For years I was conditioned by my entourage and public opinion in general, that a good pair of basic trousers should always come in a neutral shade of black, navy or beige. After years of boredom with wearing blue jeans and proper shades that are socially accepted, I slowly graduated from white and khaki to burgundy and rust to the boldest shades of orange , pink and red.
Luckily, this season brings with it a rainbow of colours and a world of possibilities, but how to visualize colour combos that work? You don’t need a degree in art to figure out some of the less obvious combinations, here is a guide to some simple rules to help you make the most of your coloured trousers. SUF decided to go for red trousers, probably the most enduring colour across the years, but revamped with 2012 flavours.
The first major trend of the season is colour-blocking: the rule of colour blocking is to stick to no more than 3 to 4 shades: 2 opposing colours that are bright and go well together like red and blue, red and green or red and purple. Add to the mix 1 or 2 neutral shades in white, grey, black or tan depending on the other 2 bright shades that you picked. Here we teamed the red Rag and Bone cigarette trousers with a colour-blocked t-shirt by Cacharel in purple black and white, the accessories reflected the colours of the top with black Miu Miu shoes and a white bag by Coccinelle.
The second way to wear red is tone on tone: shades of pink or orange (or both) tend to work well with red (think Christian Lacroix and Yves Saint Laurent back in the 80s), the key is to stick to the same colour tones: for example if the red you are wearing has a slightly cooler tone, it should be matched with a cool pink, in the image below the tones are warmer, they have a bit of orange as an undertone throughout. You can tone down the boldness of these colours by wearing 18 carat gold accessories or nude shoes and bag. For the really brave, another tone of red can be added in the form of a handbag.
Then there is a more rock’n’roll way of wearing red trousers: with a silk black shirt with the top buttons slightly undone, or a slouchy t-shirt with a touch of leopard print. Shown here, a cotton t-shirt by Esprit, silk leopard print scarf by Warehouse and leopard print shoes by Reiss.
Depending on your profession, you may also wear red trousers to work with a smart navy or black blazer, a white or grey tank top. Working in media, gives me even greater flexibility to play with colour, oh how I don’t miss the dark suits and strict pencil skirts of my days working in financial services, fashion in the creative and media world is so much more adventurous. Shown here is a navy blazer by Massimo Dutti, a print tank and my favourite fluo-Green Cambridge Satchel Company bag. A bit on the bold side I have to agree, I wouldn’t wear this bag to a client meeting though, but it certainly makes the rest of my days much brighter.