How to wear bright pants for fall

Bright pants can work for any shape or size, you just have to pick the pair that is right for you! Read on for advice on how to wear this season's most vibrant trend.

bright pants grey zara

Grey bellbottom trousers, Zara

bright pants mango

Carrot-style trousers (in Waikiki), Mango

bright pants gap

1969 mid-weight legging jeans, Gap

bright pants runway

Yigal Azrouel Fall/Winter 2011 (Photo: Stefan Gosetti/

bright pants linda fargo

Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo shows the perfect way to wear the trend. (Photo: Michael Buckner/

Q: How do I wear bright pants?

A: Shockingly bold colours are fall’s most surprising—and uplifting—trend. This is so not the season of sombre shades. Designers gleefully splashed colour on all manner of garments and dipped pants in every shade. Michael Kors sent out high-waisted lipstick red trousers, Thakoon offered slim fitting cropped pants in bright blue, Prabal Gurung preferred to show slightly flared hot pink pants and Yigal Azourël dabbled in several hues, but his warm yellow slacks brightened up the catwalk the most. Such a variety is very good news because, while we may all put them on one leg at a time, the same style of pants doesn’t flatter every figure.

Fit comes first. Even in a gorgeous hue, a badly fitting pair of pants can do bad things to your figure: accentuating hips, making a butt look wider and doing un-kind things to thighs. When a perfectly fitting pair is doing its job, your legs will look longer and leaner. So, before you start coveting a pair in any particular shade, be sure to carefully examine their shape and assess if they’ll be good on yours.

A moderate flare or boot cut style is tailor-made to balance a pear-shaped woman’s hips and thighs. Petite figures can pull off body skimming ankle cropped slacks. And if you’re fuller figured, choose wide leg pants with a high rise. These will visually create a straight line from your hip downwards, elongating along the way.

As far as colour goes, you’re only limited by your confidence. Warmer shades seem more daring than cool-based ones. For some, bright blue or green may feel much more wearable than sunny yellow or shocking pink. Stick to what you feel comfortable with. And if you find a fab pair in a shade you’re not sure about, at least take them to the fitting room. You could be surprised to learn you are a red pants person after all.

And as for what to wear with bright pants, it’s best to keep the rest of your outfit pared down in both tone and shape. Let the pants grab the spotlight, without any competition. Black is a serious and chic partner for most brights (though tricky with yellow and orange).

Grey is a strong choice that looks great too. Avoid loud prints, oversized embellishments and slouchy shapes – leave those for the clowns!

1969 mid-weight legging jeans, $79.95, Gap.
Carrot-style trousers (in Waikiki), $84.90, Mango.
Bellbottom trousers, $79.90, Zara.