It wasn’t days after I graduated college that I realized I would need a pants overhaul. I had the pants of a recent liberal-arts graduate: a stack of ill-fitting Levi’s, mustard-yellow corduroys from Goodwill, and a pair of striped, paint-splattered overalls. The perfect collection for someone who spends their weekdays leisurely helping friends set up their art shows.
I was saved the day before my first job interview by a friend whose aunt designs pants. She lent me a pair to wear with my least-wrinkled button-down and least-scuffed pair of loafers. Off my body, the pants looked too adult — elastic and shapeless and plain. But then I put them on.
Here’s the thing: these pants — the Avenue Montaigne Leo Pants — are the Spanx of fancy pants, except minus the loss of blood flow and debilitating pain. They are pull-on and stretchy. They are cut at the ankle (which is cute), relaxed on the calf, and tight and flattering on the butt.
They have a band above the waist that flattens your stomach and the fabric erases the line between your hip and upper thigh (a line that has, on my body, never hesitated to make itself known). In the pants, my legs feel taut like the runner I am not. They mystify me.
The other thing about the pants — Auntie’s Panties, as my friends and I dubbed them once everyone had acquired a pair of their own — is that they can be casual or dressy (I’ve worn them in equal measure to bars where ‘divey’ doesn’t cover it and to an old-school Upper East Side social club), can be basically worn with any shoe or top, and are suspiciously flattering on anyone — my friend who describes her body as “a box,” my 90-pound mother, my tall, wide-hipped friend (who buys the non-cropped version). It’s a veritable Sisterhood of the Traveling Auntie’s Panties.
6 Other Flattering, Cropped Black Pants We Like
Note: These are no longer available in black, but here’s a similar pair with a nice curve.
These are no longer available, but here is a similar pair in corduroy.
Note: This exact style is sold out, but this new pair of flare-cropped pants—with some extra flare—are available.
Note: There are only a few of these left, but here is another pair of black treggings with a zip at the hem.
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