It is often thought that a great pair of black trousers is the essential wardrobe back-up, perfect for some many occasions from work to a dinner party. Yet so many of my clients come to me because they really struggle to find that illusive pair of perfectly fit trousers. Now that the weather is cold, the trouser becomes more indispensable than ever so to help you through the coming months of sartorial challenges, I've compiled this 3 step guide on how to find the perfect trousers.
1. LENGTH | Consider your proportions and your height.
Tall - Look for brands that offer longer lengths, like J Crew or who cut for a longer leg like Joseph. A cropped trouser on someone who is tall can look ill-proportioned if the crop sits too high above the ankle bone. Consider what shoes you will be wearing to get the length just right.
Petite - Can petites wear cropped? Yes! Just match or tone the shoe colour with the trouser. Cropped trousers look great on shorter women who can carry the smaller proportions successfully. There are brands that offer petite ranges or better still have trousers altered. The London Workrooms (link) should be on your speed dial.
Long legs - You choose! Cropped with a statement shoe, wide and long for extra drama… just make sure you consider the material and cut as below.
Shorter legs - look for a centre crease that make you look long and lean. High waisted styles and a slightly longer leg with heels will also give the illusion of length.
2. FABRIC | Consider if your body is curvy or straight
Curvy - Look for fabrics that are drapey, flowey or that have stretch to complement your curvy body. Avoid fabrics with texture like tweed that add bulk and stiff fabrics that will look ill-fitting and give you drag lines across your crotch. And importantly consider the pockets - side pockets that pull can make your hips look wider, flap pockets on the back will add bulk to the bottom.
Straight - You have greater choice in fabrics whether they have drape or are stiffer but consider the length and cut.
3. CUT | welcome to the world of something-for-everyone...wide, tapered, pencil, straight, skinny... so much choice!
Wide - Good for tall, curvy and those with short or long legs.
Straight - Good for everyone. Consider wearing with a heel to lengthen the leg and balance the hips.
Tapered - Good for everyone. This is my favourite cut as it gives shape to straighter bodies but complements the curvy body.
Skinny/Slim - Good for tall or petite, longer or shorter leg. Those who are curvier need a fabric with stretch and a bulkier shoe to balance the hips.
The key is to experiment and try different styles. By doing this you can make comparisons to really find the style that is right for you. When you find a pair of trousers that suit you down to the ground, buy them in every colour and in triplicate!
Trouser muses - Catherine Hepburn, Jenna Lyons, Greta Garbo, Vogue’s Sarah Harris, Emmanuelle Alt
Favourite brands - J Crew, Max Mara (curvy), Helmut lang (very slim legs), COS, Joseph and Vince
Thanks for reading,