Styling Printed Skinny Pants

Those pants are really something (in a good way). Like a couch in a 1970s French Revolution era drama
ilsaengel on Instagram

Another outfits post! Today featuring a new pair of printed pants from the William Morris & Co collaboration with H&M.

I always have a lot of fun playing dress-up on the weekends. I literally just spend an hour or so trying on different outfits to see if I can make some new combos, which I highly recommend as an exercise if you’re feeling in a wardrobe rut. I especially make sure to do this when I have a new item (before taking the tags off!) to make sure it’s versatile. Figured I might as well document some of it, even if it isn’t revolutionary. As usual, my goal is not to get you to go out and buy any of these particular pieces, but to hopefully get your outfit-creating brain center going by seeing examples of one item with a respectable variety of shoes, outerwear, etc.

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About the Item

I’d heard of the collection when it was released in fall 2018, but I wasn’t terribly taken by any of the press images of the collection at the time. I mean, I LOVED the editorial photos, give me all the impractical dresses in a bucolic background with sheep and collies and stone walls and rolling hills and laundry lines, but I felt like most of the items would look like I was just wearing a muumuu (billowy floral items + 5’1″ + 32DD = nope). Also H&M quality is on average pretty crap (as reflected by the prices) so I didn’t feel bad about skipping this one, cool prints aside.

I was at H&M last week looking for basic tops (heck if I’m going to pay $55 for a basic ribbed tee at a mid-range store where there’s no transparency on production anyway) and saw that they still had the last remaining dregs of the collection in the sale rack, including a pair of skinny pants that wasn’t in the original October 2018 release. I ended up getting them because I’ve been considering getting new skinny-fit pants since my pleather leggings suffered an untimely death last month anyway, and I’m really excited about how much more variety and life they’ll bring to my wardrobe. Also, I’m still not feeling very advanced on styling prints, so I thought the easy silhouette (I generally feel like the widest variety of shoes go well with skinny pants) + more challenging print would be a good start.

Fit and Sizing

These are the pants. I got mine for $25.99 on sale. I really like that the print is floral, but have a sharp/pointy aesthetic as it creates a rich botanical feel without necessarily being girly. More of an art nouveau vibe.

I think they’re supposed to be mid-rise, but the pants hit me at my navel, and are fitted enough that they don’t require a belt. However, chunkier sweaters can’t be tucked in properly. I had to cuff these by folding them under themselves and then folding that up into a cuff. You can see it came off a bit in some of the picture as I was hopping around changing shoes.

I have a 29″ waist and 39″ hips, and usually wear a US size 8. The size 8 in these fit pretty well.

Construction seems okay enough, and I’m hoping it won’t get all wonky after a wash and that the elastic doesn’t give out too fast.

patterned pants
the stock photo

Outfits

I really like that the print has a bronze color in it, which makes it look great with warm brown pieces. I think these would also look pretty cool in a casual outfit, but for the sake of showing some slightly more interesting combos, most of these are on the dressy side.

Generally when putting together outfits, I try to incorporate a variety of textures for depth and try to spread small, medium, and large shapes throughout the outfit for balanced visual interest.

Print Mixing

This is definitely my favorite one that I came up with. I was wondering when I was considering buying the pants if they would work with this blouse and I’m really happy it worked out. I’m definitely not an expert on print mixing (since I don’t own that many prints to start with – but check out @morphinebebe on Instagram for some print-mixing wizardry) but generally I find that prints that have a similar color palette, but different scales, densities, and distribution (i.e. is it a regular spacing or kinda random) tend to look nicest together.

I did matching accessories to give an extra sense of cohesion to the outfit.

Blouse // H&M
Purse // Vintage Coach (ebay)
Leather t-strap pumps // Børn (ebay)

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Sweater + Boots

The obvious combination. I like that here the pants cuff is juuuust over the top of the boots for a sleek look and that the blouson sleeve and lace-up detailing emphasize the romantic aesthetic of the print.

Blouson sleeve cotton sweater // Madewell
Patent leather lace-up boots // Marc Fisher

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Dramatic Coat

I love this coat. Throw this thing on top of anything and BAM, instant dramatic outfit. When I wear it with wide-leg trousers I feel like I’m being drowned in fabric, but I think it works well with skinny pants and structured skirts.

Asymmetrical clasp-closure wool-blend coat // Forever 21 (similar/knockoff of All Saints monument coat)
Velvet button-down camisole // Madewell

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Flats + Moto Jacket

A bit more on the casual side. I think if I had worn the black version of these flats it might be a tad too busy, but here they’re the same color that the print reads overall so it feels more cohesive.

