Trend Alert: Women's Pants

Women's pants took center stage earlier this month when they broke out as one of the top trends at New York City's Fashion Week. Designers have brought back the women-in-trousers look with feminine silhouettes and printed designs, patterns, stripes and sequins. The collections from Diane Von Furstenberg and Nicole Miller capitalized on this trend with flowing harem pants, cropped pants and printed leggings.

Not only were women's pants a significant trend at Fashion Week, they remain an integral part of corporate uniform programs. Women are becoming increasingly fastidious about the clothes they choose to wear in professional settings, and many suppliers in our industry specialize in garments that offer a coordinated, streamlined look.

"Currently, we offer poly-wool and polyester pants for women," says Maurina Billere, sales manager of the promotional products division at Executive Apparel. "You can choose a contemporary fit or a classic fit. It's what works best for the employee and the image the company wants to project."

Meanwhile, Edwards Garment Co. recently introduced a low-rise pant for women (8550), which features a boot-cut leg, the most becoming shape in a pant style, says Taraynn Lloyd, marketing director. "The crossover waistband contours the hip and flatters the shape," she says. "This is an exciting new entry into the uniform market because most classic pants either sit at the waist or just below, but they often do not model what you see at retail like these do." 

Many female dress pants are designed based on men's pants' attributes, including a fly front, deep pockets and a stove leg shape. "Even though they fit women, they usually do not look like any of the styles you see at retail," says Lloyd. "Our new low-rise pant breaks from tradition, and while they hold up to the rigors of the job, they have a retail-inspired style and soft drape to make them more appealing to women."

Young women, particularly those between 25 and 40 years old, have expressed satisfaction with contemporary or modified lower rise pants, says Billere. "They seem to be exceptionally happy with them," she says. "I see a variety of bottoms taking shape, from boot cut to peg leg." Meanwhile, Lloyd says tailored pants and comfort features are in high demand. "We will continue to analyze our misses' and women's pants to see how our new low-rise, boot-cut style could translate to other fabrics and pant styles."