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How to: Wear coloured trousers

How to: Wear coloured trousers

Believe it or not, it's possible to wear coloured trousers without looking as if you've stepped out of a rugby club. (Thanks to Thread user Dean for raising the question.)

One secret, Thread stylist Luke McDonald tells us, is choosing the right shade for the season. "Your trousers can obviously overwhelm an outfit if they're the wrong colour," he says. "Darker tones like burgundy and deep green look good in the pale winter light—and go with your deeper-hued jumpers and scarves—but they can also be paired with lighter-coloured t-shirts and polos when it warms up. In the saturated sunshine of summer, pastel shades like pale blue can look fresh—and so can blush pink or mint green if you're ready to push the boat out."

To give you an idea, Luke explains why this particular outfit works. 

Photographed: Selected Homme Harrington jacket (£32), Orlebar Brown white polo (£115), Paul Smith green chinos (£73), Sanders desert shoes (£129)

1. The trousers are plain. "The colour's enough; no need for cargo pockets or extra zips or details."

2. The other clothes are neutral-toned. "Stick to white, grey, navy and black for the rest of your outfit. Just avoid wearing all one colour save for the trousers (for instance, all black with red trousers) as this looks too studied and theatrical."

3. Everything's pretty casual. "Coloured trousers are inherently playful. At their most formal—say, a pair of green or plum textured-wool trousers—they're smart casual. Coloured chinos like these are best worn with relaxed clothes like t-shirts and bomber jackets."

4. There's at least one non-preppy item in the outfit. "Preppy items—like the polo shirt and Harrington jacket shown here—look good with coloured trousers, which are naturally on the preppy side. But the suede shoes give this the slightest edge."