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Your online guide to nailing 2012's feminine tailoring trend with ladies pants

Feminine tailoring is a constant on the designer catwalks and is a fashion buzzword for 2012. Women's pants form the core of this look, along with shirts and jackets. They come in such a huge variety of styles and cuts that you’re sure to find your perfect pair, even if you typically shy away from pants and tend to stick to  skirts and dresses.

What we love so much about ladies pants is that they can be cheap and casual for hanging around the house or running into the supermarket. Or they can be designer, formal and beautifully tailored for a smarter look. We’re totally spoiled with choice and that’s exactly how we like it, isn’t it ladies?

Take a look at our latest online style guide that gives you the lowdown on the perfect new pair of pants to fit your body shape, before heading over to our shopping pages where we’ve taken the stress out of online clothes shopping. We've done this with our easy-to-use filters and comparison tables so all you need to do is compare styles and narrow it down to one pair of ladies pants (or two, or three, or four…).

The latest pants styles

Leather Women’s leather pants are a great option if you’re looking to add a bit of edge to your outfit and a focal point to your look. Stick to slim fitting styles to avoid looking outdated. 

Jeans The staple wardrobe must-have, every woman should own at least three pairs of denim. Get the right wash and fit and these will be your go-to pants for all occasions.

Chinos Chino pants have made a huge comeback in past seasons with both men and women. Originally made from a 100% cotton twill fabric and traditionally sandy-colored. Nowadays chinos come in a endless variety of colors and can be made from a cotton-synthetic blend.

Leggings A very tight-fitting style made of a mix of curve-hugging cotton, spandex and lycra. Leggings have become popular in the past few years as they’re comfortable and easy to wear under long  tops and short dresses. Thicker than tights, leggings make a great option for the colder months.

Jeggings Similar to leggings, jeggings are also form-fitting and are a good option if you like the look of denim but find them a little restrictive and/or uncomfortable. Many jeggings also include denim-like details such as stitching and pockets. These can be difficult to wear so we’d suggest only wearing them if you’re slim and always, always, always wear a long top.

Treggings not to be confused with jeggings (or leggings!), treggings are trousers’ younger sister, with the trouser look complete with added stretch. A good option for a casual look but shouldn’t be used in more formal situations. Remember to pair with a long top too!

Tracksuit bottoms Perfect for casual attire and ideal for hanging around on the weekends. Tracksuit bottoms are loose fitting and cosy and tend to have a soft, fleecy lining.

Culottes culottes look similar to a  skirt but are actually trousers. These are a great option for summertime as their wide leg and easy fit make them the perfect cool-me-down in hotter weather.

2012’s hottest cuts and how to wear them

Tapered Tapered pants have been extremely a la mode in recent seasons thanks to a revival of feminine tailoring and smart cuts on designer catwalks such as Yves Saint Laurent and Erdem. The tapered pant is loose from the hips before tapering from the knee downwards.

Peg leg Peg leg styles are loose fitting from the waist through to the knee and then taper for a tighter fit above the ankle. Depending on the color you choose the peg leg is a gorgeous option for work or play. Stick to black, navy, grey and neutrals for work and pair with a blazer and blouse for the office. Take it into eveningwear with killer heels, a smudge of lipstick and statement jewels.

How to wear tapered/peg leg:

  • Wear cropped at the ankle. Turn the bottoms up if you need to. 
  • Tapered and peg leg pants can sometimes be tight at the top when you sit down so make sure you get just the right fit. Buy a bigger size and bring them to a tailor to take the legs in if you need to. Wearing a size too small will highlight any imperfections and make you look bigger. 
  • If you’re short but slim, create the look of a longer body by wearing one color from head to toe.
  • Pair with a loose-fit drapey top or voluminous blouse and a blazer to nail the feminine tailored look. 
  • Shoeboots look fab with tapered and peg leg trousers – try it!

Skinny/ cigarette Leg-lengthening and slimming thanks to their close fit to the legs. Skinny or cigarette styles look fantastic on the modern woman in a formal environment or out for drinks with the girls.

How to wear skinny/cigarette pants: 

  • Stick to dark colors if you’re not confident with your lower half. These are the most flattering colors and conceal many imperfections. 
  • Don’t be afraid to buy a stretchier style - you want to be able to move around in skinny styles. Just don’t go too loose or you’ll find yourself in straight-leg pants territory.
  • Experiment with shapes and silhouettes on your top half. Go slim-fitting for casual or drinks with the girls, and soft and billowing for formal environments. 
  • Flats can look fine for a casual look but the best way to wear skinny or cigarette styles is with a heel. Hide thicker calves by tucking into boots. 

Cropped Crop pants offer a spin on the traditional pant style by ending above the ankle. These can be great for flashing a bit of flesh without being overly sexy. Even better, they’ll slim you down by showing off your slender ankles.

How to wear cropped pants:

  • Getting the length right is vital when wearing cropped styles. Anything ending above mid-shin will look casual whereas a crop that’s too long will just look odd!
  • If you’re petite buy from retailers with a petite section; the proportions and cut will be tailored to your height. 
  • Shop for a cropped pair that can be rolled up or down depending on your mood and occasion. 

Wide leg A great option on wide hips or big thighs, the wide leg style skims all your lumps and bumps and balances out your figure.

Palazzo Palazzo pants are similar to the wide leg style except that they’re even wider and are considered less formal. Fabrics are often light and designed to be worn on a yacht with a cocktail in hand!

How to wear wide-leg/palazzo pants:

  • Always wear with a pair of heels. The wide leg/palazzo’s leg-lengthening magic will only work when paired with a generous wedge or stack heel.
  • Tucking a slim-fitting top into the waistband of your trousers is the best way to complete this look. 
  • A layered or billowing top can also work if tucked in and paired with a waist cinching belt. 
  • Avoid wide-legged styles if you’re short because they can make your legs look even smaller – opt for flares or tapered styles instead. 

Bootcut A classic shape that women of all shapes reach for. Bootcut pants are flattering on most body types thanks to their curve-slimming and leg-lengthening fit. The bootcut style is cut close to the body at the hips and down to the knees before flaring out toward the feet.

How to wear bootcut pants:

  • Make sure the bootleg finishes just slightly above the floor and they fit snugly around the butt. 
  • This is our #1 pant style as it fits all shapes and sizes. Just be careful you get the right size so you avoid bulges and the dreaded muffin top. 
  • Pair with boots and heels for a leg-lengthening effect.
  • Can be worn both formally and casually with either slim-fitting or flowing tops. Break up the look with a belt. 

Which style of ladies pants will ift my body shape?

Hourglass You can choose from the most pants styles. Bootcut and wide legged styles will look gorgeous on your curves and emphasise your little waist. Experiment with skinny or cigarette pants if your legs are slim.

Pear Stick to darker colors to slim your bottom half. Wide-legged, boot cut or flares look best on your pear shape while light colors and skinny styles will emphasise your hips. Details around waist, pleats or front panels will draw eyes from your bottom half to your tiny waist.

Apple Go for flat-fronted, semi-rise pants in a bootcut or flared style. Avoid tapered pants and skinny/cigarette styles and don’t even go near pockets, pleats and gathers at the waist.

Boyish You have the perfect figure to pull of a wide variety of pant styles. Avoid overly-wide pants as these will make you look out of proportion but apart from that you fit most styles! Tailored and tapered pants were made for your elegant frame.

Top heavy Wide legged pants are great for balancing out your top half. Combats or styles with pockets will add volume to your lower body and light colored pants look great on you.