A question, it would seem, judging by the cross-continental success of her bestselling book, is really rather a commonly asked one. What would Caroline de Maigret do? There’s a good chance she will wear trousers. Not just any trousers – cigarette trousers (sans the cigarette, a habit no longer in fashion). We can make the broad assumption that her style, which has enchanted the entirety of the fashion world – Karl Lagerfeld included – is based largely on her personality. It's an attitude that comes with a distinct air of nonchalance, an effortlessness that has been injected with her very own brand of seduction. Caroline de Maigret believes women dress for men, and that you should be prepared for all manner of possibilities. Maybe this is what built the elements of French style, one that has a habit of stripping down to relaxed classics, navy skinny trousers, cool t-shirt and natural make-up.
What a pair of skinny trousers can provide you with, whether you’re dressing for somebody or not, is all manner of possibilities within 24hrs. We believe it is important to look and feel comfortable regardless of the scenario in front of you. Sometimes this has to be wildly flexible, from an impromptu meeting to a spontaneous dinner date. In short, we, like the millions of romantics the world around, understand Maigret's line of thought.
What actually constitutes an outfit that’s eighty five percent nonchalant sexiness – other than just skinny-fit trousers? Good question! First though, it’s important to mention that it’s not just any old pair of cigarette pants that can contribute this attitude to an ensemble. The trick is the fit. There are a multitude of cuts, so as to work with many body types. This again is a lesson in French self-assuredness and learning to work with what you were genetically given. You don’t need snake hips or the peachiest bum to look good in a pair of skinny trousers. Think about the textiles. Silk or wool crêpe are ideal for fluidity, forgiving on the hips and draping where needed. It’s a fabric that is as comfortable for sipping champagne, as it is for riding a horse. Fabulously flexible. Leather, meanwhile, multi-tasks rock and roll with corporate responsibility. It’s also great for giving shape to otherwise spindly legs. Tom Ford has elevated his leather skinny black trousers with a heavenly, seductive touch, and, although not quite as Powerpoint-friendly, they’re wonderful for dinners out or special events.
On the topic of corporate, skinny work trousers need not be as dull as they sound. Balenciaga boasts skinny suit trousers that’ll serve ladies that lunch as well as they will boardroom bosses, while Altuzarra tops offers sharper-than-sharp tailored trousers, perfect for a polished, put-together look. While we’re on that though, let’s just mention that grey skinny trousers are increasingly leaving the office environment to merge more casual counterparts. Style with trainers, white shirts and retro-inspired jewellery– all leisurely apt ingredients for internationals. Skinny chinos, more classically preppy, work exceptionally well as a safe summer option. Wear with oversized linen shirts under a lightweight blazer. Or try a cargo pant – practical with their pockets aplenty and a worthwhile investment, given the cyclical nature of fashion et al. Work the uptown with the downtown, mixing more seemingly casual styles with stilettos, for example. Isabel Marant, the Parisian go-to for skinny trousers, keeps things fresh with new-season updates embroidery, embellishment, dustings of sequins. Printed, high-waisted, cropped – the French fashion favourite can’t be reproached for a lack of options! We love her latest collection of ultra-feminine patterns, great mixed with tougher, more masculine elements.
What else to wear with your skinny trousers to create this nonchalant magic? We love cigarette trousers with Wolford turtleneck bodysuits in either black or white. Try it with classic subtle flats. A starchy white men's style shirt with very skinny trousers and pumps has wear-me-anywhere appeal, and is flattering on pretty much all shapes. A cashmere off-the-shoulder sweater, sneakers and slim leather pants hits the right note for something demure but delightful. Add your own personality, of course – a personal touch is always in style.