Katie Zarrella

How would you like to start your morning? Would you prefer an episode of sucking, squeezing and squirming or a simple slip and zip? I’m talking about the two top trouser trends for fall ’06. We may all put our pants on one leg at a time, but the types of pants we choose are an entirely different story. Fall ’06 offers us two extremes: a terrifyingly tight second skin (a.k.a. “the skinny pant”), or pants that are so baggy that you could comfortably fit a second person inside with you. Both cuts are stylish and sophisticated, but don’t just jump in feet first! Wearing wide or skinny pants wrong will land you in a state of pant-emonium!So you want the skinny on skinny pants? Well, for one thing, they’re the smart way to get your morning work out. If it takes you less than 10 painful minutes to wrestle your way into these pants, they’re about two sizes too big. However, keep in mind that these tight tapered pants are not for everyone. If you harbor any fears that skinny jeans don’t work for you, stick to your gut and avoid them at all costs.For those of you that plan to take the daring leap into skinny pants, stick with dark colors and materials that stretch. Denim is a smart choice for the skinny style. Grey, black and dark blue denim are the colors of choice. J Brand’s mid-length black cigarette jeans are smokin’. Their fit is ideal because of the mid-rise waist and the length of the leg. Unlike many cigarette cut jeans, J Brand’s jeans hit just below the ankle so you don’t have to worry about the pant slipping over or inside your shoe. If you do choose a longer skinny pant, scrunch them a little below mid calf so they don’t hide your shoes. What do you wear with these snug slacks? Loose, flowing tunics and long button-downs compliment the fit of the pants. If you’re dying to show off your shape, wear a high, thick belt to cinch a saggy shirt at the waist. Thick, roomy sweaters and long turtlenecks also create a sleek statuesque look. Worn correctly, skinny pants and a long top can make you look as tall and thin as a runway model, but wear this look wrong and you’ll be about as attractive as a stuffed sausage. Under no circumstances should tight, skimpy, low cut shirts be worn with cigarette pants. The look should be all about length and flow. A short shirt will completely cut you off giving you unnatural lines and proportions. If you think you’ll look like a bombshell in your skinny pants and an ill-fitted, cleavage bearing top, think again. Maybe an explosion of skin would be a better description. It shouldn’t appear as though the skinny pants are squeezing every ounce of fat and skin out of the top of your shirt. It’s not difficult, in fact, it’s simple math. Tight on the bottom + long and loose on top = a chic, balanced look.Now for the other end of the style spectrum: wide-leg pants are wonderful in any woman’s wardrobe. While you may feel like you’re swimming in these slouchy pants, paired with the right top they make for a smart and slender look. Neutrals, herringbones, plaids and grays are best for this baggy trend. Rebecca Taylor created a classic look with herringbone tweed wide-legged pants, a tailored button-down and a cropped sweater. Tight on top, these pants slowly expand to an enormous width. By matching them with fitted pieces, Taylor uses the pants to create a fresh feminine look.Marc Jacobs, however, went in an entirely different direction. Featuring a series of tweed wide-legged pants in his fall collection, Jacobs’ pants are droopy all the way through. Looking at the pants alone, one might think they resemble last years controversial “Bag Lady” look. However, Jacobs’ beautiful fabrics in addition to feminine blouses and accessories morph these highly masculine pants into something edgy, chic, and unmistakably feminine. Whatever wide-leg pant you choose make sure you accent them with soft pieces to complement their heavy look. Tailored tops, flowing blouses and big belts work well with wide-legs. Stay away from bulky sweaters or oversized shirts. You’ll look like you’re swimming in the plus-size sectionYour pants are a personal preference. Whether you are into skinny or slouchy, baggy or butt-tight, there’s a pair of fall pants out there for you. So give the boot to your boot cuts and slide into style with this years fall trends!