Last year, in the midst of a global pandemic when very few people were venturing too far from their doorsteps, we called the Dress of Summer. Knit and hugging close to the body with side cut-outs and a plunging neckline, Cult Gaia’s Serita dress is undeniably sexy. And it’s exactly what we’d think women would want to wear now as they finally emerge from their lockdown hideouts, carefully slipping on high heels, walking gingerly like newborn foals to al fresco parties. And we’d be at least partly wrong (our inner Virgos have a somewhat difficult time admitting this).
While still a great piece, the emphasis for Hot Girl Summer 2021 is less about a bodycon maxi dress or anything belly-baring, and more about… roomy khaki trousers. Counterintuitive, we know, but hear us out. The standouts from the pack are a pleated, voluminous pair from cult label The Row. Kendall Jenner helped put the Pants of Summer on the map last month when she wore them as they were styled on the runway, paired with a crisp white menswear inspired button-down layered over an easy, classic t-shirt. But she’s hardly the only one who’s adopted this particular look. Our feeds have been taken over by models, celebs, and influencers embracing a very-Nancy Meyers film aesthetic (although one also cannot discount Diane Keaton in Annie Hall here, either).
Celebrity and personal stylist Allison Bornstein posted a tribute to the look, shopping out versions at different price points. “I think it is a return to basics—the lockdown has forced us to really look at what we have and what we wear and I think a lot of us realized that the trendy items are the ones that were going in the giveaway pile,” she tells BAZAAR. “It is the classic, timeless pieces that have prevailed after this year. My clients have been asking for basics: everyone wants the perfect trouser, the perfect white shirt, the most classic cashmere knit.”
And so we may end up with two teams of post-pandemic dressers. Those ready to make an entrance in something bold, perhaps a little skimpy, and look-at-me, and those leaning into a more comfortable and elegant approach to style. If you’re in the latter category, consider these The Row trousers your talisman, your pinnacle of forever fashion, your fastest route to As Good As it Gets level chic. Just add a great white button-down and bask in the glory of your perfect khakis.
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