Believe it or not, The Rake's collective attention will very soon be turning to Spring/Summer clothing as we start taking receipt of your favourite brands' new season collections, but right here right now, we've only got one thing on our minds: winter-appropriate clothing. As I write this, the weather in London has taken a turn for the worse, abolishing any hopes of pulling out the odd fine-gauge knit or merino polo any time soon. Chunky knits are still my first port of call and my trousers are remaining decidedly woollen for the foreseeable future. Cue Kit Blake's latest drop of Aleks trousers, which we've been test-driving around London, and which warrant many a superlative. Kit Blake is the brainchild of Christopher Modoo and Richard Wheat and specialises in stunning pleated tailored trousers cut high in the waist, full in the thigh and have a natural taper. There's something of the old-school Hollywood movie star about them, thanks to the roomy leg (don't mistake that for fashion's current wide-leg trend - we're not in the business of trends).
The joy of these trousers, apart from the very natural way they drape and how the flannel cloth feels on the leg, is their extraordinary versatility. I for one have worn them with chunky knits and rugged boots, more polished shirt/tie/jacket setups, and... hold the press... sneakers (yes, you read that correctly). The trousers are extremely amenable to being dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. I've even seen them worn well with velvet slippers. But that's what you pay for I suppose; well-made trousers cut in a timeless style in puppy-ear soft wool will invariably lend themselves to anything in your wardrobe.
Which makes me think of something I was once told by an interior designer who had an unerringly brilliant knack of creating those mesmerisingly eclectic living spaces. The advice was to purchase items and objects on their own merit and not think about how they may or may not integrate with the rest of the room. Purchase beauty for beauty's sake, he said, and you can't really go wrong. Such wisdom could be applied to most of our wardrobes too, which is why Kit Blake's trousers should be in yours.