I can only apologise to those of you that think I’m looking a little too far forward here, but the fact remains that, at least in the retail world, seasons are a-changing. I can already hear the jingle jingle of Christmas decorations.
Following on from my initial guide to preparing for the transitional season, and subsequent advocating of lightweight knitwear as an essential addition to your wardrobe, today we turn our attention to legwear.
Tailored transitional trousers are set to become a huge trend this season, so it’s worth getting in early. This awkward time of the year is great for thinking ahead and planning your wardrobe evolution, so let’s make the most of what retailers are currently offering, even if it still feels like summer.
What Is A Transitional Trouser?
You’ve seen them before and we’ve discussed them on FashionBeans before – I’ve just given them a more overarching name for the sake of easy discussion. Think heavy gauge wool, flannel, tweed, corduroy and moleskin trousers; essentially, anything that feels a bit more substantial than the lightweight cotton and linen examples of summer.
These heavyweight trousers are fantastic for this time of year because they are cool enough to wear as daytime temperatures dip slightly, offer an additional layer of insulation during the colder evenings, and are versatile enough to be dressed down with a simple shirt or polo.
They straddle the line between smart and casual perfectly, providing the structure and shape needed to work with formal wear but the texture and colour that lets you just as easily combine them with a tee and a pair of desert boots at the weekend.
When everyone around you is wearing jeans or chinos, a pair of tailored trousers can be just the thing to set you apart, even in their most basic colour ways and textures. They bring an edge to an outfit that the aforementioned don’t, simply by being a more fashion forward choice, and are just as easy to wear, too.
Heavyweight Tailored Trousers
Heavier weight trousers come in all different shapes, sizes, colours and textures, so your first task is to decide exactly what role you want them to perform. Do they need to be smart? Will they be a statement piece? When are you going to wear them?
By far the most versatile style is a pair of clean cut, slim-fit grey, navy or brown wool trousers. Sticking to timeless colours enables you pair them with almost anything else in your wardrobe and will ensure they blend in seamlessly with the rest of your overall style.
Opting for something a little more restrained also gives you the chance to test the waters and see how well they suit your look, before you take it to the next level with a coloured or patterned pair.
Tailored Trousers Lookbook
Pair some plain, textured trousers with a simple sweater for an easy twist on a classic combination (substituting for your jeans/chinos) that will definitely set you apart. By creating a clash of aesthetics you can produce an outfit that is classically stylish yet has a forward thinking edge – something we often lose in our desire for consistent dressing.
A pair of light desert boots or white trainers will finish this outfit off with a touch of preppy flair, producing a laid-back, comfortable, everyday look. Tousle your hair, throw on some shades and just relax:
- Shore Leave Burgundy Nepped Sweatshirt
- Reiss Bert T Formal Flannel Trousers Grey
- Asos Desert Boots In Suede
- Asos Slim Chino In Brushed Cotton
- Shades Of Grey By Micah Cohen Donegal Trousers
- He By Mango Oxford Wool Suit Trousers
- Allsaints Bermen Trouser
- Topman Brown Herringbone Heritage Fit Suit Trousers
- Topman Navy Herringbone Skinny Fit Trousers
- Reiss Shot Pick Stitch Trousers With Turn Ups Dark Grey
- River Island Grey Fleck Smart Skinny Ankle Grazer Trousers
- Kolor Slim-fit Cropped Wool-blend Tweed Trousers
I think we can all agree that the industry’s obsession with colour over the last few years has been nothing but good for our wardrobes. The autumn/winter colour palette is now far more engaging and much easier to work with, with rich autumnal hues injecting a sense of life and individuality into what used to be traditionally muted outfits.
Colour-block trousers offer an effortless way to separate your look from the crowd during the colder months, and they are just as easy to wear as your bold coloured summer chinos.
Matt highlighted burgundy and orange in his recent round-up of autumn/winter 2013 menswear picks, so you already have two colours that are absolute must-owns for the coming season. However, don’t forget racing green, mustard, camel and the more developed shades of blue.
