We're having an haute flash of nostalgia: After decades of jeans, leggings and dresses, real pants are back. And guess what's leading the rack pack? Look for trendy track pants, flares, high-waist straights and wide-leg trousers. How well we remember those! Before you pull out the plastic and hit buy, let's get realistic. We need everyday pants, work pants, dressy pants, comfy emergency pants (in two sizes) and weekend pants to hang out in — not sit-in-the-closet pants. Here are the top 10 celeb-approved styles. Choose or lose.
1. The new slim-ankle pants
Like most of us, if you've been living in ankle pants you'll want this update. The fit is narrow through the leg, but not skinny tight (yay!), and the rise is higher so the pants sit at your waist or just below it. The trim to the ankle bone or just-above length and curve-skimming proportion make a sleek polished base for any top and heel height — from Lauren Hutton's (below left) untucked shirt, blazer and flats to Jaclyn Smith's (below center left) classic sweater and low nude pumps. Opt for pants in a cool gray — it’s a neutral that works with everything and looks fresh.
2. The cropped flares
If you wear jeans a lot and like looking a little more hip without getting too trendy, this narrow ankle crop with a subtle outward flick at the hem is your jam. Think of it as a mini bootcut. Then add ballet flats and a relaxed swingy sweater like Sharon Stone (above center right) or ankle boots and a biker jacket like Susan Sarandon (above right). And between us, you can always tailor the flare down to a narrow fit like No.1 when you tire of it.
3. The straight pleated pants
If you prefer tailored conservative clothes, these classic pants now come with built-in control technology to keep the waist-to-shoes line sleek and the creases sharp. They pair well with silk blouses, low heels or booties. You could buy black, but why not choose unexpected colors to dial up your style like Jane Fonda (below left) in winter white or Kyra Sedgwick (below center left) in orange? If the waistband has loops, tone a narrow belt to the pants for the longest, leggiest effect.