August 31 2010
Why is it that many women, myself included, have such difficulty finding plain black trousers that fit and flatter? On the basis that it shouldn’t be so hard, I start every time in the high street but end up paying far more than I intended for a not entirely satisfactory designer pair. Having finally worn out my old Helmut Lang pair (which fitted amazingly well but flattered in a rather masculine way) and my Balenciagas (seriously flattering but a bit low-rise for comfort), I viewed the renewed search with trepidation and am delighted to have had it cut short.
Lured by the Black Pant window display in Gap’s Oxford Street flagship store, I found that the chain is doing a black trouser version of its jeans library, on the basis that at least one should suit every body shape. There are eight styles, from Relaxed (first picture) through to Boy Fit (second picture) and Really Skinny (fourth picture), in sizes 6-18, with several in varied lengths and even two maternity styles. There are staff on hand to advise; the helpful manager, Fiona, asked me first to try on the new Perfect Trouser shape (third picture), which she described as a “democratic fit” that suits most women and helps her gauge what other shape might if it doesn’t.
I then ventured to the Modern Boot (not bad at all) and the Boy Fit (hopeless) before returning to the Perfect Trouser because its wider, flattering fall and neat, higher waist will work well with this autumn’s tucked-in shirts and plain coats. The fine stretch fabric and finish details are pleasing, too, at this level. Like anything except a cropped style, it can’t be worn with both high heels and flats, but at £35 a time, buying another pair and having them turned up is not much hardship.
Perfect Trouser and Really Skinny, £35. Boy Fit, £39.50. Relaxed, £45.