Khaki Pants for Every Body Type
These sleek, stretch-cotton, straight-legged "Madison" khakis from J.Crew ($75) come in regular or short sizes and petite and tall, so no body is left behind. We asked four real women, each with her own unique shape, to try them on for size, fit and style.
Lean pants make the least of Elaine Grove's hips and thighs while proving that khakis don't have to look preppy: "I'm not a matchy-matchy person," she says. Short-sleeves-over-long layering gives an intriguingly offbeat vibe to the bold orange jacket (Marni, $1,101), white shirt (Brunello Cucinelli, $425), and arty necklace (Simon Alcantara). Belt, Rough Roses. Shoes, Marni.
Finding long-enough pants is tough for 5'11, holistic health counselor Signe Nordstrom, 27; she also wants a pair that will make her generous hips and bum look "less like mountains." Size 14 tall does the trick—chic for a weekend with a tuxedo shirt (Moschino Cheap and Chic, $650), chunky belt (Streets Ahead), and sandals (Stuart Weitzman). Earrings, Jack Vartanian. Ring, Katy Briscoe.
"Asian proportions are different," says Korean-born Hyuna Shin, who usually finds American pants too big and droopy in the hips. These petites, though, are perfect, and they look surprisingly dressy with a jeweled lace top (Carlos Miele). The single-color strategy gives Hyuna the illusion of more height. Ring, Fern Freeman. Clutch, Oscar de la Renta. Shoes, Anya Hindmarch.
"I'm not looking for traditional business attire; I want a nice, sexy spin," says Sil Lai Abrams, 37, author of No More Drama and relationship columnist for Men's Fitness. Khakis teamed with tweed (jacket, Rena Lange) have office-ready authority; take them into evening with enamel bracelets (Roxanne Assoulin for Lee Angel), a waist-emphasizing belt (Pellemelle), and shoes (Via Spiga). Top, Lela Rose, $420.