Design

Four Fun Things

mango pleated pants

The Cup of Jo community has strong opinions on trends (you liked these, hated these), so I’m curious to hear what you think of the pants shape that’s popping up — high-waisted, pleated khakis! I’m kind of into them, but feel free to praise or destroy in the comments below.

martin's potato rolls buns

What have you been eating these days? My new go-to breakfast: a toasted, buttery potato bun with two scrambled eggs on it. It’s simple and delicious, and you could always add wilted spinach or a slice of sharp cheddar.

the memory police

I’ve stumbled upon a few great books lately — Edie Richter Isn’t Alone, You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey — and right now, I’m tearing through The Memory Police. Named a best book of the year by a gazillion publications, the novel tells the story of a young writer living on an island, where things systematically disappear. First hats, then perfume, then birds. When she realizes her editor is in danger, she tries to hide him… and I won’t give any spoilers! It’s gripping and suspenseful and keeping me up too late at night.

Nate Bargatze

The other day, a friend texted me a TV recommendation: The Standups episode one featuring comedian Nate Bargatze. “Thirty minutes,” she wrote. “TRUST ME.” So, that night, Alex and I watched it on Netflix and it was hilarious. If you’re in the mood to laugh for a half hour straight, go watch! xo

P.S. More fun things, and your favorite podcasts.

(Martin’s Potato Rolls photo by Neighborhood Provisions. The Memory Police image by Time.)

  1. A says...

    Pleated khakis don’t wear well after washes. If you don’t have a flat stomach, the pleats will stick out after you sit down at a desk all day for work.

    I have decluttered the pair I used to own, after 2 years of wear. They became too poofy.

  2. Jessica says...

    love pleated pants on anyone. the right pair elongates the leg and brings a cool yin and yang energy to an outfit.

  3. Hannah says...

    Loving that look! I don’t think it would be flattering on me, but great for others! Looks casual but put together.

  4. Jennifer Young says...

    If you liked that 30 minutes, you should watch The Tennessee Kid, so funny! You won’t regret it.

  5. Lucy says...

    Read this post, had 30 mins to kill waiting for a friend to visit so watched the Nate Bargatze. Thank you fro the rec, it was hilarious!

  6. Katie says...

    Can we have a similar discussion about shorts? Is there a “soft pant” equivalent that also looks pulled together? Everlane has some pull-on one but apparently they’re not lined and don’t quite fit the bill. My old denim pair are NOT making me feel joyful but I need to transition into summer without only wearing dresses (I chase a toddler around for most of the day).

    • Kate says...

      I’m not sure what you mean by lined? I have never seen lined shorts. But I have been wearing the same linen/cotton pull-on shorts for years and highly recommend! They are like the ones from Everlane or Old Navy but made by Volcom (thrifted) and shorter inseam

    • Katie says...

      Ooh, thank you! I’ll look on ThredUp. I just found some from Uniqlo that are linen and look loose, with a paper bag waist. And you’re right, I’ve never seen shorts lined, either! I think one of the reviewers thought the Everlane ones were too flimsy/possibly see-through.

  7. Maiz says...

    I’m afraid that those pleated khakis would make me look more like your second photo!

    • Sara says...

      hah!

  8. My 19-year-old daughter came home with these EXACT pants last week. She got them at Goodwill for a dollar. They’re several sizes too big, she wears them with a black belt and a men’s ribbed tank, and looks exactly like me, when I was 19, in 1985. She’s Adorable.

  9. Joanna says...

    I follow ChristinaSurdu on Instagram. She wears the pleated pants really well. She cuffs her pants and wears with heels. She’s so darn cute! Check out her feed and you may want to try this trend.

  10. Asha says...

    Yes to a rundown of the top pants/jeans!! I’m still wearing the Old Navy rockstar jeggings that I used for all three pregnancies. I like the looser fit pants I’ve been seeing but the crop top I see paired with many won’t work for me. I carry my weight in my stomach so any of the cute pleats, paper bag, etc waisted pants/shorts emphasize that. Any ideas for what to wear when you carry weight in the front?
    Do pleated pants bring back icky memories of school uniforms pants and shorts (Sue Mills ring any bells?) for anyone else?

  11. Emily says...

    Ugh, please do not bring back pleated pants. I could MAYBE get on board with one pleat – more like a dart – if it helped tailor the look, but this trend should have died in the 80s, not lingered for the next 20 years.

    A trend I really miss is bootcut jeans. Not a full flare, but just a nice full to the ground pair of jeans. The only way I’ve found them recently is Goodwill. Although, I remember back in HS when those were the ONLY trend out there and I really needed straight jeans for horseback riding. SIGH. Things are never as we want them.

    • Ellie says...

      I am with you with a love of bootcut (to the ground) jeans. I am always checking various websites, and recently found a pair (Lucky) on the Nordstrom website. I also have a nice Ann Taylor pair, but those may have been from last year. Good luck!

  12. sarah says...

    I LOVE Nate Bargatze.

    • Kim says...

      He’s so funny, I stumbled upon him and ended up watching both of his Netflix specials in the same day.

  13. Annie says...

    I once had a job that required us to wear pleated pants. My boss, who despised them, called them “va-giant” pants because of the big poof they make around the crotch area when you sit.

    • Jessica says...

      What jon required you to wear pleated pants?! I’m so intrigued!

  14. Yulia says...

    Oh no… another pant that doesn’t look like it should be appealing… that I’ll probably fall in love with.

  15. Daria says...

    Love the pants, BUT! They only work if you have a flat tummy (it’s also better if you’re a bit tall or wearing hills). Otherwise it’s a huge miss – I own a pair like that. Makes you look 4 months pregnant when you aren’t !

