The Ultimate Guide to Trouser Fit

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For so many women, trouser shopping is a lottery. You order umpteen pairs, and end up sending the whole lot back, with an added dose of feeling like your body is too wide, too short, too curvy or just plain wrong for trousers. Over the years we've received feedback from customers feeling like they don't know where to start when it comes to choosing the perfect pair of trousers, so we decided it was time to put together the ultimate fit guide for our trousers here at Kettlewell. We want you to order trousers knowing that they're going to fit and flatter, and that you're going to look and feel amazing in them not just because the colour is right, but because the cut is perfect for your body shape and personal style.

Of course, every body shape is unique and proportions can vary slightly, so if there's a pair you love that you're not quite sure is right for you, it's always worth giving them a try and keeping an open mind. It's also particularly worth noting that most of our trousers can easily be altered for a shorter leg length; lengthening trousers is almost impossible and shortening them is a fairly simple job, so we've taken the decision to cut our trousers at a length that works for the average leg length and above but that still look good if they need to be shortened.

I've outlined which trousers will work for which body shapes below, and if you've completed our style personality quiz, you'll also see guidance below for which trousers might work best for your personal style (and if you haven't done the quiz, what's kept you? Head over as soon as you've finished reading this post and get ready to start exploring your unique personal style).

A note on trouser lengths: When we came to measure the inside leg lengths of our trousers, we realised that the rise and cut of the trousers, as well as where they naturally sit on you, makes a huge difference to how that length sits. In order to help you, alongside the inside leg length we've also provided the length from the top of the waistband to the bottom of the hem, measured along the outside seam.

Marie 29" Lined Trousers 

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A longstanding bestseller, the 29" leg Marie trousers are officially the most comfortable, versatile trousers you will ever buy. Mid-rise, with a flat stretch waistband, they create a smooth line under tshirts due to not having a front fly or pockets. Due to the slightly stretchy fabric and clever cut, they worked on a huge range of body shapes here at Ketttlewell HQ, from mega-curvy to ultra straight. These trousers are lined, which makes them feel very supportive and even more flattering, but does mean that they are slightly warm for hot weather - perfect for autumn/winter though!

Inside leg length: 74cm/29"

Waistband to hem length: 96cm/38"

Fit: True to size

Perfect for you if: your body shape is, well, more or less anything!

Done the style quiz? We think these trousers work brilliantly on Adventurers and Minimalists, but are also worth trying for Princesses and Movie Stars as wardrobe basics.
Shop them here 

Marie 31" Trousers

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A longer length version of our bestselling Marie 29" trousers, the 31" version has plenty of length for the longer of leg. As with the 29" length, these trousers work on a variety of body shapes, and the flat stretch waistband and lack of zip or pockets means no lumps and bumps under tees. Unlike the 29" version, these are unlined, so have a slightly more generous fit than the Marie 29" trousers.

Inside leg length: 79cm/31"

Waistband to hem length: 106cm/42"

Fit: Slightly generous - size down if you're between sizes

Perfect for you if: your body shape is, well, more or less anything!

Done the style quiz? We think these trousers work brilliantly on Adventurers, Pixies and Minimalists, but are also worth trying for Princesses and Movie Stars as wardrobe basics.
Shop them here

Bella Corduroy Trousers

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One of our newer styles, we are in love with the Bella cords. A slim leg, high quality fabric with a slight stretch and a flat elasticated waistband mean these trousers create lovely long lean lines with no lumps and bumps. As with the Marie trousers, these have no front zip or pockets, but they do feature rear pockets for a slightly more casual 'jeans' look. They make a perfect partnership with heeled or flat ankle boots for a cosy winter look that will form the basis of a whole host of outfits - one of the most repeated comments about these at Kettlewell HQ is how versatile they are.

Inside leg length: 78cm/30.5"

Waistband to hem length: 103cm/40.5"

Fit: True to size

Perfect for you if: The shape and style lends itself well to a wide range of body shapes, but is perhaps best suited to straighter hipped (column, inverted triangle) and apple body shapes.

Done the style quiz? We think these trousers work brilliantly on Adventurers and Minimalists.
Shop them here

Rosa 7/8 Trousers

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A great versatile style, the Rosa 7/8 trousers are more fitted, with a smarter look, with smooth lines under tees due to no pockets or fly. They are more than suitable for work, paired with ballet pumps or loafers, but also work well for warm weather with sandals. As with the Bella and Marie trousers, they have a flat stretch waistband, but the more fitted nature of these means they are a better fit on slightly more curvy bodies - no need to have a figure like Marilyn Monroe, but the more apple shaped among us at Kettlewell HQ found them a little tight on the tummy compared to some of the other styles. We also found that all of us who fall between sizes needed to size up.

Inside leg length: 68cm/26.5"

Waistband to hem length: 89cm/35"

Fit: Small - this is definitely one to size up on if you're between sizes.

Perfect for you if: Works on most body shapes, but can feel a little snug around the tummy on some apple shapes.

Done the style quiz? We think these trousers work brilliantly on Pixies, Minimalists, Princesses and Movie Stars.
Shop them here

Reiko Chinos

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The Reiko Chinos are a much more 'European' style, with a neater cut and slightly lower rise, than our other trousers. They are a firm favourite in the office, working well with a huge range of outfits, either worn full length for a smarter look or rolled up for a more casual feel. They are definitely ones for the confident trousers wearers - if you need support and comfort in your trousers, opt for the Marie, Bella or Rosa trousers, but if you want trousers that looks and feel modern, crisp and slick, these are the trousers for you.

Inside leg length: 78cm/30.5" (72cm/28.5" when turned up)

Waistband to hem length: 95cm/37.5" (91.5cm/36" when turned up)

Fit: Slightly small - size up if you're between sizes.

