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FANCY PANTS: The 8 Trendiest Pants for Fall

Fall 2012 fashion trend

This season is all about the statement pants — bold patterns, bright colors, and retro comebacks. And there are 8 very specific types of pants that you’ll see this Fall/Winter 2012.

Here are the trendiest pants of the season, and their budget-friendly look-a-likes:


  • Updated Tuxedo Pants 1 of 33
    Updated Tuxedo Pants
    A modern take on tuxedo pants — in all colors and patterns — is appearing in Fall/Winter collections from J.Crew to Forever 21. Professional enough for work, and fancy enough for holiday parties.
  • SPLURGE: Tuxedo Pants, $350 2 of 33
    SPLURGE: Tuxedo Pants, $350
    Drawing inspiration from menswear, J.Crew designed this ankle-length cropped pant in a popular jacquard print (which you'll also see everywhere right now).
    Buy from J.Crew
  • SAVE: Tuxedo Pants, $17.95 3 of 33
    SAVE: Tuxedo Pants, $17.95
    A similar look, but in a lighter-weight cotton material (rather than J.Crew's poly/acrylic/wool blend).
    Buy from H&M
  • Printed Pants 4 of 33
    Printed Pants
    Probably the biggest "trend" of the moment, this season is all about the bold, daring pants with their bold, daring patterns. And there are even some sub-trends with different types of patterns...
  • SPLURGE: Baroque Print, $71 5 of 33
    SPLURGE: Baroque Print, $71
    The "baroque" trend — that is, luxe, dramatic clothing — is certainly not limited to pants. Yet it's one of the easiest ways to wear this look. (Warning: If you're not careful, this might be a trend that you regret buying.)
    Buy from ASOS
  • SAVE: Baroque Print, $30 6 of 33
    SAVE: Baroque Print, $30
    All the drama, over half the price.
    Buy from Forever 21
  • SPLURGE: Floral Print, $325 7 of 33
    SPLURGE: Floral Print, $325
    Florals aren't just for spring and summer this year. Nope, they're following us right into the winter months.
    Buy from Nordstrom (Rag & Bone)
  • SAVE: Floral Print, $25 8 of 33
    SAVE: Floral Print, $25
    And you don't have to spend over $300 — heck, even over $30 — for a pair.
    Buy from Forever 21
  • SPLURGE: Animal Print, $208 9 of 33
    SPLURGE: Animal Print, $208
    This season has seen a resurgence of animal prints — from leopard to snakeskin.
    Buy from Nordstrom
  • SAVE: Animal Print, $25 10 of 33
    SAVE: Animal Print, $25
    With pants that are this playful, it's best to leave the rest of the outfit more understated.
    Buy from Forever 21
  • SPLURGE: Geometric Print, $135 11 of 33
    SPLURGE: Geometric Print, $135
    There's also been a slew of (extremely) bold geometric prints, reminiscent of those early-90s, Fresh-Prince days. And at all price points.
    Buy from J.Crew
  • SAVE Geometric Print, $12.95 12 of 33
    SAVE Geometric Print, $12.95
    Even under $15!
    Buy from H&M
  • SPLURGE: Plaid Print, $258 13 of 33
    SPLURGE: Plaid Print, $258
    Plaid is a typical fall-season pattern — and this year you'll see plenty of brightly colored, bold patterned plaid pants.
    Buy from J.Crew
  • SAVE: Plaid Print, $25 14 of 33
    SAVE: Plaid Print, $25
    Same bright color, same classic pattern, but at a tiny fraction of the price.
    Buy from Forever 21
  • Shiny (Waxed/Coated) Skinny Jeans 15 of 33
    Shiny (Waxed/Coated) Skinny Jeans
    The faux-leather look is big right now, which may have influenced the "shiny skinnies" that have entered the department stores. Warning: They're not always the most flattering look, especially for those already on the fence about skinny jeans.
