It’s kind of funny how one of our favourite runway looks this season is both universally accessible yet quite possibly the most difficult to shop for in terms of fit and style. But pants—in sleek leather cuts or tweed menswear styles—continue to endure as a timeless fashion statement. “Pants will always remain a classic,” says Amanda Kraemer, a LOFT stylist. “They are no longer just reserved for the office.”

And since they’re both wearable and on-trend in all facets of daily fall style, finding the perfect fit has become that much more crucial. “Shopping for pants is daunting. It’s exhausting and really, really confusing,” says Kraemer. (Agreed.)

We chatted with Kraemer for her expert shopping tips on finding the perfect fit and style of pants, and how to wear them for fall.

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How to shop for a pair of pants: It’s all about the fit
You can play around with the style and pattern of a pair of pants, but finding the right fit is non-negotiable. “A perfect pant is defined by the perfect fit,” says Kraemer, aptly summing up the main goal of your search.

That said, women, with all their shapes and body sizes, should never be bound to one specific cut. “You don’t ever want to pigeon hole a woman into a certain body type or fit, it’s really about achieving the look that you want to create, and making her feel her best,” says Kraemer.

How to shop for a pair of pants: The straight and narrow
A classic straight cut pair of pants can be worn so many ways for the office and events after hours. “A straight pant is very versatile, that works day or night,” says Kraemer. For your fall style at the office, pair a slim pant with a blouse and fitted jacket or blazer, then slip off the jacket and switch into a higher heel at night.

Opt for a straight pant in a navy shade. “That’s going to look perfectly paired with a pump and a soft blouse,” she says. “And I’d say go ahead and try with a black on top, because black and navy is like the chicest colour combination right now.”


How to shop for a pair of pants: The trouser
Simply put, the “Trouser shape remains a classic for everyday,” says Kraemer about the menswear-inspired look seen at Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Jason Wu this season.

“I definitely think every woman should have a classic trouser in black,” says Kraemer. “Go a little bit longer for a night out, or try it with a heel. It’s more traditional.”

Never underestimate the serious sartorial impact and versatility of a trim black trouser. “A straight, a slim silhouette is appropriate for everyday,” explains Kraemer. But swap in a pair of pointy toe stilettos, and ”she can easily wear that at night too.”

More stylish ways to wear pants this fall on the next page… pants-fashion-expert-tips-2.jpgHow to shop for a pair of pants: The boot cut
The boot cut made its haute return to the runway this season in slim velvet silhouettes at Givenchy and black lacquered leather at Saint Laurent. To take the sleek runway look to the office, pair with a blouse and structured blazer. “It’s a stylish update to the work uniform,” says Kraemer. And swap into a feminine bootie at night for a stylish twist. “A slim boot cut—you can wear it to work and take it out in the evening, and it looks great in both environments.”

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How to shop for a pair of pants: Create a wardrobe of colour
We’ll always love a coloured pant—especially in bubblegum pink or cobalt blue for Fall 2013. But a pair of pants in a classic tartan plaid is a bold and on-trend fashion choice this season. “It’s a traditional pattern that looks new,” says Kraemer. “Wear it to a party with a jewel-encrusted sweatshirt and a sculpted moto jacket.”

Or add a bright solid hue to your fall style. “We have that in a brick red colour, which is still in a slim silhouette, but the new colour kind of elevates it, gives it a fashionable edge,” explains Kraemer.

Her rule of thumb when it comes to shopping for pants? “Get one of each leg shape and as far as colours, that’s endless.”

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How to shop for a pair of pants: The new denim
For a new way to wear pants this season, swap in a slim boot cut or pair of relaxed trousers for your weekend blue jeans. “They’re such an easy and elevated alternative to denim,” says Kraemer, who suggests wearing your favourite sleek pair when out for brunch with the girls, then heading straight to a date night later on.

“Pants make any outfit look chic,” she insists. “A straight fit with a luxe sweatshirt with a heel—it’s so chic and easy and it just adds that extra edge, which I think every woman is excited to get.”

Read more:
Come inside the #ELLECanadaCloset!
How to buy boots you’ll love forever
Find the perfect dress for your body
8 steps to the perfect white T-shirt

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