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Doing The palazzo prance

AKA When Clothes Try to Kill You

The other day I was almost tripped down my front steps. Worryingly, the culprit was well known to me: my clothes. Specifically: my palazzo pants. It wasn’t the first time that these trousers of mine had tried to do me in. The odd almost stumble on the stairs and the escalators on the Underground and suchlike but nothing quite as violent as the recent attempt on my life. And had that attempted tumble been successful, I know who would have come off worse – and it wouldn’t have been the steps. Or the palazzos.

It is a risk though when it comes to wide-legged trousers, something which I have been forced to discover over the years as this happens to be a look that I love (probably my favourite version of mine is a pair of midnight blue trousers I bought some years ago by Jil Sander at a period when she was at the helm of her label; I tracked them down in Milan during fashion week). But with this current pair the risks seem to be even higher: I think it’s the silk jersey fabric they're made of that seems to cling and fold together as well as twist around calves and try to trip you up. It's the width of it all: it's also makes it all too easy for the tip of a shoe to tangle up in the excess fabric - or for the fabric of each leg to somehow entangle itself with the fabric of the other leg. And then oops, you topple forward and suddenly your face is heading for the pavement. It isn't just trousers, of course, I have a friend whose billowing skirts of their long floaty dress conspired to throw the down the escalators on the tube (thankfully nothing but pride was broken but the bruising was severe).

Still, despite the safety risks, I don’t want to give up wearing palazzo pants, I find the looseness of the fit and the fabric to be flattering around my legs (though I appreciate it doesn’t particularly look like in the photograph below!). And as I tackle my weight and try to deconstruct my emotional eating issues, I feel I need all the flattery from my clothes that I can get. Looseness seems to imply less-ness of the body inside.

As a result of the inherent risks in my sartorial choice, I have developed a form of self-protection, something I call the ‘palazzo prance’: a style of walk that I adopt in any potential risky situations (such as using stairs) whenever I'm sporting these dangerous trousers. It involves looking like a bit of a dressage pony, as I stick out each leg staccato-like and ensure that it hasn't caught on any excess fabric flapping around before planting the foot safely on the ground.and lifting the other.

Because quite simply, I consider the risks to be well worth it - always have, always will. I enjoy the swishiness of this look, I adore the retro 1940s Katharine Hepburn-ness of it all - not to mention the ultimate palazzo pant wearer Renee Perle, muse to Jacque Henri Lartique - a decade earlier. They just feel swellegant on – even if they should come with a risk warning.

Glutton for fashion punishment that I am, I'm thinking of splashing out on a new pair as I've found these at Me and Em.

and also these from the wonder woman that is Norma Kamali

So it looks as though I may be doing the palazzo prance for some time to come. Talk about living life on the fashion edge......

You can follow me on Instagram @edwinaingschambers


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