Mary Katrantzou spring/summer 2012.

OK, so here’s an admission. Last year, I told you about a pair of 25-year-old floral print Capri pants  I’d just rediscovered. Tried them on for the That’s Not My Age photoshoot and never wore them again. In my youth, I didn’t give a damn about having stupid hair and crazy trousers, but a quarter of a century later, my sartorial courage is lower than my oestrogen levels. I can hold my own in tomato red jeans but throw a bold pattern into the mix and I’m afraid to leave the house.

Crazy legs: my 1980s Hobbs Capri pants.

But this year, things are going to change. Thanks to David Hockney’s A Bigger Picture exhibition, bright colours are de riguer  – and there were more patterned trousers than 15-year-old models on the catwalks for spring/summer 2012. Now, even my favourite newsreader Kirsty Wark’s got in on the act. Here she is on The Late Review, I’ve got a feeling her pants might be vintage Prada but I could be wrong.

So, the good news is that fancy pants can be worn all year round. I’m thinking of trying mine out with a chunky sweater and ankle boots this weekend. And I love the idea of a sharp tuxedo jacket:

Printed silk crepe pants from A.L.C.
If you’re looking for something more affordable, try River Island.

And when it’s warm enough to leave the house without a jacket, I’ll be tucking a shirt in:

Classic black and cream print, By Malene Birger.

Label-to-watch Suno’s ‘Little People’ print pants are neat.
Hobbs taking floral pants into the 21st century.

Could patterned trousers be the new coloured jeans? Will you be wearing fancy pants for spring?

Catwalk photo: Elle

23 thoughts on “The grown-up guide to patterned trousers

  1. Oomph…I'm with you on the afraid to leave the house thing. I have been trying to build up my courage with flouro accents here and there….I can do a zany top or printed dress in my sleep. But there is something about a printed pant…. I feel myself overcome like a victorian housewife who has just accidentally showed too much ankle….

  2. This is something I really love, but as of now, do not have the courage to wear out of the house. I have heard too many stylists call them pajama pants…and I do want my style to communicate a chic, professional message…but I think they are fun to look at.

  3. Yes I am wearing flowered pants, and I won't blow over in a windstorm either. The trick is perfect fit. This slim trouser-cut pair actually makes my bottom look smaller. Perhaps all the swirly flowers keep the eye moving. Ostensibly bought for summer, I have already paired them with a tank and silk pajama top worn open as a jacket. I am that lady you look at and either admire her style or think she's nuts.

  4. I know I'll be drawn to them, try some on in shops, perhaps even bring a pair home for spring/summer if the price is summer-fling-right. Whether I'll wear them much or not, I'm not sure. My height(lack of) makes me wary of them. (and yet I've got quite comfy with my red jeans — hmmmm)

  5. I agree with Kate, there's some gorgeous green ones in River Island sale in a fab Deco print. I'm almost tempted myself but I'll wait until they reduce them further. x

  6. Just wait–the day you wear those trousers someone will follow you down the street and wonder where you got them. And then offer you money for them.

  7. As many have said, I think these are not quite "me." But the look on that model at the top is truly striking! And the Hobbs pair near the bottom is kind of intriguing — it's a larger print, but more subdued, somehow. Very interesting!

  8. I love printed pants, actually – wanted to wear the 'aztec'-style ones from River Island last year but never had the balls to do it. I think I have my mum's voice in my head, telling me they're too distinctive to be multi-functional. I need to hang out with bloggers more…

  9. I love patterned pants. I wear Boden or Lilly Pulitzer in the summer. So sorry boden doesn't do them as they used to. Good for me i kept them! I think a white shirt or a well cut t-shirt, and perhaps a linen jacket or soft lightweight cardigan are perfect together.
    So glad I found your blog.

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