Not long ago, I was cruising the designer aisles with my friend Julie. One of my closest friends and (fortunately for me) a brilliant fashionista, Julie suggested that I try on a pair of jeans by Theory. Because Theory is one of my very favorite labels – its classic, tailored cuts flatter all ages and body types, and most of their pieces never go out of style, I was happy to oblige. Julie rooted through the denim until she saw my size, pulled them out, and held them up.
No way. No way – the jeans had stirrups. Not acceptable.
Naturally, at first I thought she was kidding – Julie has never, ever steered me wrong in all the years I have known her. I stared at her, wide-eyed, then gave the kind of half-hearted laugh that you use when you’re not exactly sure what is happening to you, but you don’t like where it’s headed. She just smiled and insisted that she was serious – and that I needed to try them on. I rolled my eyes and took them from her, just to humor her. After all, Julie has had a tremendous impact on my wardrobe in the most fantastic way, so the least I could do to repay her was to try on her stupid stirrup pants. Jeans. Whatever.
They were fantastic. So fantastic that they are now my favorite of all the pants I own. And again, Julie proved that she knows more about fashion than I ever will.
The pants aren’t denim, exactly, but they’re not leggings either – they’re some sort of wonderful, miraculous hybrid. They have a regular zipper and closure just like any actual pants, but they have a lot of stretch, and they have stirrups. So, they stay put when you tuck them into boots, which is fantastic, and they look great with oversized shirts and blouses (rule of thumb: pair leggings or skinny jeans with a voluminous top – or if you have a tighter top, add a scarf). They’re really pretty perfect.
However, despite my joy, I ran into a dilemma: how do you wear stirrup pants in a season when you’re not wearing boots? You see, I just don’t wear boots between the months of April and September – not because there’s some rule stating that you can’t (like that whole white after Labor Day thing, which I’ve never followed nor believed anyone else should), but because I’m sick of boots and I’m ready to break out the sandals and pumps. But then how do I wear these pants? I love how they fit me, but they have stirrups, so they’re out until September, right?
Wrong. Julie (again, my fashion savior) told me that stirrups look great with regular shoes. I mean, you can’t wear socks – that would be horrifying – but who would wear socks in the summer anyway? She insisted that those pants, stirrups and all, would look great with either heels or flats. And again, she was right. In fact, they’re even better than regular denim. They are, by far, the most fantastic pair of pants I have ever owned – and I’ve had some pretty rockin’ pants. Honestly, I wish I’d bought more than one pair. They’re that good.
So, why am I telling you all this? Because I want you to branch out and try some pants with stirrups. Give up your pre-conceived notions and associations about stirrups and the 80s and your childhood, and give them a shot. I promise, especially if you like the look of skinny jeans or very tailored pants, or if you hate how your pants bunch up when you tuck them into your boots, you won’t be disappointed.
And a big thank you to Julie for forcing me to keep an open mind – even when I’m dead-set against it.