I Remember…Black Pants

Author: Elizabeth K., C’04

Back in my days at Penn, I was never a fashionista.  I shopped pretty much exclusively at the Gap and even the outfits on the mannequins there were too stylish for me.   My favorite outfit was from American Eagle – it was a khaki corduroy miniskirt with a stretchy white collared top and I wore it with platform shoes.  It was my “first day of school” outfit sophomore year and I can still remember the popular girl in my sorority complimenting me on it.  Greatest day ever!

When I was at Penn, the wardrobe staple, hands down, was a pair of black pants.  Even someone as clueless about fashion as me knew that.  These were different than black work pants, but they weren’t black jeans.  They were sort of a black stretchy material.  You paired black pants with a fancy shirt (preferably a halter top) and that was a “going out” outfit.  It was socially unacceptable for girls to wear jeans to a party.  I recently asked my fashionable twenty-year-old sister if she and her friends wore black pants to go out and she laughed at me, so obviously that trend has come and gone.

From what I can tell, the “skinny jean” is the new black pant.  These are very tight jeans that taper at the ankle.  They practically look like leggings, but shouldn’t be confused with leggings which appear to be on their way out as an acceptable fashion choice.  However, there are special leggings that look like jeans (or jeans that look like leggings, I can’t keep it all straight) that are called “jeggings.”  These leggings are still okay because of their close resemblance to the ever popular skinny jean.  Got it?  Skinny jeans are so tight that you have to wear boots over them, instead of having the pant cover your shoes.  Basically, think of Robin Hood.  Same idea.  There is no way this trend won’t look ridiculous in a few years.

To wit: Here is Robin Hood.

Stealing from the Rich...Giving to the Poor.

And here are the Robin Hood-style boots now popular on campus.

*Modern Day Robin Hood

Skinny jeans are one thing, but my favorite current trend, by far, has to be Hunter rain boots. To me, rain boots are a functional part of my wardrobe, something I wear on my 1.5 mile walk to and from work in the rain to protect my feet and clothes. To Penn girls, they are a wardrobe’s greatest staple. And, the boots have to be Hunter. Brand name only. Hunter rain boots are solid colors and pretty skinny on your calves, so you have to wear them with tights, leggings, bare legs or, of course, skinny jeans! My favorite look has to be the girls who wear short shorts or miniskirts and then have Hunter rain boots on. It doesn’t even have to be raining outside for these boots to come out.

Hunter boots

Partially sunny? Hunter rain boots. 20% chance of rain? Hunter rain boots. Flurries? Hunter rain boots. Hunter rain boots are everyone’s pair of gross sneakers that you keep around, except they are bright and shiny and $125 on Zappos. I see them everywhere. Evidence:

*Please note that it was not, in fact, raining on this day.

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Filed under Campus Fashion, Elizabeth K.

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