  16. LKB says...

    My husband and I love Nate Bargatze. His delivery is great: deadpan, and not yelling. (Why, WHY do so many comics just yell at you?!) So much of his material is relatable to our lives right now. Case in point: when he and his wife are flying separately to meet somewhere, and he asks his wife what time she leaves. She tells him when she’ll be leaving for the airport, but he thinks it’s when the plane takes off… and then Nate goes on and on. “Why would I ask you for information that means nothing?” (But he’s funny in his phrasing; I’m not.) My husband just stares at me through this whole bit, as if to say, “I get him. THIS IS MY LIFE.”

    Any recommendations for comics with a similar style as Nate Bargatze? (We’ve finished all of his specials, and have had no luck finding others anywhere close to as funny.)

    • AMK says...

      Jim Gaffigan is hilarious!

    • Dana says...

      Gary Gullman and Mike Birbiglia are my favorites :)

    • Megan says...

      Jim Gaffigan’s special in Canada (from The Pale Tourist series on Amazon) is HILARIOUS! Most of his are but I remember laughing SO hard at that one.

    • Ellen says...

      Completely agree on Jim Gaffigan, Gary Gulman (Find his bit about abbreviating the states! I think it’s on Youtube), and Mike Birbiglia!

      I would add John Mulaney to this list, and if you like deadpan, give Tig Notaro a try.

      He’s more absurd (& British), but James Acaster has some outstanding specials on Netflix. Hannah Gadsby too (Nanette addresses serious topics, but it’s a tour de force. I recall her more recent special is more lighthearted.)

    • Sage says...

      Gary Gulman’s humour hits me just right. :)

    • I could wear those pants as long as I was standing up all the time. But the second you sit down in those things, you look like you are smuggling drugs in the belly and crotch of your pants!!!

    • Kim says...

      Tom Papa – You’re Doing Great- on Netflix

  17. Stella says...

    Pants seem to be a recurring topic in the comments! At 40, I honestly have NO IDEA what pants I should wear. I would LOVE to see The Ultimate Pants and Jeans Guide here on CoJ, preferably with a bunch of readers with different body types share their favorite pants/fits/styles. Online shopping is meaningless to be as the models are always super young, super tall and super thin – so basically they can wear anything and both look and feel great and comfortable. I want to look great and feel comfortable, but I have no idea how. Pants and jeans posts wanted!!

    • Stella says...

      Sorry aurocorrect typo, should be meaningless to me, not be :)

    • Jessica says...

      Oooooh, a “Show us your favorite pants!” post would be awesome!

    • Megan says...

      Madewell is a great place to start to check out a range of styles on different models (though I believe their models are all still on the tall side. . .). As a fellow 40YO, I am not in on this baggy jean look at ALL, but have had some success adding Madewell’s perfect vintage jeans to my line up in addition to my beloved skinnies.

    • Rachel says...

      AGREED! Would love a COJ post on flattering pants for different body types. And preferably comfy pants that don’t necessarily look comfy.

  18. Sara says...

    I loved the “balloon jeans” and still can’t get over how many people are still die hard for their skinnies.

    Not sure if I can pull off the pleated khakis look, though. I feel like they would just accentuate my mom tummy. And I also just get weird Jerry Seinfeld vibes from them as well.

    But hey – don’t knock it tell you try it, right? Some of my favorite clothes ever have been ones someone else convinced me to try on after I was sure I’d hate it.

    • Sage says...

      The reason: because “skinnies” still look great. ;)

  19. Hannah says...

    love those pants and loooove your breakfast idea! YUM

  20. Molly says...

    Love the breakfast idea, not so into the new pleated khaki trend though…I fear on my petite frame I would end up looking frumpy.

  21. Alex says...

    I’m down for the high-waist pleats. I have a pair that are very flattering on my 5′-0″, post-2 babies body. I just had the dry cleaner hem them up to the perfect ‘just above the ankle’ length. They will be my go-to work meeting or event pants when those things start up again. I should really get another color…

    • Carrie says...

      Link, please!

  22. Ramya says...

    On what we’ve been eating, I’ve been loving the TikTok tortilla wrap trend: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-rTatXAKAA (I’ve done Mexican, Middle Eastern, Indian and sweet versions). And actually, I have to admit to a love of TikTok food trends in general (I’m 42, what’s wrong with me haha!)…

    • Sara says...

      WHOA. I have never seen this and I’m in love. This is basically a continuation of my “turn all leftovers into quesadillas” thing I’ve had going on for a while.

      Thanksgiving quesadilla? Yes
      Mac n cheese-adilla? Yes
      Yakisoba quesadilla? Why not?

    • Ramya says...

      Exactly, Sara, exactly! I highly recommend putting something crunchy into one of the quadrants btw, that really elevates it.

    • Rosalie says...

      Sara, I do that, too! And burritos — any leftovers made into a burrito somehow always taste delicious!

  23. Caro says...

    It’s me again–the weird pant lover. I love the high-waisted pleated pants! I have a pair of khakis that sometimes make me feel like a grandpa. I have to pay extra attention to the shoes and top I pair them but when done right, they’re pretty cute, imo.

  24. Joslyn says...

    My husband and I watched the Nate Barzgate special on Netflix last night. What a great recommendation, thank you. We were both laughing so hard. My husband looked over and said, “that felt so good, it’s been awhile since I laughed like that”. It also made me wonder if there were a lot of this community watching last night and if it had an impact on watch numbers. I can just imagine some Netflix number cruncher trying to figure out the Cup of Jo effect… :)

  25. Elizabeth says...

    Loved the comedy episode!! Watched it last night and was cracking up with my fiancé the whole time. Thanks for the recommendation!

  26. I am seriously in love with pleated pants. If anyone finds them in a tall inseam please tell me *cries*

    • Tricia says...

