Be brave and ditch the dull denim: colourful trousers are top news this summer. Chinos and lightweight cotton trousers come in a variety of hues this season, and are an easy way to experiment with the pastel and colour-block trends – if in doubt, choose a classic cut you're already confident wearing.
American collegiate style is hot right now and popular labels such as Gant men's clothes and Ralph Lauren exemplify the Ivy League look. Team their trews with a retro baseball jacket and sneakers or tennis shoes for full effect, or with a more conservative blazer, penny loafers or boat shoes for a less overtly nostalgic take on the trend. Think sailing in the Hamptons, or campus life at Harvard – but you don't need a degree (or a yacht) to look the part.
Softer pastels – pale pinks and blues, mint green and salmon – are best paired with a plain polo shirt or white T-shirt for everyday wear, and in less vibrant shades can become versatile additions to your working wardrobe if your office dress code does not demand a formal business suit and tie.
There's a hint of English country gent about these colours as well, and you can play this up by adding a tweed jacket or waistcoat over a white shirt. Green wellies, shotgun and a black Labrador are not compulsory accessories, but if your trousers would work in such a combo, you've hit an appropriate tone.
Bold and bright
The catwalks and street-style blogs have been awash with yellow, orange, mustard, cobalt blue, pillar-box red and even grass green summer trousers over recent months: embrace your extrovert tendencies and banish the beige!
Favourite menswear brands such as Ted Baker and Ben Sherman have come up with the goods, and whether your style's modern-mod, golf-punk or urban, there will be a pair of colourful kecks to suit you. These aren't just for lounging in the sunshine on your Mediterranean holiday – they can cheer you up on a grey, wet British Monday morning as well.
The bigger picture
Wearing bright colours is all about context: keep the rest of your outfit fairly neutral if you're in unfamiliar territory. You won't go wrong with a classic black polo neck jumper, Fred Perry top, or zip-up Harrington-type jacket, which will give a '60s vibe to your outfit. Finish off with a classic Chelsea boot, or suede desert boot in warmer weather, for full vintage effect.
For more formal occasions, a respectable pair of lightweight brogues (your summer office shoes, perhaps) will help you stay on the smart side of smart-casual. And don't forget what you're wearing beneath your new trousers – you can even match up (or clash) your Calvin Klein underwear in colours including pink, purple, orange and green.