Or do you call them pants? For some reason, I tend to think there are slight differences between pants and slacks. But not so, according to Fairchild’s Dictionary. Slacks are listed as “Synonym for pants. Term is usually applied to loose-cut casual pants, not part of a suit. In the 1930s when women first began wearing pants for leisure activities, these garments were generally called slacks rather than pants.” (The Fairchild Dictionary of Fashion, by Charlotte Mankey Calasibetta and Phyliss Tortora, Third Edition, Fairchild Publications, Inc, New York, New York, 2003, p. 359-360). I find this interesting, and a little confusing. I have always thought of slacks as a bit more refined than just pants. “Slacks and a sweater” conjures up a town-and-country-state of mind for me – rich wool, cable-knit sweater and a string of pearls or simple gold necklace. Perfect for being comfortable but stylish. Although it doesn’t really matter what one calls them – pants or slacks – I prefer “slacks” – especially when they are finished!
It took so many fittings during the process of making these slacks, and so many minor tweaks, so that when I finally took the last stitch, I was so relieved! A lot of thought went into them which I will share here.
First of all, the vintage wool I was using (and from which my matching cape is being constructed) is – you guessed it – an uneven plaid. Fortunately, the dominant colors in the plaid allowed me to “ignore” the uneven aspect and concentrate on what WAS even, if that makes sense.
Then I had to determine where I wanted those lavender lines to hit my hips, and where I wanted them to run up and down the legs. These considerations needed to accommodate where I wanted the pants-leg hems to fall in relation to the larger blocks of the plaid. I generally like to have a hem fall somewhere mid-way between dominant horizontal lines. I never want a dominant horizontal line to be right at the edge of a hem if I can avoid it.
I underlined these slacks with silk organza, I lined them with silk crepe de chine (from Emma One Sock Fabrics). I am lining the cape with matching color silk charmeuse, but I wanted a lighter weight lining for the slacks. The only exception to this is the facing on the waistband, for which I used silk charmeuse. The interior of the waistband may occasionally be against my bare skin, and silk charmeuse is just a bit more comfortable in areas which call for a snugger fit.
It was serendipitous that I had a wool sweater, purchased many years ago, which is a perfect complement to the darker purple/eggplant color in the plaid.
Now I’m excited to make more progress on that cape, which has taken a backseat to holiday sewing and shopping. It may, indeed, be after Christmas until the cape gets its debut, but life has its priorities, doesn’t it?