Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Pants. But no pants.

Today I am posing one of life's great unanswered questions...

Why is it that I can find umpteen dresses and skirts which suit me and fit me perfectly, but not a single pair of jeans?

Yes, I have returned to the vexed question (for me) of pants!

As this blog tip-taps its high-heeled way towards 200 posts, these photos represent my infrequent, but frequently hilarious, forays into trousers.

Please note the piece de resistance, and cause of the large hanging labia search term, my much-commented-upon Valentino trousers.

I can't resist including these babies, the photos make me laugh every time I see them!

Sorry - wearing this print emblazoned on one's crotch is inappropriate because...?

Moving on...

My blog pal, Mrs Secret Squirrel, who wears a pair of jeans better than most, is having a No Trousers week (nothing to do with me bullying her, honest...)

I am returning the get-out-of-the-comfort-zone gesture by having another go with some trousers.

These Giant Pants* are made from a very lightweight viscose, like a muslin or a voile. I bought them for £1 in a charity shop last year, thinking they would be great to wear in summer.

I need to take them in at the waist and up at the hem, so they actually fit and I don't trip over them...

I think I like them because they are so wide-legged, they look like a skirt!
Look how unintentionally similar these outfits are.

Giant pants, belt, bangles and hat - charity shopped
1970s scarf - jumble sale
Top - street market
Boots - Ebay
Clutch bag - gift from dearest Joni 

*Check out Amber's affection for Giant Pants here and here - and thanks for the turn of phrase, Amber, it has entered my vocabulary with gusto!

I spent some time trying on the trousers which remain in my wardrobe, and also trying to be objective about what works on my shape and what doesn't.  

I am in disguise.
You'd never know it was me, would you?

Ahhh... the ubiquitous skinny jeans.
Sorry - jean.
(How could I forget the true fashionista's love of the singular?)

I don't think this style does my legs any favours - a wide leg skims over my sturdy thighs in a more flattering way.

Please note - I am not indulging in body hatred or suffering from low self-esteem related to body image. Just trying to be thoughtful and honest about why I love how I look in some clothes, less so in others.

Happy to show off my thighs and backside in these outfits, for example!

Exhibitionist? Moi?

I think the other issue for me is that most trousers are rather too crotch-defining. And I don't like this.
All those wrinkles, I feel my eyes drawn to my own crotch in a most unseemly fashion!

(God knows what search terms will bring disappointed readers to my blog now...)

Jeans - retail, at least 10 years old
Blouse and huge sunglasses - charity shopped
Hat and Chinese silk waistcoat - Ebay
Scarf - flea market

So having tried on, and looked, and considered, and reasoned - I am getting rid of most of my trousers, apart from the wide-legged ones.


I know - dealing with the Really Important Issues today, folks.

Is there anything you have decided doesn't work for you?
Can you tell me why?
I'm fascinated!



Judy C said...

I love the blog today. I haven't seen any outfit that didn't look great on you. And I think you must notice body problems that no one else sees. You do have a fabulous wardrobe.

Gracey at Fashion for Giants said...

Those Valentino pants are insane, but in the best possible way. It doesn't look like your crotch is either an exotic orchid (nice image) or a fire-breathing dragon (maybe less nice) but I think they're fab.

I don't do well with pants either, but I keep trying because I want to like Pants. I want to be friends with Pants and possibly have sleepovers. But, so far, no.

I also love Giant Pants (obviously) but have the hardest time finding some that are long enough. I shall keep looking though!

Anonymous said...

Your wide legged trousers work really well. I like the outfit very much.
I agree that a lot of trousers draw too much attention to the crotch. When I make my own I leave a bit more room; I don't want to be uncomfortable.
Probably jeans are one of the items that suit me least, but they are very practical for the stables. I hide under long shirts, jumpers and coats when I'm wearing them.
P.S You'd be welcome in our street any day.

Melanie said...