      Check ASOS! I saw a few pairs in Tall (none of which I am bold enough to try yet…)

  27. Claire says...

    Love the favorite things lists!
    I often like classic Hollywood-type looks, and menswear influenced items if the fabric is good, and I set a high priority on being comfortable, so I am a yes on the pleated trousers. I don’t care if other women may think they make me look chubby or whatever (good lord, for all our talk of liberation and freedom there is still so much anxiety over this), what I wear and how I feel in my clothes and body is my own business. I like the pleats to lay flat, so I would probably size up and have them taken in at the waist.
    Thanks for the comedy and book recs, I will check them out for sure. Right now I am reading Isabelle Allende’s A Long Petal of the Sea, and Barbara Taylor Brown’s An Altar in the World. Both are excellent.

  28. Ellen says...

    Martin’s potato rolls are the best.

    Not so sure about those pants.

    Is that the Nate Bargatze special where he talks about the Trip Advisor review for the serpetarium? If so, CO-SIGN. He has a new special out on Netflix that was filmed outside during the pandemic, also very good (particularly for fellow parents, I think).

  29. Laura says...

    I LOVE Nate and I LOVE potato rolls! I’m not so into the pleated khakis, but I do love the high waisted stuff!

  30. Vava says...

    I’m not fond of the pleated pant in any type of fabric. You sit down and have all this floof there in your lap. I prefer a fitted torso like 5 pocket jeans offer. The wider leg is fine, though. I’m not at all into khaki or white pants, either. But I am considering a cream colored pant for summer, why I think that’s better than white is anyone’s guess. LOL.
    Yes, fashion trends can be amusing. Currently all the ruffles I’m seeing are a huge NO, also. I don’t need to look as if I’m a cast member of Little House on the Prairie, nor do I want to wear a blouse that looks as if it can take off and fly. hahahaha

    • Emily says...

      I feel like we would be clothing friends! I have the same feelings on ruffles.

  31. Emily says...

    VERY into these pants!!!! I think they look quite comfortable too?

  32. Amanda says...

    Those pants look great on the model (what wouldn’t?), but as someone who is slender but always keeps a bit of a belly thanks to PCOS, those would be so uncomfortable on me. Not to mention, always feeling like I look thicker than usual in the middle thanks to the pleats. And since I’m not into the purposely unflattering “normcore” look, the high-waisted trend just doesn’t work for me.

    • Anne says...

      100% same. Slim apple here, and I love the high-waist look but it often seems to accentuate my tummy.

      I have had some luck recently pairing a higher waist with a boxy hip-length “crop” top. The contrast in volume is more flattering than high waist + tight shirt.

  33. Sydney says...

    Loved the balloon pants and love the khakis. As someone who is tall and carries their weight more in my legs/butt than tummy I’ve been a big fan of the high waisted relaxed leg styles. Every time I wear them my boyfriend will give me a knowing nod and say “big pants little shirt”.

    • E says...

      😂 love that response from your boyfriend

    • Anne says...

      haha I love the little bits of fashion wisdom men pick up

    • Sadie says...

      Big pants, little shirt lol

  34. Clare says...

    Just ordered The Memory Police! So excited to read something immersive and juicy as spring rolls in!

  35. Kate says...

    My book club just finished You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey. SO many times I wanted to throw that book across the room – it was very eye-opening in that it provided insight into the scenarios racialized folks have to deal with. I just was not prepared for that level of fucking outrageous bullshit.

    After reading Wintering and Untamed now we’re moving onto fiction and have selected The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi. The book description didn’t intrigue me but the reviews make it sound incredible and after reading the author’s essays online I cannot WAIT to read this book!!!

    • Kate says...

      I hope what I said didn’t make it sound like I disliked the book! I just found it shocking, while their banter and stories of their mom’s amazingness provided lightness and hilarity. This book made us all vow to never be like Lacey’s awful coworkers or their useless ‘little white friends’ who stand by and say nothing.

  36. Kara says...

    LOVE the high waisted pleated khaki but I can’t find a slimmer leg version anywhere! Please do a round up of options!

    • Rue says...

      Agreed. I got a pair of work pants several years ago that was high waisted, pleated, but slimmer leg, and I love love loved them, but they’re the wrong size for me now. They were from Aritzia, and I haven’t checked to see if they’ve got a similar style in either work pants or khakis!

  37. Christina says...

    CAN I JUST SAY… about pants. I LOVE the look of Levi’s Wedgie… and ordered them in my sixe 30/31. Just NO. I don’t know why they are recommended for curvy girls because I’m 42… athletic (crossfit, bike, hike) and I have hips and thighs and man these did NOT look good. I don’t think I’m ready for a pleated pant. If I was slim (skinny?) maybe but man oh man… these new stiles are not flattering on my body. *the search for flattering pants continues*

    • Jess says...

      Same! Everlane Cheeky 90’s are the lesser of all evils so far. They stretch out nicely, too.

    • Jennifer says...

      I had the same trouble with the Wedgie! But also tried the 501 skinny and the fit was much better. FWIW, I’m 5’4, size 28 with hips and thighs, too!

  38. Lisa says...

    I have been thinking a lot about khakis like that, maybe with less fabric. Post kids I need something to hold the stomach folds in, and high waisted trousers do it.

    I wasted a good half hour yesterday watching Munya Chawawa videos on Instagram (he’s just been interviewed by the NYT!). He’s a British – Zimbabwean comedian and he is insanely talented and funny. https://instagram.com/munyachawawa?igshid=gl1n61pfh79t
    The impressions of Nigella Lawson in particular crack me up “makes treasonous remarks sexually”.

  39. Anna Si says...

    Could you “yes in wide leg”- lucky people please all share what kind of shoes you would choose? I have small feet, so wide pants easily hide my complete feet anyway. Or am I just doing it wrong?

    • K says...

      the boys I went to high school with in the late 90s with their JNCOs would say you’re doing it just right

    • HH says...

      Great question, Anna! I am big on wide leg pants so let me see if I can help….

