Sunday, February 20, 2011

Help Wanted

Hello, Dear Readers –

I need your advice.  I bought a pair of dark brown, wide-legged slacks last weekend and I have no idea what to wear them with.

These are the pants of which I speak:

I know they look black, but in truth they are a dark chocolate brown.  I couldn't seem to get a better picture of them, but I wanted to at least show the shape even if I couldn't show the color properly.

The problem is that I don’t wear a lot of brown and I don’t think I’ve ever worn brown pants (except probably in the 70s – that sounds right).  And now that I have some brown pants, I have no idea what to wear with them.  Then why did I buy them, you ask?  Fair question – and there are actually several answers.  One, I think I wear too much black and thought brown was a nice alternate neutral.  Two, they were only $10.50 at the Banana Republic Factory Store.  Three, they’re in my size and are a long!  I didn’t even know the BR Factory Store carried longs, so I got super excited and I bought them.

And as soon as I got them home, I realized I had no idea how to style them.  So, I need your help.  If you were in possession of some long brown pants, what would you wear them with?

Thanks, folks, you’re the best!!



  1. I have recently acquired brown trousers after a lifetime in black. Being also tall, I pair mine with this top from Principles:

    Which is actually more *blue* than the muddled brown on the website. Throw on a thin-knit grey cardigan and bright red fingernails - sorted ;)

  2. I have the same problem - I bought a pair of sale brown pants last year and wasn't able to style them, since my entire wardrobe is based around pairing things with black, gray and denim. I feel like greens and blues would work well with brown, or maybe even purple. I'm interested to see how you style these, maybe there's hope for my brown pants too!

  3. Thank you, Feral Apostrophe - I do like the idea of an abstractly patterned top with these. And brown and grey is a neutral pairing I like a lot.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one to fall prey to the lure of brown pants on sale, Anne. Don't worry, with help, I'll figure this out for the both of us!

  4. My favorite way to wear brown pants is to keep the jacket/cardi and top all shades of similar neutrals--taupe, tan, heathery brown--and make the focal point a print (scarf? turquoise/gold/green would look great) or a really wow necklace (maybe piles of necklaces in gold, amber, and green).

    Another way to go, if you have the right pieces, is black, brown, and mustard. Sounds odd but looks very sophisticated.

  5. First of all, congrats on finding long pants at an outlet. That is excellent tall shopping karma.
    I wear brown cords quite a bit. I took a peek through your other posts, and think that anything purple, blue, and grey would look great with the pants. The coral cardigan you sported a while back would look lovely, as would the purple top that you wore with the midi skirt. Your jockey jacket with the orange scarf would be lovely. Oh dear, I've written an essay. I look forward to seeing how you style these!

  6. Sue, I had thought about wearing a top in a shade of brown as well. And I think that you're right, if I set if off with a scarf or some jewelry, it would be good. I'm also liking the idea of the black, brown and mustard - I'll have to see if I have the right pieces.

    Allison, it is good tall shopping karma, isn't it? And I did consider the coral cardi - maybe I'll give that a shot. I didn't think of the purple blouse, but I think that might just work. And the jockey jacket and orange scarf fit in with Sue's suggestion to go with brown and then add a scarf.

    I'm grateful for everyone's suggestion and am actually getting excited to see if I can put something together!!

  7. I have started to buy a lot of dark brown lately. I have a pair of Banana Republic cord jeans in a dark brown. I sometimes wear them with a fine guage v-neck sweater. I sometimes wear them with a large rust red sweater. And, sometimes I wear them with a hoodie I have swiped from my husband's closet. Admittedly, these are all pretty casual looks.

  8. I think rust and dark brown would be very pretty, but maybe a bit autumnal for this time of year. Maybe I shouldn't even think about wearing them until next fall...

  9. Some of the ways I wear my brown pants:

    White top/green jewelry
    Peach top/gold or silver jewelry
    Print top (browns/tans/creams)
    Tan cardigan/tank (pink, teal, white, cream...)
    Rust sweater
    Tan 3/4 sleeve jacket - any color top

    I had a yellow cardigan I used to wear with them, but I ruined it in the wash. It was a pretty look while it lasted though.

    I've seen purple and brown together and plan on giving that combination a shot in the very near future.

    Hope this helps!

  10. Thanks, Nerd Girl; it sounds as though you wear yours with a ton of colors. I'll experiment with some combinations today and see what I can come up with.

  11. How about your patterned blouse from BR with either your coral, camel or brown cardigan? Coral seems to be mentioned as the new *it* color for spring so maybe it won't seem so autumnal??

  12. That's funny, Lorraine - I was thinking about wearing that blouse this week, but somehow didn't even consider wearing it with these pants. I think they would look pretty good together though. Thank you!

  13. hello, I'm a new reader

    I do wear chocolate brown from time to time, but I don't like it head-to-toe. I would wear chocolate brown pants with a charcoal gray long cardigan, and I would add some color with a long scarf - I would like plum or purple with this.

    I like your blog. I am 5'10" and built basically like you, but larger. I have been having good luck with the "long" length Talbot's pants, and there have been many styles on sale lately. They run large - I like the room in the hips, but I get the waist taken in so that they won't droop during the day.

  14. Hi, rb, and welcome! I like grey and brown together too, and think a grey cardi would be perfect with these pants. I realized the other day that I don't have a purple scarf though - I think I need to get one. I can do plum, grey and brown though with my plum top...

    Thank you for saying that you like my blog, and for the tip on the Talbot's pants. I hadn't ever tried them, but I might have to if they run large through the hips and thighs (I like the room too). Thank you for reading and thanks again for commenting!


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