Your Giant Pants are awesome - but I'd say they fall more into the skirt category so you are cheating here. Maybe you could try ULTRA low-rise skinny pants - the crotchal area and a belt buckle would be almost at the same place, which would cleverly detract from your self-consciousness.
I love you in your dresses and skirts and in your inspiring exhibitions!
What doesn't work for me? Halter tops, bikinis, and big wigs that swallow my head - which can also be fun a la Valentino pants.

Marla Robinson said...

Love all these outfits. I am just the opposite. Until recently I could only find pants I liked on me, never a skirt or a dress. This past month I actually found some lovely skirts I liked.

Anonymous said...

I sure love those wide legged pants. I think you also look fantastic in any pants but you're just not use to seeing yourself like that is my guess. I also love the black wide legged pants in the small picture with the awesome patchwork jacket.

I've pretty much given up looking for dresses, especially secondhand ones because my body type does not suit most ALL dress cuts unless it's an empire waist which is a little too youthful for me. So, I've given up looking and because my hips are wide and my shoulders are small I've given up most skirts unless they are pencil and don't add any width to my bottom half. If I could get shoulder implants and breast implants maybe. ha! But I'd never go through all that surgery just for clothes.
If I come back to this world another time around I'm going to ask for a body like Curtise!! And I want to live in England too.

You and I should go on that show, Wife Swap! ya wanna?? ;)

PinkCheetahVintage said...

The labia pants-- I almost can't handle those lolzzz! I love the giant pants, though. You seriously just beat me to the jeans post. I can actually manage pants, but jeans are uber difficult for me now that I am heavier. I think that's why I've slowly accumulated so many pairs over the years that I am now in the process of seriously editing straight out of my closet. It's hard, but I can't handle having all these extra clothes that I don't want to/or can't actually wear every day :)

grunge-queen said...

Well, if you got great gams, I say, flaunt 'em! But I do love those wide-legged pants - they're so hopelessly chic. I think pants are simply harder to fit than dresses. I used to find all kinds of jeans in the thrift shops in Canada (I was smaller then and could wear anything!), but precious few pants. You've got to think about waist length, length of the rise, butt, hips, thighs, all those elements that can make you feel sad if one is too tight etc. or it could be that people like you and me are lucky Nd just rock in dresses! Xoxo

Emma Kate at Painted Style said...

I see you in dark denim boot cut jeans (looong ones) with your lovely vintage boots peeping out from underneath! But I know nothing. I dress in whatever was dropped on the floor the night before... ;)

Thrift Bee said...

Curtise, you have a fabulous shape, there is no need for you to remove jeans as an option from your future wardrobe. You hit the nail on the head in your credits. (This may hurt a bit...) your favorite pair of jeans are over 10 years old. Take an afternoon and head to an expensive department store, Selfridges, HN, or your local equivilant. Go to the trendy expensive jean department and try on EVERYTHING in your size and the next size up. When you discover the perfect pair either skip a mortgage payment and buy them or head to River Island to see if they've done a version. I know the idea of forking out full price retail is hard for all of us, but you are very unlikely to find your perfect pair of jeans in a chazza. x

Max said...

love the clutch bag! i can see what you mean about trousers, they make you look shorter and who wants to look shorter no matter how tall!
the baggy numbers look great, but i cant see typical flares working either. i am short so i always make sure my jeans are as long as possible, mere mm's off the ground when i am barefoot which seems to help elongate me a bit, but ultimately my tip would be to shop around and try on millions of brands and you WILL find a pair that suit you and then just stick with that kind (i love my mavi monas).
i cant do long skirts. skinny and short=olive oyl!

Secret Squirrel said...

Hee hee, I love your challenge reversal. Thank you for linking to me in dresses! Although yes, blue jeans are just not cool enough for you, I think. I have some great snakeskin-PRINT jeans, maybe we should share those?

I love the Giant Pantaloons though :-)

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

I think Max has it, sometimes jeans make you look less tall and willowy than you are - which is very - odd really, as I think they make me look taller. Also I bloody love jeans on me. You carry off everything really though, even the infamous labia trews! The wide legged ones really do look amazing on you though.

I have a bit of a phobia about A-line skirts, I don't even know why anymore.


Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

Also Thrift Bee has a point, I have found genuine 7 for all Mankind jeans when I've been charity shopping though, so it could happen. I can't wait til I go to NY in June, all kinds of denim shopping is going to happen!

Miss Simmonds Says said...

I love those labia trousers. I hope you're keeping them. Same with those huge flares, they look amazing!! I really love those, they're super 70s. Yeah, don't hate your body on your blog, you never know who's going to write an article about it! Fatler is still out there! I'm sure she won't bother you, you're too thin and privileged!
Anyway, you look great in trousers cos you've got an absolutely stunning figure. I love all your exhibitionist shots too.
Was thinking of doing a Frida Kahlo dress up post, if you want to join in? Xxx

thorne garnet said...

Jeans are one the the hardest pieces of clothing to get the fit right. My heart always sinks when a director says "We'll put everybody in jeans, it will be easy" Easy if all the actors are supermodels! You look nice in your jeans.

Debbi@SheAccessorizesWell said...

You look fab in everything. The jeans you think aren't that great on you are in fact great on you.
I think pants are harder to fit because they make them so standard and very few of us fit that standard.

Recently I have noticed that a lot of the patterned pants have patterns that should not have been placed in certain areas. Oh my goodness, some are really onery looking.

Connie said...

I wish I looked as great in jeans as you do! But I am the unfortunate owner of thunder thighs! Your crotch looks very nice.

Gracie O'Tripp said...

I know there are certain outfits we feel best in but really, I think you look great in pants...and "the jean". I don't wear short skirts because my legs are lumpy now.

Lynne DeVenny said...

Curtise, you made me laugh with the crotch-defining ixnay - and the earlier photo of those Valentino pants. I hope you're keeping them :)

I love the giant pants that you and Amber have shared this week. I wish, wish, wish I was tall enough to wear wide-leg pants, but I look like SpongeBob when I do. Those jeans look great on you. You have an amazing figure, but I know comfortable pants are key. I rarely wear pants to work any more because they don't really suit me, but I do love my skinnies, perfect for a shrimp with no hips!

Krista Gassib said...

Crotch defining....well who the hell would like that, it's almost a nice term for camel toe...or maybe not quite :) Helga NEVER wear pants so she would say hey if it doesn't work I ain't wearing it. I do love your vagina pants though, for all the wrong that they are they are so right :) All you pictures in shorts make me wanna slap your ass or bounce a quarter off it. I like with wide leg ones on you because they look like a skirt too.

For me I still feel like things need to fit my body or I feel like I look pregnant. Empire waists are hard for me to pull off and anything high waisted.

I have pretty much traded in all my jeans for leggings and I LOVE IT!

Patti said...

I own no trousers at all (only jeans) - but I love the Giant Pants (even if they are almost-a-skirt)! You look delightful in jeans, and better still in blue ruffled shorties : >

Vintage Bird Girl said...

Oh I am with you on the jeans dilemma. A few years ago I wore skinny jeans all of the time. Now that I'm a dress convert I feel so uncomfortable in jeans. I hate the restricted feeling. They make me feel bad when I gain weight & they feel tight. I can't seem to tell as much if I've gained weight in frocks. Ignorance is bliss! As for what I won't wear....anything strapless is a big no no, as is anything too mini, halter necks & leggings as pants. I actually like the jeans on you, you've got the legs for them. It just looks a bit strange as we are so used to seeing you in frocks & skirts. Xx

joyatri said...

When I read the title of your post I thought it had to do with the No Pants Subway Ride, an annual event here in Boston (this coming Sunday) inspired by a similar event that started in New York. Not that subway riders wear skirts. They, in fact, take off their trousers while on the subway. Something about being spontaneous and kooky and shocking people. I don't really know...
Anyway I agree with everyone else that your body was made for giant pants.

Sheila said...

I love the giant pants. I have a similar issue with pants - crotchtacular! They never fit quite right, although I have one pair of handmade (not by or for me, just a lucky thrift) black satin stovepipe-legged trousers that I adore, but all other pants in my wardrobe are mostly detested and reviled.

