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A Gentleman’s Guide

How To Trade Up Your Skinny Jeans For Wide-Leg Pants

We’ve done the legwork and found street-style stars who’ve aced the new trouser trend

  • Photograph by Mr Jason Lloyd Evans

When it comes to trousersslim-cut is not the only way, believe it or not. It may be the easiest way – in that fitted clothes tend to make the most of one’s physique, and also look cleaner and sharper – but that doesn’t mean you should never venture away from the path of the tapered chino and skinny jean.

At MR PORTER, we are increasingly enjoying the idea of wider-legged trousers in casualwear, a look that’s being pushed by designers ranging from Mr Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga (straight-cut dad jeans) to Japanese brands such as Chimala and visvim to our very own in-house label Mr P. (we’ve just launched a particularly nice pair of wide-leg herringbone chinos for SS18).

What’s so good about wide trousers? First, they’re cooler and more comfortable. But second, and perhaps more importantly, they’re body-shape agnostic. Whether you’re something of a twiglet or a master of the thigh press, you should be able to make them work. As a helpful starter’s guide, we’ve scoured the streets of LondonParis and Milan for some pointers on how to do so. Scroll down to go wide.

01. Baggy chinos

  • Photograph by Mr Christian Vierig/Getty Images

There’s something pleasingly authentic about this pair of beige trousers, cut straight and wide, almost like painter’s overalls. The bright blue blazer and denim shirt up top add to the vintage workwear feel, but there are enough modern touches – the tan backpack, the boat shoes – to keep it all from being too historic. The turn-ups are a particularly nice touch. We like the shoe-skimming length of the trousers, but it would also work with a couple more rolls of the cuff.

Get the look

  • Beams Denim Shirt

  • Mr P. Wide-Leg Herringbone Cotton Chinos

02. Carrot-fit trousers

  • Photograph by Mr Daniel Bruno Grandl

OK, so these trousers are not as wide as they come, but the heavy pleats at the hips give them enough relaxed volume to be different from your regular chinos, while the gently tapered leg keeps them smart. A shape like this is particularly good for those on the tall side who don’t want to look too straight up, straight down. Pairing them with a buttoned-up denim jacket will add to this effect.

Get the look

  • TOM FORD Denim Jacket

  • Giorgio Armani Pleated Stretch Virgin Wool-Crepe Trousers

03. Standard-issue pants

  • Photograph by Mr Adam Katz Sinding

Cropped wide-leg trousers are particularly good for when you’ve got something else going on at ankle height, so they make a good partner in crime for boots. In this particular example, a pair of sturdy-looking olive trousers has been wisely paired with black, military-esque boots – a fairly safe combination – but the whole thing’s been given a more rebellious twist with the addition of a leather jacket. If you are going to try this particular combo, make sure your trousers are in a heavy twill or drill. Floaty linens are not going to look good with black polished leather.

Get the look

  • Craig Green Wide-Leg Cotton-Twill Trousers

  • Dries Van Noten Leather Boots

04. Loose suit trousers

  • Photograph by Mr Jason Lloyd Evans

Opting for a suit trouser in a slightly roomier fit can give the impression of being put-together and thrown-together at one and the same time. It’s a nice face-off between smart and casual that’s exacerbated, in this example, by the addition of a rather grown-up looking double-breasted camel coat, and, at the other end of the spectrum, some adidas Originals tennis shoes. The strident colour – browny-terracotta rather than navy, blue or grey – helps it all to look a little more deliberate, as does the appealingly glossy wool fabric of this particular pair.

Get the look

  • Rubinacci Manny Tapered Pleated Wool-Flannel Trousers

  • adidas Originals Tobacco Suede Sneakers

05. Bell-bottom trousers

  • Photograph by IMAXTREE

The bell-bottom trouser is – cough, cough – something of a statement look, but not entirely out of place in an era when (thanks largely to Mr Alessandro Michele at Gucci, who designed these side-striped trousers) a certain wry appreciation of 1970s kitsch has become central to the fashion agenda. How to wear it, though? We suggest, as above, employing low-profile sneakers with vintage stylings, and letting the wide ends droop over the top (almost to the floor). The coat, which ends around knee height, also helps create a bit of balance here – be wary of longer or shorter variations.

Get the look

  • Gucci Wide-Leg Striped Wool and Silk-Blend Crepe Suit Trousers

  • Converse 1970s Chuck Taylor All Star Canvas Sneakers

06. Comfortable cords

  • Photograph by Mr Jason Lloyd Evans

Corduroy is a heavy fabric that develops texture as it crinkles and folds, so is particularly good for wider-leg trousers. Here, a generously cut example is worn with a pair of Balenciaga’s hard-to-get Triple S sneakers, working wonderfully with the oversized dimensions of this statement style. In fact, every piece of this outfit is somewhat voluminous, which means, oddly, that it all looks in proportion.

Get the look

  • Prada Two-Tone Cotton-Corduroy Trousers

  • Gucci Rhyton Printed Leather Sneakers

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