      In the winter/fall/early Spring: Doc Martens/Combat boots/Chelsea boots
      Spring/Summer/early fall: high top Converse or other high top sneakers, Birkenstocks

      Depending on the actual width of the leg (wide vs slightly more narrow) I’ll also wear chunky/block heeled sandals in the summer with my more straight/narrow “wide” leg pants. I have a variety of non-skinny leg pants :)

      I am quite tall so length of these wider leg pants is a big deal, which I think is also true for folks on the shorter side, just in the opposite way! I prefer a slight crop to mine but not overly cropped. Perhaps that would also work for small feet so it doesn’t feel like they are getting lost. Good luck on your search!

    • Sadie says...

      I wear very wide leg, draped trousers to work almost every day with danskos, a slim sweater and big earrings. Do I look like an artist trying to keep it professional? Yes. Is that what I am? Yes.

    • C. says...

      oxfords, wingtips, or loafers with socks that match the pants, or sandals with wide straps and a low heel.

  40. Nigerian Girl says...

    Love the pants. They’re so me. And yes, the Memory Police is amazing.

  41. Molly says...

    Hi Jo!! Nate is THE BEST. We’ve been obsessed with him for awhile – his coffee with cream bit has me in tears every time I watch it! So much love to you guys & happy spring xoxo

    • Amanda says...

      I second that emotion! He’s HYSTERICAL. Just watched his new special the other day, laughed out loud multiple times. My husband and I saw him live with some friends (pre-pandy, ugh) and I HIGHLY recommend his live show too. His cadence and accent and delivery are all just so good. :)

  42. Michaela says...

    Okay so I watched the stand up episode today on your recommendation— just what I needed! But then, I had to go google the serpentarium and read the TripAdvisor review. And that’s how I learned that it’s closed, wait for it, because the owner was murdered by his wife! I did not think that story could get crazier than Nate’s telling, but it did. And, because this corner of the internet feels like friends, I had to come back to tell you. So, I guess I hope you think “!!?!” like I did :)
    Thanks for the rec!
    (Source: https://www.starnewsonline.com/news/20180521/cape-fear-serpentarium-closed-permanently)

    • Audrey says...

      I visited this place before it closed years ago and came back and told a friend I’d been in NC. And he was like, wait, did you go to the snake place?? He’d just been watching something from a comedian on it and it was probably this same person. Now I need to watch it! I visited after the owner had been killed but before it closed. So a lot of the conspiracy theory stuff had been taken down.

      But it was surreal to be there. There were multiple times during the snake feedings when I thought I was about to witness a tragedy. I still can’t quite believe I went…

    • Megan says...

      Too good!!! We also watched last night and being from DC had to google the bit about the kids stealing the viper and getting bitten! Totally happened, and the kid survived! He actually took the snakes in a trash bag on a metrobus. . .ahh, teenagers.

  43. Alex Pearl says...

    My favorite comedian ever! This weekend my husband and I re-watched both his specials for the 40th time and I still nearly pee my pants each time!

    What’s incredible is that he never swears and it’s all totally PC. I, myself, love to swear and am not PC and adore him to pieces.

  44. Tazza says...

    Yes on high-waisted pleated khakis/pants, but what’s up with the elastic waistband only in the back on the Mango ones? It’s too similar to pants that are made for toddlers.

  45. Abby says...

    The only thought that comes to mind when I see those pants is Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail.

    • Jo says...

      omg – yes, and she wore them beautifully… I think with a cute button-up cardigan?!
      Not everyone can wear them.. like almost any style of pants: wear what makes you feel great!

    • Rinette says...

      Yes- so cute on her in You’ve Got Mail!! And I agree with Jo- just wear what makes you feel good! And wearing something that makes me feel like I am channelling Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail (even if I am only 5’1 and much rounder than her;) would do just that for me, so I might have to find some!!

  46. Allegra LaViola says...

    The problem with those pants is simple and it’s called HIPS. Unless you are over 5’7” and fairly string-beany pleated pants make you look like you are moments away from being untethered and left to float into the blue beyond.

    • Eva Marie Monroe says...

      Agree!!!! Exactly what I was thinking.

  47. Oh man. . . we did this in the 80s. If you have the body of a super model, go for it even though I still don’t think they’re anything to write home about.
    But this look is definitely NOT for me.

  48. Jessica says...

    I suspect I’ll be a rare exception when I say: bring on this high waisted pleats! Fulfill my Diane Keaton dreams! Make me feel like the lost photos of @simlicitycity on Instagram! Give my thighs alllllll that breathing room and make me feel super stylish all at once? Yes!

    • Claire says...

      Well said! yes, exactly!

  49. Cindy says...

    Speaking only for myself. It’s a hard no on pleated pants at any waist level. Only flattering on tall slim women and requires either a cropped shirt or a full tuck in which I cannot imagine ever doing again😳.

  50. Lori says...

    Pleated khakis are the favorite of white men who mansplain outdated concepts to me. So that’ll be a no from me.

    • Janie Goodwin says...

      👏👏👏

  51. Connor says...

    Hi Joanna – Watch Nate’s “The Tennessee Kid” on Netflix next. Great one to watch after The Standups episode. He’s so funny!

  52. Aster says...

    The khakis are not my style but you do you Jo! I can see you wearing them as an easy, breezy spring pant :)

  53. Lisa says...

    Those pants were in style in the 80’s. Way too much fabric all around. And stiff fabric, to boot! As usual, they look good on trim, leggy women. 🙄

  54. Charlotte says...

    Ooooh I love the khakis. They remind me of my late grandmother, the most stylish woman I’ve ever met, and also something straight out of the Durrells in Corfu. Paired with that crisp white shirt? Perfection.

  55. Cheryl says...

    I got to work on a cruise ship as a dancer in the production shows. We traveled the world. Dream job. I also had to work in the library every week for four hours in pleated khakis exactly like this. I also had to wear white (non sneaker) closed toe dress shoes. WTAF? I would have never predicted its rise to fashion. Maybe pair with a polo for that cruise staff look.
    P.S. Loved Nick’s stand up followed by Joe List, who was new to me. His YouTube stand up is a slow burn.

