make a strong case as well, i think.)

if you're interested in splashing out on Pants with a capital P (not a bad idea once your size is relatively static, as a quality pair of black trousers will never, ever be out of style), theory will tailor a pair to fit you perfectly, as will rag & bone; that the latter is only on the east coast i offer as proof that the universe wants you and ben and hank and manray to visit us immediately. you can even leave manray with me! you might also have luck with club monaco, t by alexander wang (is it possible to wear silk trousers without feeling like an assassin? i sincerely hope not), twenty8twelve, or ted baker if you're willing to eat the cost of shipping; fantastic pants are, of course, worth the gamble.

thank you for asking me over, jamie, and thank you all for reading along! here's hoping we all find pants we love to pieces, and that we're at home when they split like cheap piñatas.


  1. When I grow up I want to be Kate Lanphear.

  2. I like to experience my fashion vicariously through lmo. I, personally, just cover up my fashion sins with a lab coat for 90% of my work day.

  3. Maybe now I can buy some pants that are not jeans.


  4. I like the pants but what a incredible hair cut.

  5. PdC, i took three photos of kate lanphear to the gal who cuts my hair.

  6. Hey dude, I miss you! Feel free to blog about cracked nipples and how all your hair is falling out in the shower (right??) And maybe just one babes pic???

  7. Kate Lanphear, let me count the was I love thee and let me count the ways I laugh at myself when I try to channel thee..