One of my favourite purchases of the year has to be my pair of black cropped pants. It’s one of those pieces whose utility can easily be underestimated at first; I knew the pants would be useful when I bought them, I simply didn’t know just how useful they were going to be. Considering how often I’ve worn them this summer alone, the cost per wear is minuscule – far less than the $3/wear which People Stylewatch suggests makes for a great bargain. The thing I love most about them is the cut – skinny, without being leggings-tight; straight, without being tapered. I find this style much more flattering on my body than the usual boot cut, which often has a little too much flare for my taste. As a result, I’ve been looking to find a similar cut in full-length pants.

It hasn’t been an easy search. As mentioned, the boot cut pants I’ve come across tend to be, to some degree or other, flared. Meanwhile, the straight cut pants I’ve found (mostly at Banana Republic) are not quite as streamlined as I’d like. I was running out of options when I heard about GAP’s Black Magic launch – a new collection of all-black (what else?) dress pants for women, boasting an impressive array of styles. Basically, GAP is trying to do for dress pants what it did for jeans last year with the 1969 collection. 

You can check out the various styles here. I was really excited about the “True Straight” which, judging by the promotional pics, had potential to meet my exacting cut standards. I was right … sort of.

Time for a minor gripe. I haven’t bought pants at the GAP in a while, so I’m not all that familiar with their sizing. Having eye-balled a few pairs, decided to go with a size 4 on my first try. I then had to decide between the “A/C” (ankle cut) and “L” (long) version and, for obvious reasons (shortness, to be precise), settled for the former. I lucked out, size-wise – the 4 fit well. The only problem: the length. On me, the ankle cut stops right below the ankle. Thus, it’s neither a true cropped pant, nor a regular one. Basically, it’s a flat-shoe kind of pant – a limiting proposition. As a result, I decided to try the 4L. Needless to say, it was extremely long (even with my 5 inch heels on). But the annoying thing was that it was also bigger on top than the 4A/C. Why? When I finally managed to get my hands on a pair of 4R (regular), I encountered the same problem – too long, too big. [I’m not sure what inseam they’re using for the “regular”, but let me tell you – you’d better be taller than 5’11 if you want to wear it.] I understand the concept of differing inseams … but shouldn’t the size itself remain constant? Gah!

OK, gripe over. While, I did really love the cut of the 4A/C, it was an inch-too-long into ‘awkward’ territory, so I decided to go with the tried and true … what else, the cropped pant (or “Slim Crop”). Although I did not succeed in my search, I am very happy with my new pants. 

Here’s a pic:

Here is a side-by-side with my old pair of cropped pants — by comparison, the “True Straight” looks a wee bit tapered. 

Old                                                         New

And here is a more traditional (flared) cut.

I should mention that I also tried on the GAP “Curvy” style, which is a good basic boot-cut pant – with a slight flare. Judging by the way it accommodated my derriere, it seems to be true to its name.

* Much as I tried, this was the closest I could come to incorporating an Arrested Development reference into a post about pants. While this might be seen as a failure, I see it as a challenge to try harder.

2 Comments on GAP’s new illusion*

  1. Interesting post. However, I don’t think skinny cropped pants will work on me because I don’t have your slender figure!

    And, sadly, I won’t be shopping at the Gap any time soon (not that I did much anyway) because they’re boycotting oil from Alberta oil sands. So, I have no choice but to boycott them. Not to turn all political in your fashion blog, but it’s interesting that they’d rather get oil from places like Nigeria and Venezuela than Alberta.