  56. Kellie P says...

    Joanna, try peanut butter instead of butter and some salt and pepper on top!

  57. kat says...

    POTATO BUNS! I’m from Eastern PA so yes, yes, yes. When quarantine started and I had to suddenly feed my toddler every meal, every day, I went classic and got hotdogs and potato hot dog buns (his hot dog sliced safely). He loved the hot dogs but was not having the buns. And that’s when I tried scrambled eggs in a potato hot dog bun since we had no toast. Yum yum.

  58. Bridget says...

    Yum I moved to the Midwest and can’t find Martin’s Potato Rolls! My nine year old said that it’s one of the things she misses most about the East Coast!

    • Taylor Allison says...

      They make those in my hometown (Chambersburg, PA) on Potato Roll Lane! The best.

  59. Amanda says...

    I’m all of a sudden VERY into tuna. I mix up a can of tuna in EVOO with some mayo, Dijon, a generous squeeze of lemon, a little ACV, capers, TJ’s lemon pepper, and whatever else I have around… chives, peppers, onion, etc. it’s good on simple lettuce, in a wrap with veggies and some cheese, scooped up with red pepper or snap peas… I can’t stop!

  60. Celeste says...

    Loved these! No on any type of khaki unless I get a job at Target, yes on the GAP puffed sleeve shirt you recommended, going to read Luckiest Girl Alive because Reese is making the movie, loved WandaVision so much we just watched Age of Ultram, Infinity War and soon Endgame. I’m a Marvel need now :)

  61. Ceridwen says...

    I read The Friend from your recommendation Joanna. I loved it so much. I just sat after I finished in stillness to just think about it. My mother died in October so I am drawn to books about grief. I loved het other book too…What your are going through (i think that is tbe title). Also loved two books by Australian authors – Love Objects (amazing, filled with empathy) and The Believer – the Author is from the states I think. I joined a book club, Wellread, and I am sent a book once a month – each book a total surprise and come with reading notes. I love opening the brown paper to see what is inside! I am also reading titles I would not normally choose.

    • celeste says...

      Sorry about your mom! Mine passed in 9/1997. I’ll check out The Friend.

    • chiara says...

      So sorry to hear about your mom. I loved the book A Half Baked Idea. It is about a barrister who becomes a pastry chef after the death of her mother. The book is about her dealing with her grief as she trains as a pastry chef. Sending love. xx

  62. Rme says...

    Free your minds! Fashion is about so much more than whether or not something is “flattering”. It can even be a total rejection of the concept.

    • Jane Yang says...

      Hear, hear!!!

    • LW says...

      you totally just blew my mind with this. as someone that has struggled with disordered eating and body dysmorphia all i’ve ever wanted was for my clothes to “flatter” me… THANK YOU FOR FREEING MY MIND! (isn’t it wild how one sentence has the ability to change your entire perspective?)

    • AN says...

      *insert a bunch of clapping emojis here!*

    • Sarz says...

      I 100% agree, but I acknowledge my privilege as a straight-sized woman. The “rules” have always been more flexible for us, sadly.

    • Mel says...

      YES!!!

    • Kate says...

      Yes! I love Man Repeller street style – I love the idea of rejecting the male gaze and dressing for yourself. While I dress pretty simply, it is mainly for comfort. I never jump on board with trends so seeing posts about balloon jeans or baggy satchels doesn’t tickle my fancy (or lighten my wallet). I own five of the same black tank top, two pairs of the same jeans (one black, one blue) and it just makes getting dressed so much easier – I know many people enjoy the art of self-expression through fashion but it’s just not my creative outlet.

    • Elizabeth says...

      YES! i get incredibly irritated with the word “flattering.” it’s an arbitrary and ludicrous word when it comes to the way someone looks; if you love the pants and feel good in the pants, wear the dang pants!

    • Heather says...

      Spot on philosophy, but would love some tips on how other people respond to questions about non-existent pregnancies. I get asked if I’m pregnant roughly every few months – often when I’m wearing something like a jersey dress or mom jeans or something that accentuates my three-kids-later forever baby bump. I get pregnancy comments from total strangers, sometimes in front of people I know, and they aren’t trying to be mean or say, ‘Your belly is disproportionately large and requires explanation,” but when you aren’t pregnant, that’s what their comment means. When I see the pleated pants, my first thought is: I’d get pregnancy comments in those. I’d love not to care, but then what’s a retort that’s not aggressive and also self-empowering?

    • Cheyenne says...

      so well said! bravo!

    • Young says...

      @Heather – maybe you could try something like “This is what my body looks like.” To be said with confidence and appreciation for all the things your body has done and can do. No apologizing, self-deprecating, or laughing it off. I’m sorry that you’re finding yourself having to respond to these questions. You sound like a very kind human and mom!

  63. K says...

    I vote no on the khakis! It was a maybe if they were white with a wide leg.

    I’ve been obsessed with the Hiroko pants I got from https://aliyawanek.com though! I got them 3 or 4 sizes too big and am so in love with the structured drapiness.

    Can’t wait to check out the special! Sound of Metal and White Tiger were my favorite things to watch this year but haven’t found something LOL funny since maybe finishing Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. 3 Idiots might be fun to watch with kids, though! It’s very slapstick-y.

    Mmm potato buns also make me so happy. Love a good egg sandwich with chives or a nice beef patty seasoned with only pink salt and rainbow peppercorn.

  64. Ceridwen says...

    I am a big fan of high waist and pleats! I am short and helps me feel pulled together and taller somehow. Keep them coming!

  65. jdp says...

    so we (as a family) love john mulaney and brian regan as two super funny but also pretty clean comics that even our 10-year-old can watch and love. should we add nate bargatze to that list? ps breakfast: toast with honey. pps pants: what are those? i have forgotten.