You are quite fabulous, by the way! No wonder all the cool kids like you. :)

angie said...

You are being too hard on yourself.You've got great legs and tight pants suit you the most to my opinion.So get out of your comfort zone and wear them more!

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

Sturdy thighs? Where? I think the pictures show you can wear pants in all shapes and sizes. Having said that I am short with sturdy thighs, childbearing hips and a smallish waist which means that pants never look as good on me in reallife as they do inmy head.

freckleface said...

For what it's worth I actually think you look amazing in those jeans! And I promise I didn't look at your crotch until you pointed it out. And even then it was only a peek :) Of course the wide legged pants are lovely, and I bet they feel great on.
Colours like cream, pale grey and beige don't work on me, I need a bit of help and colour helps these old jaundiced chops every time! xxx

Ivy Black said...

I know wotcha saying...I'm not getting the feeling of love for the jeans from you, and even though you can carry 'em off, you're not enjoying them and therin lies the rub.(I think that sounds a bit diiirrrty but I'm leaving it).
I love those Giant Pants..bleedin' chic or what?
I tend to think if I don't feel comfortable in something for whatever reason, I won't wear it.

If you fancy a leg wrestle any time, give us a shout.

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Blimey, the labia trews. I missed out on those the first time around. They are something else aren't they?

I'm actually liking the skinny jeans on you. Crotch issue? Not seeing it myself. Not that I'm looking that closely, Curtise, that might be construed as being a bit odd.

The giant pants are really fabulous on you though.

I love wearing jeans but the thing that doesn't work for me is the vest top. Something to do with the upper arm area. Not a good look on me.

Anonymous said...

To jeans or not to jeans: that is the question..As I'm affected by Body dysmorphic disorder (like you) and as I gained weight during these last months I feel like a 'sausage in the sack' wearing them, I know to sound drastic, but I open my heart to you as you did,calling your beautiful legs that way, I know the feeling, it might offend the fat-shion police out there, but if you don't feel fab, then why keeping them?I prefer looking good in what I think it suits me better, I'm fond of minis and dresses and ,as I spend most of my time working with paint at home in a sort of pijama, when I go out I want to feel pretty!I adore flare pants too and the ones you are wearing are my cup of tea, you are very beautiful!
I only wear black or gray jeans sometimes, blue is not for me!

Amber of Butane Anvil said...

I am honoured and delighted to be mentioned in a post featuring your crotchal region! Thanks, Curtise, you are a total doll!!! You look fantastic in Giant Pants, have totally rocked a number of other pants despite their most usually unsatisfying nature, and the Valentino pants defy description, but you've done it! There is much to be learned at the edges of our comfort zones. xoxoxo

Melanie said...

The only reason I don't wear trousers is because I can't get them to fit in the hip AND waist and also the leg length is usually way too short, so I don't .. I wore jeans once and someone all but dropped when she saw me! "You don't wear jeans!" she exclaimed and I felt all out of sorts afterwards!
You look so different in jeans!

Serene McEntyre said...

I am TOTALLY feeling you on this pants thing! They are SO difficult to size correctly! And another problem s tha when you first put them on, the fit is perfect, but an hour later, they have stretched out and look completely different! I just don't think I have the body type tha looks really good in pants. Serene

delia hornbook said...

I have to say im with you on the jeans front. I don't ever wear trousers i find them restictive and uncomfortable and dare i say it yes a bit un lady like for me that is not for others. Im a dress girl always will be i think. I have to say those black trousers look stunning on you the shape and cut are gorgeous. I also like your wide trousers. I think at the end of the day its best to wear what makes you feel gorgeous and if trousers are not your bag then thats it dresses and skirts all the way :-) dee xxx

Style Sud-Est said...

Fitted skirts and like you pants -
Fitted to close to the body skirts make me body conscious, i still buy them tough and i do not know why, i should always buy A line or flare - As for pants, well i 'm not crazy about them unless they are very ,very good quality, then they fit well.

