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The dos and don'ts of technical trousers

The dos and don'ts of technical trousers

When thinking about technical trousers, let us guess: your mind either goes to fluorescent nylon tracksuits or Bear Grylls? But as our stylists will be quick to remind you, these once outdoor-only garments have come a long way, and are now undeniably one of the most stylish bottom-half choices around. Which is good, because they’re super practical, durable, and, yes, versatile too. 

But to avoid looking like you’re ready for a ‘80s fancy dress party or a hike up a mountain, it’s important you get the styling right by heeding some simple dos and don’ts. This way you’ll be able to wear them during your day-to-day, no questions asked (apart from “where did you get your trousers from?”). 

Do mix and match your fabrics

Just because you’re wearing something technical on the bottom, doesn’t mean you need to do the same elsewhere. In fact, we’d recommend against it. Technical all over can give off serious shellsuit vibes, so in place of something like a nylon zip up on top, try a sweatshirt or cotton t-shirt. Just think of this type of fabric in the same way as you do with a heavy knit or a denim jacket – it’s there to add some texture and contrast to all the other pieces in your wardrobe. You’ll still tap into that athleisure aesthetic without pigeonholing yourself to one type of look.

Don’t dress them up too much

While technical fabrics are more versatile than you might initially think, don’t get too ahead of yourself. You can’t really switch out your suit trousers for these, sorry. Instead, use them in place of your jeans or chinos, or even joggers for a failsafe day-to-day option. But your mate’s wedding on the weekend? Yeah, ditch them for that. 

Do stick to neutral tones

Especially if technical trousers are new territory for you. If you go for something like a bright yellow, you’ll soon find there’s not really a lot you can wear with them, unless you're going for the whole Ali G thing. Opt for navys, khakis, and blacks or even a neutral tan brown is a solid choice if you come across them. This way you can wear them way more often and throughout all the seasons. And if camo is your thing, that’s cool too, just avoid it head-to-toe. 

Don’t go for anything slim fit

By nature, technical trousers can be warm and clingy. They’re synthetic, so when they touch your body they’ll generate static, which not only makes your hair stick on end but it also means the fabric will really stick to your leg. In other words, anything skinny is a no-go – it’s just going to look a bit odd. Rule of thumb: the more airflow the better. 

Something with an adjustable ankle is the best alternative. A zip on the calf means you can zip them up for a more tapered shape on the bottom, or you can unzip and have something straight leg the whole way down. You’ll also find a lot of these trousers have built in belts and zips (you know, because they’re technical), which is perfect so you can get the fit just right.

Words: Yasmine Kennedy
Photography: Jack Batchelor
Styling: Toby Standing
Styling assistant: Helly Pringle