    • Janna says...

      Yes – Nate Bargatze is pretty clean (similar to John Mulaney like that, maybe some language but nothing I can remember). He has two specials on Netflix and I literally laughed so hard that I choked on my ice cream and peed my pants twice watching his newest special (I’m pregnant, so the pelvic floor bar isn’t the strongest right now, but still).

  66. Jennifer S says...

    Just read “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. Twice. Once to find out what happens, and then to unpack it all. As someone who started a second chapter of life a few years ago, lots to think about in terms of regret, potential, and where our choices steer us. Hard NO on the pants. Hard YES on the potato rolls – we use them as slider buns and for pulled pork.

    • Denise says...

      Oh gosh, “The Midnight Library” was SO, SO GOOD! It made for a great book club discussion, and one of our members was so moved she actually went back to school!

  67. Deana says...

    Another good book, non-fiction: “Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown”, by Anne Glenconner, who was lady in waiting to Princess Margaret and an attendant at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. Equal parts upper-crust British culture and trashy tabloid gossip – highly recommended!

  68. Kate says...

    Pleats only seem to work if you’re slim and have a straight figure. Bummer, because they look sharp!

  69. Deana says...

    Those Mango pants look like the ones Clint Eastwood wore in that movie where he tells people to get off his lawn.

    • T says...

      Bwahahaha

    • cmg says...

      Hahaha!

    • Tina Crisas says...

      Hahahaha!!!!!!!

  70. Meg says...

    I was neutral on the balloon jeans, but I am deeply struggling with these pleats.

  71. Denise says...

    I love high-waisted pants but definitely not pleats and not khaki for me. Those have too much emphasis on the belly area for my tastes and the color lends to the overall doughy look. I can agree they look good on very slender women with good posture though. Yes to potato rolls but no to potato pants.

    Thanks for the book rec. That book sounds really interesting and I’m going to treat myself to it even though I’m trying not to buy new books until I finish all my books-on-deck.

    What’s the fourth thing? O right. I cancelled all my streaming services and it’s been SO NICE to have a break in the constant screen media. I do like good clean humor though, so hopefully this will re-surface for me at some point in the future when I’m back into tv.

    • Marisa says...

      “yes to potato rolls but no to potato pants” – hahaha. Thanks, Denise :)

    • Sam says...

      I laughed quite a bit after reading “yes to potato rolls but no to potato pants”. I’m laughing again as I type this.

  72. Kara says...

    Pleated pants? No way

  73. deanna says...

    This high-waisted trend has GOT TO GO. I’m not particularly tall (a very average 5’4″) and I’m sick and tired of waists coming up to *literally* my boobs. I’m also don’t have much of a waist and pretty straight hips, so add these pleats and it is just TOO MUCH FABRIC and does nothing but ADD WEIGHT. I’m glad for those of you that love this, but for the love of god I can not WAIT for this trend to end. I’m just hoping my lower-rise pants hang on long enough until I can buy new ones when they come back in style. HA.

    • Jess says...

      This made me smile :) I’m a curvy 6’1″ and high-waisted pants have seriously saved my life this past decade! (or longer?!) I was just saying to a friend that I should stock up before they inevitably go out of style again! Isn’t it funny how we all do our best to adapt our different body shapes to trends as they come and go xx

    • Mouse says...

      So funny–I’m exactly the opposite: 5’1″ and some serious caboose, so I desperately need high-waist pants just to cover the booty enough to look mid-rise! When high waists came back in fashion I bought everything. Your time will come, and then get out there and buy up all the low-rise! Think of it as investment in your sartorial future……:)

    • @Deanna, I too and hoping the lower-rise jeans I bought a few years ago (when I realized almost no one had them anymore) will last me until they are back in style. I am short with a short waist, and anything mid or high rise comes WAY up on me and I find it so uncomfortable.

    • Deanna says...

      We all hafta take advantage and stock up when we can. Frankly, I’m just happy I can still fit in clothes that are 10+ years old! I hope I can keep that going for the next 10+ years. :)

  74. Samantha says...

    Sadie, you are the MVP of the comments section.

  75. M says...

    I sometimes wonder if there is a massive fashion conspiracy going on against the petite female crowd. There is only so much pleated, high waisted, ballooning, cropped, billowy everything my 5 foot frame can handle!

    • JJ says...

      All petite ladies! We look GOOD IN high waisted pants!! They make our legs look longer, I promise you!!!!

  76. b says...

    Yes to high waisted pants! My low rise jeans days died when I graduated high school. Eating so many breakfast sandwiches – ham, a fried egg, a slice of pepper jack cheese and a generous dollop of Tostitos Avocado Salsa. Finding my reading groove again but being fairly picky about what I read – currently savoring Luster by Raven Leilani.

  77. erica says...

    I read The Memory Police last year and LOVED it! I immediately wanted to real more magical realism by women authors and recommend these if you like that:

    A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki
    Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia
    Gods of Jade and Shadow – Silvia Moreno-Garcia
    The Night Tiger – Yangsze Choo
    The Ghost Bride – Yangsze Choo

  78. Noelle C says...

    My mom always told me that if the twig model looks normal sized or big at all (instead of rail thin), we’d look humongous. I think this type of pant in light colors (khaki) are some of the most unflattering pants you could possibly buy – unless you’re model sized, and then you can pull them off. :)

    That’s a hard pass for me! In darker colors, it’s more possible.

  79. Charlotte K says...

    I have been eating the same thing for breakfast for years now (HB egg, buttered toast, piece of fruit) and I am ready to mix it up. I’m asking all my friends what they eat for breakfast and I’m also just trying stuff out. Yesterday I had maple yogurt, walnuts and strawberries. Today I had liverwurst on toast and a kiwi (not on the toast!). I think I’ll try the buttered potato roll with scrams! Friends so far have recommended various smoothies, Irish oatmeal, granola, grapenuts, and the exact same breakfast I already was eating.

