I’ve always loved wearing trainers with tailored trousers, and I usually go for the now ubiquitous white sneaker – Stan Smith-style, or my favourite Seven Feet Apart kicks – with slim-fit cigarette trousers. Easy. But a look I’ve always fancied is straight out of the Toast catalogue: wide, heavy trousers with retro high tops. And let’s be honest, this look is much easier if you’re tall, and, as we’ve established in previous En Brogue In Full posts, I do not fall into this height category.
When these amazing Laskaas boots came into my life a few weeks ago though, I wanted to wear them with everything, so I thought I would give it a go with a bit of tailoring. And then I remembered this pair of Topshop trousers that I’ve had for a while – turns out they’re perfect! They’re just about short enough to show a tiny bit of my upper ankle, and I think that’s the key to making this look work. Any longer, and you’d not only miss the detail of the lovely boots, but they’d be a little less flattering on the legs. Any higher and the gap might be a bit too much, like you’re waiting for a flood (fans of the ’80s film The Outsiders might get that reference!).
PHOTOGRAPHY: ZAC FRACKELTON
Of course this means that trying on is absolutely key, so if you already have the shoes and are on the hunt for the trousers, it might be better to go in store rather than shop online. I’ve paired mine with this striped shirt from Mango – I love the colours and balloon sleeves but again, would advise trying this one on. I bought it online and it’s a funny wide, cropped shape which makes it hard to tuck in (as you can probably see in the pictures!). It’s great under dungarees, mind you.
READ MORE: HOW TO WEAR DUNGAREES
I’ve found a couple of options below with a similar vibe to my Topshop trousers (they’re no longer available) and I would also have a look in Arket – I featured some twill trousers on here a few weeks ago and just bought a very similar pair (link here) which I will be wearing with these very shoes! I think these Toast trousers would be far too long for me, but they will be perfect for plenty of you out there, and as you can see, look brilliant with high tops. I’ve included Me & Em again because their trousers are so good, and they have so much choice, leg length-wise.
As well as my Laskaas sneakers, there are loads around right now with that lovely old-school feel to them. These Converse are actually made of white denim, and I love the black sole on the Grenson boots (I popped in store to have a look at them and they feel very rustic). Superga does a mid-top, which is especially handy if your legs aren’t particularly long. You’ll find many brands like to claim to be ‘the original’ at making this style. My research suggests the first plimsolls were made by Dunlop in the 1830s (read more about the history here), and while some people get very defensive over their favourite brand and their authenticity (I recently received some fiery comments on Instagram!), I’m more of the opinion that there’s room in my life to love all of them. Good News, for instance, has a brilliant outlook when it comes to the traceability of their products and the materials used to make them, which, along with their great designs and charitable projects, makes them a welcome addition to the genre in my opinion.
Converse frayed white denim Chuck Taylor All Stars, £70 (converse.com); Good News pinstripe ‘Hurler’ sneakers, £65 (goodnews.london); Grenson high tops with black sole, £90 (grenson.com); Novesta ‘Star Dribble’ sneakers, £55 (pampamlondon.com); Spring Court ‘B2’ sneakers, £75 (second-store.com); Superga ‘2754 Cotu’ mid-tops, £55 (superga.co.uk)
As usual, I would love to know what you think of this week’s look! Is it something you would try yourself? Do you have a favourite retro sneakers brand you think I should have included? Is there anything else you would like to see me try out? Leave comments below.