Heavyweight fabrics and colour work well together because it offers the perfect mix of texture and tone. The strength of the colour is also somewhat negated by the feel of the trousers, whilst the softer edge prevents them from becoming garish or in your face.
Use block-colour trousers as your outfit statement this season and you’re on to a winner.
Block-Colour Trousers Lookbook
Mustard coloured trousers are a fantastic statement piece, particularly for those who are fans of the heritage aesthetic. Despite being slightly restrictive on colours you can pair with them, you can still utilise all your existing wardrobe basics to make them work.
A denim or chambray shirt pairs well with such a bright pair of trousers, and develops the rugged aesthetic. A simple grey crew neck gives you an extra layer and stops the colours from overwhelming, whilst a pair of chunky boots offers you sure footing as the weather starts to turn:
- Acne Isherwood Denim Shirt
- Allsaints Wreck Crew Jumper
- Mens Hugo Boss Black Cord Crigan Trousers
- Grenson Fred Textured-leather Brogue Boots
- Topman Stone Oxford Slim Trousers
- Reiss Bellow Moleskin Trouser Khaki
- River Island Green Corduroy Stretch Skinny Trousers
- Slowear Incotex Slim-fit Corduroy Trousers
- Reiss Belgravia T Oxford Weave Trousers Rose
- Oliver Spencer Fishtail Wool Trousers 164878
- Asos Slim Wool Chino
- Ami Flat Front Corduroy Trousers 172172
- Boglioli Garment-dyed Corduroy Trousers
For those looking to really stand out from the crowd, patterned trousers should be your next port of call. Even subtle patterns like Prince of Wales check, houndstooth and herringbone can make a huge difference to the overall aesthetic of an outfit, especially when the pattern is picked in non-traditional colours.
Don’t be afraid of patterned trousers – simply switch out your staple jeans/chinos and keep the same surrounding pieces: Oxford shirts, plain tees, denim jackets etc.
As you become more confident, why not consider investing in a pair of on trend plaid/tartan wool trousers this season? Or make like Matt Allinson and expand your tweed collection with a rich burgundy coloured pair. You don’t have to opt for wild geometric styles, multi-coloured stripes and the like – sometimes even the most subtle pieces can make the biggest impact.
Patterned Trouser Lookbook
Sticking to muted shirts, tees, polos and knitwear will let a pair of patterned trousers really shine. Trousers in an unexpected shade or pattern make a much bolder statement, so you have to factor this into your outfit. Give yourself the best chance of pulling them off by sticking to wardrobe basics that anchor the trousers with muted tones.
Here, a classic Oxford shirt and some lightweight knitwear provide the foundation of an outfit that you can wear day and night:
- He By Mango Slim-fit Cotton Shirt
- Reiss Astro Woolly Merino V-neck Sweater Aubergine
- Reiss Robert Check Cotton Trousers Grey
- He By Mango Prince Of Wales Suit Trousers
- Selected Trousers In Prince Of Wales Check
- Ted Baker Rolatro – Cotton Check Trouser
- Reiss Barber T Textured Puppytooth Trousers Grey
- Gucci Check Tailored Trousers 162389
- Reiss Gleneagle T Check Trousers Grey
- Reiss Townsend Flannel Check Trousers Blue
- Gucci Riding Plaid Wool And Cashmere-blend Trousers
- Fendi Prince Of Wales Check Tailored Trousers 162938
Heavyweight trousers are a superb transitional piece that will serve you well through both autumn and winter. Offering the perfect blend of style and statement, something as simple as an alternative texture or colour can help transform your existing looks and take your outfits up a notch this year.
Don’t be afraid to try something a bit different. Whether you opt for a rich autumnal coloured pair or a subtle plaid/herringbone pattern, you’d be surprised at just how versatile they are and how effortlessly they slot into your existing wardrobe.
Make sure you let me know your thoughts on the transitional trouser in the comments section below.