I recently found myself in need of a pair of smart trousers; a situation so unprecedented within the confines of my wardrobe, I despaired as I looked at row upon of row of jeans hanging in my own closet. In fact I don’t think I’ve actually had to wear a pair of smart trousers since my days as a sixth former – ever since then, university and working for fashion companies that have relatively relaxed dress codes, has meant that I simply haven’t had the need for them. That’s not to say I haven’t day dreamed that I might one day look as effortlessly suave as a Saville Row gent in tailored two piece, it’s just that day hasn’t quite arrived yet.
My hunt for the elusive pair of smart trousers began in Topman (in retrospect, probably not the best place in the world to start looking for such things) and I was quickly dismayed to find the selection of trews came in three prominent styles; skinny (not me); ultra skinny (certainly not me) and skinny carrot (not me with a drop crotch) – while I’m a fan of Topman’s casual wear and other ranges, for example their knitwear this season hit the Fair Isle nail on the head – I conceded that this is perhaps not the best place for smart trousers.
I quickly hit a series of other stores and discounted them just as speedily in the hunt: Urban outfitters (too casual); Reiss (too pricey for the styles); French connection (ill fitting). I should at this point mention I undertook this seemingly mammoth task in mid December, when the high street was awash with stressed Christmas shoppers and their demeanour became infectious. After a couple more shops, with my £70 budget burning a hole in pocket, I was about ready to throw in the towel when I found myself gazing into the window of COS on regent street.
COS isn’t a store I’ve ever set foot in before; I’m aware of the brand thanks to the occasional piece of choice PR and product placement, but it’s not anywhere I’ve felt compelled to shop. But I still needed to find my smart trousers, so I ventured in. Upon setting foot through the door, the shop was a place of comparative Nordic calm; I walked upstairs to the menswear department and there I saw them – the perfect pair of smart trousers. A slim fit, dark grey, light gauge wool trouser, which was perfectly understated and immeasurably slick. Like an affordable version of Margaret Howell, coming in at £69, they’ve obviously nailed the psychology of mid-market pricing and quality. I was also very impressed at the outwear selection at COS, while the staff at the store were among some of the most helpful (and stylish) I’ve ever encountered – which certainly makes shopping more of a pleasure than a chore.
Now an official COS convert, I feel it my duty to share my new found ardour with the ‘beans readers. Take a look at the brand’s A/W10 menswear look book and I’m sure you’ll feel the same.
So what do you all think of Cos…
As I do a lot of research for the site, I have seen Cos featured in many of the GQ style supplements along with Topman and have always gone searching for them online after, because as Paul mentions, their range looks impressive for the price range. Do we have another Topman/Zara on our hands here, or are they set to stay sightly more underground? Being as I am from the
hotspot hell hole of fashion (Leicester :( ) we don’t actually have a Cos in my city, although I am definitely interested in taking a trip to the one at the Bullring in Birmingham soon.
Here is a UK store list for those interested:
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