Like Theresa May, Elon Musk and the shareholders of Flybmi, trousers get a poor deal. They’re the workhorse of a man’s wardrobe, with a thankless task to perform — squashed, pressed, scuffed and stretched out of shape day-in, day-out, from trains to planes, bar stools to benches. This is a shame, because trousers have the power to make or mar any outfit you care to put together, particularly in warm weather, when the time comes to shrug off your flannel and corduroy in favour of a lighter, sun-friendly look. In fact, this summer we’d encourage you to pay more attention to the clothes you wear on your bottom half than those you put together for your top; when formal winter layering isn’t an option, trousers become the primary tool to elevate your wardrobe, whether for work or play.
Herein lies the problem, because many men — even ostensibly stylish men — don’t give their trousers enough thought. For the best part of 10 years, slim, low-rise, flat-fronted trousers have dominated menswear, from the high street to couture catwalks. Certainly, here in London, there’s nothing less pleasurable than spotting a ‘City Boy’ wearing a sharply tailored jacket ruined by miserable, 1,000-times-washed skinny-fit chinos (often in a lurid colour) falling down below his hips. The flat-fronted look, worn this way, is both tired and uninspired.
Which is not to say that tapered, flat-fronted trousers can’t be an elegant addition to your wardrobe — the key is to know how to wear them. Look to both Anderson & Sheppard and Drake’s for inspiration here. For several seasons now, Drake’s have made chinos and suit-trousers that taper gently from thigh to ankle for a crisp, modern look, but with a mid-high rise that sits firmly atop the wearer’s hips. This changes the silhouette of the trouser, helping to temper its slimness by flattering the wearer’s waist, as tailored trousers should. Worn with the hems rolled up, a pair of deck shoes or Baudoin & Lange’s cult-favourite Sagan slippers, and with a simple linen one-piece collar shirt, chinos like these will see you right through the warm spell and beyond.
Anderson & Sheppard offer ready-to-wear trousers with a similar silhouette, cut in soft Italian linen with tapered legs, a flat front, belt loops and an unashamedly high rise. With a colour palette ranging from teal to tobacco, and from dusty pink and china blue, these are indispensable in warmer climes. Try a pair with one of A&S’s lightweight hoop stripe crewnecks — the blue and cream version in knitted silk is a real stunner.