As we should have all realised by now, menswear has been steadily progressing in a much more refined and generally ‘smarter’ direction. Tailoring and sharp classic pieces are becoming extremely important purchases for the 21st century male in order to build a successful and versatile wardrobe – helping create an almost chameleon ability to dress up or down in an instant.
This article was inspired by this new approach to dressing. Most guys now have no problem integrating a blazer within their everyday outfits – pairing them with casual basics such as jeans, tees and chinos – and bringing the surrounding items up a notch in an instant. However, many males will not consider utilising trousers in the same way, due to the strict formal connotations they promote.
Admittedly, it is much easier to dress down a blazer than it is a pair of smart trousers – but that is why they will make you stand out for all the right reasons.
Wool trousers are not a fashion ‘trend’ per se – we haven’t seen them pushed individually on the runways and there hasn’t been some major menswear movement surrounding them – but we have noticed an increasingly large amount of editorials and retailer lookbooks that integrate textured wool trousers within a wide variety of looks (as you will see below). On a personal note, my grey wool trousers are one of my favourite pieces within my wardrobe at the moment; they are so much more versatile that you would first think, and will take your smart casual looks to the next level.
Wool trousers are something that you may already own, whether they come as part of your winter suits or you have simply invested in the latest tweed/herringbone type fabrics for heritage inspired trends. They are perfect for autumn/winter, as the thick wool construction makes them both practical and stylish – another key buying principle we have been trying to install in you this year.
The type of trouser that are being promoted within the industry are textured (natural for 100% wool) or flecked/mottled types. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as textures have played an integral part within every major menswear trend this autumn/winter, whilst simultaneously adding natural depth to any outfit you create.
Note: Although 100% wool trousers are the preference due to their inherent quality and aforementioned practicality, they can be expensive for those on a budget. There are however a variety of wool mix trousers on the market right now – whether that be flannel, Herringbone, tweed and the like – which are all suitable in order to produce the desired effect. Go with personal preference and find what works for your wardrobe.
The great thing about these trousers is that they are not hard to wear. You can sub them into nearly all your current outfits – taking the place of your regular jeans and chinos – in order to give your looks a sharper aesthetic. There are no hard and fast rules, but you need to be aware of the fact that they do automatically smarten up any outfit. You should therefore look to pair with classic smart casual pieces such as merino jumpers, polos, casual shirts, blazers, trench coats and the like. This will keep your lines clean and refined, whilst helping to push the new gentlemanly elegance we are striving for.
Below you will see a look book, along with some inspired outfit combinations that will hopefully prove just how easy they are to wear regularly.
Pairing with other smart pieces is a ‘go to’ option. This is still a smart look, but the unstructured jacket, knitted tie and casual shirt help to place this firmly in smart casual. A pocket square shows a touch of subtle personality, whilst the brown brogues contrast beautifully against the grey trousers and the predominantly navy top half. This is a look you could wear to the office on dress down days, a night out, a date or the upcoming festive parties.
Something for the younger guys in order to show the versatility of the trousers. By going for a wool drop crotch pair, they still look smart but have that desired ‘edgy’ effect you might prefer. My personal preference would be to pair these with a plain tee and a biker jacket, but we will looks to integrate some patterns – as all young males should be experimenting with cuts, colours and patterns when looking to develop their style.
Fair Isle is on trend and perfect for the autumn/winter season, so layer this statement piece of knitwear over the top of a simple scoop neck tee. Pair with fingerless gloves in order to produce a more casual aesthetic, and really create a clashing of styles between smart and casual by tucking your trousers into some thick socks and on trend hiking boots.
A really simple outfit that is perfect for everyday casual wear. The textured trousers smarten up the look instantly, but counter act this with a bold piece of chunky knitwear and some classic worker boots. Of course, you could always go for another casual shoe here, such as a coloured suede brogue or classic loafer.
A great way to wear these trousers is to pair them with other smart textured pieces. The wool overcoat is a menswear staple that every professional male should have in their wardrobe. Here we opt for a camel colour way in order to make a statement, whilst at the same time coordinating with the grey tweed trousers and beige shawl neck jumper.
If this is too smart a look for you, why not sub out the camel overcoat for a trench coat, duffle or parka jacket?
Inspired by our recent article on how to wear the jumper elegantly, this is a look that is suitable for most smart casual occasions. A simple shirt and v-neck jumper is also a classic combination that all men can pull off. Here we pick colours that are of similar tones, in order to produce a coordinated outfit that looks sleek and sharp – brown and beige also being one of our key colour combinations for this season.
For those of you who are now convinced of the benefits of textured wool trousers, imagine the possibilities if you owned the full suit. The blazer and trousers can be used independently in order to create a plethora of interesting smart casual looks, whilst the full suit can be dressed up or down as appropriate. Not only that, the textured effect will also give your formal looks extra detailing that will help subtly separate you from the crowd.
A grey suit is the preference should you be investing in one. Navy is just as versatile, but the mottling effect looks superb (and more prominent) on a light to mid grey version, which also produces a slightly less formal aesthetic that makes it easier to dress down. Check the look book below to see how great these look dressed up or down.
Today we have seen how wool trousers can take your smart casual looks to the next level. They are a perfect investment piece as they are not only stylish but practical as well – with the added benefit of being really easy to integrate into your current wardrobe and existing looks.
But what do you think?
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