Sometimes, the season and the pre-season just don’t give us much direction about where particular items are going. And usually, those core pieces – all those little tops, smart or casual pants, career wear skirts et al – that are crying out for change are the pieces most likely to see little of it. But on the pants front, PF16 has actually given us quite a lot of direction. And we really it because if I see just one more pair of skinny jeans with slashed knees, I think I’ll implode…
Anyway, we’ve seen none of those this pre-season. Instead we’ve seen lots of smart-casual sidestripe track pants and just as many wide-cut pants that give a completely new look to tailoring. But here I’m going to focus on two other key silhouettes – the cuffed and the cropped.
They feel newer than the sidestripe pants that were a big trend for SS16 and they have more instant commercial appeal than those wider, longer cuts that really could take some getting used to in a world hitherto dominated by skinnies.
These pants – or trousers as I’ll mainly be referring to them now (let’s face it, I only started using the P word so I could include a pun in the title of this piece) – have been everywhere this pre-season.
Cropped trousers have spring from the culotte trend and moved it on. They offer plenty of variety from wide, almost-culottes to slim kick-flare ankle-grazers, classic capris and peg-top retro-look pieces that have a tailored finish but feel totally casual. Fabric choices are wide from crisp woven cottons to soft and light wools, tweeds and leather. Turn-ups are a key detail for some.
Meanwhile, the cuffed variety span the range of looks from sporty track pants to a wider cut that strays into (but doesn’t fully enter) harem pant territory. That variety gives us plenty of options fabric-wise from sporty jerseys to vacation/occasion-focused fluid silks and some surprisingly crisp-but-fine wovens such as lightweight denim and other cottons. Overall the cut is slim and while there’s an obviously sporty edge to the piece, when teamed with a tailored jacket or brocade blouse, it feels surprisingly formal.