Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Give Pants A Chance



The humble pair of trousers, dismissed by many of my sisters-in-vintage who claim not to own a single pair. Well, I'm outing myself, I love wearing them and the wider and louder the better.


I feel different in trousers, purposeful and more feisty, they're the garment of choice when I'm forced into dealing with the grown-up necessities in life like lawyers, accountants and bank managers.


Not so long ago for women of my age (and older) wearing pants professionally was seen as an act of rebellion. As 16-year-old students at our all girls' grammar we fought for the right to wear trousers to sixth form classes and I courted controversy in the boardroom by daring to wear a trouser suit to work in the 1980s. It was assumed I was a lesbian for years afterwards but it certainly put a stop to the directors slipping a crafty hand up my skirt when I served the Château Margaux.


How times have changed. Mind you, my semi-retired elderly accountant nearly fell off his chair when I walked into his office this morning dressed like this so maybe trousers still aren't as widely accepted as they should be.

Lovebird choker (50p, Miss Selfridge closing down sale 2008)

1960s sculptural earrings (courtesy of the magnificent Pao)
I think I've still got my serious business face on here, I don't look this grumpy normally, honest!

 1970s Lilac crushed velvet blouson (Birmingham pop-up vintage market, £10), Red wool bell bottoms (hand made by me), 1970s wide-brimmed hat (courtesy of the lovely Zoe), lacy scarf (The gorgeous Elizabeth)
Hope your week's started off well. I've got several hours of Rolling Stones footage to catch up with on the i-Player this evening so I'm happy.

See you soon!

82 comments:

menopauselsupermodel said...

You look FABULOUS!!!!! I can remember FINALLY being allowed to wear pants to school when I was in the 5th grade!!! LIBERATION!!!
I am still more of a trousers gal--it's somewhat impractical traipsing around a construction site in a dress or skirt.

MyStyle said...

Hi my dear!! Wow, you look totally awesome-not only do the colours compliment each other perfectly, the whole outfit is simply fabulous!! Have a great evening xxx

Connie said...

If I looked as gorgeous in trousers as YOU do I'd be stomping around in fancy pants every day!
Connie*

pao said...

I can't remember...I don't think we were allowed to wear pants in high school...hmmm. But we sure could wear mini skirts! You look fantastic in the purple and red ensemble. That was my favorite color combination in the 60's-70's. Oh, so many cool outfits. ah well. What a terrific shot of my old earrings! heehee. And a great fit on your homemade pants too. Always a delight to see what you've put together, Vix.

rasmbisilodge said...

Looking good lady :) 2 things, I have some wonderfully loud african print fabric i've brought back from Mafia for you. The second thing is a bit cheeky - i've inherited a couple of guitars (an early '60's Guild Starfire and a 1999 Takamine semi-electric acoustic) does Jon know of a decent valuer in the midlands area - i'm in leamington, but have a car. Oh and if you're in the area give me a shout, we have a few decent chazzas here:)
love RasMbisi

Jules said...

Gah, I need to watch that!!
And I prefer wearing trousers to skirts - much more cosier - skinny leg wear for me!
XO

joyatri said...

Purple and red are my favorite color combo now. Through in gold and it's my favorite color threesome. So glad we looked at that stall again and you found this top. If trousers make you feel purposeful and feisty, how does a catsuit make you feel? All of the trousers in your collage are so much fun! I love the Russian constructivist earrings from pao.
Thank you so much for the birthday wishes :)

ALLAROUNDEVE said...

Que bella!

Best, ALLAROUNDEVE team

Tasha said...

You look fantastic and sassy in them! I never understand women who talk about trousers as if it's a badge of honor that they don't wear them. Women fought to be able to wear them when they liked, like your story. Wear whatever you want and just look/feel fabulous doing it, whatever it is, I say. :)

silkpathdiary said...

I do love trousers! You look just wonderful in that outfit!! Even though I don't really suit trousers, they are staples in my closet.
Did the Director really do that to you - I mean was it the 'norm' for them to behave like that? So glad I had a female boss.

Kelly said...

You so suit the bell bottom shape, and love the colour of those.
We rebelled at school to be allowed the option of blazers and trousers, and won. Poor headmaster didn't know what hit him. :)
x

Marla said...

You look stunning in that purple top and red pants. Love that hat!

Lilly Pad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alison, Stephen & Emma said...

I am a lawyer (when not skiving on a boat in France) & I WISH my clients would come & see me dressed like that! It would make my day!

