It’s this season’s trend again! Yes- palazzo pants have once more kept their place as a staple wardrobe element for the coming months. At the recently held Lakme Fashion Week, a lot of designers including Payal Singhal had incorporated this wide trouser bottom into their collections. Whether it’s on or off the runway- these pants are everywhere! In the world of fashion where fickleness is a constant threat, these flared bottoms have managed to have a near-perpetual life and how! From heavy sharara suits for weddings to casual fusion palazzos with Aztec prints- their assortments are ever growing!
Palazzo pants- the broad and iconic fashion term
What is exactly a palazzo? The original one- is moderately loose and has a slightly wider hemline. These basic ones are the most versatile; you can wear them with a simple kurti to office or with a colourful floral top for an outing. However today, the term ‘palazzo pants’ has become a wide umbrella category and accommodates almost all bottom styles with the exceptions of salwar, patiala, churidar and skirts. Straight ethnic pants, cigarette trousers, bell bottoms, shararas, divided skirts, loose slit pants, baggy pleated bottoms and layered bottoms- are all loosely called as palazzo pants. Later in this post, we will see these styles in detail.
Why are these pants so popular?
The beginning of this millennium saw women being hooked to tight churidar suits. However, this decade has been progressing towards loose and breezy silhouettes like lehenga suits, flounce sleeved blouses and of course, a number variants in palazzos. While these bottoms have a heads on when it comes to comfort, there are a number of other reasons for their growing popularity-
- They go well with all figure types- broadening the frame for skinny women and hiding flab for the curvy ones.
- Easy to wear and move around in- they are a quick wardrobe fix for busy and working women.
- The fusion appeal of palazzos is in sync with the growing inclination of women towards contemporary fashion; these bottoms work as a breather for the ones who have had an overdose of Punjabi suits and fitted churidars- while keeping their attire confined to the norms of ethnic-wear.
Above all, one of the most important reasons for these pants to be a sticky trend is their ever-growing assortment. Palazzo pants today have so many variations that they tend to strike a chord with women of all age groups and personality types. Let us see some of the latest styles-
Variations in Palazzo pants
Straight Ethnic Pants
Slightly loose and straight cut from waist to toe- ethnic pants are a new-age ethnic wear style. Printed, embroidered & laser cut-work ethnic pants are hot-selling products these days and have a growing fan-base of Indians across the globe.
Pleats over baggy pants make a chic detail- appealing to the ones who like their garments crisp. Box pleats over cotton and linen palazzos can be teamed up with a short fusion blouse for office while colourful pleated trousers with hand-block prints paired with a plain camisole blouse will soothe a Bohemian soul!
Slightly varied from simple ethnic trousers, cigarette pants narrow down towards the hemline. They are best suited for tall and slender frame figure types. Shilpa Shetty- the fashion empress who has a perfect Yoga body is often seen wearing ethnic cigarette pants with long slit kurtas and off-beat short kurtis.
This is perhaps the most recently re-cycled silhouette from the pool of Indian traditional wear. It is like- suddenly almost everyone around is wearing sharara suits for festivities. The elite-including Nita Ambani and other ladies belonging to the upper uppers of India as well as our glam divas including Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Alia Bhatt and many more- have been spotted wearing designer sharara suits at recently held celebrity weddings and festive gatherings. This Pakistani style salwar suit silhouette has a bell-shaped pleated panel on the bottom paired with a short kurta. A timeless regal outfit which was a favourite of Mughal queens, these suits have a stately look- stupendous and impressive to the core!
An easy breezy bottom style, they are often mistaken for maxi skirts. Ensuring maximum comfort and easy movement- divided skirts have hit the market as a popular casual and fusion-wear option. You can wear them with a long kurta or create a bold look by wearing this skirt-style palazzo with a crop top!
Flared Parallel Palazzo
These medium hemline bottoms come midway between straight bottoms and divided skirts. Quite adaptable to different occasions, these moderately baggy palazzos have a chic and ethno-classic feel attached. Another close branch out is the bell-bottom variation- the retro detail which has made a big comeback recently.
Taking ethnicity closer to contemporary fashion, slit palazzo pants is a recent trend to have invaded the fusion market. These may be straight cut or slightly flared at the hemline and have a very snazzy feel attached. Wearing your regular short kurti with slit palazzos will instantly revamp your look!
Inspired by traditional shararas, ghagaras and Pakistani style suits, bell-bottoms with layers is another adaptation of these loose fitted bottoms. Layered bottoms are well-fitted upto the knee while the lower edge has multiple pleated layers which give them a lot of volume. If you are too thin or skinny, then this variation is absolutely meant for you.
Well the list of assortments does not end here. There are retro bell bottoms also known as hipsters, culottes which are ankle-length or a little shorter, tie-up palazzos and crop palazzo pants- to name a few. With continuous innovations by Indian brands and designers; we can only expect this assortment to grow!
Choosing the right pants
The right bottom can beautifully uplift your look! While loose and baggy ones tend to go well with most of the figure types, some of the variations are suited for specific body types-
- Cigarette pants go well with slender frames and a slim and well-toned lower body.
- For those who have a heavier bottom- divided skirts, straight ethnic pants in crepe and georgette fabric and pleated cotton and linen palazzos work as figure enhancers.
- If you’re short and thin- then opt for narrow cuts while tall and slim ones can bring about a voluminous illusion with layered bottoms and shararas.
The current trend indicates that palazzo pants- the broad umbrella category is going to stay for quite a long while. So I guess it’s time for a wardrobe check and maybe some new additions to your closet!