The Perfect Trousers

Times fashion director Anna Murphy spotlights ME+EM as the go-to label for flattering and wearable trousers.

The Perfect Trousers

Times fashion director Anna Murphy spotlights ME+EM as the go-to label for flattering and wearable trousers.

In the Times today, Anna Murphy writes about her quest for the perfect trouser, that ‘fabulous’ pair of trousers that will become her ‘default, her fall-back, her uniform,’ She singles out ME+EM as a label that consistently delivers flattering trousers that are intelligently designed and beautifully cut to flatter all shapes and sizes.

Flattering and Beautifully Fitted

The Times quotes ME+EM founder Clare Hornby, a ‘self-confessed trouser obsessive’ who is ‘fixated on making women look taller and slimmer. My mum is 5ft 2″ and a size 12, and I want her to be able to wear the same trousers as someone who is 5ft 8″.’ 

Clare explains how all ME+EM trousers are made to be flattering:

We fit on three body types for each size, to ensure the trouser suits each shape. And we ensure that all our trousers are easy to shorten.’

The Flattering Side Stripe

Anna Murphy writes that her

ME+EM triple stripe man pants have garnered compliments at everywhere from Paris couture shows to Mayfair dinners’ 

The side stripe detail not only lengthens the leg but, thanks to the stripe being placed slightly to the front, it also narrows and therefore slims the leg.

One example of this is the Triple Drawstring Track Pant.

The Flattering Crop

This looks great on almost all women.  Clare Hornby recounts that she

‘ran a styling session with eight friends and six of them bought a straight leg crop, even though they had started out totally against the idea. Most women have great ankle bones and this style shows that bit of the leg off.’

Murphy points out that, despite misconceptions, the crop trouser works really well for petite women and looks amazing with a heel or an ankle boot.

For ideas and inspiration, take a look at the Wide Leg Zip Front Trouser.

Clare Hornby’s Rules for Flattering Trousers:

Listening to our customers and finding out what they love and want to wear is crucial. I try to work in one of our shops once a month as it’s the best way to get close to keep learning from the customer about what really works and what doesn’t work. The feedback we keep getting on trousers is that women choose:

A flat, unfussy, front for zero bulk. In other words, no unnecessary zips or details.

A side zip to allow trousers to sit on either the waist or the hips if you are in between sizes
Opaque trousers; women want to feel comfortable without worrying about a VPL or uneven skin tone showing through.

Trousers with a little bit of elastic at the back like our cargo pants work well for in-between sizes. Our customers remind us that their size can fluctuate over a month.

Trousers that can be shortened. We tell customers directly how much they can shorten a trouser by without losing the silhouette.

Trousers made of a heavy enough fabric so that they hang properly.

The starting point – the fabric

For a pair of trousers to be flattering and comfortable for women of all sizes, they can’t just be beautifully cut; they need to be made of an intelligent fabric. This fabric has to actually feel comfortable, it mustn’t crease, and it must drape beautifully and move with the wearer.

Our customer service team and the women in store hear again and again how much our customers love and buy trousers made of our Crease Free Twill Tailoring. Our Triple Stripe Man Pant and Grosgrain Crop trousers are made from this ‘miracle fabric’ and look amazing on all shapes and sizes. We hear from women who sit all day in their office, or drive for hours wearing a seat belt and say that when they stand up, their trousers haven’t ridden up and don’t have those unflattering creases at the top of the thigh.

How we achieve that flattering fit

1) We often use a side panel or a front crease as both these will create a slimmer looking leg.

2) We cut to skim over the bottom not round it, so that it will look flatter.

3) We focus on the perfect placement of back pockets to create the most flattering bottom shape. It is all about the right angle and the distance from the central back seam and from the waistband.  We tend to make the pockets fake so you avoid that extra bulk from pocket linings.

4) We like side angled front pockets, as they are more slimming than straight pockets.

5) A double fastening at the waist creates a flatter waistband.

6) A tie belt that drapes down the centre will disguise the inner leg and make for longer-looking legs.

7) A zip, buttons or a vent at the trouser hem will mean they can open over shoes or trainers and make the leg appear longer.

8) If we put pleats at the front of a trouser we always sew down the top of the pleat to ensure it flattens and disguises the tummy.

Embracing trends and making them flattering

Our customers love trends and gain confidence from feeling contemporary but a flattering fit is still paramount.

The side stripe: this is a trend that is here to stay and one that our customers love and keep on buying into. We place the side stripe slightly forward from the imaginary side seam. How this works visually is that it actually narrows the appearance of the leg in addition to making it seem longer.

The new high-waisted trend: This is super comfortable and makes your legs look incredibly long as they start so much higher up!  We have created ours with a side stripe, a waist tie and a vent at the bottom incorporating all the leg slimming and elongating techniques into one. These are easy to shorten and to wear with a heel and they are so wide no one would know!

The Semi-Sheer Trend: Rachel Dove of  Times 2 beautifully illustrates just how to wear this trend in a practical and flattering way. She recommends that fabrics such as georgette are perfect.

” … seek out ME+EM’s georgette palazzo’s which

are lined by a thin pair of trousers on the inside and have all the

swing of a skirt.”

As Anna Murphy writes in the Times, happily for ME+EM customers, happily for women of every shape and size, Clare Hornby is fixated with creating and delivering the perfect trousers, consistently flattering, utterly easy, to wear from Mayfair to Paris and then back home again!

For more information about ME+EM and our dedication to fit and style, you can read more about our story online.

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