ways to make shopping for trousers painless

There are steps to make finding the perfect trouser cut easier though. Whether it’s finding a brilliant tailor, wearing the right underwear or finding a shape that suits your silhouette and running with it, these 21 tips will make those dreaded trying-on sessions that little bit more bearable.

1. Always try on trousers with heels

“My ethos is ‘everything with everything,’” Laura Myers, creative director of smart separates brand Atea Oceanie, tells The Telegraph.“Look for trousers  that you can easily interchange within your wardrobe, and wear with flats and heels. Trying on with both is essential before purchasing.” Don’t worry about dragging a suitcase of shoes with you though, most high street stores have dedicated footwear sections, and won’t mind you taking them into the changing room with you.

Atea Oceanie SS16 collection
Atea Oceanie SS16 collection

2. Ignore trends

“Find a shape that works for you rather than something that is on trend,” COS creative director, Karin Gustafsson, explains. “A good pair of trousers are a timeless wardrobe essential.”

Kay Thompson and Audrey Hepburn in 'Funny Face', 1957
Kay Thompson and Audrey Hepburn in ‘Funny Face’, 1957 CREDIT:REX

3. Don’t buy a pair unless they’ll work for at least three different occasions

“Before you buy a new pair of trousers, ask yourself whether you can think of three separate occasions (or three outfits) which they would work for, based on your existing wardrobe,” Hobbs creative director, Sandy Verdon tells The Telegraph. “With the right silhouette a trouser can be worn anywhere from your workplace to a dinner party. At Hobbs, we always design our trousers with this kind of effortless versatility in mind: for instance, our Joyce trousers (below) have a beautiful tailored fit which will work with office separates, but can equally be elevated with a slender heel for the evening.”

Hobbs and COS trousers

Joyce trousers, £79, Hobbs; Tapered wool trousers, £79, COS

4. Put your trust in a tailor

Proportion is key when buying trousers. What you’re looking for is a perfect fit on both the waist and leg – a duo that’s surprisingly hard to find. “There’s nothing worse than a woman constantly hitching up her trousers,” Tank editor, and tailoring pro, Caroline Issa warns. “You want the waist to sit exactly in the right place (just below your belly button) with no gap.” So make sure a seamstress takes the measurements while you are actually wearing the trousers.

Caroline Issa
Caroline Issa CREDIT: REX

5. But don’t task your tailor with impossible things

“If you don’t think your tailor will be able to alter the trousers, then don’t buy them!” says Issa. It’s worth remembering that a patterned pair, or the athletic style with the stripes down the side, are particularly hard to adjust without running the risk of distorting them on the sewing machine.

Joseph AW16 collection
Joseph AW16 collection

6. Suit trousers come with matching jackets for a reason

“Buy the matching jacket,” advises Telegraph fashion director Lisa Armstrong. “People like to think that they don’t need to buy in sets, but you try finding the jacket that works as well as what the designer has specifically intended.”

Theory Testra stretch-wool crepe tapered pants,£220, Net-a-Porter; Theory Lania stretch-wool crepe blazer, £330, Net-a-Porter

Theory Testra stretch-wool crepe tapered pants,£220, Net-a-Porter; Theory Lania stretch-wool crepe blazer, £330, Net-a-Porter

7. Buy jeans in a department store where there’s plenty of choice

Finding the right pair of jeans requires not just patience and time but a lot of choice, which is why heading to a department store is often the best idea. Selfridges, for example, boasts a dedicated 26,000 square foot space, The Denim Studio, that houses thousands of styles and hundreds of exclusive styles. From Primark to J Brand, Levi’s to Christopher Kane, the department store’s range spans from £11 to £11,000. Meaning you’re more likely to find something that fits.

8. Ask for help

High street stores, such as Topshop, River Island and Reiss, all offer personal shopping services in private dressing suites away from the hectic main store floor. The personal styling team are not only sales assistants, but professional stylists, and, at Reiss, trained tailors, who will proffer tips, tricks and help you find a bespoke trouser fit. Most suites even have fizz and treats on standby to make the whole experience a little sweeter.

