Marmite of legwear: Love or hate silk joggers?

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Photograph: Hannah Louise

When Topshop suddenly releases an item of clothing in a variety of colours you know it’s going to be big. I know what you’re thinking, the oxymoron of luxurious silk and Sunday post-sugar sweatpants; aren’t exactly the disco pant of the future. I totally agree with you, the sport luxe trend of mesh baseball tops and heeled trainers makes me feel physically ill, but there is a je ne sais quoi about my new trousers that have me wearing them, stroking my thighs and not giving a damn over how many disturbed people are watching.

What exactly are they, you may ask?

They have the fit of a cuffed jogging bottom; relaxed leg, loose waist, cinched in cuffs. Yet, the silk material of the bottoms – in an array of colours – immediately transcends the loungewear garment into an everyday essential.

Where can I get me some?

Topshop are the first I have seen to release affordable ones. Other than that Whistles, French Connection, Zara and The White Company, all do versions of them.

How can I wear this idiosyncratic legwear?

This is the thing. These pants are quite difficult to style. They lack structure, so you can only go in two directions, there is no middle ground. You either go full-on casual with loose fit jumpers and tees. Or go completely dressy.

The casual variation

There are a variety of colours from khaki (mine), cream, white, and black. Contrast fabrics with cotton, jersey, or wool. Even the new neoprene-style materials would look great. I prefer to layer mine to make it extra casual, so I think, WWFPD (What Would Free People Do). Free People would team a long line, loose white tee under a v-neck or crew neck jumper in a dark colour – think greys, black, burgundies, navy. The trousers are usually high-waisted so I have been wearing mine with striped crop tops; the print keeps it casual while the cropped structure adds an element of tailoring. For your footsies it completely depends on the individual and the rest of the outfit obviously, but I wear mine with the simplicity of Converse or to make it look a tad sophisticated *insert mocking raise of the eyebrows* I will wear loafers, moccasins or boat shoes. This is the only down side I suppose, because you can’t really wear them with boots, it’s still a bit chilly and wet to reveal the topside of your vulnerable feet. Thus it’s a commitment issue, if you cannot resist wearing your silk pantaloons until April – just do it. Don the joggers and go rub your thighs immediately.

The dressed-up variation

I’m not usually one to accessorise, but I find a few key pieces of jewellery add an element of thoughtfulness to an otherwise unstructured outfit. For finger bling I usually prefer one statement ring – Topshop’s new in rings that have a gemstone centre piece are just divine – and then a multitude of understated minimalist bands. Other optional items are necklaces, wrist action, and earrings, but I do insist that you go chunky; geometrical necklaces, chunky watches, and quirky angular earrings. For the actual clothing part, you need to add some form of tailoring and shape to the trousers. Crisp white is the best for colour blocking; try a structured crop like the asymmetrical dipped hem crops in Zara, or the zig-zag hem crops from ASOS. Alternatively, you can go for a bold patterned shirt or top to add a little zing. The prints for spring seem to have an arty inspired theme; watercolour flowers with blurred ethereal edges, or bold brush strokes creating more abstract flowers, or heightened realism with super sharp definition. Whatever they are going for, this is one style of girly prints that I can encourage as its bold, different, and uber versatile. A blazer immediately heightens structure and formality, I personally prefer the slightly longer line boyfriend blazers with rolled up sleeves, but feel free to experiment with your own. To round off your outfit you have two options; firstly you can go for the ‘barely there’ sandal, au contraire, the pointed court shoe looks equally as good.

I hope that I have unlocked the potential of these paradoxical pants to you, my fellow SCAN readers. If anyone should care to seek further advice, consult the loner caressing her legs on campus.