Wardrobe Renos by Kay: Blog and Business

Friday, 22 November 2013

Passing & Failing Examples of Foundational Pants

Last week we talked about what makes a piece foundational. This week we are going to get more specific and look at some pants from RW&CO and Mexx. We’ll look at two pairs that make the grade of being foundational and two pairs that don’t. Hopefully these examples will better equip you to choose great additions to your wardrobe.

As a recap these are the 5 things that make a pair of pants "foundational":
1. Fine knit material.
2. Small pockets
3. No pockets on the remainder of the pants
4. Straight lines
This week I'm adding:
5: No visible zippers
6. Solid neutral colour: The neutral colours are white, black, brown &  grey. Each of these colours match with all other colours.

These first two pairs of pants meet all these requirements. These two pairs of pants (or any other pair that meets these requirements) could be worn year round. By changing up the pairings you can create multiple looks spanning a variety of occasions - a casual event, for work or a night out. A myriad of footwear options will nicely pair to create the desired look and mood ranging from ballet flats to pumps to stilettos to knee high boots and almost everything in between. However, to choose the pants that will work for you, you must also consider your body shape and the hem length you need. We'll dive into guidelines related to body shape another day.

Mexx -  pants with black sheen/pattern

These are beautiful pants - very elegant, sharp and chic! To some these patent pants might seem a bit too dressy, but these pants can certainly be tastefully dressed down! These would be great to wear during the upcoming holiday season! A great choice for a foundational pair of pants :)

RW&CO: High density Hepburn fit pant

These are classic through and through. They will never go out of style, and they are simply beautiful. This fit should flatter all body types! You can never go wrong with a pair of pants like these! Another great choice for a pair of foundational pants.

The following two pairs of pants are great pants, but don't meet all of the 6 criteria above, therefore they also do not have the range of wear that the previous examples have.       


If it weren't for the silver zippered pockets these would likely have a passing grade despite the casual silver button and the slightly overly skinny legs. You could confidently wear these with casual pairings only. 

If you already have a foundational pair of black pants you could consider adding these to your wardrobe in time for the Christmas season. They're fun & funky! However, they do not make the grade as a foundational pair because the ingrain pattern is distracting and always acts as the focal point in the outfit. A patterned top will always conflict with these pants, resulting in a disjointed outfit. (Click on the link to see the pattern better).


  1. I love this post! The classic pant examples are fab and I love the sheen in the first example - so fun for a night out!
    What do you think about short hidden zippers in the bottom side legs of black Capri pants,that are fine knit, no pockets, no exposed enclosure at the waist?

  2. If the zippers are hidden I think they're probably very fitting as a classic pair of pants! When the zippers are visible like the silver zippers on the pants above a 2nd colour is added to the pants (silver in this case) as well as the texture of the zipper; both create distractions.

  3. Great examples Kay of what constitutes a foundational piece that is very versatile vs. something that is limiting. I had never thought about the knit as an important element to whether they are foundational or not. Interesting! Thanks for another great post! :)