Glove, £125, glove.co.uk; Joseph, £285, joseph-fashion.com; Toast, £185, toast
Of course, today, you don’t have to resort to the men’s department for wide pants or chinos. These items can be found at Cos, Boden, Toast, and Gant. For everyday preppy classics, try Gap: the American brand is back with a boutique on Oxford Street and available online (check out the High Waisted Pleated Linen Wide Leg Trousers, now £35.97). And more good news: perennial wardrobe basics just get better with age. I have a pair of MHL cotton drill pants (by Margaret Howell), purchased at a sample sale many years ago and still going strong.
There’s a wonderful free-flowing exhibit at the V&A – Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear – and while I love Billy Porter’s bejeweled tuxedo dress and Gucci’s androgynous glamor, it’s the simple outfits that I love. most. Late 1980s Joe Casely-Hayford day-to-evening shirt and trousers, David Bowie’s sleek charcoal gray Thierry Mugler suit (with Katharine Hamnett stilettos) and Grace’s pale pink mohair two-piece Wales Bonner. As curator Claire Wilcox said, “It’s a celebration of men’s wardrobe and everyone is invited to participate.”
Three tips for wearing wide-leg pants
Avoid being overwhelmed by baggy pants by elevating the wider leg style with a platform sole or take the safer option and choose a pair of chunky sneakers or low heel ankle boots and a belt
The wide leg chino and cotton shirt is a classic look. Wear the open shirt over a t-shirt, then add a brightly colored knit cardigan or tank top. These neutral pants are a great wardrobe building item and can take on stronger colors.
Play with proportions
Keep bulk under control by pairing baggy pants with a more fitted top. The knitted polo shirt works well with high waisted pants, then add a fitted blazer or denim jacket