Tailored trousers have come a long way from their reputation as the obligatory officewear piece or, dare I say it, their longstanding affinity with schoolwear *shudders*. We’ve all been there, forcibly scouring the high street as pre-teens for less-than-inspiring bootcut slacks. Now, however, they’re hailed as a hero piece—a wardrobe essential we’ve welcomed into our adult uniform with open arms. The circular nature of fashion has resulted in tailored trousers gaining some traction over the last couple of years.
Through pop culture icons such as Diane Keaton in everything from Annie Hall to Baby Boom, Melanie Griffith in Working Girl and, of course, Princess Di circa the 1990s, it’s clear to see the power of a woman in a strong tailored look through the eyes of fashion history. Let’s not forget the Parisian influence. The French do tailored trousers year-round paired with a stone trench and ballet pumps for an understated look.
Form-fitting trousers have swiftly taken the place of jeans as a more interesting, smarter alternative, which makes it hard to look in the direction of rigid denim. With styles by The Frankie Shop, Jacquemus and Jil Sander and, of course, renowned brand The Row’s wide-leg Marian pants doing the rounds, tailored trousers have fast become a highly coveted piece.
If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to the aforementioned designers, the high street has produced some timeless trousers with beautiful compositions and fits to see you through the years. When it comes to picking trousers on the high street, it’s all in the detail. A tapered waist or the addition of belt loops offer versatility, as you’re able to pull in the waist and accentuate the length. Also, look for quality tailoring. Pressed creases and darting provide a more pronounced shape, giving styles a high-end look. From sweeping palazzo pants and tapered-leg trousers to relaxed wide-leg styles and chinos, there is something to suit all styles.
The styling options are endless. A barely there open back or boat-neck vest is my favourite way of styling them for the evening. Throughout the day, I wear mine with a button-down shirt and heeled boots or trainers, depending on the mood. Day-to-day tailoring is here to stay, and I can’t say I’m complaining. Here are the trousers I love the most.
The asymmetric, exposed underlay exudes class. Keep it simple, and pair it with a body-con vest.
Clean lines make this style timeless. Wear it with an embroidered blouse, and you’ll be spring ready.
Swap your joggers for this easy style, and you’re good to go.
Made with a high proportion of wool, these trousers will see you through the summer to winter months. An elasticated waistband is always a plus.
These tailored trousers have a kick-flare twist for exaggerated shaping. Balance them out with heels.
This is our editor Emma Spedding’s tried-and-tested pick!
Year after year, Arket releases long-wearing linen trousers. Wear these with converse and a T-shirt for an off-duty look or pumps for a night out. Guaranteed, you’ll wear them for years to come.
I would swap the belt on these super-wide-leg pants for a black one and wear them with a crew-neck T-shirt.
Balance out this oversized shape with a slim-fit top.
This faint pinstripe gives a subtle nod to spring/summer. Pair with a blue linen shirt and a tan belt.
A cinched waist and tapered leg are a recipe for perfect styling. Plus, these have pockets. *sounds klaxon*
Everyone needs a pair of khaki trousers. These are ever so slightly cropped, which is perfect for the summer months ahead.
I love this delicious chocolate-brown colour.
Reformation does it again with this dazzling green pair. Wear it with a white top, and let the trousers do the talking.
The exaggerated pleats make these look so expensive.
Forget the blazer. These trousers are the star of the show. Made with 100% wool, this pair will be in your wardrobe for years to come.
These are ultra chic and made from Tencel, a wonderful sustainably sourced and long-lasting fabric.
Prince of Wales check is forever an understated classic.
This muted khaki colour and fit are timeless. Strappy sandals will instantly take them from day to night.
Utilitarian style with exposed pocket stitching is perfect for a pared-back twist on tailoring.
Next up, our guide to the key trends for spring summer 2022.