  • SPLURGE: Shiny Skinnies, $135 16 of 33
    SPLURGE: Shiny Skinnies, $135
    These Madewell pants have just enough sheen to be trendy, but not too much shine to feel like your legs are on display.
    Buy from Madewell
  • SAVE: Shiny Skinnies, $40 17 of 33
    SAVE: Shiny Skinnies, $40
    But these? These Cat Woman/end-of-Grease Sandy faux-leather pants are ultra trendy right now.
    Buy from H&M
  • Colored Cords 18 of 33
    Colored Cords
    Corduroy pants (or "Cords") are an expected Fall/Winter staple each year. But this year it's all about the bold, bright colors.
  • SPLURGE: Colored Cords, $98 19 of 33
    SPLURGE: Colored Cords, $98
    J.Crew sells these in 7 different colors.
    Buy from J.Crew
  • SAVE: Colored Cords, $34.50 20 of 33
    SAVE: Colored Cords, $34.50
    Or you can find a similar look (in a whopping 15 different colors!) for over $60 less.
    Buy from Old Navy
  • High-Rise Jeans 21 of 33
    High-Rise Jeans
    Well-fitting, stylish high-rise jeans aren't only a possibility — they may just be a necessity.
  • SPLURGE: High Rise, $125 22 of 33
    SPLURGE: High Rise, $125
    High-rise jeans are coming in all rises and styles (boot cut, flare, cropped, etc). I, personally, prefer Madewell's super-stretchy version.
    Buy from Madewell
  • SAVE: High Rise, $20 23 of 33
    SAVE: High Rise, $20
    If you want the vintage-chic look without spending too much money, Forever 21 is the place to look.
    Buy from Forever 21
  • Tapered Boyfriend Jeans 24 of 33
    Tapered Boyfriend Jeans
    The Fall/Winter 2012 "boyfriend" jean has become less baggy and dumpy, and more tapered and chic. Dress them up in heels, dress them down in sneakers — it's a very versatile look.
  • SPLURGE: Boyfriend Jeans, $209 25 of 33
    SPLURGE: Boyfriend Jeans, $209
    A designer take on the "boyfriend" trend.
    Buy Citizens of Humanity
  • SAVE: Boyfriend Jeans, $70 26 of 33
    SAVE: Boyfriend Jeans, $70
    And now a more affordable version.
    Buy from GAP
  • Flare Jeans 27 of 33
    Flare Jeans
    Flare jeans are back, and with a hint of retro 70s. They should skim the floor (not too long!), and they look especially flattering (and leg-lengthening) with a pair of heels.
  • SPLURGE: Flare Jeans, $199 28 of 33
    SPLURGE: Flare Jeans, $199
    These high-waisted flared jeans instantly adds a chic, versatile element to your wardrobe.
    Buy from Matches Fashion
  • SAVE: Flare Jeans, $40 29 of 33
    SAVE: Flare Jeans, $40
    And here's a similar look for much, much less.
    Buy from GAP
  • SIDE-PANEL TUXEDO STRIPES 30 of 33
    SIDE-PANEL TUXEDO STRIPES
    Distinguished by their tuxedo-like stripe down each pant leg (again with the menswear), side-panel pants make legs look longer.
  • SPLURGE: Side Panel, $88 31 of 33
    SPLURGE: Side Panel, $88
    Cropped side-panel pants look especially flattering with heels — whether they're pumps or ankle boots.
    Buy BLANK NYC
  • SAVE: Side Panel, $35 32 of 33
    SAVE: Side Panel, $35
    A brighter, bolder, and less expensive alternative.
    Buy from Urban Outfitters
  • SAVE: Side Panel, $25 33 of 33
    SAVE: Side Panel, $25
    If you're not into bright pants, there are plenty of black tuxedo pants — a more classic look — on the racks right now.
    Buy from Forever 21

Also see:

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Read more of Michelle’s writing at Early Mama.

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