The Blousy Trou

 A classic Blousy Trou circa 1991.  Vintage Patterns Wikia

A classic Blousy Trou circa 1991. Vintage Patterns Wikia

Finally back in the office today after working from home for a week. For the first time since I started documenting my outfits back in November, I'm feeling tired of my winter wardrobe. Partly it's how winter has stretched to mid-March and partly it's being cooped up at home trying to stay warm but also comfortable while we had contractors crawling all over leaving the front door wide open. I have had a lot of sweaters + skinny jeans combos that leave me feeling meh.

While supremely comfortable, my usual Madewell skinnies are about an inch shy of a true high rise on me, so they are not the best for tucking things into. Great for wearing under a boxy top, but after wearing them with a string of more fitted sweaters untucked, I'm really kind of bored with the look. It just feels lackluster. No statement. 

This morning I pulled a pair of jeggings-y high rise skinny jeans from my donate pile and wore those with a tucked in turtleneck. I'm remembering now why I put these in the donate pile though. The waist band tends to cut a little when sitting, and the fabric isn't super substantial, which leaves room for them to get all bunched up around the waist anyway.

I really want to find a comfortable, everyday pant with a true high waist but also some volume in the leg. But not so much volume as my Caron Callahan wide-leg jeans. I want to stay firmly out of culotte territory. Something that can be worn casually but also says "I tried" when I go in public.

Dreaming of a blousy trouser. The Blousy Trou, if you will. (Runner up: Blousers).

I'm talking throw-back high-waisted trouser pant that blooms out with pleats and falls to a slight taper down the leg. So much potential for disaster when you write it out like that. It's not a silhouette for everyone. But done right, I feel like it's a silhouette that would do a lot to elevate a simple fitted sweater or tee. It's easy to do the pleats wrong. The key would be to update them for a modern aesthetic while keeping the ease of the poof.

But not too poofy. The fabric is important — something more structured with a weight to it. The Elizabeth Suzann Andy trousers are sort of this blousy trou kind of pant, but the linen and silk versions don't seem to have quite the structure and weight I'm looking for. Additionally, I'd like to see a flat waistband. Elastic waists are GREAT but sometime I feel like the bunchy look is a little too casual (and kind of camouflages the pleats, taking away their oomf). I'm cool with like, elastic in the back, with a traditional fly in the front to accommodate pulling over the hips.

There are so many vintage sewing patterns that did this Blousy Trou style great — I'm thinking maybe I need to go the DIY route if I don't find something worthwhile pre-made. Have you checked out the Vintage Patterns Wikia? It's a treasure trove of inspiration. The only catch is if you see a pattern you like, you still need to go track down the pattern for sale someplace like eBay. 

I'm so tempted to find a vintage pattern and make these for myself, but I have such a backlog of home projects that it would probably be imprudent to take another on. If I don't end up going DIY, here are a few options I dug up from Garmentory. Some more aspirational $-wise than others. 

I can't find any pictures showing the waist band on these but it's described as a zip fly with elastic back. Depending on how high the rise actually is, these are a low key modern, wearable Blousey Trou. The linen is surprisingly nice in this cut even though I was looking for something a little heavier for winter wear. I would still totally wear these. Maybe even in this color?? Is it more of an eggplant or more burgundy? Normally shy away from purples but it's a lovely color...

I've admired many Kaarem pieces over the years and these pants are another beautiful design. This is a great example of how to do the flat front waist. I guess these are techincally darts and not pleats? But they give a similar blousy effect. Also: pockets! I wonder what the fabric is though because oftentimes Kaarem uses synthetics which I'd prefer to avoid.

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At $552 these are $$$. But so divine! Gorgeous pleating here. Pockets that follow the drape of the pleats. Leg width stays out of culotte territory. Studio Nicholson is a brand I don't know much about, but I know these check a lot of my style boxes. They look so comfortable too! Would absolutely wear these. 

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I love the minimal styling on these but wish they were in something besides linen, although from my understanding this is kind of the Bllumade signature. The single pleat is super subtle but cutting. Nice subtle taper to the leg — although I'd love to see it a little less subtle. I love how the top of the pocket meets the pleat as well, it gives a sense of intention to the design. They aren't quite what I want, but A for execution.

Basic but get the Blousy Trou job done. Again with linen though! I like these a lot for their minimal-ness but wearability.

Love so much about these including the color. They are a linen/cotton blend and have nailed the simple pleat + tapered leg combo. So structured but so drapey. I can tell from the length of the fly they are a true high waist. The description notes they have a partial elastic back as well as being produced fair trade in India. Are these a contender?? 

Taking it back to the original, IB presents this actual vintage Blousy Trou. A sign I should make my own? Honestly this pair is a little lackluster compared to the other modern options. Is it the muddy color?

I think the Wray Fielding pants are my faves but it looks like the 4s in the wine color are sold out everywhere! Maybe a 6 would work?

What's your favorite? If you have any leads on a good modern Blousy Trou, please shout out in the comments!