It's In My Closet, Now How Do I Wear It?: I Love These Pants But They're Too Big For Me

Anya says her outfit is definitely missing something. Like shape?
Publish date:
June 7, 2011
pants, it's in my closet now how do i wear it

Dear Laia,

I'm having an outfit situation today, and could really use your help. Yesterday I was inspired by a girl at the Atlanta airport dressed in red pants and a denim shirt, so today I tried to copy her. The problem is my Ralph Lauren Polo "faded red" (fine, pink) pants are a size 20. I'm 5'3" and size 4. I bought them because they were $1 at a stoop sale, so I figured I'd make them work. But I haven't been able to yet. I feel like this outfit is definitely missing something. Like shape? Please advise.

Anya This is a great breezy spring-time outfit. Your conundrum reminded me that I also have a pair of huge pants that I bought a couple years ago after seeing Katie Holmes wearing some ridiculous pants that were so bad they were good. Unlike you though, I bought them big on purpose and paid way more than a dollar for them so it was a really stupid situation I put myself in with no one else to blame. But back to the pants. I'm assuming you don't really want to take them to the tailor to get them to fit you right so we'll go with the MacGruber alternatives. The trick when wearing any oversized or loose piece of clothing is to pair it with something more fitted or structured so you don't get lost in all the layers.

First off, I'd recommend tucking in the shirt (at least in the front), it'll streamline the look and break the silhouette so it automatically adds a bit more shape. From one of the other images you sent me, I noticed that you are belting the pants really high on your body to get them to fit more properly which would be impossible to tuck your shirt into. Here, you might consider rolling down your waistband once or twice. It'll bring the shape of the pants closer to where it would naturally fall on your body and it's also less cumbersome on you.

Lastly, when you roll the cuffs, do a sideways fold of the excess pant leg before you start rolling. This creates a sleeker line (you can tuck the excess to the front for a more casual look or to the back like I did to keep it clean). Like:

Pretty easy right? Also thanks for helping ME out with my crazy pants. Maybe I'll finally wear them this summer! The result?

French rolling my pants?! I like it! I haven't done that since 1991. I also agree that tucking the shirt in is a great way to give myself shape. Overall I love the new look. The only problem is that as soon as I rolled these pants over once, you could see the white lining and the label. So important lesson learned: sometimes the tailor is just unavoidable. -A

That's true, sometimes a tailor IS unavoidable. But to combat tags sticking out, I usually just tuck in the front and let the rest hang out in the back. Belt, shirt + pants look really great though! The brown belt really ties it all together.