You look fine in pants i think, but you are the one who knows what you feel comfortable in!
I have a few of wide leg pants, they are cute but again i don't wear them.

Ariane xxxx

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the Valentino pants--in fact I think if you put rhinestones in the crotch area you'll look like you vajazzled!!

I have a hard time finding pants --I'm short-waisted (short from crotch to waist), thick middled, no ass or thighs, AND my legs are freakishly long (31 inch inseam) for my height (shy of 5'4") Yet pants are something I NEED sometimes for my job!! UGH!!

I love your Giant Pants--that's a look in a summery fabric I'm going to try this summer.

I look HORRID in the skinny jeans--my legs are so skinny in comparison to my body that I look like an orange on toothpicks with giant banana feet!!! I need some width to balance it all out.

I've been snagging lots of elastic waist skirts right now cuz I think they will be easier to wear as I lose weight (7 lbs DOWN since Jan 1st!!! yay to me!!)

silvergirl said...

Loved seeing all of your looks here
The jeans you are sporting are too high waisted on you and I think that is what is causing your dislike with the way they look.
I am not saying you need to head to the super low cut jean area, just not quite so high waisted.

Penny-Rose said...

Phew, where do I start my comment??? Your thigh collage shows that you have fabulous legs and backside. But your face in some of the trous photos shows you are not totally comfortable. I think we all know that feeling of not being totally comfi, and thats the trick. You look awesome in the Valentino pants - you are having a laugh and rocking it. The Valentino trousers are my all time favourite and I think they are really flattering because of the tromp l'oeil (sp???) effect which gives the impression of low rise which in fact the waist is high. I agree with some of the comments about high waisted jeans - a lower waist would suit you. I disagree about high end for jeans - plenty of jeans end up in charity stores. I search for my size and style and eventually find something.
My own no-nos are ....wide leg pants (which are cheating by the way!!), halter tops (no boobs), leggings as pants, and listening to my mother's fashion advice. xx

Jan Graham-McMillen said...

Arrrrgggggg! NOOOOOOO! The only thing I don't like about you in your skinnies is that it makes you look about 20 years old and I am, accordingly, envious. Keep at least one classic pair, please. You look so good in them, and they make a departure for your already many faceted style. For when you want to depart, that is. Those of us who are stubby little hobbits can only marvel at the advantage you are ignoring in encasing your mile long legs. Do what thou wilt, of course, and know we love and admire you anyway. But do follow your gut with the Valentinos. Ew.

Rosemary the Shopper said...

Pants don't work for me either. Don't remember exactly when I gave them up. I do remember abandoning jeans about 10 years ago, which most people find to be an unimaginable feat. To be honest, I don't do casual, so it's no big deal for me. What I wear will take me pretty much anywhere. If I want to "dress up" I have to wear a tiara.


Rosemary from

Rosemary the Shopper said...

Forgot to mention I did purchase the same giant pants, but had to take them back, as I felt the legs were too transparent. At least I think they are the same pants. Certainly the same colour!! I can see why you fell for them.

Rosemary from

Bella Q said...

Curtisse- I don't like pants! At all! But today I'm forced to wear them. I love how you wear your pant- showy and flowy! But I think less is more- and the dress is the way to go.

Tamera Beardsley said...

I always so enjoy visiting your blog my dear! I love you in all the looks, but I do find the jeans a less inspired look for you. Most all of us can 'do' jeans, but not all of can carry off such exuberant styles with the same stylish aplomb as you! Did you know that you helped inspire my New Years Eve 'crown'? I thank you for the inspiration!Please keep doing what you do!!

Sacramento Amate said...

You have fabulous legs,but to me you look st your most adorable wearing dresses,and skirts or big 40s pants.

Miss Magpie said...

See I find wide legged trousers difficult, some look fine and some look TERRIBLE on! I don't have a waist so that might be part of it. I just can't do V-necks. I keep buying dresses with crossover or v-neck fronts and then thinking 'err no' when I put them on, but then I see another one and think 'oh it's so pretty'......