    • Kate says...

      Avocado with chili flakes and sea salt! Smoked Salmon on crispbread

    • Rae says...

      Good whole wheat toast with slightly more butter than usual and a very thin spread of Marmite. Fruit on the side. Cafe au lait. For some reason both my daughter and I prefer the toast a bit cooled before spread with butter and marmite- the little details matter.

  80. SJ says...

    Those pants look restricting but I would be willing to try on a pair to see if I like it!

    Yes to any type of bread and egg for breakfast.

  81. Jenifer B says...

    High waisted pants are great, love them but please hold the pleats! Unless you are stick thin and have no hips/tummy all they do is accentuate those areas. I remember a number of years back when they were in style with cuffs no less, they made people look like they had an extra 15 pounds around the middle and their legs short! Flat front pants all the way, why bring back a style that is not flattering to most people!

    • Allie says...

      Because maybe we care more about liking the style and how we feel in clothes than if other people consider it to be “flattering to my body type.”

      As they say in Grease (taken totally out of context and applied to how various body types “should” dress): “The rules are, there are no rules.”

      :)

  82. Greta says...

    I like the pleated pants on someone slender and willowy, but they probably aren’t for my body because I enjoy the other three activities a little too often and too much: potato rolls, reading, and streaming!

    • K says...

      Solidarity, dude

  83. Diana K says...

    Joanna your “fun things” posts give me life, and now im going to buy those books for my mom, eat everything on a potato roll for the next month, and buy those pants but never wear them. Good work!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha thank you!

  84. Marta says...

    I loved the balloon pants! I also like the khakis. I’ve been wearing some version of camel coloured wide leg trousers for nearly 17 years, this might the the current iteration

  85. LeighTX says...

    I think I would LOOK like a potato roll in pleated pants . . . I heard a long time ago that if you wore something the first time it was trending, you shouldn’t wear it the second time–so that lets me out.

    • Em says...

      I think if people actually followed this rule, anyone over 60 would have to go naked. Everything repeats.

    • Rae says...

      I think this rule works only with very trendy items such as tube tops, veeeery low-rise jeans, glitter on one’s cheekbones.
      Classics such as men’s wear inspired, pleated trousers will have “moments” when they seem dated and others when they are fresh but they are never truly out of style.

  86. Samantha says...

    I LOVE Nate Bargatze!!!!!!
    One of the things my boyfriend and I are looking forward to now that we are fully vaccinated (!!!) is seeing Nate LIVE this fall! I can’t wait!
    coffee with milk!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how fun!!!

    • Megan says...

      I looooooove Nate bargatze too :) he did a show at just for laughs in Toronto in the fall of 2019 and it was so good! Excited for you to see him.

      (Also, his new Netflix special is great)

    • Jenna says...

      Me too, Samantha. My husband and I quote him all the time. “Olivia?”

      Glad you get to see him, he’s not coming to the Denver area, boohoo. Have fun!

    • Yes you have to watch his two specials on Netflix – so so good!!

    • Samantha says...

      Llamas can’t talk

  87. Maddie says...

    Pleated pants can be a classic for sure but they’ll probably emphasize that I ate a few too many potato rolls haha

  88. Megan says...

    I am thin, but carry extra in my hips and thighs. Pleated pants make me look like a balloon, so I’ll pass.

  89. Jj says...

    I am so perplexed by those sandals paired with the khakis. What? Why? How??

    • C. says...

      agreed, the styling in that Mango photo is just awful.

  90. Courtney says...

    Nate Bargatze also has a special on Netflix now and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. We’re roughly the same age, with kids the same age, so it resonated.

  91. alison says...

    Nate Bargatze is a national treasure! If you’re looking for a slightly raunchier Nate, check out Rory Scovel.

  92. Ellen says...

    I’m also an Ellen, and I also appreciate the balloon jean fit. Those high-waisted, pleated pants look gorgeous, but also like something that requires some seriously fussy ironing.

  93. Catherine says...

    Speaking of trends: what does one wear in the outside world these days?? I’ve been wearing my Lou and Grey sweatsuits every single day for the past year, but now that I’m vaccinated I want to go to a restaurant and have no idea what to wear. I should add I had a baby at the end of 2019 so haven’t dressed a non-pregnant body for public in over two years!

    • Kirstin says...

      I caught up with an old friend the other day – we used to meet every Thursday after work for hot chocolates in a five star hotel, we wore designer clothes and were young and gorgeous. Imagine us now, both wearing sweatpants! we laughed, and shook our heads. Then we confessed “I’m just not sure I have a waist anymore”

  94. A says...

    I get Katherine Hepburn vibes too! I just bought a pair of pleated khakis from H&M and they are SO flattering. I think the trick is to get ones that cinch in your waist.

  95. riye says...

    Sorry–no high waisted pleated pants for this girl. I’m too short for a lot of high waisted pants so it looks like I’m wearing a strapless jumpsuit! (ha ha)

  96. Danielle says...

    My SIL randomly texted me one day to ask if we’d heard of Nate Bargatze. We immediately watched all of his specials and laughed more than we had in a long time!

  97. Ali says...

    I like those pleated pants, and I was surprised I did! The Nate Bargatze specials are really funny but clean, which is rare. I appreciate the raunchy ones too, but sometimes I want to watch tv when my kids are still awake!

  98. Sara B says...

    Love the high waisted pants, but hate the pleats. I’d totally go for a non-pleated version though!

  99. Emma says...

    What is a potato bun ? Is it the same as a burger bun ? Sounds like a delicious breakfast. Love the high waisted trousers too ! Xx

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, they’re so good. they’re chewier and super soft and just…so good! I don’t know how to describe them!

