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The pants to wear all summer long, whatever your morphology

There is, and always has been, something liberating about wearing pants. When Michelle Pfeiffer chose a wide-legged black Giorgio Armani tuxedo suit over all the lame frilly dresses in the world to wear to the Oscars in 1989, she symbolically drew the curtains back on the excessive and tasteless previous decade. It wasn’t about looking like a puritan, but about celebrating the appeal of sleek glamor and exploring the intriguing scent of subtle sex appeal.

Trousers have been a cool choice ever since – evidenced by former French Vogue editor Emmanuelle Alt (almost always in skinny pants), Katie Holmes (boyfriend jeans and boot cuts), Gwyneth Paltrow at her most stylish and memorable in the Gucci velvet pants. costume she wore on the red carpet in 1996, and again last year, Salma Hayek, who poured her glorious curves into high-shine drainpipes, and Stella McCartney (straight, flared legs).

The pants were, and still are, my favorite. Looking around at my colleagues in the fashion department, it seems like pants are their favorite choice as well. Even in the sweltering heat of the past week, the resurgence of linen on the high street means trousers can feel delightfully airy in the heat. And now that the temperatures are “normal for now”, the pants appreciation club is back to doing what it does best – wearing them. I can see pleated fronts, flares, cropping everywhere… it seems we all love their attitude, versatility and practicality.

In case you think you’re not the trouser type, the proliferation of different fits means there’s a shape to suit everyone and a vibe that complements every personality. Whether you’re someone who identifies with the Duchess of Cambridge’s dressy trouser approach (think high heels and scarf-collar blouses) or the more earthy linen wide legs and shopper’s tie waist Toast.

Maybe you’re happy with one of these scenarios, depending on your mood. I am. Today I’m wearing my current everyday favorites – a pair of Joey jeans in black denim (it’s a whole new category in itself) from a sustainable brand Mother of pearl, £195.

Ideal when the temperature is “normal” for the time of year, alternating clouds and sunny spells, their piece de resistance is a large shiny gold crescent-shaped button that ties at the waist and makes them pretty smart to wear with all sorts of dressy occasions, including those where dark blue denim just isn’t enough. Versatility and sturdy fabric means I’ll be wearing them for years.

There’s a similar silhouette in pale jade or stone-toned linen reduced from £139 to £69 in sales. They would probably identify as barrel-shaped – again, an unpromising sound. But it turns out that they are a godsend for anyone who wants to draw attention away from heavy thighs. Two of the many reasons to love them are that they accentuate the ankles and waist. In other words, they’re the modern answer to Capri pants, without the pear-shaped antagonism.

How much do you need to spend? You may get lucky on the high street, especially Jigsaw and – lately – M&S. Check out Paul Smith’s PS. Raey, matchesfashion.com’s own line, is fabulous for baggy styles, but they tend to run large. Cefinn does a terrific job on tailored pants. Me + Em and uktheory.com are two other excellent sources, while Whistles still has good forms.

The straight, flared legs of the Fold are very well made. All of the above are between £130 and £300. But don’t overlook Zara and Boden, which typically have at least one slim-fit piece of jewelry per season. They are less good for flares, which only look truly elegant when made from high quality drapery fabrics. If you want something less high and looser, Issue Twelve, designed by Leah Chapman, daughter of matchesfashion.com founders Tom and Ruth Chapman, has the perfect cool-girl styles for around £275.

You tend to get what you pay for. McQueen’s is supreme – with a price to match. Sassi Holford’s draped pants, which can be altered to fit or ordered in a range of colors, are cheaper than McQueen’s but still a long-term investment. Cut in wool or satin crepe and with a mid-rise waist, they look sublime, magically slimming the hips and waist, and are guaranteed to make any leg look more gazelle-like.

They’re as close to effortless glamor as it gets because she’s worked hard to create shapes for every woman. To make bellies flatter, for example, she says, “the key is a fitted high waist and wide legs.” To tone bottoms, she suggests choosing natural fibers for comfort, with added stretch for support and lift.

“A strategically shaped back pocket will help here too,” she says. “To slim down your thighs, bootleg pants will balance the proportions. To elongate your legs, opt for long pants with a slit in the middle front (or on the side). The higher the shoe, the longer your legs will appear. Alternatively, wide-leg pants with a side stripe, hemmed to go over a platform, will give the illusion of longer legs,” says Holford.

Pantsuit