If 2012 was the year of the peplum, then 2013 is the year of the cigarette (peg, ankle, slim-cut) pant—it has been the ubiquitous shape sent down the runways by designers ranging from Stella McCartney to Caroline Herrera to Michael Kors. The silhouette is elegantly tailored, streamlined, and ever-so-slightly, ever-so-chicly cropped—and these darker, colder months have brought with them even more luxurious fabrications, from brocades to velvets to jacquards to flocked denims (and who doesn’t love a little more luxury?). I’ve used the heyday of this iconic cut to my stylistic advantage—disguising what should be an ankle-hovering style as a mid-calfer, time and time again, off-the-rack-pant after off-the-rack-pant. And it has worked. All year. Well, actually, it only really worked until about three weeks ago. When the first 30 degree day rolled in, my ankles—and calves—were left tinglingly, wretchedly numb. My jacquard crops felt paper-thin. And I was ungraciously reminded why we leggy ladies should never leave the bulk of our wardrobes to size ends or 32″ inseamed styles…especially when fall and winter roll around.
This year, the designers at Long Tall Sally have deftly anticipated—and translated—the top off-the-runway trends with particular elegance. LTS’ fall/winter collections are some of the most festive I’ve seen in years—full of ladylike lace dresses and blouses; beaded and embellished sweaters, dresses, and jackets; tapestry and faux-fur bedecked wool coats fit for evenings out or even wearing to work. And their takes on the cigarette pant are adapted perfectly for the tall frame—several of the styles are so good, they’re worth acquiring in multiples!
Case in point is the Jacquard Pull-On Skinny. At a very reasonable $65, this cigarette pant is somewhere between a legging and a trouser—more substantial than the former, and far more forgiving than the latter. The fabric itself is flexible and stretchy, with a slight sheen and a subtle black-on-black geometric pattern. And the shape is perfect—slim, but not restrictive. Lower-rise, but not revealing. Flat fronted and smoothing, but with no fussy flies, buttons, or pockets to break up the lines. And, with the 37″ inseam—long enough to cover calves and brush over ankles.
The only drawback? The single black fabric option (flattering as it is). With a cut this perfect, just imagine the seasonal possibilities— deep navy and peacock-and-gold jacquards for winter; apricot and baby blue jacquards for spring; poppy red and white for summer. Long Tall Sally kindly sent me one pair—less than a week later, I was buying my second. The Jacquard Pull-On Skinny is a must have for work and evening—imagine it paired with the smart Lace Collar Sweater ($85) in burgundy and the Red Carpet by Aerosoles ($109) in black suede for an office-ready look, or with the Embellished Woven Jacket ($125) and the teal Wessex Wyvern by Indigo ($129) for an evening out. I paired mine with a velvet sequin tee, a satin-trimmed boyfriend blazer, and the Cairns low-heel from Upper Street x Nicole Smallwood…and I felt ready (insouciantly so) for any holiday cocktail party…
Another phenomenal cigarette ‘pant’ is the Baroque Flocked Jean ($99)—a slim leg with a raised velvet ornate filigree. More forgiving than a skinny with slightly more room at the ankle, a generous 10.5″ rise and a 36″ inseam, this style is perfectly modern while being classic enough to transcend the more youthful (i.e. revealing) cuts that so readily come and go. For fall and winter, a notable bonus is the thickness of the denim weave—this pant is plenty warm for weathering any storm.
Styled in the Long Tall Sally catalog with studded ankle boots and a jacquard blazer, I paired this sumptuous bottom (c/o Long Tall Sally) with a chambray oxford, statement necklace, and black glitter heel ankle boots for a warmer fall day. And I love the notion of mixing this glam-rock, elevated bottom with more casual pieces—like the Short Sleeve Satin Trim Scoop Neck Top ($35) in white, the incredible Leather Biker Jacker ($349) in wine, and the Parkers by DV ($129) ankle boot for a weekend ensemble that’s stylish and custom-fitted…or with the Long Sleeve Jersey and Mesh Top ($49), Sasha by Ros Hommerson ($129), and Boyfriend Jacket with PU Trim ($115) for a chic going-out look. Should you prefer a lower rise and arresting shade, the Leopard Flocked Skinny Jean ($99) in burgundy is quite a find, too. Thanks, Long Tall Sally, for a smokin’ fall/winter 2013 collection with many a cigarette pant in tow…and thanks too for the toasty ankles.