The Arenite Pants pattern has been taking Instagram by storm since it was introduced earlier this year, and it seemed right up my alley: elastic waist, interesting shape, big pockets. I put them on the Summer of Basics list right away.

Reader, take heed to the pattern designer who says that you need fabrics with excellent drape for these. I thought my Brussels Washer Linen blend would be OK, but you need something really slinky to avoid having the pockets stick out about six inches. In the photo below, I’ve added a pleat to the center of the pockets to take in some of the volume and I’m still not quite convinced:

About those pockets: they looked magnificently large in the pattern photo, and they are indeed wide. But they’re surprisingly shallow–just the depth of my hand, and definitely not the vertical depth of an iPhone.

If I were to make these again, I’d use 100% rayon (or this, gah, but I do not need silk harem pants, right?), add a couple inches to the pocket bag depth, and probably cut a size down–these run fairly large. (You can probably get away with far less yardage than the pattern designer calls for, too. This was 3 yards of 60″ fabric and I easily had three-quarters of a yard leftover. And that’s from a size 10.)

For all of the reasons above, I wasn’t sure what I thought of these, but seeing them in pictures has convinced me that they work. I just need to pile on the jewelry, mess up my hair, and pretend I’m an art teacher who can’t be constrained by ordinary pants.