Style Graduate

Professional style on a graduate student budget.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ditch those jeans: Guide to buying pants

As a graduate student, it can be awkward to be both a student and a teacher (many of us double as teaching assistants). I was the typical 'roll out of bed', put on whatever is clean or handy or didn't require ironing girl. But as I started teaching more, I wanted a more 'grown up' style that was still trendy, comfortable, casual and fit my very limited BUDGET.

The only major change I made was to give up jeans - at least some of the time! Wearing pants instead of jeans instantly dresses up any outfit, yet can also be very casual depending on the type of pants and what you wear it with. I have had quite some experience in choosing the right pants, so I thought I would share what I have learned:

* I tend to stay away from cheap styles and polyester fabrics because I can guarantee that they will not last long and they will shrink after washing. This has happened to me countless times before I stopped wasting my money. Aim for quality (good fabrics like cotton or linnen), and in this case, quality WILL cost a little more.

* If you are tall - and I'm speaking from personal experience - then buy pants according to inseam measurements and NOT BY SIZE. Forget about buying a size 4, 6 or 8 etc. because they will probably end up too short. Figure out what your inseam length is and buy only pants that specify this (not all do). Don't even waste your time with the rest - I am no longer taking 10 pairs of pants in the dressing room (knowing better) and finding that none of them fit!

* If you have fit issues, like an ample derrier - again, personal experience with that too - then when you find a store or brand that fits you well - never forget it and always try to buy there - sale or not! I stick to The Limite offline and Victoria's Secret online store, both of which sell quality pants with different inseam lengths.

* When you are trying on pants - stand on your tip toes, or wear heels becaue your pants being the right length while you are barefooted is entirely different from the length when you have to wear heels or boots.

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