Faux suede moto jacket // Anthropologie petites
Ribbed long sleeve top // H&M
Strappy pointed-toe flats // Halogen (a Nordstrom brand)

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Fleece Bomber

This would be a fun going-out look. I tried the cami fully tucked and untucked, but tucked made me feel too stuffy and thick-waisted and untucked just felt unfinished. So half-tuck it is! I like that the pointed toe shape mirrors the sharp oversized collar on the jacket.

Fleece bomber jacket // Uniqlo U (ebay)

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Soft Neutrals

The hats have such a big impact on the vibe of this outfit! They are both very cozy looking, but the first is a little more adventure-y and the second is more of an elevated loungewear look lol.

I think I would have preferred these with a thinner cuffing slightly closer to the boot for a more continuous line.

I usually don’t wear this thin cardigan over sweaters since my rule of thumb is that outer layers should be more substantial than the ones underneath them, but this sweater is also a thin knit so I think it goes.

Felt Panama hat // Treasure and Bond
Pom-pom cable-knit beanie // Amazon
Blouson-sleeve cashmere cardigan // Halogen petites
Slouchy suede ankle boots // Børn

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I’m really pleased with how easy it was to come up with a bunch of outfits with these! I don’t think I’ve owned printed pants since elementary school, and my fashion sense has come a long way since then 😛. Do you own any items with a similar vibe? How do you like to style them?

Supplemental

From Wikipedia:

William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was a British textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement. He was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production. His literary contributions helped to establish the modern fantasy genre, while he played a significant role propagating the early socialist movement in Britain.

Seriously, this guy made some beautiful textiles and wallpapers. This was such a cool collaboration, props to whoever got it going.

4 thoughts on “Styling Printed Skinny Pants

  1. I laughed at your mention of purchasing a basic tee for some fifty dollars, because I am devoted to finding a basic tee from The Row for under some fifty dollars. They go for over $200.00 for a simple white shirt and I want one.

    Reverting this reply back to you now, those pants are a really fabulous purchase but who would of thunk, right? I agree with you that the editorials aren’t quite selling the garment but seeing it worn all “street style” makes it look worthy of ones wardrobe. And since you asked for my opinion on your styling (you didn’t) I shall make comment.
    I love the pant with a top tucked (or half so) in then paired with a cardi/jacket that diverts the eyes in a vertical line down the torso. I’m a fan of lines and digression (as you’ll learn the more that I comment). Teddy bomber and Halogen cardigan are my favorites of the bunch. They have a whimsical union of texture, pattern, and proportion that all compliment your frame and style very well. Also, I now want that cardigan since reading that it comes in a petite size.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I think the outfits here with open toppers were indeed some of the more conventionally flattering ones too. I think my favorite pairing of that type might be the velvet cami with the taupe cashmere cardigan because it just feels SO luxurious (although then I can’t wear any crossbody bags out of fear of pilling the sweater). I’d never had any cashmere items before picking that one up and I can see now why people love it, although I don’t intend on building a collection of it as I think it’s a little too fussy for my tastes.

      Unfortunately I don’t think the blouson sleeve cardigan is available from nordstrom or nordstromrack anymore (it was from the 2018 anniversary sale), but maybe some might pop up on poshmark.

      Is there something special about the tees from The Row? I had a quick look and the designs look nice but nothing to write home about, especially at the price point.

      Like

  2. You’re welcome! I have so much more I wanted to type out in celebration of your pattern mixing and color coordinations (mustard yellow pullover is PERFECT) but then my comment becomes a post of itself. Just know I dig your looks. Cashmere is fussy, as I too am learning with the cashmere items I own. You layered well with the velvet cami – those fabrics don’t always agree with each other! Past retail items are the best because now I can search them out on-line second-hand, which is exactly how I like to shop 🙂

    You nailed it with the appeal of The Row tee. There is nothing extraordinary about them (certainly not worth the retail price) and as I once read a long time ago in some publication (though can’t quote directly), Anyone who purchases a $200 t-shirt does not deserve their $200, but anyone who can sell a t-shirt for $200 deserves that $200. So it’s become a thing of pure nonsense that I now want to own one of these ridiculous basic shirts. Also I have a soft spot for the Olsen twins and I would love a piece from their collections. For the price of a Hanes shirt, of course. I can keep chasing that dream.

    Long comment, again. I can’t shorten my thoughts apparently!

    Liked by 1 person

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