*spotted at Ostia Antica

For some, it is crocuses, azaleas or allergies (East Coast and Rome), for others, it is the final fade-out of Aspen raccoon eyes (Los Angeles), for me, the arrival of Spring in Rome is announced by Colored Pants, in particular, men who wear red pants.

With the cambio di stagione e armadio, fitted colored pants begin to parade around Italy with a pride I have only seen in New York on St. Patrick’s Day. And I don’t get it. Ironic, since it seems that all my life, I’ve been subjected to men in bad pants: stylish suburban Philadelphia means pastel colored pants with embroidered whales, sail boats and lobsters. ( Nantucket is where this forerunner of American Haute Couture originated *sigh*I should’ve known.) And I lived in two Los Angeles neighborhoods that could tie for Fashion Capital of the World: so anti-hip, you’re hip Los Feliz and fancy-free West Hollywood.

spotted at Parlamento*

Color palette includes (but are not exclusive to): Red, Pinkish Salmon, Mustard, Yellow

In Italy, colored pants are not a trend, but a fact. In Spring, they come out of the closet and by mid-Fall, they return to storage to mark the end of warm weather. The older generations wear their rainbow connections with matching sweaters wrapped around their shoulders and while riding bicycles. They are colorful palettes of pinks, yellows and reds casually zipping around the city. The younger generation wears them just a pinch shy of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: tapered and fitted, and often accessorized with a tight, stretch t-shirt. A1, the Italian ex-boyfriend, loved his colored pants so much that he had the entire rainbow in linen and cotton and one size too small, always accessorized with D & G– shirts, shoes and belts.

You know it must have been true love when I found out the Professor doesn’t wear red pants. (His closet is comprised of a piccante variety of khaki cargos). He is happily with me in the Anti-Colored Spring Pants (ACSP) gang and he gleefully shouts “Spring has sprung!” when ever Mr. Red Pants Bicyclist rides by our apartment.

*spotted at the Pantheon