By Jasmine Soucy
Take it from someone who voluntarily gave up on wearing pants or anything pant-like over a year ago: a decent pair of jeans is hard to find. Either they are slightly too high-waisted or alarmingly low rise, either they are too skinny or not quite skinny enough, either they are devoid of pockets or they make you look like a jarhead. I, like every girl, have an ideal style and fit of pant in mind, but I simply never find it. My coping method, as mentioned, has been to admit defeat and turn to skirts as my (only) bottoms of choice. Even on the rare occasion that I do don a pair of pants, a new problem promptly pops up; the search for complementary footwear. Although I’m a big fan of your average plimsoll, I’ve been told repeatedly that this shoe is not, in fact, universally appropriate to the variety of life’s social obligations. Point in case : convocation ceremony. Who knew. Fortunately for me, and any others (if they exist) who share my fashion woes, upcoming fall trends offer many solutions to this sartorial dilemma. At a recent fall collection preview featuring the latest names in fashion, I was given the lowdown of where fashion is headed next season: towards classic style and comfort.
Hudson Jeans had a well-rounded collection; featuring a new line of super stretch skinny jeans, including a few punk-inspired items (complete with your choice of side zippers or buttons) and a high-waisted trouser, the ‘Garconne’. If you surmised this name refers to a boyishly slimming combination of a pleated waistline and a baggy, yet skinny-where-it-counts fit, a look both comfortable and nonchalantly sexy, you’d be correct. Also, further exemplifying its penchant for androgynous and re-appropriative charm, the Hudson military jean, in antique jade, combines a skinny leg with none other than side cargo pockets. I know this might sound concerning but, to be honest, the Hudson rep assured me ‘military’ is ‘in’ this autumn and, upon seeing these jeans, their fit and the clever way their pockets fit their skinny silhouette, I am okay with that – no jarhead confusion here.
The Blank Jeans collection mirrored this turn towards comfort with a line of mostly skinny jeans designed to maintain the high-end appeal at a slightly more affordable price-range. For the most part Blank featured the usual suspects: the classic skinny in shades ranging from black to indigo, a variety of side zippers, studded back pockets and cuffed bottoms. Firmly on the military bandwagon, they also offered a cargo skinny, albeit with the addition of hip-level zipper pockets that risked disrupting the delicate balance between feminine and machismo that an army-inspired skinny must maintain.
On the footwear side of things, Bensimon featured a variation on the plimsoll offered in 13 different colours and upwards of 4 different prints (Urban Outfitters, eat your heart out.). Although the shoe’s rubber-capped toe and slightly defined back heel give it a clunkier appearance than most minimalist-minded hipsters would tolerate, it’s qualities of durability, portability and (successful) washability certainly are redeeming.
Finally, my personal favourite was Bloch; a company renowned for its handcrafted technical dance footwear, but whose new line of shoes and boots translates functionality into fashion. Bloch excels at channelling the dancer in every urbanite while remaining realistic about the needs of their city-bound extremities (a.k.a. feet). Their spanning selection of ballerina-like flats and kitten-heels are customizable to any style; whether your weakness is pink, leopard print, metallic or even bejewelled (by Swarovski nonetheless). Their jazz-shoe fuses the appealing split-sole shape of the dance shoe with a fashion-ready exterior available both in three styles of two-tone leather or a selection of solids, all with a slight back heel to maximize elegance. Not only was each featured-brand quite inspiring in its own right, the cross-style pant and shoe pairing potential at this event reinvigorated my will to wear that which is two-legged.