I find I'm frequently searching for trousers when I'm shopping with clients that are not jeans or chinos, but are also not as plain as a lot of suit trousers tend to be.
So, what's the alternative? Well I like the ones that have some sort of texture to them or a small micro pattern. I find this adds a bit of interest when wearing a plain shirt (especially you're not wearing a tie or blazer either) but a small pattern or texture is versatile enough to go with lots of things too.
Here are some of the ones I found coming up for the new season.
Checks are big news for the coming season but if your immediate reaction is for an image of Rupert the Bear to pop into your head, then a smaller, less obvious check is definitely for you. These micro check ones will almost look plain from a distance, but when you get up close you can see the tiny pattern.
Micro check flannel trousers - Wooyoungmi at Matches £310
These trousers are textured enough to look great with a plain white shirt but would also look good with another pattern (have a look at the blue colourway for a demonstration of this.) If going for a plain white shirt you could add in a touch of colour to stand out from the crowd with burgundy shoes and belt.
"Porrtro" textured trousers - Ted Baker £125
This pair comes in cotton with a small check and could be dressed up or down according to the occasion. For a smart look you could wear a white shirt, khaki knit tie and light grey blazer or to dress down a fitted khaki t-shirt, black bomber jacket and pale grey Common Projects trainers.
Slim fit stretch cotton puppytooth trousers - Incotex at Mr Porter - £255
These are actually part of a suit but will look just as good on their own. Wear with a camel crew neck sweater and tan brogues and voilà, you've instantly nailed the smart/casual look.
"Stow T" - slim tailored trousers - Reiss - £125
If you've never tried a check then I urge you to try out a Glen check (aka Prince of Wales check), you might be surprised as to how subtle it looks on. With a soft blue line running through it this will be perfect to mix with pale blue shirts for work or to make it a little more casual, then a chambray shirt would work perfectly too.
"Matte" glen check wool flannel trousers - Tiger of Sweden - £199.00
"I'm loving what you sent my husband home with....he's a new man!"