Sunday, 8 June 2008

The perfect trousers

What are yours?




As well as my fixation with the perfect pair of skinny-fit tuxedo trousers, for years I have hankered after some dream wide trousers. But two things come to mind when I think of wide trousers:

- Katharine Hepburn, striding about in her trews with thunderous defiance, telling her studio bosses to stick it when they request that she clothe herself in ladylike skirts
- 'What Not To Wear' type shows, where middle-aged women are made to don characterless two-legged high street cotton sacking because they're supposedly too fat to show their legs

They can go very right, or very wrong. This is what I do NOT want:



[Image: Industryfolio.com]

Wide trousers are meant to make a woman look statuesque, nonchalant but powerful - the kind of woman that glides through life wreathed in odourless cigarette smoke and cinematic shadow, knocking down her peers and subjects with dry quips and gusts of air from the movement of her eyelashes. They're meant to make your legs look like they go on forever. If they make a catwalk model look like the average woman on the street, they'll do precisely nil for that average woman.

I've got some nice black high-waisted ones, very tight in the waist, but I want some cooler, mannish ones too. When my dress-form arrives, instead of finishing the dresses I have started, I suspect my next sewing project will be a pair of heavy wool pinstripe trousers. Heavy enough that they can be wide and show some movement but not flap stupidly in the wind as cheap trousers do. Wide on the leg, medium-rise on the waist, with just the right amount of insouciant slackness on the legs. I'm not thinking Annie Hall and her kooky granddad dressing, though this admittedly has a separate appeal.

Mainly I'm thinking Madonna in the Vogue video - these trousers have hovered in my imagination for years -



. . . and Irina Lazareanu in the current issue of Tank. The photo's not too clear, sadly, but these Paul Smith trousers are magnificent [pity I can't afford them]:



[Image: Stefano Galuzzi, Tank]

Pinstripe wool, some heavy machine needles and thread, and a couple of days of patience. How hard could it be?

16 comments:

Sister Wolf said...

You want a pair of Slouchy Trousers, right? Over on Style.com there is a trend category called Slouch, where you can see more of what you can't afford.

Here is a revolutionary (or stupid) idea: Bloggers could post their size in clothing and shoes. If a kindred Blogger had JUST THE THING! and never wore it, then voila, she could offer it up! It would have to be free..a love offering.

For example, I have a Paul Smith jacket that I've never worn cuz It's just not me, size 40 IT. Lightweight wool herringbone tweed, fitted, lined with polka dots. Anyone who needs it can say so!

Charponnaise said...

Well, I was thinking much the same, yes! But more like a clothes swap. One freebie for another! I posted a while back venturing the idea but no-one bit. I have a bunch of clothes I'll never wear, like a size 12 black short-sleeved Miu Miu shirt with ruffled sleeves, and some gorgeous Ferragamo patent 1970s sandals that are too small for me.

What size [US or UK] is an IT 40? It sounds superb . . .

Charponnaise said...

Also, where's the Slouch bit on style.com? I'm having an inept day and can't find it . . . d'you have a link?

Sister Wolf said...

Jesus almighty, the search or slouch nearly killed me, because it was on elle.com.

http://www.elle.com/fashionspotlight/13253/top-10-trends-new-york-fall-2008.html

IT 40 = US 4 =UK 8

enc said...

I haven't found the perfect trouser. I'm still looking. These are really beautiful, all of them. They stir a longing.

Luxe. said...

I like em skin tight and leather!

Charponnaise said...

sister_wolf - Thanks! I will have a gander now. And oh! oh! That's my size! May I email you?

enc - As far as shop-bought ones go, the best I've yet found were Zara, Topshop and Stefanel, but none of them have beautiful fabric. One day I'll have a tailor, and he will craft trousers for me like the world has never seen, in fine Harris Tweed and raw silk.

luxe noir - Ha! So would I, if I could carry them off . . . not sure I'd wear them with the necessary aplomb.

Make Do & Mend said...

Ah Katharine Hepburn really was the grande dame of trousers. I loved her style.
My perfect pair are though a mean fitting 7/8 - it suits me.

Sister Wolf said...

Of course you may.

Charponnaise said...

I do not have your email address, sister wolf - can you drop me a line at gencwilliams@gmail.com ?

poetiic said...

oh lovely! i really like the idea of some trousers like that but i really dont think that i'd pull them off! eep.

oh, and i've tagged you! haha, i hope you don't mind!

wishwishwish.net
x

etoilee8 said...

This is a great idea, a personalized blogger clothing swap. I'm trying to think if I have anything good to contribute. I'm still looking for my perfect pair of trousers too. . .my size 8 hips do not agree with many designs. . . but jeans, oh jeans. . . I've got so many lovely pairs of denim. . .

shebeat said...

Sadly my height and build forbids me to wear trousers as I look like those creatues in the Tic Tac adverts, but I can still look. Madonna's wide pants in the Vogue video have haunted my own dreams for years - I'll have to live vicariously through you :)

Nyvia said...

Im dying for high-waist men trousers!I have been very successful in the past searching vintage stores here in LA for things of that nature-maybe il try that again.

Glenda 2010 said...

The Trousers possess a distinctive position in fashion and style. The trousers designed by a professional team of designers provide an elegant and comfortable look. They are suitable for wearing in almost every season, with a little change in the stuff, and style.

caterpillar trousers

zahir123 said...

Also, where's the Slouch bit on style.com? I'm having an inept day and can't find it . . . d'you have a link?
Round Rock Gutter Companies