The Search for the Perfect Black Pants
In the world of fashion that at times feels so fickle, there are a few items that can stand the test of time and offer a respected style across various occasions and outfits. One such item is the quintessential black pant. You know the one. It is cut perfectly and made out of a material that has just the right amount of weight and stretch to it. And most of all, it hits at the most flattering part of your leg…right where the ankle and calf meet. Without exception, it always makes an appearance on all stylists’ ‘must have’ wardrobe lists and it is frequently highlighted as an investment piece from “this season’s” collection.
I’ve spent most of my adult life looking for this pant. Sadly, in my attempt to capture what my style radar has locked on to, I have bought many iterations of it instead. But where did the idea of such a perfect pant come from? My earliest memories are from Breakfast At Tiffany’s, when Audrey Hepburn wore a pair of perfect pants with a black top and flats.
Film is always a bit tricky though, because at some point you have to remember it’s not real life, and flawless trousers like that don’t exist in reality. We see examples of them all the time from the cinema of life; on street corners, at the airport, or at our favorite trendy restaurants. They are easily styled with heels, flats, leather jackets, blazers, t-shirts and blouses. They transcend time and move between casual and ‘smart’ without any extra effort. They create an unparalleled balance between masculine and feminine- allowing you to exude confidence while retaining a bit of sexiness.
I’ve seen this pant, and I’ve seen these women who wear them. They’ve got it all.And I feel like it is all because of this perfect black pant! But how? How did they find the perfect black trouser. Is there a secret ‘Perfect Pant Society’ that will let you in and give you the goods once you’ve gotten close enough? If this is the case, I feel that I should have been initiated by now… it’s the least I deserve considering my effort.
I’ve yet to discover this secret society so I keep searching for the quintessential black pant, and I think I am getting closer. Maybe that is why it eludes us for so long? Perhaps we have to grow into the pant? Our style sense and our personal sense of self must be matured enough to recognize the pant when we see it. Not to get all Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid Zen on you, but I do think there is some truth to that. It is actually one of the pleasantries of getting older- knowing your self more deeply, and better choosing the items (and people) you bring into your life.
For me, the search for the perfect pant has been a worthy journey. I don’t know where you are in your journey, but if you don’t yet own that perfect pair, I encourage you to keep looking. And when you finally do find them, buy two (or five) pairs, because you will never be satisfied with anything less.
Greta Eagan is an eco-stylist, sustainable living consultant, spokesperson, expert and strategist. She founded the website FASHIONmeGREEN and authored the style guide Wear No Evil. Her expertise is backed by years of hands on experience in the fashion industry, and graduate work at the London College of Fashion, European School of Economics and the London School of Economics.