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The softer side of dressing

DesignLiz Nunan, Gap Inc. blogger1 Comment

In addition to that go-to pair of jeans, women are mixing up their wardrobes with soft dressing, taking track and yoga pants way beyond the gym. Comfort and style? Yes please.

So, what brought this trend about?

We asked Rebekka Bay, Creative Director for Gap, and she told us it originates from sportswear – an American staple. Jill Stanton, Old Navy’s EVP of Product Development & Design added that while our customers are still addicted to skinny jeans, women love having options.

Nancy Green, President of Athleta, sees the relaxed pant silhouette as part of a larger trend. “Today, women are living more active lives, and they are looking for their fashion to reflect that lifestyle.”

Now how do you go about putting together a soft pant look? Here's advice from our fashionable execs:

Rebekka Bay: With the flowy pant, look at shirts that anchor to the waist or are more cropped. Think about tops with open slits…personally I like the trend casually rolled with a small heel.

Jamie Lewin, Director of Trend and Design for Piperlime: You want to wear tops that are slightly cropped or able to be tucked in so you can see the waistband. We like to style the pant with heels, always balancing trends that can skew masculine with something feminine.

Melloney Birkett, Vice President of Women’s Design for Banana Republic: The relaxed attitude of the soft track pant pairs perfectly with the longer knit jacket; or style it with an easy 1/2 tucked sweater or the new proportion sweatshirt shape. A strappy heel elevates the look while the flat slide and the skate sneaker lend true attitude.

Nancy Green: It's a trend that is extremely versatile..  Athleta materials have wicking properties, making the pants fast drying. And, with all of these properties, you still have full range of movement – dancers can also wear them. They are also great for work travel. Really, you can wear them throughout your day.

Jill Stanton, EVP of Product Development & Design: Feel free to play with proportions and fabrics – wear a silky, drapey pant with a printed T-shirt during the day and dress the same pant up with a fitted, structured shirt at night.

What’s your favorite soft dressing look? And what would you like to see from us next season?