There are certain items that will always be a little challenging to shop for and find the perfect fit – denim shorts, swimwear and the perfect pair of tailored trousers are some of the main culprits. Once you have found your perfect pair, trousers can be a foundation for so many outfits, and a reliable option for when you want to get dressed quickly, but still look put together.
Read more: Vogue’s Definitive Guide To The Best Trousers
You might assume that this is an item you need to spend a lot on, and while we fully endorse investing in high-quality tailoring, there are several high street retailers that our editors turn to for their own wardrobes.
Arket pieces are a common sighting in Vogue House. The high street brand stocks a versatile collection of trousers all year round, in a range of silhouettes, fabrications and colourways. From cargo pants to tailored trousers; linen blends and flares, there are plenty of options suitable for a number of occasions. (Arket also specialises in excellent basics – its T-shirt offering is worth checking out.)
“I can safely say that the best pair of affordable trousers I’ve ever bought was from the vintage Pick n’ Weight store in Covent Garden,” says senior commerce writer, Joy Montgomery. “Originally from the men’s section, I instantly fell in love with their wide-leg fit and tuxedo ribbon detailing – they just needed taking in at the waist slightly, and voila, the perfect silhouette. Jigsaw is my other go-to on the high street – I have a black wool pair that have lasted me years and look as good as the day I got them.”
Swedish brand Cos creates wardrobe essentials with a sharp focus on construction, and so it’s no surprise that this is one of our favourites for every day tailored trousers. British Vogue’s fashion editor Eniola Dare explains that this is her ultimate go-to for black trousers – “Classic, minimal and transitional. I think everyone needs to have a pair of classic black trousers in their wardrobe. The straight-leg crossover waist trousers are such a great fit and look perfect with either trainers or heels.”
A couple of years ago team Vogue discovered Uniqlo’s tailored trousers, and ever since it has become our go-to for quality tailoring under £100. Commerce writer, Alice Cary, is a firm member of the Uniqlo fan club and explains: “At 5ft1, finding trousers that fit well is no mean feat. Enter: Uniqlo’s alteration service (free for products priced upwards of £19.90), which broadens the offering as to what you can buy. The best pair of trousers that I’ve bought in recent memory are from Uniqlo’s biannual U line and I wish I’d been quick enough to get them in every colourway. I got the beige pair, but commerce director Naomi Smart, who discovered them, has black, beige and chocolate brown. Upon first try-on, the waist was perfect, but the length was on the longer side. No matter, I handed them over at the counter for a hemline lift and they were returned to me the same day.” This season, shoppers are flocking for the new wide-leg pleated style.
Me+Em founder Clare Hornby explains on the website that the concept for the brand was to focus on the idea of “intelligent style”, designing pieces that will have a wear-forever appeal and a focus on quality and functionality. It has become a reliable destination for wardrobe staples, but it is the tailored trousers that we really rate for the accessible price and beautiful fabrics.