  100. Shelley says...

    I loved the balloon jeans and these pleated pants! I also love gingham but that’s an easy crowd pleaser. I’ll watch this comedy special tonight!

  101. Daphne Phillips says...

    All I can see with pleated khakis is ‘the worst of the 90s’ but many people make them look cool so…

  102. jill d. says...

    – i love the pleated pants but don’t think i could wear them in all honesty – and to be even more honest i’m still having issues wanting to wear any jeans or pants at all – it’s lots of jumpsuits for me and nice sweats for now.
    – potato rolls are always great and my kids love them! lately we have been buying brioche rolls and they are also so delicious (but definitely more of a splurge)…
    – love the book recommendation – thank you!
    – also – i am in need of a good laugh so i’ll have to watch Nate Bargatze who i have never even watched before (i saw someone wrote “clean” humor which i like – i think it’s much more difficult and clever to pull off clean humor)
    – finally i am late to the game but for anyone looking for a good show “call my agent” was wonderful! you just have to read subtitles but i swear it’s barely an effort b/c the show is so good in my opinion!

  103. Definitely into the high waisted pleats, but I would go the extra step and get them tailored. Tailoring (along with framing art and pictures) is my favorite indulgence.

  104. Michelle says...

    I don’t think I could personally pull off those khakis but they’re definitely elegant. You just increased my TBR list by 3

    • Alison says...

      Thank you! This is incredibly helpful. Whenever I need something new to read I come here but then I have to search through old posts. You just took out all the leg work.

    • Emilie says...

      Wow Sadie, such a public service, thank you!!!

    • S says...

      Bless you, Sadie!

    • Rachel says...

      This is amazing, thank you!

    • Barbara says...

      Thanks Sadie! Joined also. Easy button win for you!

    • Tina Crisas says...

      Thank you, Sadie!!!
      Exactly, same here, Alison!!

  105. Emily says...

    Yesssss Nate’s special is SO FUNNY and so relatable to those of us with elementary age kids. The bits on third grade math and “you’re asking a dad?!” had me in stitches.

    • Emily says...

      Oh wait!! I was thinking you meant Nate’s new Netflix special The Greatest Average American!!! That’s where those bits are from – you MUST watch that next!!

  106. Ruth says...

    HARD PASS on the pants! Middle school math teacher flashbacks. Not the cool one, but the one who would repeatedly lick her finger to clean the overhead projector sheet. ::shudder::

  107. Sal says...

    I work at a college and it’s so fun to see what fashion trends come back around. Seeing pleated, high-waisted khakis out in the wild has been such a surprise! I’d have to say No for me personally, but I think they work well on others. (And isn’t that generally the way it works with fashion? Might not look good on me, but this other person can make it look amazing….)

    • Mags says...

      I work on a college campus too and every fall I text my sister the updates on the trends! I always love seeing what students are wearing each fall.
      This year I’ve enjoyed the return of doc martens and all the nineties trends!

  108. Tracy says...

    + 1 for Nate Bargatze! His full standup special on Netfilx is hilarious (The Greatest Average American I think). He’s got dad jokes on lock. THe bit about Chuck E. Cheese especially had me dying of laughter!

  109. Kirstin says...

    Oh the pleated pants – it’s like ‘out of Africa’ or Katherine Hepburn, both awesome in my book. I just wish after last year I wasn’t so round, not sure potato-shaped bodies suit high-waisted pleated pants.

  110. LN says...

    If you love You’ve Got Mail (I do!), you will love the khakis! Peak 90s Meg Ryan and I’m here for it 100%

    • Mallory says...

      This is the first thing I thought of too! Total Kathleen Kelly vibes. Love!

    • Stacey says...

      This explains why I’m so drawn to pleated khakis! They make me feel very much like Kathleen Kelly.

  111. kirstin says...

    AH I have had the Memory Police on my TBR pile for months, but I keep deep diving into middle grade novels because they’re so exciting. I should try to read grownup atlas in between – so anyone with kids around 11, Katherine Rundell books are awesome! Joanna, your boys might love the Explorers read to them – that’s what we did as a family and it was brilliant, none of us wanted to miss out.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you for the recs, Kirsten!

  112. Sequoia says...

    The pants are yes especially in the white! I think I’m going to buy some and channel my inner Chessy from The Parent Trap. But why are heeled thong sandals a thing? Seriously someone explain this to me!!!

    • Robyn says...

      Chessy!! I rewatched this recently and had a new appreciation for the style-hero (and just general hero) she is.

  113. MK says...

    High-waisted, pleated khakis remind me of Katharine Hepburn so they’re automatically cool in my book! Also, second your recommendation about Nate Barzgate! His latest one The Greatest Average American is great too! I keep laughing about how his dads favorite thing to do is cough, and I was like mine too!

    • liz says...

      Yes!! I always describe what I want as “Katharine Hepburn Pants”! Now I just need to find some that fit my very un-Katharine Hepburn body….

  114. Jennifer L. Sullivan says...

    Godshot by Chelsea Bieker. You’re welcome.

  115. Amanda says...

    sorry, but NO WAY to pleated pants.. the potato rolls on the other hand, very YES. (I am in PA) we always have that brand potato roll. They freeze well, defrost in the microwave on a paper towel and they stay soft :)

  116. Mel says...

    I kind of like the pleated pants look. I would 100% wear if I was still working in an office but I can’t seem myself wearing them otherwise.
    Nate Bargatze is phenomenol. We’ve watched all his specials on Netflix and they hold up. I love ‘good clean humor’. His delivery is perfect.

  117. Emma says...

    Love the high waisted pleated pants trend! I feel like they’re so versatile. They can be dressy or casual. And have guy ever eaten cream cheese on toasted potato buns? Cause it’s life changing.

  118. Ellen says...

    I bought the balloon jeans and they are the best jeans I have EVER owned! They look like what I always want vintage levis to look like but never do.