Slacks are back for the office and beyond

Make tailored wool trousers your new go-to

The Edit

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A timeless classic has had a twenty-first century update, and they’re not just made for Monday to Friday.

Slacks are back
Photo: Timur Emek, Getty Images

Think of Katharine Hepburn curled upon a lounge chair, of Cate Blanchett-as-Hepburn striding up to Howard Hughes in The Aviator – the Hepburn we recall is always in her tailored trousers, with a shirt or matching jacket, all self-assured and confident. When Barbara Walters asked the iconic actress if she owned a skirt, she quickly responded: “I have one, Ms. Walters. I’ll wear it to your funeral.”

Taking a leaf from the masculine tailoring that has long pervaded men’s formalwear, the tailored trouser has been a corporate-wear mainstay, striding into women's fashion back in the ’40s, when WWII required a more functional way of dressing to allow women in the workforce. There’s a reason why ‘borrowing from the boys’ is such a popular fashion dictum.

For now, wear with pointed flats or heels and a chiffon blouse as Russian It girl Elena Perminova does here, to juxtapose the more masculine first impression of pants. Look to Alessandro Michele’s debut and the wool suiting he created for Gucci’s autumn/winter 15/16 show for ideas. Or embrace a preppy aesthetic with a trench coat for a more dramatic silhouette.

For a casual alternative, it’s Lauren Hutton, who in the ’80s wore tailored trousers with blazers and heels. Now, she opts for flat white trainers and a T-shirt, insouciantly pushing her hands in her pockets, smiling, teeth and all. Hepburn would be proud.

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