Lilly Pad said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now
I love most of what you wear but I have never made a comment but
This post I just had to make one !!
You look fab knock um dead as they say
And by the sound of things it looks as if you did
You made one old man very happy I am sure lol
Walsall has one hippy lady who stands out from the rest
Keep doing what you do best

Lilly Pad said...

People would need a lawyer as when looking at vix walking along the street they would have a car crash so you need to give people your number
Alison lol

PinkCheetahVintage said...

Love the pants! i didn't know people were proud to say they don't own pants... lolzzz Right on how you stood up to be able to wear them--thanks!

Janice Tutone said...

Love this blog title! The love bird choker is beautiful!

Style Sud-Est said...

These are some pants Vix!
Love them
I think we had the same dilemma in high schook in the 70s - no pants but at the end of my hight school years i think we could wear pants, i think - but we never had any problems in the 80s with wearing pants at work

Anyway you made me laugh when you wrote that your accountant almost fell off his chair

I have a stunning pair of pinkish velvet pants, should style them soon!

Ariane xxxx

Ivy Black said...

Fab! I do love me trousers. I need to wear them to work and I favour the wide legged, Katherine Hepburn style when I can get my mitts on 'em.
I too can remember fighting to be able to wear them at school instead of pleated skirts but it never happened in my time despite the protests. I can also recall being told off for wearing a trouser suit for an interview in about 1986.
How times change!

I love those red ones, they are stunning. Love the necklace too.
Em
xxxxx

Krista said...

Foxy friggin mama in slacks that's what you are! Hot dam! I love that this is your business attire! Your rocking right down to that amazing turquoise eye shadow. I would have paid top dollar to see the face on your accountant.

I think's so cool you were part of the pant wearing movement, I mean that is mind boggling to even think about. I have a picture of my granny that I just adore from the 30's and she is wearing pants showing off her engagement ring with her arm slung tight around my grandpa. That picture speaks loads about her character as do these about you!

I am quite fond of that sweet pair of love birds perched round your neck, they are sweet and that top is to die for. Come here I want to rub it:)

Tonsoflove!!!
XOXOXOXO

Kezzie said...

I love big trousers too! I have some mad stripy ones which I adore! Your red ones are really great- are they as warm as they sound? I tend to wear trousers when I am feeling unwell!

Sarah said...

Oh I love your red trousers, I've been meaning to make myself a pair of trousers for ages but just haven't got round to it! x

señora Allnut said...

you look lovely wearing pants and I agree with you, "the louder the better", ;DD
I've worn pants for ages as a sign of self confidence and rebel attitude, and I'm ready to wear them again if necessary!
Love your red pants and your fabulous hat, really gorgeous!
besos

illustratorclaire said...

I'm with you. Wide bright trousers are a weapon and a comfort.

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Heheeeee!!! I can totally relate to the pants history lesson - those were the bad old days and honestly, what century are we living in when women are STILL frowned on for wearing pants to interviews, client and boardroom meetings and general official "stuff"? Well at least it kept the hoary creeps away from you with their wandering hands - yuk! You MADE those pants? They're utterly amazing and I'll bet your accountant had to have a wee lie down after your visit in such a magnificent outfit. So lovely to see your new top in action:). xoxoxo

Trashsparkle said...

I remember the girls being "allowed" to wear trousers for the first time as part of the school uniform..... this was about '77, at the height of flares, and the looks of horror on our faces when they told us they were to be no wider than 14"....

Seems incredible that they've only been acceptable wear for a couple of decades.

As for those pervy wandering-hands directors, a trouser suit was a good way of making a stand. After all, a swift kick in the nuts would probably have been a sackable offence;) xx

Helga! said...

Your elderly accountant nearly fell off his chair 'cos you are so HOT in those pants!! Poor bugger, his ticker must have done a big swoop and dive, not to mention his poor old sausage!!! You wear trousers so damned WELL! I just look awful in them, or I'd be all over them.I love you in trousers, you're a frigging ROCKSTAR in them!
The pendant is fab!!It looks quite old!
Anyway, accountants, how tedious! I do hope you've a bottle of something nice to egt over that experience with whilst watching the Stones.Grrr, wish I was watching right alongside, but I'm at work and missing you!
Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

I love your purposeful look. Bet no-one messes with you in pants.

carrievintage said...

Very nice pants, You did a great job!

Mum said...

First job - oh you can't wear trousers, the ladies never do. Tough - I was the first to wear trousers to work and throughout my career trousers were the first choice. No one dared to challenge me - must have had a good bum!
Love from Mum
xx

Amie K said...

i bloody love trousers, me. Any excuse to wear them I will. I found a very Vix-esque pair on the sale rail in Urban Outfitters yest for just a fiver (my fave UO price!) in a wool blend burgundy and cream dogtooth. Can't wait to wear them!

