Monday, 11 April 2011
The grown-up guide to: hot pants
Eureka! That's Not My Age has found a pair of red jeans. After a reasonable amount of investigative retail work (Uniqlo, H&M, Levi's, Gap) and some style advice from the Blog Widower, I've finally invested in the red hot, coloured denim trend. Zara's stretch canvas version of the über popular Isabel Marant leather Capri pant may not be the best fit in town but for £25.99, who cares? And the good news, according to The Guardian, is that hot pants are not just for young hipsters, and Jack White. No. Grown-up women are going crazy for colour.
'It's a different demographic who are wearing the trend this time around. It's 30-and 40-somethings drawn to a more polished but preppy style,' Fiona Collins from Tommy Hilfiger told the newspaper.
My research stretched to a quick flick through How Not To Wear Black, a book by Jules Standish on the psychology of wearing black, which states that, 'Red physically raises blood pressure and that is why as a color it is constantly linked to romance and love!'
Don't worry, that's not the blood pressure of the wearer, Standish is referring to our male companions. But how to wear red pants without looking like Ronald McDonald?
1. Play with proportions. A slim-fitting cropped jean looks better with a looser fitting top. Mr TNMA used to wear his red jeans with winkle-pickers and a baggy jumper and I've paired mine with a relaxed charcoal jersey top and old ballet pumps.
2. Say no to colour blocking. Avoid being mistaken for a 1980s children's TV presenter by teaming hot pants with easy-to-wear neutrals like khaki and camel. So much classier than clashing brights.
3. Keep accessories simple. Capri pants looks trés chic with ballet pumps but I've also been running around in a pair of desert boots. And for a 50th birthday party last night, I slipped into a pair of olive green slingbacks (the desert boots came off just outside the front door!) and a jaunty red scarf:
Double red is OK when it's one item of clothing and one small-ish accessory (a scarf, bag or necklace), but it's worth remembering that in certain circumstances, a crowded room at a birthday party/under a dinner table, fancy pants aren't immediately visible. So, add a sprinkling of eye-catching accessories, like the little red scarf or Liz Taylor earrings (I was wearing both) et voila. Casual glamour.
That's Not My Age really has gone crazy for colour. In the Zara changing rooms, torn between ketchup red and hot pink, I reminded myself that the lovely J Brand Colour Pop jeans are £205 and bought a pair of fuchsia chinos too. Just think of all the money I've saved!
All the rules above also apply to colourful chinos - so far, I've gone for preppy-style with an old Gap denim shirt and suede pumps. If you're thinking about investing in a pair of hot pants, M&S have coloured denim coming soon:
And the good news is that hot pants are here to stay. Check out the red trousers at Betty Jackson's A/W 2011 catwalk show:
Will you be wearing coloured denim?
Catwalk photo: Style.com