I want you to blurt out your gut reaction after you read the following two words: palazzo pants. My guess is you either said something along the lines of WANT, or EW.
Palazzos are a polarizing piece of clothing. Plenty of rumors circulate about the true nature of these pants, and it’s time to get to the bottom of these bottoms. Mythbusting: Palazzo Pant Edition.
Myth: Palazzos are sloppy.
If Coco Chanel and Katharine Hepburn are the poster ladies of “sloppy”, then sure, palazzo pants are sloppy. Chanel was one of the first ladies spotted in these pants, back in the ‘30s, when they were regarded as “beach trousers”. She hasn’t earned her style icon status for naught. We also have Katharine Hepburn, who was a silver screen star all throughout the 20th century. The lady was independent, assertive, and turned a blind eye to the societal expectations, choosing to wear pants during an age where such an act was considered near heretical, especially with the prevailing old Hollywood glamour standard that dominated the times. Her signature piece was the wide-leg trouser. Your palazzo predecessors are as far from sloppy as can be.
Myth: Palazzos look matronly on me.
As with most things, it all lies in the styling. Palazzos encourage you to play with proportions. Even out the voluminous palazzo with a tighter fitting top. This can come in the form of a crop, a tank, a three-quarters sleeve, etc, as long as it’s slim fitted. If you’re feeling especially daring, throw in a print. Depending on where you carry your weight, have the solid color on the fuller half of the body, and the print on the other. This is simply a way to optimize what your mama (and pops; I see you, fathers of the world) gave you, not a rule to live by. It peeves me when publications tell individuals what they should and shouldn’t wear based on their body shape, and I want to stress that it’s just visual arts theory. Theories to keep in mind, but don’t let them drain the creativity from personal expression.
Myth: Palazzos make me appear vertically challenged.
This concern can be remedied in a variety of ways.
1) Urkel it. If there was ever a time to hike up your trousers, now would be it. The high-waist will lengthen your legs, and bring shape to your silhouette by cinching you in at the slimmest part of your waist.
2) Pay attention to the length of the pant. The hem should hit no higher than right above your ankle.
3) Heels/platforms. Viola.
The points above are not mutually exclusive of each other. Done all at once, and you’ll have legs for days.
Myth: Palazzos aren’t practical.
These pants have the look and comfort of a maxi, but you can do lunges and cartwheels in them with minimal risk of a wardrobe malfunction (even in the case of one, they hold up great…). And unlike maxis, they prevent chafing. Yes, I just went there.
Now that these meddling myths have been put to rest, let’s close with some linguistics. Palazzo is Italian for palatial. Considering the massive list of designers whom hail from Italy, I think it’s fair to say Italians know a thing or two about style. Palazzo pants. Palatial pants. Regal pants. Glorious pants. Endless synonyms that all point at the same idea: these are some damn good pants. Give palazzos a chance.
By Adrienne Y. Han