Also the dress of my dreams has arrived. I am waiting for a pair of very chunky black courts to come which I intend to wear with it. IT IS FAB THANKYOU SO MUCH!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Trees said...

I love those bright red pants! Although I tend not to wear them myself, my body shape isn't the 'norm' it seems so its near impossible to find a pair that fits both my waist & hips! You controversal pants story reminds me of a time in the early 2000 when the nz Prime Minister wore a pant suit to meet the Queen and it was a huge deal! I couldn't believe it! The PM should be able to wear what she wants!!!

the gardener's cottage said...

you do look like you are ready to kick some serious arse. i remember when my older sister and her friends staged a walk-out at our high school in order for girls to be able to wear pants. and that was in the 1970's. can you imagine? that really wasn't that long ago. you look awesome in these pants and everything else you wear - b/c you wear it with authority/confidence.

Patti said...

Gorgeous, you! I remember "fighting" for the right to wear trousers in Junior High School - such a hot-button issue it was then. You go on and give those accountants a coughing fit : >

Louise Mc said...

I don't own many trousers purely because I struggle to find them long enough. That said, I've recently added a couple of pairs to my over-stuffed wardrobe, and figured if the hem is long enough I can get an extra inch (fnarr). I do like trousers too. Love your bright red ones. X

rosyragpatch said...

Like you I wore trousers to work in the'80s and I remember the stares - they weren't really "allowed". I felt like I was at the forefront of women's liberation...
Love your trousers and top. Great combination.

tralala said...

Love pants, leggings everything really, other than jeans which make me feel very ordinary indeed.

I remember pants being verbotem for women (I was actually told that in my present job - the purple hair and surly Goth demeanor was OK) - mind you I think women actually being at work for something other than 'pin' money was quite a novelty then. And folks weren't really that keen on employing married women as they kept going off and getting pregnant. I was actually asked at job interviews when I was planning to have children. The fact that I never did now makes me even more of a freak!

Not enjoying being sexually harrassed for having breasts or an arse meant there was something wrong with you apparently. Or you just had had no sense of humour, love.

I think you always look terrific Vix and it's all to do with your attitude :)

Trudie said...

Some gorgeous high waisted trousers/pants are very much on my vintage wish list at present. There practically a necessity with my little ones and getting down and into with them.

You are fabulous in those red trousers and I'm sure accountant was taken with your gorgeous self and how damn cool you are.

Rose&Bird said...

I'm sure the accountant was bowled over by your fabulousness! I've always thought of you as more of a dress and skirt girl, but actually you do wear trousers quite a bit too. I love a nice dress, but trousers are just more practical for my lifestyle - it's hard to find vintage ones big enough though. You definitely have the best choice being so slim x hope you enjoy the Stones stuff - Rolling Stones at the BBC was excellent.

Rose&Bird said...

PS I also fought for trousers at school (early 90s), won, then moved house and had to go to an all-girls school where they still wore vile skirts. The year after I left, they changed the uniform to skirt or trousers!

one denim bird said...

Cor blimey Vix, you are one hot dang lady! Love that blouse - and yep, your pants are fab and you wear pants so well! Lucky you! Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the accountants office :-)
Hey loving your scarf?? around your neck, it makes your hair look like its down to your derriere! Next you'll be naked sitting on horseback, ma lady! te he he
Hope you rockers have a fab weekend and I'd love to be joining you in the Stones marathon. x

DearHelenHartman said...

Style is not about the article of clothing is about the art of wearing what tells the world who you are - and why they better sit up and take notice! I am longing for a pair of bell bottoms, or maybe what my mother used to wear in the 70s and called 'hostess pants'. That says it all.

Alice said...

You sure do mean business! I think life would be very dull without a snazzy pair of trousers. I remember a pair of tartan trousers my mum bought me in my teens, totally outrageous and so strange to my then friends, but of course I loved wearing them and that’s all that mattered xxx

Perdita said...

Both my grandmothers wore trousers (or 'slacks') - for practical work and shopping etc'. It has always driven me mad when vintage people claim women never looked at a pair of trews until 1969! We were always allowed trousers at school in the 80s, I suppose in our end of London with diverse cultures and incomes school uniform was often quite flexible and no-one batted an eyelid what anyone wore. It wasn't until I moved away from home in the 90s that I realised some people stared at 70s disco wear and glitter nails!

