If you’d told my twelve-year-old self that someday I’d voluntarily wear trousers, I probably would have torn my gaze away from Neopets for just long enough to roll my eyes at you. To me, trousers meant one of two things: either you were an Official Business Person™, or you were a kid who didn’t get to choose her own outfit for her flute recital. At the time, neither option was particularly appealing.
Kids these days have a different—and, in my opinion, better—perspective on pants. Gen Z (and, therefore, millennials), have embraced trousers wholeheartedly, pairing them with everything from crop tops and sneakers to bomber jackets and combat boots. Today, trousers don’t just signify a business formal dress code. Instead, they’ve become a versatile wardrobe essential that can be dressed up or down for pretty much any occasion. So we had to wonder: Are trousers the new jeans? To investigate, we spoke with three style bloggers who shared their thoughts on the trend.
Want more M Dash?
Meghan Donovan, founder of wit & whimsy and Paris, Perfected, first encountered the trend abroad. “I started to gravitate more toward trousers after following some creators based in Europe,” she says. “I saw all these girls in London and Paris wearing drapey trousers casually, and I fell in love with the tailored yet effortless feel of relaxed trousers. It also feels like a nice break from wearing more form-fitting denim.”
Although she’s welcomed trousers into her rotation, Meghan won’t be getting rid of her jeans anytime soon: “I’m a jeans girl through and through, but the trouser trend definitely feels cool-girl casual. I personally love to style mine with sneakers, and this fall, I’ll also be trying out some of my favorite pairs with slingbacks and boots.”
Blogger Vanessa Ulrich (@theprimpysheep) uses trousers to incorporate extra design elements into her look. “Trousers feature tailored details that instantly add polish, whether it’s front pleats, a leg seam, or a cuffed hem,” she explains. “There’s also an old-Hollywood glamour that a beautifully cut trouser brings to the table—think Katharine Hepburn’s wide-leg trousers or Audrey Hepburn’s skinny ones.”
For those who aren’t sure which trousers to try, Vanessa has advice: “The key is balance, especially if you’re short-waisted, like I am. I pair close-fitting tops or cropped tops with fuller-leg trousers, while I style relaxed-fit tops with a slimmer pair of pants.
Blogger Lauleh Aslani (@adayinthelalz) agrees that trousers are “a closet staple,” and she believes that the key to maximizing your styling options is to get creative with your shoe choices. “A perfect pair of trousers can be transformed by what type of shoes it’s styled with,” she explains. “Trousers paired with a T-shirt and sneakers can be worn to run errands or for a day of travel. Throw on a pair of heels, a leather jacket, layered necklaces, and a clutch, and the outfit is transformed into a fabulous dinner look. For something in between, pair your trousers with pointed-toe flats and a blouse to create a Power Casual brunch look.”
Like Vanessa, Lauleh emphasizes that the key to getting on board with trousers is to figure out the silhouettes that make you feel best. “Try various cuts—wide leg, straight, cropped—until you find the right fit for your body! There’s a perfect pair of trousers out there for everyone.”