I know. Are you sitting down for this one?
Now I have to give full credit to Lizzy Hadfield here for warming me up to the idea of trousers. I’ve lived in jeans for years. My Dad took my sister and I to GAP in our early teens and we were allowed to each pick out a pair of jeans. It was the start of a long relationship (that was probably 15 years ago now!) and my tastes have evolved from a classic bootcut, to the largest flares I could find with ground-chewed hems from scuffing them on my pink converse, to a skinnier fit – which is basically all I’ve worn on my bottom half for the past 10 years.
I’m not dissing jeans here. They’re fab. They’re comfy, practical, easy to wash, last years when you purchase the right pair and they pretty much go with everything. It’s down to all these reasons and more why I wear them everyday. However, in recent months I’ve been finding myself wanting a bit of variety with my bottom half options. A little bit of tailoring, you know? Something a bit more grown-up for evenings out and fancy occasions. So say hello to three pairs of trousers, that took an absolute age to find, but cover all bases. If you’re in a denim-rut and need a bit of help pulling yourself out, here are my recommendations…
THE CIGARETTE PANT
If you’re a skinny jean lover who needs a starting point, then this is where to head. Cigarette pants are the slim-leg trouser equivalent and require little, if any tweaking, from the outfits that you usually wear with your beloved jeans. I must have got into double digits when it came to finding the perfect pair, so get ready to have a hunt on your hands here. It’s all about the perfect, slim – but not too tight fit, with a slightly cropped cut that isn’t clingy on the calf. It’s a very personal thing. In the end I ticked all the boxes with the Whistles Sadie Slim Leg Trouser. They weren’t the cheapest pair that I tried, but the fabric is just the right thickness and they fit like a glove (FYI – I’m usually a size 10, so picked up a size 10 in these too).
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THE WIDE LEG TROUSER
When I started to come around to whole trouser idea, I knew that I wanted a wide-leg pair in my capsule wardrobe. I always loved wearing them at school and even donned them way into my days of retail and bar work. There’s something about how they cinch in at the waist and flare out at the knee that just looks quite flattering if like me, you’re built like a gangly giraffe. I just had an image in my head of me in a black cashmere jumper, with a big bag, boots and thinking that it looked really darn smart. Again this wasn’t the easiest trouser type to source. Some were awfully baggy around the butt and others were ankle bashers. In the end I found that these Mango Flared Trousers were just right, despite the fact that they would have been long enough for Mark to wear. One day with the seamstress though (a.k.a My Mum) and now they fit like a dream.
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The ‘in-between’ trouser is a difficult one to pin down exactly; but I’m talking about a trouser that’s baggier than a cigarette pant, but isn’t flared in anyway – just lightly tapered in the hem. They’re a relaxed fit and ‘relaxed’ is an adjective that I like when it comes to clothing. They’re basically the boyfriend jean of the trouser world. Now these Selected Femme Paper Bag Drawstring Trousers were the first pair that I purchased and because they were perfect in every way (sizing, fit, cut, ability to hide a food baby), they are what spurred me on to make my other purchases. Not only do these look really darn chic, they also have an elasticated waistband at the back…I KNOW. See? I told you these were basically a smart-looking boyfriend jean. IN. LOVE.
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Photos by Lauren Shipley