After months of searching, I've found the perfect pair of linen trousers for under £80
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As I don't often wear jeans in summer because they're too hot and uncomfortable, having some flattering black trousers that don't make me feel I'm swimming in my own sweat is a must.
This year's searing temperatures made it clear to me that I had to find some linen or linen-mix trews that would keep me cool but covered on those days when my fake tan has gone patchy, or I just fancy a change from dresses.
Unexpectedly Cos - a place I never normally shop in - came up trumps with these perfect pants that ticked all the boxes for £79 (NB: you get 10% off if you sign up for emails or if it's your first time purchasing online with the brand).
And I had some tough requirements. My 'dream trousers' would be under £100, high-waisted and feature a wide-legged, floaty look. They would not go baggy and saggy after a few washes, nor would they crease so horrifically after an hour of wearing them that I looked like I'd slept in them.
At 5ft 2, I also didn't want them to have to take them to the local dry cleaner to have close to a foot of the expensive fabric cut off because they were designed for someone with supermodel-length legs.
So when I say I've searched for months for the right trousers, it's not an exaggeration. It almost became a part-time job, as I scoured the websites of every major high street retailer, purchasing and returning with ruthless determination.
Here's why these flattering Cos trousers deserved a place in my wardrobe.
Why I rate them
First of all, the cut of these trousers is perfect for my petite but curvy size 10-12 figure - I got them in the size 38.
I have a big bottom and hips and I wasn't blessed with skinny thighs. So trousers that nip my waist in, while skimming over my curvier parts without totally swamping them was key.
And Cos' high-waisted wide-legged trousers do just that.
Then there's the fabric. It's a breathable mix of 76% TENCEL™ lyocell with 24% linen. I've worn these trousers twice on very muggy days and can attest to the fact that they feel super comfy and not at all sweaty.
They hold their shape all day, too, even if you spend it sitting down for eight hours WFH, which is what I'm doing as I write this.
And while, yes, you do have to iron them (make sure you do that inside out), they don't crease horrifically thanks to the fact that they're linen-mix. You can also chuck them in the washing machine on a cold wash, too.
More plus points? They have pockets at the sides. Such a simple thing, but it's astonishing how many brands create women's clothing sans pockets, right?
They're also extremely bloat-friendly because the pleats at the front disguise the 'food baby' I always grow after eating any kind of meal.
And if you're concerned about sustainability, the TENCEL™ lyocell is made from sustainable wood sources, using a process that recycles 99% of all chemicals and water.
As for the length? Sure they're a little long (about an inch) however here's a little tip: until I can get them to my dry cleaner for hemming, I've just given them a turn-up that has lasted by putting a safety pin inside each side of each trouser leg. And nobody is any the wiser. Until now.
What to wear them with
These will go with so many things you already have in your wardrobe. I've worn mine with everything from T-shirts and flat sandals to a vest top and high tops, and a strappy sequin top with high-heeled mules.
They're the perfect work trousers too - you can wear them with a jacket or a smart shirt.
Another thing they're great for? Wearing with a crop top. A phrase I never thought I'd say out loud given the last time I bared my belly was in the noughties - but you can't deny that short tops are everywhere you look right now.
And, happily, I've discovered these trousers are high-waisted enough that I can wear a shorter top without showing a sliver of flesh.
I'll even wear these when the weather is cooler - I'll just pop some 40 denier tights underneath and sling a jumper over the top.
These trousers will get so much wear that they'll be one of the most worthy clothing investments I've made all year.