Sue said...

Nice to know men still fall off chairs when you enter a room!! Pants are fab, just like you!! ♥

Loulou said...

Those pants are terrific on you! I can't imagine never wearing pants. Though I can't say that I have any as fancy as your fantastic selection.

And I so like your Lovebird necklace.

Sophie - CGDN said...

Not enough fun trousers in blogland really. I like to chip in with my contribution every once in a while. I love this gorgeous red pair you have made, they are fabulous x

Emalina said...

You made those beautiful trousers yourself!!! You really are a talented woman Vix! And they look amazing on you.

I wear trousers all the time for work, to look serious and neutral as my job requires, but I do have some snazzy jazzy ones too for weekends. You're right - trousers can feel very empowering and sexy.

pastcaring said...

Well, of course you rock trousers, Vix, and that pair is particularly fabulous, especially teamed with your beautiful new lilac blouson - look at those delicious sleeves, and a bit of cleavage on display too! Bet you brightened up your accountant's day no end.
We were never allowed to wear trousers at school, seems hilariously archaic now. My lack of trousers now is not because they aren't "vintage" enough, or because I don't like them, I just can't seem to get the right fit for me or find any that are very flattering. I know you will say I should have got those Crimplene flares from Second to None! Funny, if they had been a maxi skirt, I would have bought them/it in a flash, but I feel so much bulkier and broader in pants. If I ever find any that fit the bill (and my arse) you'll be the first to know!
Hope you've enjoyed your Stones fest! xxxxxx

Vintage Bird Girl said...

I can't say that pants suit me very well, I seem to require a frock to hide my tummy podge. But pants look amazing on you. You look so long & lean & stylish in them. Although you could wear a bean bag & still look smokin! Xx

Melanie said...

You crack me up, Vix! I loved reading about your accountant's reaction to your "pants." LOL. You trousers are so wide-legged that technically someone could still slip up a crafty hand when you're serving tequilla or some-such. That would make a good photo. And I'm not one to nitpick but the correct spelling is boredroom.

Linda Wolf said...

ROCKIN' outfit, Vix, rockin'! You look amazing!

Lynne DeVenny said...

You don't look grumpy but you do look so beautiful that I can see why your accountant might have been a bit stunned to see someone so glamorous in real life on a week day :)

Vintage purists don't own pants? Fascinating, Vix.

I laughed at your 80s story. Suits so defined us back in the day. I worked in a law firm with an attorney who had the same first name as me. I had a weakness for Ann Taylor suits and she had a weakness for dresses with pussy bows. I later found out that many of our office mates thought I was the lawyer and she was a secretary : /

Joni said...

This is so funny and cool to see this post tonight. I was just imagining in my head yesterday and wondering what style pants you have or like to wear for the most part. Well, of course this is how I pictured you. Just know that little o' me is thinking about you way over here. You look smashing as always.

The Style Crone said...

I love the wide brimmed hat on you and how it gracefully frames your face and creates the perfect silhouette with the red pants. The lovebird choker is a true treasure.

Sabina said...

I absolutely love your hat here. And I can see why those pants make you feel confident. They're flashy and fun.

Jean at www.drossintogold.com said...

My darling, I don't think it was just the trousers that gave your elderly accountant his jolt. You are a dream come true in that lavender blouse and lacy scarf. The floppy hat only adds to the effect. He probably thought he'd died and gone to heaven for moment.

Carina Rosenholm said...

I think that you look stunning in pants ! And I do wonder why pants has become such a no -no in the blogg world...
I love my jeans and I love dresses and skirts ! I love to mix it up !
Anyway - love all your outfits ! You rock !

Make Do Style said...

Well lilac & red is a wow factor and those red pants are utterly divine!! Xx

Hippy at Heart said...

Ha, you look amazing! This winter and after years of wearing cute mini dresses, I have a serious trousers crush. But mine have to be as skinny as possible ;)

delia hornbook said...

Not everyone could carry off those high waisted trousers but you do you look stunning they just enhence your gorgeous figure. Hope everything went well today. hugs, dee xxx

edie pop said...

Vix I adore your businnes woman look!!Trousers are always great on a figure like yours and well, those red pants are fantastic especially with velvet galore, I hope the accountant is fine now, you can seriously harm someone with this great outfit!!
I wear trousers quite often, bending in public to play with your kids could be quite a scandal at the park!
I adore bell bottoms and vintage pants and all the ones you are wearing in your collage would be perfect for me, I hope to find more of them to add to my collection!
Lots of love xxxx

Misfits Vintage said...

