The Postscript

Palazzo pants

Carrie Classon

My Facebook feed reminded me that, exactly 12 years ago, I was considering buying palazzo pants.

I found this astonishing because just that day I had been looking at palazzo pants, and I had not mentioned it to Facebook – or anyone else, except my husband, Peter. Peter did not even know what palazzo pants are.

“You know, they have really wide legs,” I told him.

“Isn’t that what you just bought?”

I honestly wonder if Peter notices anything at all. The pants I just bought are harem pants. They have elastic around the ankles. They are 100% cotton, and they are green and blue and have pockets. They are fun to wear and very comfortable, but they are certainly not palazzo pants.

“Palazzo pants have big bells at the bottom. And they are usually slippery.”


“Yeah. Kind of.”


I could tell no useful wardrobe advice was going to come from Peter. But I must add, in all fairness, he always dutifully tells me I look fine in whatever I wear.

I did not buy palazzo pants 12 years ago. Apparently, I considered it, but I remember I did not do it. And I guess, after that first palazzo pant flirtation, I thought the subject was closed, and I was simply not a palazzo pant wearer.

But I have heard that the periodical cicada hatches every 17 years and wreaks havoc on the fruit trees, and, when I was young, I saw a forest tent caterpillar outbreak, where every bit of green was devoured by nasty worms that appear every 10-16 years. I now suspect that the urge to buy palazzo pants is something similar. It’s best to be prepared.

Once I was reminded of my close brush with a palazzo pants purchase in the past, I did what any sensible person would do. I posted my dilemma on Facebook, telling folks that I was, once again, considering it. My friends immediately weighed in.

“Resist that urge, Carrie! Stay strong!” my friend from college, Jennifer, wrote.

“I think we need more baggy pants,” wrote Chris, who is a man and, like my husband, obviously had no idea what palazzo pants are.

A couple of friends said, “Go for it!” But I had the impression they would have said that if I’d suggested shaving my head, getting a navel piercing or joining a cult. These are good friends to have, but not always the best source of objective advice.

I went back to the store to look at the palazzo pants in question. I tried to imagine where I would wear these pants, and nothing came to mind. I could imagine them swishing around my ankles. I would wear platform shoes and enormous hoop earrings. I imagined the person I would be, wearing palazzo pants, and a whole new world opened up before me. A world that, in actual fact, did not exist.

In the end, better sense prevailed.

I did not buy palazzo pants. I left them hanging in the store, where I am sure they will be purchased by someone much younger and hipper who already owns a lot of hoop earrings. But I now feel prepared.

I fully expect another attack of palazzo pants to hit. I’ll be in my 70s when the next outbreak arrives, and I’ll be ready. This time, I suspect I will buy palazzo pants – and I will probably not stop at a single pair. By the time I hit 80, I may wear nothing but palazzo pants.

And that’s not a bad thing to look forward to.

Till next time,


Carrie Classon

is a nationally syndicated columnist, author, and performer. She champions the idea that it is never too late to reinvent oneself in unexpected and fulfilling ways. Learn more about Carrie and her memoir, “Blue Yarn,” at