The grown-up guide to patterned trousers

— by Alyson Walsh

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

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Mary Katrantzou spring/summer 2012. OK, so here’s an admission.