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Trousers …

Trends in “Trousers” are boosting up Indian exports of tops and shirts…!

Evolving from the concept of formal attire to a functional casual day and office style, “trouser and trouser shorts” have come a long way to touch the peak of their popularity. From a recorded entry in 6th century, the trousers have undergone major changes to be what it is in the 21st century with both appreciation and acceptance of the world. Customers both male and female are finding new variations of the trouser incorporating it in their daily wear wardrobe which in turn have boosted the sales of this clothing category and as a reaction to the same the orders for bottoms and complementing blouses, tops and blazers sales have also increased worldwide. Indian exporters claim to be enjoying this boom in bottoms as for the coming seasons of AW 2011 and SS 2012, most of them are receiving huge orders for uppers as well in the form of loose tops and shirts that pair up perfectly with these trousers supplementing the Indian strength.

Taking a back seat in next summer will be skirts and dresses, as designers these days have added a lot of creative elements to trousers, so they are no longer just plain pants with pleats, cuffs and a fly. Suiting all styles and personalities, and with properties to make the wearer look sleeker and taller, and even being cropped almost into half to become a new version of formal shorts, the trousers have witnessed a huge success in 2011 present at some fast fashion retailers, based on which they are claiming an even better limelight in 2012. Early indications of new styles are already out on the runways making space in almost all the collections of high-end fashion designers, yet to be interpreted in commercial styles which suit the masses.

Over the past years the amount of variations done in a trouser have been noteworthy, by adding volume, zippers, buttons, techniques like top stitching, different forms of pleats, prints and patterns; trousers are no longer a plain piece of attire, they have become the key contributors of creating the look required. Trousers are another great way to achieve colour blocking; bright coloured trousers paired with neutral tops and vice versa can be the perfect way to achieve the perfect colour balance in garments. Other than cuts, features like colours, fabrics, prints and patterns have brought a new life and meaning to the silhouette. Along with the most demanded fitted styles, the next year will witness the presence of looser and wider silhouette variations greatly influenced by the 1970’s, most popular of them being palazzo pants which are wide legged and high waist. Continuing on Summer/Spring11’s trend of the coloured bottoms, in the year 2012 casual pants are bound to become brighter and brasher.

With more and more retailers making space for trouser variations in the collections, everything in and around the trend is booming. Stylish pants have risen above the ankle for men as well as women. High-fashion brands such as Marc Jacobs, Thom Browne, and Jason Wu are promoting everything from slightly cropped pants for men to wear without socks, to dress shorts for women. Another, more dramatic look being promoted by high-fashion brands for several seasons is shorts suits. As Debenhams claims in one of the latest press releases, “the surprise style hit of the summer, tailored short suits have been deemed smart enough for work yet cool enough for public transport, leading to a sales boom throughout the warm weather. Spotted on the SS’11 catwalks of Louis Vuitton, Jean Paul Gaultier and Dries Van Noten, this is one trend that has definitely made the leap to the great British high street.” Matching to form a complete ensemble, by pairing the shorts with jackets in retail stores to become suits, even the sale of blazers has gone up remarkably. Supporting this observation Debenhams claims that “Just William style blazers worn with matching shorts are up 500 per cent on last year, thanks to grown men sporting the look on high streets and in offices across the country.”

Originating from the tapered ankle length trouser look, another upcoming variation can be seen as J. Crew’s best-selling women’s pants are presently the Capri-length “Café” pants in cotton, a body-conscious piece of garment that works great with fitted tops and jackets. Carrying forward the style into the coming fall, it will come in office-ready wool in a variety of colours and patterns including raspberry, mustard, tweed, and checked, says Jenna Lyons, J. Crew’s President and Executive Creative Officer. Currently, the brand has slim wool suiting slacks, called the “Paley” pant, that are cropped a few inches above the ankle.

Other styles that are making popular rounds are simple khaki trousers with trendy shades in three quarters, formal trousers for the office or meetings, chino pants, folded on the ankle for a relaxed and holiday look in the summer days, and the new palazzo pants which is a common feature of the 70’s and a style statement today, these wide legged pants are fitted at the waist and hips and flare down to varied circumferences. Keeping the style up-to-date, Carlos Miele’s resort collection 2012 is a perfect example to show colour blocking achieved in the palazzo trousers with bold colours in the trousers and plain shirts. At the peak of popularity another fashion trousers are the high-waist, available at Zara, Topshop and Old Navy with details such as gathering at waist, darts and fitted structures and the pleated formal trousers available at Anthropologie, Zara, Mango and Promod in different fabrics.

Hinting fresh ideas for upcoming product development in this category, designers working on different style of trousers are like Versace with wide trousers paired with double breasted jackets, combining such unlikely palette mates as fuchsia pink for a jacket with tangerine orange for the “matching” trousers and other items like a black and blue silk shirt combined with the same print trousers to look like a jumpsuit. On the runway Dries Van Noten showed his trousers in white, with a matching blazer and Roland Mouret chose a suit with baggy pants, although he showed the trousers in a shorter variant. Hermes Fashion house showcased high-necked palazzo pants in a smooth fabric and John Galliano gave the pants a butterfly motif. Both Missoni and Blumarine and showed trousers with a striking print, while MaxMara and Sportmax used bright colours.

Exporters speak…

Team AO takes a feedback from the exporters on what styles in tops are being produced fromIndia to complement the trouser trend…

Kalika Sharma, Merchandiser, Rupayan

For 2012, trousers are becoming more stylish day by day and we have experimented with wider hemlines, innovative buttons, and broad waistbands and elastic hems. In order to complement this rise in demand for trousers, we have been receiving good orders for tops; the best sellers at the moment are loose tops with embellishments, yokes and laces. With 3/4th and half-sleeves, the length of these tops is shorter than usual and most of the times have schiffli work on them.

Rupa Dutt, President, Lady London

Buyers fromBrazil,Japan,SpainandRussia, are increasingly looking for tops to be coordinated with semi-formal and formal trousers, there are jumpers and short shirts along with styles of tops which are more basic, with prints on voile and rayon, and slight embellishments.

Rajeev Pareek, Sr. Merchandiser & Designer, Colors India

This time we are sticking to options like loose tops, shirts, spaghettis, racer backs and camisoles that can be paired with both loose as well as fitted trousers. These tops are becoming shorter in length to show as much of the trouser as possible, even reaching the small of the back for added style. These styles are being demanded specifically by the European market. However mid-thigh lengths are also in demand.

P.K. Kapoor, Chief Executive, Pragya International

With the versatility of being worn with any kind of trousers depending on the preferences and the body type of the consumer, we are mainly making beach tops that are loose and range from 28 inches in length to 34 inches. Made out of cotton, cotton-viscose and silk, these tops are embellished and have floral print on them.


  • Along with the most demanded fitted styles, 2012 will have looser and wider silhouette variations, most popular of them being palazzo pants which are wide legged and high waist.
  • Continuing on Summer/Spring11’s trend of the coloured bottoms, as forecasted casual pants next season are bound to become brighter and brasher.
  • Carrying forward the style into the coming fall, trousers will be made in office-ready wool in a variety of colours and patterns including raspberry, mustard, tweed, and checked.


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