Just when we were despairing that there wasn't much new happening in the fashion business, along come stirrup pants. It's not that we haven't seen them before, but suddenly stores are selling them like mad, and they're being worn with oversized sweaters and big shirts. They even showed up in a couple of the menswear designer shows in Paris recently.

Ski pants can give this same sleek look, but the last time there was a surge in stretch pants with an underfoot strap in fashion was the early '60s. But the silhouette of a huge top and skinny bottom is fairly new, and popular undoubtedly because it combines the ease and freedom of a loose top and the flattering line of slender legs. During the last go-round on this look, the pants were worn with boots to hide the stirrup -- today they're paired with flat shoes with the stirrup very much in view.

And after stirrup pants? The jodhpur look is a natural successor, and just watch it happen for fall. With the popularity of the "Man and His Horse" costume exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the overall trend to dressing up, particularly with young English designers who have Prince Charles as a model, jodhpurs are likely to become one of the hot fashion looks coming up.