I am a fellow pants lover - especially a fabularse high-waisted, wide-legged pair and ARE YOU KIDDING ME, YOU LOOK FRICKIN AMAZING!!! I could NOT love this spectacular outfit more if you paid me in Mick Jagger kisses! The purple crushed velvet number is amazing - AMAZING - the pants are divine - the hat is PERFECTION. Why don't you have your own tv show!?? I'm your number one fan! Love you more than Crossfire Hurricanes! Sarah xxx

thorne garnet said...

I confess: I wear jeans. (but only 100% cotton ones, those ones with stretch in them "grow") In high school, 1972, I got sent home for wearing jeans. I didn't care. I don't follow dress rule very well. Love the bird necklace. 50p is a $1?

Lisa G said...

Vix - you look wonderful as always!! You also look like you mean business! Which is what trousers should be about I think.

I remember when I was at school we weren't allowed to wear trousers - we campaigned tirelessly for the right to wear them but it wasn't granted until long after I left.

Lxx

Miss Simmonds Says said...

I think it might be your shocking red n purple gorgeousness that confused your accountant rather than trousers themselves. You look fab! I love the velvet top and the hat too, you definitely look like you mean business but you're not a corporate drone. Those earrings are amazing!
Trousers at school were still quite progressive when I was there. I still own some trousers, wearing my velvet leggings today, but I just remember how dowdy work trousers of any colour used to make me feel and I spent most of the last decade in jeans, so I'm much happier in dresses and skirts these days

Miss Simmonds Says said...

ps: although a white or cream 70s flared trouser suit would be a dream find

FASHION TALES said...

Those red trousers are sassy and look fantastic on you Vix. I know I do love wide-legged trousers best, probably because we couldn't wear them growing up in school with samsie uniforms ... so rebel away. xx Enjoy your week love. -Madison

LandGirl1980 said...

With pins like yours - I would spend an eternity in hot pants. Alas - trews just do not suit my chubsome upper thighs. I know I could alter this - but - meh. Dresses and skirts it is ;)

Please may I? said...

I would have loved to have seen his face, bless him. Your looking fabulous in your red pants.

X x

Melanie said...

I have two pairs of trousers, one white pinstripe pair and one black pinstripe with a broken zip. I also am hoarding a pair of silver and black striped polyester flares which are quite something, Mildred Roper would love them!

SabinePsynopsis said...

Ha, I don't think it were the trousers alone that made you accountant nearly fall off his chair - but your OVERALL FABULOUS look! xo

Forest City Fashionista said...

Personally I think it was your spectacular awesomeness that knocked him for a loop! I spent most of the 80's and 90's wearing pants and also was assumed to be a lesbian a number of times (pants + short hair = dyke). I wear skirts and dresses much more often now, but mix them up with trousers (especially leather ones!) every so often.

Vintage Coconut said...

Well heck those pants are seriously fabulous and your legs look great in them. =D

grunge-queen said...

You look more gorgeous than Cher from the 70s - no wonder your accountant nearly fell off his chair. I wore pants in the 70s as a kid but apparently it was unheard of in the office. Now it's considered completely acceptable to flash your tits, and everything else, to get your own reality show! :) xo

triskelos said...

You look amazing!))
I remember being send home from school to change - I was wearing pants with my school uniform, and it was a huge deal for my school) And it was 1998-1999, some think like this. I still laugh when think about it) Isn't it crazy? Viva la pants!)

DeniseAngela said...

love love your lovebird necklace & good for shaking up the tight shirts!

Devil made in Heaven said...

I have to wear pants to my work. I think it would look a bit funny showing up in my dress. There was a time that I only had pants and didn't wear any dresses or skirts. Now I love to wear both. Just how my mood is.
How funny that they thought you where a lesbian. :)
I love those red pants on you.
xxx

freckleface said...

That blouson is just gorgeous, the cut, the colour, the fit and the texture. It looks like the softest silk velvet. The colour combination of lilac and red is really lovely too. You make it look easy. xx

Veshoevius said...

teehee! I can just imagine the accountant falling off his chair! I love trousers and as you say it really wasn't all that long ago that it wasn't "acceptable" to wear them. I still baulk at things I read about standards of professional dress and it still turning up in print that wearing a skirt suit is more professional than a trouser suit for women. Err why???

The Brunette said...

ha ha thats so funny that people thought you were a lesbian if you wore trousers that just shows how time has moved on as nowadays more women wear trousers than dresses and skirts!

I feel in the minority wearing dresses/skirts lol

x