A Complete Guide To Summer Trousers
An expert breakdown of the styles to buy this summer... plus three to avoid.
BY teo van den broeke | Apr 20, 2017 | Fashion
Trousers constitute a good 50 per cent of each and every outfit we wear and yet (much like Bertie Wooster in PG Woodhouse's The Code of The Woosters, who muses to his long suffering valet, 'there are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, 'do trousers matter?') many men still struggle to grasp the importance of wearing good trousers; favouring shapeless, puddle-hemmed, shiny, too-tight leg tubes over trousers which, well, fit.
It's an issue which comes to even greater light in the summer months, when the weather is warm and there's no longer an abundance of oversized coats to cover-up waistband disasters, and a derth of chunky boots to stuff dodgy trouser hems into.
So here, to help you get to grips with the fact that trousers really do matter - and that yes, that applies in summer too - is Esquire's ultimate guide to warm weather leg wear.
Five to buy
1 | The peg leg
A classic style recently championed by British brand Kent & Curwen and high street stalwart Cos, the peg leg is great for those carrying a little extra weight in the seat. It's also a shape which works brilliantly on both tall and shorter men. Defined by a roomy top half, a smart front pleat and a gentle taper, this style is a grown-up, contemporary take on the high waisted styles from the 40s. Great in the summer worn with a loafer or a sneaker (sockless, ideally) or with a desert boot on slightly chillier days, the peg leg is a great, easy-wearing all rounder.
2 | The Cigarette
A timeless classic - not to be confused with a too-skinny-chino - a cigarette pant should be cut close to your leg and mirror the shape of it with a very slight taper. Find a style with a taped waistband (avoid wearing a belt if you can as it will ruin the line -unless you're opting for one of this season's statement belts, that is) and a sharp crease down the front. The hem should kiss the tongue of your loafer without a break. Cigarette pants also look great in white - though you might want to save them for particularly warm summer days.
3 | The Wide and High
A bit more of a trend trouser, this, but a cropped, wide-bottomed style with a bit of structure will look great worn with a pair of this season's best slippers. Opt for pants in cotton twill with oversized cuffs as this will allow the style to better maintain its shape. Team with a beautifully cut T-shirt and a simple, single-breasted jacket in a tonal shade and let your trousers to do the talking.
4 | The Almost Joggers
For Spring Summer '17 many brands have introduced a hybrid suit-trouser-cum-track-pant into their core collection. At Brunello Cucinelli, the sultan of softness has started selling an extra pair of more relaxed drawstring trousers with each of his classic suits, cut from the same fabric as the more traditional pants. This summer, take heed of the trend, but avoid an elasticated cuff, and opt instead for a soft taper in a slouchy comfortable suiting fabric such as seersucker or washed linen. Team with a pair of suede double monk straps to keep the look understated and easy.
5 | The Dressy Break
A very specific point, this, but if you're wearing a mourning suit to a wedding or the races your trouser should fit in a far more traditional way. First, ensure that they're finished with a single pleat. Second, make sure that the style is straight up and down with only a very slight taper and what might feel like an unaturally loose cut. Third, ensure that there's a nice clean break on the shoe. This more traditional look works far better with the line of a mourning coat and is one instance in which it pays to adhere to the rules.
...and three to avoid
1 | The Ham Hock
A more extreme take on the carrot style that did the rounds in the mid noughties, a hamhock sits loose on the thigh before tapering down to a DVT-inducing skinniness on the calves. If the look you're going for is 18th century farmhand with early on-set elephantitis, this one's for you.
2 | The Paint-On-Skinny
Impossible to pull off whether you're stick thin or rock formation fat, super skinny trousers will make larger frames look enormous and smaller frames look even tinnier than they are. Leave these to the ageing rockstars (it would be mean to tell them how silly they look, at their age).
3 | The Actual Joggers
Unless you plan on staying in the house all day and seeing absolutely no one - not even a Deliveroo delivery man - actual, bona fied, grey marl So Solid Crew joggers should not be worn. Unless you're in So Solid Crew. Or you're a Deliveroo delivery man.
*Denotes translated price
From: Esquire UK