Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Trouser trouble sorted

For trousers to really work well you need to know how they sit on the body and most importantly if you buy ready to wear you will need to get them altered. Alterations are cheaper than chasing the holy grail of finding a pair of trousers or jeans that fit perfectly.

Check out if you have a dip in you back and how pronounced that is. If you do you are typically an hour glass or pear shape. You need to make the waist band fit, to avoid muffin top due to buying the trouser pant too tight so it doesn't fall down. Same for jeans. Make sure the rise suits and there is a curve on the waistband. If you happen to be more of a boy shape (straight up and down) then a lower rise will work well. It would be fair to say that apple shapes have a hard time when it comes to trousers and I can give not real comfort except to say that a jersey flare with a fold down wide waistband is probably the best option. Such a style is hard to find although they were all the rage many years ago, but the harem is the obvious solution now with this waistband element and the detail of drape.

When you select a trousers do so on the fit around the backside, front, hips and thighs. Any bagging on bum or at the front is a no no as is tightness on the thigh creating creases or bunching. But don't forget you can get them altered. The waist and leg length is easiest and it is easier to take in than let out. If you haven't got a dressmaker use a local tailor, no one is going to turn away custom these days.

Sexy black trousers
- probably the best high street retailer for that Helmut Newton-esque model posing in black trousers/pants is Karen Millen. They always have a black pant offering every season and they wash well and hold their shape. A classic cut, they will work for years regardless of the trends that come and go. The wonderful wide waistband should make these work for all body shapes.Tailored black trousers £120

Cigarette Pants - again are a useful must have in the wardrobe. Often with a turn up the essence of the cigarette pant is the fact it is straight and fitted. The forerunner of the drainpipe, the skinny, and the base for designing the peg. It is obvious a straight pencil cut creates opportunity to change the basic template and add to. Whilst a flare is the equivalent of the a-line skirt and as it's strength comes from the cut at the waist. Lots of options from designers such as Rag and Bone to on the high st. Zara have a pair in red currently if you fancy.
Rag and Bone Wool mix trouser £260.00 at Matches

The sexy flare and the cigarette pant are your investment purchases. Spend your money here as quality is a key ingredient to carry off such garments.

Jean territory is the nightmare of most women. I have to say if they don't work for you and the idea of finding a pair is hell then don't bother. They are not what defines you. I do wear jeans but occasionally not everyday and I have only two pairs a skinny and a flare.

The skinny jean - a wardrobe staple and easy to buy anywhere. Topshop's Baxters are a firm favourite but I always have to have the waistband altered as I need the right fit on the leg which leaves a gape at the back but an inverted triangle reduction always resolves it. If you've got wide calves then the straight jean will be a better option.

The flared jean
- this is a personal favourite so I'm not particularly objective about it's value because I love a flared jean. I prefer the skinny flare to a true flare but that's a personal decision and always go with the proportions of leg that suits you. The Made in Heaven brand do a wonderful retro pair and again only buy at this price if it is the look for you. You could have 10 pairs of jeans alone and there is no reason not to.
MIH retro look jeans £148

The flared jean always reminds me of the Charlie! Revlon advertising, an inspiring image for a stylist.

Leather trousers(!) - the rock look only please. I'm thinking men and women who've pulled it off. It needs boots not high heels and a good t-shirt. And for goodness sake never wear a leather jacket on top as well think Jim Morrison not the Fonz. I know Balmain have worked that leather pant with statement heel look but I still think it only works with a good tee. It needs that dress down rock chic element to really work. Mind you Hermes worked a great leather look reminiscent of the Avengers for A/W 10, so in reality there are no rules...just advice that morphs.

A colourful cotton pair - you now what I mean, it's like a jean but not. In red or any bright bold colour it adds zing. Find them in Uniqlo, Gap or Zara. A grey t-shirt is a fab look with a coloured jean trouser.

A chino - the chino has had a come back and whilst I can't grab an image from the Oasis website, I've linked it. The point with a chino trouser is, it is very much at the whim of fashion trends, and I would say go cheap and cheerful but on trend rather than see it as an investment buy.

The jodhpur - who can forget the influential Balenciaga A/W 07 collection when you all sported a J Crew blazer in lieu of getting your hands in the real thing. Well the real star of the collection was the jodhpur trouser and it is still around, next season it will be in black. Again given the trend nature of this item, head to H&M or COS for a reasonably priced and designed pair. Or find a genuine pair at a car boot or charity shop and dye them.

Shorts - A city short works all year round with the added help of thick opaque tights. The staying power of the short is assured with new designs and materials - this season it is all about the leather. Try a few on to get the right cut and length for your body.

The Jumpsuit - I know there is nothing worse than a convert but if you need a wow factor and you are more of a trouser kind of gal then you need to jump to it. ASOS is awash with jumpsuit that don't cost the earth.
ASOS Assymetric Shoulder Jumpsuit £30

I feel I've left out the sailor trouser but again adapt your top ten to suit your preferences and if you add it on to make 11 then I won't tell.


  1. Trousers and jeans .. fab... I love the flattering cut if the flare.. i have the MIH jeans and they are wonderful. But I also love a skinny and cigarette pants and flared trousers.. I just wish I had all the places to wear them.
    Kate I loved your post on the coat too but didnt have time to comment.. I love coats but I think my all time favourite is a pea coat xx

  2. Great post! I'm a trouser/jean girl and there are some great options here.

    I do like a flare and haven't had any for a long while. My last pair were my dads old 70's flared jeans I found in the bottom of the wardrobe in the early 90's and wore until they fell apart all through art college.

    And Charlie, I'd forgotten all about Charlie - it was my very first perfume!

  3. Hehe because of this post I realised the only thing I actually own are skinny jeans! Maybe I should invest in some other types hehe...

  4. you forgot cargos :)

    im in love with a j brand pair... thinking thinking thinking, if i wasn't on a ban.

  5. -this jut reminded me how much i need too get some more trousers. ahaha, thanks! (:
    havea good day,

  6. This is a brilliant post. And has just made me realise how badly pretty much all my trousers fit... Shall have to print this out and carry it around with me in future! And find a good tailor! Thank-you :)

  7. Love cigarette pants!
    Fabulous post, darling!


  8. I can confirm, being apple shaped, that you are right in what you say. I wear jeans all the time, but they do fall off my bum, low and behold if I bend over in them!

  9. Great post. This is my first time at your blog. I like it.

  10. Fabulous advice, Kate, and SO comprehensive! I would never have thought to include j-suits in a post on pants.

  11. I can't believe I want a jumpsuit.

  12. Excellent! I love your bit on the leather jeans - SO true.

  13. I have lots of jeans, skirts and dresses, but mostly I admire trousers from afar.

    I really liked this post- maybe I should try harder to make friends with non-denim pants...

  14. I couldnt agree more, why go through the trauma of searching rail after rail (at 5.2 lenght is always an issue), my tailors are worth their weight in gold. Adore the Lily Cole shot!

  15. I agree 100% on the red cotton jeans. It is a must, and YES! on wearing it with a gray t-shirt. This is the perfect go-to uniform when you're sick of denim.

  16. Le cuir et le chapeau melon c'est la grande classe, j'adore le style et ton blog est magnifique.


  17. I will always love jodphurs . . .


Thank you for commenting, much appreciated. Sorry about no longer offering anonymous comments but spamming had become a very annoying issue. xxx