The big news this season is C-O-L-O-R, and, in a surprising twist, pants are getting doused in it.
Bold colored jeans and corduroys in knock-your-socks-off shades like cobalt blue, ruby red and deep purple are proving to be a cheery, chic option for the dreary months ahead.
Companies such as Joe's Jeans have gone all-out embracing the color movement. In September, the brand added a whopping 55 new hues to the collection. Why? Creative director and founder Joe Dahan says it's "artistic expression -- we felt we had to give it as much freedom as possible." Joe's top seller is called chili pepper (a strong off-red), but you name it, they've got it.
At the Gap, denims in electric blue, watermelon pink and kelly green are big this fall, says Rosella Giuliani, creative director of 1969, the company's premium jeans division. For the holidays, cords in jewel tones such as aubergine and teal will be introduced. "Color is important because it reflects optimism and embraces an easy, casual American style which is at the core of our brand," Giuliani says.
But despite the mega trend, some of us are having trouble casting aside our old standby blues and blacks. It's alien territory -- too young, too skinny, too too.
But listen up . . . virtually anyone can wear the look. First, you have to get over the fear factor, says Maureen Moser, co-owner of Entrée Boutique in Port Washington, where five brands of bold-colored jeans are sold. "Women are initially gun-shy," she says. "They think the look is only for teenagers." Moser encourages trying on. "Customers come out of the dressing room, and they can't believe how great they look."
Warning: You can make mistakes when wearing brightly colored pants. Zana Roberts Rassi, Marie Claire magazine's fashion director, says: "Style them and choose silhouettes as you would a regular jean or your favorite black pant." Meaning? "If you haven't got the longest, skinniest legs, think about a wide-leg pant or a flair -- that's the quickest cut to a longer-looking leg."
Maureen Moser, co-owner of Port Washington boutique Entrée, adds, "You have to find the right fit." Curvier women should look for a higher rise and fuller hip.
And be mindful of what you're wearing on top. "The whole thing is about balance," says Moser, who recommends longer tunic tops in neutral colors.
And watch out for too much, Rassi says. "It's a nice thought that we could all walk around doing massive bright color blocks, but then you might look like a Rubik's cube."