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    Get Your Crazy Pants On

    Colored and patterned pants are everywhere, but they're so LOUD they don't seem to go with anything. Or... do they? The Fashion Mailbag is here to help. Warning: ADVANCED DRESSING AHEAD.

    Have a question or want to talk fashion with Amy? Email her at

    I see brightly-colored and patterned pants EVERYWHERE. Floral pants, leopard pants, hot pink pants, cobalt blue pants, sheer pants. I'm drawn to them, but I have zero idea of how to wear them or where I'd wear them. What does one do with those things?

    Funny you ask because I am wearing bright purple pants today and I'm having so much fun wearing them that I couldn't resist tweeting about how fun it is. (A gross Twitter move, I know, but I figured the inherently funny nature of "pants" made it passable? Anyway, it wasn't about my breakfast cereal, so everyone just SETTLE DOWN.) So I highly recommend we conquer this fear of novelty pants you have so that you too can experience this fun!

    Throughout this post let's focus on trousers instead of jeans which are also coming in lots of novelty styles this season. Since it will soon be too hot for jeans, trousers are the way to go for near-future pants purposes. They look — and better yet, feel — like pajama bottoms. You can find them easily at Zara:

    Or Forever 21:

    Or on Shopbop:

    They're a great alternative to the other hot trend this season: all white. I keep harping on this but walking out the house in a totally white outfit is like running out the door and shouting "STAIN ME!!!!" (It is seriously the scariest most danger-prone yet most tempting trend ever — the poisoned apple of spring trends.)

    So once you've procured a loud pair of bottoms, what to do with them? You could, of course, just wear a white or black, maybe gray, top with them — a basic item that goes with just about anything. But when you're wearing something as exciting as colored or patterned pants, you may as well take your fashion forwardness that extra step forward with two other trends that are all the rage on the runways lately: color-blocking and mixed prints.

    BE WARNED: these trends qualify as advanced dressing — dressing for people who really love putting outfits together, and thinking about putting outfits together, and are okay with walking around maybe looking like they thought really hard about what they're wearing. Yes, we're venturing into... Fashion Week street style blog territory.

    So! COLOR-BLOCKING: defined as wearing solid pieces of different, usually very bright colors. This is a clever way to go about wearing bright blue pants without just wearing white or black on top. Would you have thought of this outfit above? I probably wouldn't, but if you have a lot of free time one Saturday maybe you can study up on color-blocking and this will start coming naturally to you.

    Here's another example from Milan Fashion Week:

    Red + pink = STYLE. Anyway, that's color-blocking. In fact I thought about wearing a hot pink shirt with my purple pants today but I decided I didn't want to be Like That, so I am instead just wearing black. But moving on! This next look — mixed prints — is more advanced.

    She kiiiind of looks like a crazy grandma but it's also pretty awesome, right? But you have to be careful because mixing prints makes it easy to look crazy in a bad way. Or, like a matador:

    So that's it for today's installment of Fun With Pants. Don't regular jeans seem so Kraft cheese now? You deserve a nice baked brie with a honey walnut garnish. So go out there and have some fun with those bottoms.