At first glance, a pair of men's yellow pants may not seem like the most practical garment in the world. Don't rule them out, though: Despite their lack of versatility, brightly colored pants do present some intriguing style possibilities every now and then. It all boils down to choosing the right shade and knowing when to wear them.
The Advent of Colored Pants
They've been around for years, but colored pants probably made their strongest statement during the 1980s. It was the decade of extravagance and excess, a bold fashion era that found bright splashes of color on everything from hair to high-top sneakers. Men embraced unexpected hues like green, coral and even pink, transforming once conservative ensembles into brow-raising outfits representative of popular culture at the time.
Among the Miami Vice and Michael Jackson imitators were also a slew of styles not necessarily inspired by celebrity culture, but enjoying their own time in the spotlight nonetheless. Preppy looks, in particular, employed the use of colors like pink, tan and yellow, although these were spotted mostly on knit polo shirts and paired with madras shorts, loafers, bucket hats and the like. The use of pastels and more feminine shades suddenly became acceptable, though, and it wasn't altogether surprising to spot pants in these shades from time to time, too.
Of course, since the '80s were all about going over the top, colors could be as brash and outstanding as they were demure and understated. Vibrant nylon parachute pants were particularly favored during these years, as were colorful corduroys. Today, brightly colored pants may not be the norm for everyday wear, but they do still enjoy popularity in Europe and in some areas where preppy styles are commonly worn (think Long Island and New England).
Working the Yellow
If you really aren't sure how to incorporate yellow pants into your wardrobe, choose the right shade of yellow first. Just this much will help you feel more comfortable in planning an outfit around the pants. If you normally favor neutral shades like khaki and brown, bright yellow probably isn't the color for you. Opt instead for very faint, light yellows that are blended with white for a toned down appearance.
The beauty of yellow pants is their ability to blend so well with other hues. During the winter, it's a perfect partner for a rich maroon, navy or hunter green sweater. Dress those pants up with a crisp button down top and a sweater vest for a relaxed yet pulled together look. During the summer, keep it light and fresh by pairing the pants with a white polo shirt.
Shopping for Men's Yellow Pants
You don't have to look far to find a surprisingly decent selection of yellow pants for men. In fact, there are pants available in all shades of the rainbow, which may come as a shock considering that traditional men's wardrobes aren't particularly rife with candy-coated trousers. Still, there's a market out there for them, and there are many varieties available.
- If you're looking for a pair of smart yellow trousers for basic, everyday wear, consider a pair of crisp cotton pants. They're perfect to wear on the warmer days of spring, on weekends and even during cooler weather when paired with a gray or maroon sweater. They can even be worn to the office on casual Friday! Look for wrinkle-resistant styles that remain in great condition and wick moisture away from the skin.
- If you're more the fashion-forward, trendy sort and love calling attention to yourself via your wardrobe, consider a pair of bright low-rise pants. Men's labels BAD Men and ZU+ELEMENTS both offer intriguing styles that sit low on the waist and are available in loud colors. These styles are best worn with a form fitting, tucked in t-shirt and simple black slip on-shoes.
- Whether you're attending an '80s costume party or just happen to love corduroy pants, you may find just what you need in a pair of Polo Ralph Lauren Men's stretch cords. They're available in a brilliant shade of yellow and boast a classic cut, with straight legs and a flat front providing a flattering fit. Find them at better department stores everywhere.
- For a little twist on the traditional pair of jeans, invest in a pair of American Apparel's unisex colored jeans. They're available in everything from hunter green to pale yellow, a shade so demure it's practically white. If you want to take it a step further, opt for the mustard version - it's a deep, rich color with a distinctly autumnal undertone.
- Men's yellow pants probably look most practical on the golf course. A pair of classic, pleated chinos is simply a no-brainer that will flatter almost anyone when paired with a smart golf shirt or a light v-neck sweater. Ralph Lauren designs a pair that is essentially the perfect yellow - it's not too sedate, but it also won't blind anyone on the fairway.
Any color is a wild departure from traditional earth-toned trousers, so keep that in mind when searching for yellow pants. They can be sophisticated, but they can also be just as edgy. Shop with your dress style in mind, and opt for what you're most comfortable wearing.