Roki-blog said...

Super blog !!!!
Jette un coup d'oeil a mon blog, il est nouveau, besoin d'avis
A bientot :)

Mrs. D said...

I have a similar issue with trousers, although lately I have been more drawn towards them, as well as more adventurous - silver trousers, wide legged, you name it.
I really like the wide legged trouser outfit. I'm not a huge jeans fan!
huggles xx

Rose&Bird said...

I have similar crotch issues with trousers, which is why I live in jeans (please don't make me leave the party!), but I like trousers because they're practical. I think you wear trousers better than you think you do, but as others have said, it's about how YOU feel when wearing them. I would certainly like to have legs as long as yours x

Emma Kate at Painted Style said...

This is interesting reading! Don't give up on jeans! She shows how different jeans can look on the same arse. Mostly U.S. brands but the same can be said of ours. x

Vintage Coconut said...

Call me crazy but I think you look great in pants and EVEN your jeans! Whatever your seeing I am not seeing it Curtise. *heh* Isn't that always the way it is. =p

Trees said...

LOVE this post!! As you may have noticed...I also don't like pants. I just can't find ones that fit - usually when I say that people look very confused, but apparently companies don't make pants to fit my hip/waist ratio. I'm actually thinking of doing a "make your own trousers" sewing course so I will own at least ONE PAIR of trousers that fit me in my lifetime (apart from gym pants that is). I do like you in those wide leg pants - you have the lovely long legs to make them look fabulous!

bonsaimum said...

Hilarious post.I think wide pants always look good unless you are 2ft tall. I love the colour. I agree with you about jeans. They always seem to be too tight around the crotch area. Skirts are much more comfortable.

Vicky Hayes said...

I screamed at the Valentino pants!

Actually the photos of you in skinnies are fab but I know what you mean as I have the same sort of body shape as you and can't quite get to grips with trousers myself. After lots of experimentation I now wear skinnies (sorry, I mean The Skinny) with tunic style tops and boots. Shoe boots are good as long as they have something going on at the ankle but knee boots work quite well too although at this time of year you have to be a bit careful that someone doesn't mistake you for Dick Whittington...

Shall I go away now?!
Vicky x

Fiona said...

My wardrobe would be empty without jeans as I very rarely wear skirts due to my awful legs. Am getting better now I've got a pair of knee high boots tho' I always feel as if my arse looks a mile wide in a skirt and just feel better in trews, all in the head I know! Love my skinnies with a long jumper and boots but don't do leggings.
(camel toe-ugh!)
You look effortlessly chic in your wide pants outfit but think you look great in trews

Forest City Fashionista said...

I prefer skirts and dresses to pants too - they fit me better, and I can wear funky tights with them. Most pants don't flatter me as I have no hips or butt. The jeans don't look bad on you, but they are just sooooo boring in comparison to your fab maxis. I do love the *GIANT* pants and vote that they stay in your closet.

CityScape Skybaby said...

I think you look fantastic in skinny jeans Curtise, you've got a great figure for them, I remember a woman in the local shop slapping my mum's bum and telling her she had a great backside when I look at you in jeans! You could definitely wear them with confidence if you wanted to. I'm the opposite of you, I live in trousers, mostly skinny jeans, and find skirts hard to get used to. Everyone tells me I suit maxis because I'm tall, but I just see a big drippy looking woman when I look at myself in them, even though I love them on other women. I'd love to wear higher heels too, and have a few pairs that I put on now and again, but I feel too tall to actually go out in them. I was obsessed with Kimora Lee Simmons for a while because she was tall and wore massive heels! I wanted some of her confidence. xx

karensomethingorother said...

Oh! Jeans are in my evil trinity of things to shop for. Jeans, bras and bathing suits: all idiots. I loved your gorgeous photo montages though.

Stacey said...

I love those giant pants! I was more of a skinny jeans girl until I got pregnant, and now I've discovered the joys of wide, wide legged pants. It's a life-changing moment, really! Yours are such a gorgeous colour too - I think they're much more exciting than the jeans!