All of this year's speakers at Blogher were given the opportunity work with a GAP stylist to find our perfect pair of black pants and jeans. In addition, they helped us style outfits around those two key pieces -- and to do it all around a set budget. This time the budget was covered by the GAP (thank you!) but it gave me an idea: Why not do this in real life? You know, walk into the store, ask for a stylist (or personal shopper, or what have you) and say "I need clothes for this and I have so much (or little) to spend. Help?"

In all honesty, I was skeptical about the whole exercise. I am a proud solitary shopper. I don't like shopping with other people. (I love you, dear friends. But not when I need to buy clothes. Sorry.) But I found that working with a stylist was a very different thing because she was totally impartial to my feelings and gave me honest feedback.

I realize how obvious this is but it's not like I spend time thinking about personal shoppers in my daily life. I wish this was shocking to at least some of you but I guess it's pretty obvious that I'm just a normal person.

So my stylist, Jen at Miami's Dadeland store (hi, Jen!), convinced me to step out of my boot cut pants comfort zone and try a lot of new things. She even got me to put on jeggings, but I am scarred from that experience so there are no pictures.

You're welcome.

Jeggings are comfortable, but not flattering on me. AT ALL. Fortunately, she found me some new pants that aren't quite so underwear-like. (Hey, I live in Boston. Leggings are underwear when it's 7 degrees out!)

So what did I choose?

For my black pants I chose the "curvy" pants because (and this is genius, people) the back is higher than the front and thus eliminates the dreaded plumber's butt that has been rampant since low-cut jeans burst on the scene.

And for my jeans, I chose the "always skinny" -- which makes me laugh, because I ended up with pants from both extremes of the shape spectrum. The skinny pants are super comfy (like the jeggings) but, um, supportive (unlike the jeggings). They are my new favorite jeans. 

And here are the different outfits we came up with, all created around my curvy/skinny pant choices:

Almost forgot: The foldable Gap City Flats are the perfect commuting shoe. I wore them all around New York, for they saved my poor aching feet. They fit like padded socks -- is it any surprise then that I loved them so?