Smart Casual Pants? Perhaps?

As those of you who have been following this blog know, I was attempting to make a pair of smart casual pants for the Fearless February challenge.

My project changed form and I ended up with a very utilitarian pair of elastic waist pants, instead of the stunning smart casual pants I wanted.  Nevertheless, they have already proved to be a useful addition to the wardrobe, perfect for cleaning up aftermaths of leaking roofs and windows. 

I did however make a pair of trousers out of an old pattern I had - I can't remember what I traced it off, and I made them in haste as well (while I was supposed to be completing my psychology degree - which I did complete, so no harm done).  I really need to find the original pattern and start again, because I think these trousers might suit me with a few modifications.  They are a waisted and classic cut of trouser - which I don't think many ladies can wear, but I think I can.  I would love your thoughts on this point...

That's the front. I'm still getting used to the self timer and am not smiling at all - I promise you I am not nearly as gruff as I look here!  Sans make up too - but I had just been clearing out the room with the flooding.  Excuse the pink t-shirt, but I was wearing it for cleaning up, and then thought its the ideal no see sort of garment - sort of flesh pink, no shape, etc.

The Back - again, a little bit of elastic as I do tend to fluctuate around the middle and it helps hold the trousers in - I have a very small back.  With a shirt or jumper over the top the waist band elastic does not show.  Once again, there is a need for dealing with some leg wrinkles - I did do the flat back alteration with these trousers  and took over an inch out down the centre of the back - including the bottom, which fits nicely.  My legs are so slim though, that there is still a lot of folding in the back leg/thigh area.   Otherwise I think I wear high rise pants very well - What do you think?

I have decided to attempt to make different sorts of pants this year and work out what works for me.  I had no idea until I started this blog that I was actually the shape I am!  Really, I hadn't - my husband often asks me if I have ever looked at myself in a mirror - well, really not much, I'm not very vain - I may have to change that.  I may even decide that these pants are not too bright for me to wear as smart casual while emerald green is in.  It's actually a nice colour - Do you think I could wear these out and about?

My first task is therefor to look at myself in the mirror and do a figure analysis.  I am a bit shy, and don't really want to publish photo's of myself on the internet that are in any way comprimising, so I have taken a photo of myself (there will be no stopping me now I have worked out how to use the self-timer) and then traced around it to make a paperdoll cut out.
As you can see - slim limbs and quite gangly - certainly not pear shaped.

Trinny and Susannah (The Body Shape Bible)  describe one shape as being a little like mine, the Cornet:
Trinny and Susannah - The Cornet Shape.
Same sort of gawky, gangly, arms, hanging at different lengths, lopsided shoulders (the cornet is not muscular - my physio says I am the build that does not build muscle), slim limbs, flat bust, no waist, slim hips, broad shoulders.  The Cornet - also known as the inverted triangle (although unfortunately, inverted triangles include busty, top heavy, muscular shapes as well - what I would classify as the Strawberry shape).

I've cut the pictures down - strangely, both pictures are at the same sort of angles - quite coincidental, I can assure you.

Trinny and Susannah - The Cornet.
 Great shape for cleaning up flooded rooms, but not such a great shape for girly clothes that need curves.  I'm also a petite (height 5'4" and under - I'm 5'4").  I think I am going to have to rethink what pants will work for me - certainly tailored and slim.  And long rise.  I tried low rise stretch on last year - I even bought a pair - but all they did was make me look as though I had bean sprouts for legs.  They went to a charity shop, unworn.  I learnt my lesson there!  Too tight does not flatter.

It's time for dinner here - which I need to make, so that's all for now.  I'll let you know what sort of pants I am going to tackle in another blog post. 

Sarah Liz :)


  1. The green pants are lovely and suit your coloring; I would wear them out and about if they were mine.

    Congratulations on the personalized figure template. I made a silhouette version of myself a couple of years ago and it has made a huge difference in my ability to judge what suits my proportions, which has made a huge difference in my ability to appreciate my shape.

  2. Hi, Thank you so much for your comment - I did wonder if they suited my colouring, so I will wear them out and about. Figure templates are good aren't they - I will have to learn to use mine constructively - we ladies do have a tendency to criticize our own bodies nowadays, something that never happened only 50 years ago. Something to do with the toxic media saturated image culture but hard to prove. I'll pop over to your blog later today after I finish work.

  3. The trousers do look really good on you, great fit and a groovy colour! :) and you could redraft those back and waistband pieces to eliminate the elasticated waistband. Your trim figure does not need it.
    Was your paper doll cutout picture taken from a head height position, slightly side on? it sort of looks like it. You might find that taking a picture from waist level, front on, like your trousers picture; gives a much more realistic view of your proportions .... I hope this helps and that I've explained it clearly!

    1. Thanks Carolyn- I think I was a bit colour wary until I saw the pants in the photo. I made these in haste, from something I cobbled together last year (also in haste while finishing a psychology degree and filling in for two staff that resigned after 18 years leaving my husband somewhat devastated) and putting elastic in seemed the simplest solution at the time. I keep attempting to put on weight so I sort of built a flexibility in, just in case. I think as you say, fitted with perhaps extra in the waist band at the back (add CB seam) with more in the CB seam of pants (like men's pants) would be a better solution. Thanks for the picture tip - in hindsight, I think you are right - I asked my husband to take this one, and not only am I slightly side on, it is rather foreshortened. I don't think I have the heart to tell The Physician to stick to complex medical problems! Now I can self time, I shall use my stool (waist height) and do another shot - which will bring my legs into proportion. However, it gives an idea of my general shape, which is a step forward.

  4. Thanks for sharing this ~ I probably should do this as I'm still figuring out what works for my body and what doesn't. I know for a fact that an empire waisted dress is not a flattering fit for me. These pants fit pretty well - I would wear them out. It does look like the legs can be taken in a bit. Perhaps a straight style rather than slim (or tight) would be a better look? I like the color too - :)

  5. Hi Jenny, I agree (nicely) that an empire waist dress would not suit you, because you are (I think, from your photos) a pear shape. The fitted jeans looked great on you (dark colour on larger bottom half) with the nice new jacket (lighter colour on smaller top half). The legs can be taken in a lot - I've just been playing this morning, and realise that the legs on all commercial patterns are made for curvier shapes (most female shapes). I need to go virtually straight up - and straight styles bag on me too, so I really need to think take in and take out any curve on the leg/hip area.

  6. Congrats on completing your psychology degree! Very impressive that you finished it while also working on your wardrobe.
    I read your other posts about the pants and I agree classic pants suit you very well. Yes I would wear these out in public! You've come a long way to get the right fit, but you did it. Making a silhouette picture of your body shape is a great idea.

    1. Hello Elise, thank you for such lovely thoughts! Yes it was a challenge, but sewing was such a good distraction from doing statistics! (which you have to do in psychology). Thanks for the encouragement to wear the pants out- I was worried they were a bit bright! I think you have done a good job on your skirt too.


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