Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
Now, men in red trousers are like the whole marmite complex – you either love it or hate it. We love it, and that’s why we’ve devised this helpful style guide! It will lead you through everything about red trousers for men, with bits on the history, style and definite coolness.
Red is the kind of colour that grabs our attention, keeps things interesting, and is generally for the brave. A red top is easy to throw on, and you can tone it down with some black jeans or joggers, but red trousers? That’s a little more in your face. Let’s be honest, men’s red trousers that are worn and styled well are bold, colourful additions to any man’s wardrobe, but they can be tricky to get right.
How To Wear Men’s Red Trousers
The trick is to buy a pair with a decent cut so they are not too baggy or too skinny. The fit ultimately depends on the type of trouser you are going to be buying and what you suit the most. If you feel comfortable in the trouser fit, the boldness of the colour won’t phase you.
The Do’s and Don’ts
Do keep it simple – a neutral colour palette for the complementary pieces will work out best. You also need to be able to style the trousers with confidence. The better you feel, the better you’ll be able to pull them off. Don’t wear different shades of red in one outfit, this is a big no-no. The only red piece should be your trousers, and please, make sure your socks, T-shirts and everything in between is a different colour.
What Matches With Red Trousers?
So, now we have the basic do’s and don’ts down, let’s move on to the styling. There are very few occasions where a red trouser doesn’t work. However, you do need to take some things into consideration. Where you’re going and when you’ll be wearing them will determine the shade, cut and what you style them with. Check below for our ultimate guide to red trouser outfits, and you’ll never have to second guess yourself again.
Balance Out with Neutral Colours
When wearing red trousers, many people’s first inclination may be to accessorise with pops of red in other places. Avoid that at all costs. You want your colours to complement, not match exactly. As red is such a bright, overpowering colour, if you pair it with something equally as colourful, it may a be bit of a disaster. So, instead, you should ideally balance out this statement red trouser with neutral colours. Opt for white, grey, cream or blue – these should be your go-to colours!
Keep it Casual
Keeping it casual is probably one of the easiest and quickest ways to pull off red trousers. You want to look effortless and what better way to do that than going all-out casual. With this look, you can chuck on a pair of your favourite trainers and you’re good to go! A denim jacket will add an effortless contrast to the red trousers and finish off your outfit perfectly.
When going for a super casual look, a plain white or off-white (if you want to stay ahead of the trends) T-shirt will be your red trousers’ best companion. Accessorise with a cap, sunglasses or watch to keep things stylish. As we approach winter, a simple overcoat will work well to convert the trousers ready for the winter seasons.
Dress it Up
Adding a blazer to your red trouser outfit will give it a much smarter look which you’ll be admired for pulling off. Your red trousers are paired well with blues, both light blues and navy’s, which means if you’re going out for an evening dinner or drinks, you can smarten up your trousers with an unstructured navy blazer, pale shirt and a pair of smart brown shoes – simple, yet classy! You can also ditch the socks and turn up the ends for a sleeker look.
The choice of footwear heavily depends on the type of red trousers you have. If you have red chinos, you can wear boat shoes or loafers with your outfit as this makes the outfit look fairly smart. Whereas, if you decide to go for a pair of red jeans, you can wear boots, brogues or trainers for a slightly more casual look.
When it comes to the colour of the shoes, they should relate to the upper part of the outfit. For example, if you’re wearing a neutral colour on top, your shoes should mirror this and be a neutral colour too. Black is a good middle ground for the choice of shoes; the black goes well with the red and keeps the colour palette simple meaning you can mix and match the top half of the outfit.
Changing up Your Red Trousers
There are plenty of combinations to keep your red trousers working in both formal and casual situations. However, sometimes the same thing can get dull pretty quick, and it’s nice to have different options on how to change up your outfit. Often something as simple as changing up the tone of colour or the material can give you a whole new look.
Although bright red is a great colour, it can be a tricky to pull off, and many of us don’t want something to eye-catching and out there. With red having so many different shades and variations, some will naturally suit you better than others, as well as being that much more versatile and less intense. If you’re into the idea of wearing red trousers, but you want something a little darker, try a pair of men’s burgundy trousers, which will still give you that interesting splash of colour, but won’t stand out quite so much.
Lighter shades of red like coral and terracotta are for the opposite side of the spectrum when you’re looking for something to add a bold, more noticeable feel to your outfit. One way to play with these colours is to incorporate them into a summery, preppy look, wearing some neat chino shorts paired with a white short sleeved shirt.
Types of Red Leg Wear
Whether you’re trying out some simple red shorts, going for a unique look with some bold, red corduroy trousers, or want to wear a pair of red jeans, there are various ways you can achieve both formal and casual looks that’ll suit your personality and style.
What to Wear with Red Chinos
Chinos, by definition, are cotton twill trousers. They were initially created in the 19th century for the military, amongst mostly the British and French soldiers. They are rugged, strong yet comfortable and lightweight. Red chinos should be slightly tapered and have a slim-fit as you don’t want any gathering of fabric in weird places.
What to Wear with Men’s Red Shorts
If you are still not convinced red trousers will suit you, why not try out and experiment with red shorts first? It can be a sort of test run before buying the real thing. Red summer shorts are considered a more manageable and easy option – they’re bright and summary and ideal for the hot weather. Go for a chino style and you’ll be able to smarten up the look ready for a summer BBQ.
History of Red Trousers
Here in the United Kingdom, red trousers have a place and meaning in history. During 15th Century Britain, men in red trousers were seen as extremely fashionable and stylish – they were a jazzy alternative to the norm. They were even loved by the aristocracy and were generally worn with brass button blazers and £600 loafers.
Abroad, the military also wore red trousers in the Napoleonic Wars until World War One, allegedly so they could be visible by their comrades in battle. Moving on through the years the red trouser became a usual at functions such as regattas and country shows. Because of this, they became bound up with matters of class and considered with the realm of the posh and the elderly. Basically, as only upper-class people used to wear them, the red trousers received the stigma of a posh-up-himself-ignorant-man.
As we all know red trousers have been ridiculed in the past (and still are by some today), however, evidently much has changed, and as they bear no class label or mark of military men, you can now get away with wearing a pair of snazzy red trousers if you style them right.
How To Wear Red Trousers
- Decide how bold you want to go. Are you going to opt for a deep red, bright red or pale red? Whatever you choose, make sure the trouser are slim or straight fit.
- Always pair the trousers with neutral pieces. Let the red be the centre of attention and don’t confuse things by overdoing the outfit with colour.
- If you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, you’ll feel confident in what you’re wearing. Let the trousers do all the talking and you’ll be envied for the bold style you are now able to pull off.
- Black shoes go best with red trousers. They allow the red trousers to do all the talking.
On That Note
Red trousers are definitely located just outside most peoples comfort zones, but why not go for it and stand out from the crowd? Take a risk and purchase your very own pair of red trousers. By following this guide on how to wear them, we assure you, you won’t regret it! Remember to keep the colour palette neutral and wear them with confidence and you’ll be good to go.
Feature image from Pinterest