Bright Trousers


One of my favourite pleasures of the summer, something that lasts all too short a time, is basking in the bountiful beauty of colour. The magnificent flowers and trees, the lush cool blue-green waters, brightly coloured exotic fruits that quench your thirst on a warm blue day; the summer can be a blinding plenitude of tone. It’s rather sad then that on my more blithesome days, I have not always been able to mirror the glory of nature in the summertime. I have been comparatively moderate. Nature has blasted through the kaleidoscope and I have remained relatively lifeless. What am I driving at? Simply that colour is needed at this time of year; and a good deal of it.

It’s difficult to wear a great acreage of colour and remain conservatively dressed. A pink or bright green suit sounds very natty and extremely daring but I find the overall effect of such loud ensembles rather disconcerting. A man dressed thus will push the concept of individual style to the very precipice; where the long fall into the flames of absurdity may be viewed. It may be possible to temper the strength of the suit with a far more conservative choice of shoe, shirt and tie but even then, the kiwi coloured man smacks of something zany; a caricature of something from Roald Dahl.

I believe the quenching solution to a thirst for colour lies with the unity of contrasting jacket and trouser; of the staid and the gaudy, the bright and the dull. Some might favour a brightly coloured jacket with trousers, perhaps a lemon yellow with some light grey trousers. The ‘bright jacket/dull trouser’ combination certainly works, but is it manageable and indeed affordable? The other option, the ‘bright trouser/dull jacket’ combination is certainly more popular and works magnificently well. Beautiful berry red trousers with a cool navy blue blazer; a dark brown linen two-button with pink chinos, or even a black double breasted jacket with some tangerine jeans, brightening up your legs is a fantastic way to embrace and reflect the glorious colour of the summer.

The difference between the jacket/trouser combinations is a matter of personal taste and budget. There will be those who look on their legs unfavourably; who would not dream of glorifying them in colour. I have had reservations about the bright trouser in the past, but it is largely a psychological problem that it is possible to overcome. The trousers are very eye-catching, but therein lies the charm.

The same can be said of the bright jacket. Although more expensive than trousers, and available in fewer colours and from fewer retailers, the richly coloured jacket will shock those virginal to its effect when they first enter the dressing room; a bright orange jacket I tried on recently, despite being of a fruity and gorgeously deep colour, overpowered me rather too much for me to accept it as a garment for my wardrobe. I feared that I do not have the stature nor the frame to compete.

However, I can envisage the same jacket looking dazzling on many men; and worn with a pair of navy cotton trousers, the bright/dull combination, the meeting of the fantastical with the mundane, would complete the perfect image for the summer.