9. Beware of wool trousers that aren’t lined

“If you’re buying wool trousers, which are good for winter, make sure they are lined,” recommends Telegraph style editor, Sophie Warburton. “Otherwise they will be itchy.”

10. Pay attention to fabrics

A cashmere blend might seem like a luxurious investment buy, but in reality it won’t last long. Remember that trousers are in a perpetual state of motion, with material stretched and strained all day. On the other hand, wool trousers should never be over 20 per cent cashmere, warns Mehmet Ali, design director at Hardy Amies. “It is just not robust enough to give longevity.”

12. Don’t doubt brand loyalty

There’s no shame in finding a trouser fit that suits your shape, and sticking to it. Telegraph fashion assistant Rosie Boydell, who is 5ft 9” and often left exasperated by the poor offerings of ‘tall’ clothing on the high street, puts her trust in certain brands. “AQ/AQ’s wide leg trousers will always draw a compliment,” Rosie reveals. “And Topshop and J Brand will be your saviour for jeans.” Find out which other brands have dedicated ‘long’ styles here

14. If you have a boyish shape…

High-waisted styles will highlight the waist area and create the illusion of curves, even if you have a boyish figure.

Elena Perminova's high-waisted Chloé trousers not only lengthen her legs, but draw the eye to her waist area
Elena Perminova’s high-waisted Chloé trousers not only lengthen her legs, but draw the eye to her waist area CREDIT: REX

15. If you are curvy…

Avoid wide leg trousers, which will swap your figure. Instead, opt for slim, cropped cigarette pants which will frame your figure in all the right places. Trousers with a subtle kick flare also make for a modern update on the cropped trouser, and naturally accentuate curves.

16. If you are petite…

Lengthen the leg area by choosing a cropped style that ends just above the ankle bone. A front pleat will also draw the eye down the leg. Wear with ballet flats, or pointy pumps, for maximum effect.

Pint-sized editor Miroslava Duma is just 5ft tall
Pint-sized editor Miroslava Duma is just 5ft tall CREDIT: REX

17. Measure your inside leg

You probably know what waist size you are, but have you ever measured your leg? Next time you’re trying on a pair of trousers, take the next size up, and down, in with you. There’s no definitive rule on where your trousers should sit – wide strides, for example, should just about graze the floor for that fluid, sweeping look. But skinny jeans have a habit of creeping up and looking a little like leggings. Make sure you walk about and sit down in the changing room before purchasing slim cut trousers. If they get stuck around your calf area, go for a lower leg length.

Sienna Miller in her failsafe skinnies
Sienna Miller in her failsafe skinnies CREDIT: REX

18. Don’t dismiss elasticated waistbands

We scoffed at Uniqlo’s elasticated trousers until we tried them on, and found that they give an utterly sleek silhouette. A discreet elastic band at the back ensures that the cigarette pants sit snugly without pinching, or creating bulges. At £24.90 a pair, they are a purse-friendly alternative to taking trousers to a tailor.

Uniqlo trousers

 Satin length trousers, £24.90, Uniqlo

19. Embrace colour

Colourful trousers qualify as a bona fide alternative to summer dresses, maintains Lisa Armstrong, and can be worn to formal events. Key things to note before shopping for punchy cuts: “The trousers must be tailored and slouchy,” says Armstrong. “Tight, stretch pale-pink trousers are almost too horrible to contemplate, but in case you’re still considering them, know this: they’ll make your legs like Rupert Murdoch’s. Naked.” Banana yellow, orange, dusty pink and pale blue are failsafe choices.

J.Crew AW16 collection
J.Crew AW16 collection

20. Ignore quirky names

Your friends might all rave about Topshop Baxter jeans, and fashion editor’s might swear by J Brand Selenas, but who cares whether your denim has the name du jour sewn into the label? Look at the description on the tag, and the trouser shape itself, before venturing into the fitting room.

21. Always get a rear view

You need a 360 degree view before committing to a new pair of trousers. If the shop in question does not have multiple mirrors to afford this, then ask a friend or sales assistant to take a photograph of you from the back. What else are iPhones for?! Source of Article: telegraph.co.uk

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