Women's Style

Styled for Work and Play: Narrow Trousers

Getting the Most from Your Wardrobe

Happy day, friend!

Welcome to another installment in my Styled for Work and Play series. I started this series after discovering that many people aren’t getting the most out of the clothes already in their closets. We get into a styling rut, and wear X for work, and Y for play, and Z for going out, when we might could (Really southern, y’all!) wear one thing for X, Y, and Z!  Does this sound familiar? If so, come play in my closet and see how to get more out of a work basic…

The Piece

Meet my trusty old four season grey plaid trouser from Talbot’s. I have the same pair in teal, and wear them at least once a week, sometimes more. The plaid pattern is subtle, so they behave like a solid, but with a little more interest. The length is cropped, which makes them work for our hot summer weather, and with oxfords and booties for the colder months. They cross easily from work to play for three reasons: the narrow cut, the dress pant fabric, and trouser details.  These are not chinos or a casual cotton trouser. The hem is invisible, the waistband doesn’t button through, there is no visible topstitching on the legs. These details, and the fabric move them to a higher level of refinement.

Work It

This trouser plays as well with a blouse and jacket as it does with a sweater. For a cool day I’ve styled it with a wine sweater, grey suede pumps, a grey bag, and some blue sparkle. Yes, that is my old-as-dirt signature watch. It gets worn almost everywhere… If your workplace is more formal, wear a jacket over the sweater. It’s just fine to create a suited look with coordinating separates.

If the weather was warmer, I’d swap the wine sweater out for my blush silk blouse…

Play It

How to take a dress trouser down to make it play-friendly? The easiest place to start is at the bottom: with the shoes! That instantly changes the look. Lose the pumps, and replace them with tennis shoes. I’m so glad I took the chance on these rose gold Superga’s. They fulfill my need for flash, and I’ve been told (by someone usually trustworthy) that they’re “totes adorbs”. For warm weather I’d wear them with a white tee, and a neckerchief, and throw on my trusty denim jacket if needed for sun or A/C protection.

If the neckerchief is not your thing, swap it out for a casual oblong scarf. This one feels perfect for more than one holiday!

(If you need more ways to style a white tee, read here, and here.)

Party It

This same trouser is a great foil for party outfits, too! For date night I’d pair them with a silky cami, metallic d’Orsay heels, and some sparkles. If I need a layer, a cashmere cardigan or a pashmina-style scarf would be perfect for a little coverage.

If the event was more “work” and less “date,” trade the cami for a lace blouse! (Couldn’t make up my mind about the earrings, though. Which do you like better?)

Travel It

When I went to New York in September, these trousers were one of the two outfits I packed! You can find out more about that, right here.

How about you? What in your closet isn’t earning its keep? What might you like to see me style next in this series? Let me know in the comments below… I love to hear from you!

Stylishly yours,

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