Last week’s styling session with the Athleta Booklyn pants reminded me of just how versatile a pair of navy pants can be. And that I’ve been wanting to find a pair or two that are a bit more structured to replace my Little Black Pants.
Left: earrings | sweater | bag | sneakers
Center: cardigan | pants
Right: earrings | top | bracelet | shoes
(Above, a cool-toned ensemble for those who have been requesting…)
Why navy? After my color analysis in 2019, I knew I wanted to move away from my dependence on black. Navy is easier to pair with the warmer, lighter hues in my palette. (And even before that, I’d been noticing that my black pieces often felt too heavy for Spring and Summer.) There’s a navy for everyone, whether your palette is cool or warm.
Granted, navy has its challenges too. Mis-matched navies can be tougher to pull off than mis-matched blacks. And matched navy separates can skew a bit frumpy unless you throw in some color, pattern, or unexpected pieces.
Navy pants: the contenders..
I’ve limited my search to styles with some stretch. They must be comfortable and preferably travel-friendly. (The last few times we’ve traveled, I wished I’d had a more polished/tailored style for evenings.) While I really like the Vince leggings, I think a trouser style would be more versatile for travel.
Here are a few styles on my short list…(I should mention that all of these are also offered in Black, if that’s your preference 🖤 )
J.Crew Cameron. A couple friends of mine have raved about these for years. I’d tried them in the past but felt something was off with the fit. (There are several different styles: Slim Crop, High Rise, and Full-Length. (Also different fabrics and some prints.) Most are offered in Misses, Petite and Tall sizes, 00-24.
It took a few tries to figure out which style, size and length worked for me. The Petite Crop was too short, the Petite Full-length was too long. I finally tried the Crop in the “Classic” (Regular) length, (Four-Season Stretch fabric) and liked that fit the best.
I like how these are cut. They are slim but not snug on the leg and have a tailored look. The fabric doesn’t have that rubbery feel that you find on a lot of stretch pants. It’s also very matte and has a woven look. They’re machine washable too. (I just received these a couple of days ago, will style them and share in an outfit post soon.)
I keep hearing good things about these “Richmond” 7/8 length pants from Boden, so have ordered them to try. They look to be a slimmer cut than the J.Crew Cameron pants. The fabric is mostly cotton, so they might be a good warm weather option. Several colors available, in Regular, Petite and Long. (Regular and Long sizes 2-22, Petite size range is limited to 2-12. Thanks to reader Cathy for pointing this out!)
Sleek, slim leg styles
Also from Talbot’s, these “Essex” pants are a pull-on style. They fit more like a skinny pant, but have plenty of stretch. They’re available in Misses, Petite, Plus, and Plus Petite, in a few colors. They’re currently on sale and quite budget-friendly. I wanted to love them, but due to my muscular calves they bag/bunch a little at the knee, so they’re going back.
A few of you mentioned that you liked the Lululemon “Keep Moving” pants. I took a look at those but decided I didn’t want a drawstring style. But this “City Sleek” 5-pocket style caught my eye. The fabric is heavier and more substantial than the Brooklyn navy pants, but still lightweight has that “technical” feel. (But not shiny.) They run small, so I’d suggest ordering up a size.
I’m still deciding whether to keep them. They’d be a good for travel, but skew a little more casual than what I was looking for.
Do you use navy as one of your wardrobe neutrals?
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