Palazzo Pant

Trends may come and go, but some things are eternally stylish; like the Palazzo Pant.

Model: Erin O'Connor; Photo: Jean-Baptiste Mondino
Model: Erin O’Connor; Photo: Jean-Baptiste Mondino

Cooler than a skirt, bolder than a dress, and way more interesting than an ordinary pant, the wide-legged, high-waisted Palazzo silhouette provides all the ease and comfort of a trouser, but with an air of effortless sophistication.

Carolina Herrera Resort 2017
Carolina Herrera Resort 2017

We have Coco Chanel to thank for the introduction of the Palazzo Pant. As with her jackets and jersey fabric separates, it was an idea borrowed from the boys. 

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov of Russia
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov of Russia

Always two steps ahead of her time, Chanel spotted these elegant men’s trousers on a trip to Venice and cleverly adapted the design for women in one of her collections in 1922 . She tested them getting in and out of gondolas. Just as Amal Clooney did for her civil wedding ceremony in Venice in 2014 when she donned a bespoke cream Palazzo pantsuit by Stella McCartney.

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She boarded, not a gondola, but a luxe motor boat.355d4585e0108919b1551b3b2e358c8f

With her designer eye, Chanel recognised that the fluid fabric and long lines were exceedingly flattering to the female form. She paired the pant with a Breton top or a simple blouse, and, of course, her signature strands of pearls. Mademoiselle Chanel sported the look on the Riviera shortly after The Great War.

Coco Chanel and Serge Lifar
Coco Chanel and Serge Lifar

From her boutique in the seaside French resort of Deauville, which opened in 1913 on rue Gontaut-Biron, Gabrielle Chanel ‘s smart fashions, her short hair, and her shocking suntan, enchanted the Belle Époque socialities.

Photo: Séeberger Frères; 1939; Deauville
Photo: Séeberger Frères; 1939; Deauville

A major fashion revolution ensued.

1920's
1920’s

The Palazzo Pant—called Beach Pyjamas—ushered in a glamorous era of la dolce vita and “Resort Wear’ was born.

1930s
1930s
Photo: Seeberger Brothers
Photo: Seeberger Brothers

The notion of women wearing pants was new and not without opponents and confusion, but leave it to Vogue to sort it all out:

The convention, ruling for a time, that the pyjama’s place is in the home is now dead and buried. A woman may and does wear pajamas to quite formal dinners in her own house, to other people’s dinners in town or country if you know them well, and the younger and more iconoclastic members of the female sex even wear them to the theater.

~ Pyjamas – When Are They Worn?, Vogue, 1931

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But it was the 1960’s and ’70’s when the Palazzo Pant really hit its fashion stride.

Lauren Hutton; Photo: Francesco Scavullo; 1975
Lauren Hutton; Photo:Francesco Scavullo; 1975

Over the intervening decades they keep making a comeback because they look so eternally chic and modern.

 Jennifer Connelly; Oscar de la Renta; Vogue 2007
Jennifer Connelly; Silk Palazzo Pants by Oscar de la Renta; Vogue 2007

Women-of-a-certain-age can take style inspiration from Jordon’s elegant Queen Rania (47), who wore a pair of billowy crepe Tie Twist Pants by Adeam  during a visit to the White House with her husband, King Abdullah earlier this month. She paired the satin-trimmed pants with a pleated Adeam blouse in the same rose quartz hue, a Loeffler Randall Mini Ribbon Shopper handbag, and coordinating Christian Dior Pointed-Toe Glitter Pumps. The breezy, sophisticated royal look was pure perfection.

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If you didn’t keep your Palazzo Pants from an earlier era, you can try to find a vintage pair, sew some, or shop from the current Spring/Summer 2018 selection because the style is a big, big trend right now.
Porter; Spring Summer 2018
Porter; Spring Summer 2018
I have a navy, pleated pair by Mondi from the 90’s. I always get compliments when I wear them.

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Palazzo Pants are not only stylish, they’re practical, comfortable, and ideal for any occasion. They’re also fun to wear because they swish and sway when you walk along the white sandy beach or the grey concrete sidewalk, giving your gait a carefree insouciance. You look fabulous, but don’t look like you’re trying. They’re just pants, right?

Coco Chanel was on to something.

 

SHOP PALAZZO PANTS:

ROSETTA GETTY: Silk and cashmere-blend jersey wide-leg pants~ Net-A-Porter

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CAROLINA HERRERA: Resort 2018; Look 26

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Givenchy Resort 2018~ Modaoperandi

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Pedro del Hierro: Wide pants with waist tie

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G. Label: Liza Wide-Leg Linen Pant

Goop

 

 

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