In winter, trousers are a necessity – unless, of course, you are a hardened kilt-wearing-Scotsman or just capable of braving the winter cold in shorts and flip flops. Both of which I have spotted in the last week. Just as girls brighten up the winter months by chucking on neon tights and bright dresses, guys can do the same by covering their legs with statement trousers. And no, I’m not talking MC Hammer parachute pants.
We’re going to look specifically at colours and prints; shapes and styles are just on a whole other level.
Personally my idea of statement trousers should be purely block colours. Simple and classic. For me it has to be chinos or cords, I’m not really a jeans girl. Instead of a simple shirt and beige chino, try navy blue. It’s not as smart as black, but is not as obvious as paler hues. It’s understated and on the right side of quirky. The paler and more vibrant tonal colours should be reserved for the more flamboyant individual, or the ‘peacockers’ – those wearing the colours to attract attention. Most girls are like magpies. As a girl I can fully say that bright trousers pretty much have the same effect as shiny objects. The red trouser is clearly the most vibrant and there are even several blogs dedicated to the sartorial statement of the red trouser, including the delightful lookatmyf*****gredtrousers.blogspot.com. A thrilling read. A positive rainbow of colours can be used to great effect. But maybe leave the most lurid hues to the summer months when the Raybans are conveniently at hand. A dark green, plum or burgundy seems perfect for the colder months. The darker tones add a bit of colour, but fit the weather appropriately as well. In general, colours seem more acceptable as statement trousers these days. They allow you to wear crazy Christmas jumpers without running the risk of a hideous clash.
Other than block colours only the most fashionably flamboyant can pull off the statement prints. Though unmistakably festive, metallic trousers are far too shiny and bizarre for everyday use and the Dolce and Gabbana mesh styles are just too ‘out there’ for most social occasions. However, if you want your outfit to pack a punch, a bronze pair of skinnies could go down a storm. Especially if you want to take the magpie simile literally.
Patterns and prints are often too hectic and fussy, and usually resemble lurid golf attire too much for my liking. I recently spied a pair of Ralph Lauren trews covered with the classic polo print. I felt like I was having a migraine. Statement? Yes. Socially appropriate? Maybe not. Prints on the box have included a bizarre blue pin-stripe variety on ‘Sorority Girls,’ emblazoned with lime green insignia. A bizarre mix. The look was clearly preppy, but perhaps a little too try-hard and pretentious. Another statement trouser television appearance has been the delightful union jack pair sported by one Ollie Lock on Made in Chelsea. I think he pulls it off.
The key to making prints work is to not wear a pattern Nordic-print knit on top. In winter, it’s hard to just wear a plain white shirt with these sartorially ambitious pieces, but a simple understated knit will do the job. Personally I’d stick the block colours. They are a clear statement, yet much easier to integrate into an everyday wardrobe than a lime-green paisley print.
Image – Millicent Wilkinson