Perfect for you if: you're a neat hourglass, column, pear or inverted triangle, but if you're very tummy conscious you might not like the lower rise of these trousers.

Done the style quiz? We think these trousers work brilliantly on Adventurers, Pixies and Minimalists, although Princesses might also find them useful for casual wear.
Shop them here

Ponte Culottes

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Culottes might feel slightly intimidating if you haven't yet tried them, but almost every single person who puts these on is an instant convert. With a medium/high rise, wide flat elastic waistband, no fly or pockets and thick supportive ponte fabric, these trousers are a huge hit for the less trouser-confident as they create a smart look while feeling like wearing pyjamas. They fit well without clinging over hips or thighs, creating smooth lines and an effortlessly stylish finish. The length is great if you're average to tall, but may need adjusting for the very petite - the cut of the leg means that these trousers look brilliant when altered though.

Inside leg length: 60cm/23.5"

Waistband to hem length: 87.5cm/34.5"

Fit: True to size

Perfect for you if: you're almost any body shape - if you've ever thought that cropped trousers couldn't be flattering on you, you need try these.

Done the style quiz? We think these trousers work brilliantly on Adventurers, Pixies (you might need to get them taken up if you're petite), Minimalists and Movie Stars
Shop them here

Lauren Jersey Trousers

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The ultimate in luxury jersey, these relaxed fit trousers are made from the softest, silkiest viscose stretch, with a thick, flat elastic waistband for true comfort without sacrificing style. These trousers flow over hips and thigh without clinging, creating an easy style which is incredibly forgiving on curvy bodies while also working on straighter shapes. The only people we found these trousers weren't great on were the very very petite, as even though they can be taken up, the loose fit means they slightly swamp the tiniest among us.

Inside leg length: 76cm/30"

Waistband to hem length: 99cm/39"

Fit: True to size

Perfect for you if: you're curvy or straight, from full hourglass to apple and column. If you like a relaxed look, these are likely to work for you.

Done the style quiz? We think these trousers work brilliantly on Adventurers, Minimalists and Movie Stars.
Shop them here

Sienna Leggings

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If you think you can't wear leggings, you haven't tried the Sienna leggings. And if you love leggings, you need to add these to your collection. Incredibly supportive and comfortable, the faux suede texture print and styling of these leggings makes them a firm customer favourite. The front fabric, while stretchy, is fairly firm and creates a loves smooth line, while the slightly stretchier back makes them incredibly comfortable and adds an extra styling element with its slimming centre back seaming. Unlike most panel front leggings, which feature black elastic on the back, the back panel is colour matched to the front, which creates a more streamlined look and prevents the clash of black with the three seasonal palettes in which it doesn't belong. We love pairing these leggings with boots and a longer top for a luxurious but not-too-formal look.

Inside leg length: 70.5cm/28"

Waistband to hem length: 95.5cm/37.5"

Fit: True to size.

Perfect for you if: you're almost any body shape, due to the high waist and stretch.

Done the style quiz? We think these trousers work brilliantly on Adventurers, Pixies, Minimalists, Princesses and Movie stars - it's all in the styling!
Shop them here

Velvet Trousers

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These loose fit, flowing trousers are the most perfect relaxed-luxe trousers you're likely to find. The flat waistband, front pleats and angled pockets makes them sleekly androgynous, while the luxurious velvet ensures they feel glamorous. I can't tell you enough about how luxurious they feel, with the weighty fabric swishing gently as you move. As with our Lauren Jersey Trousers, these will work on a variety of body shapes thanks to their loose fit, but might swamp the very smallest. They have plenty of length for pairing with heels for parties, but as with so many of our styles can successfully be altered to a shorter leg length.

Inside leg length: 79cm/31"

Waistband to hem length: 106.5cm/42"

Fit: Generously cut, you might well want to size down if you're between sizes.

Perfect for you if: you're curvy or straight. If you like a relaxed style, these are likely to work for you.

Done the style quiz? We think these trousers work brilliantly on Adventurers, Minimalists and Movie Stars
Shop them here

Leopard Leggings

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A bit of a departure for us, we love how well received these leopard leggings have been received by you, our customers. Made from a velour fabric with a slight sheen, these animal print leggings are sumptuously comfortable and have a brilliantly sports luxe feel which elevates even the most casual outfits. We've styled them at Kettlewell HQ with everything from sneakers to ankle boots and casual tees to party wear, and we love them with everything. The waist is truly high and supportive, for a really comfortable feel, and has a simple trim which helps them feel more 'finished' than plain leggings if you're wearing them with shorter tops. In short, try them!

Inside leg length: 72cm/28"

Waistband to hem length: 100.5cm/39.5"

Fit: True to size

Perfect for you if: you're curvy or straight. These leggings work on most body shapes, depending on what top you pair them with.

Done the style quiz? We think these trousers work brilliantly on Adventurers, Pixies, Princesses and Movie Stars.
Shop them here

Lynda M on Nov 23, 2019 8:18 AM

I just want to add my support to the other requests for a longer length. I need a 34” inside leg so none of your trousers are suitable for me 😒

Vera Brown on Nov 02, 2019 11:53 AM

Just wish that you would cater for us petite women. As mentioned above, it doesn't seem fair that we always have to shorten them to 27" and 28",

Pauline Martin on Nov 02, 2019 10:47 AM

I have to agree with another comment, I too am very tall and would love to buy your trousers but need at least a 33” inside leg!

Linda on Nov 02, 2019 10:14 AM

Agree with previous comments about there are not many high rise trousers available. I am 5'4" and have a long body so need high rise for no muffin top.

Eileen on Nov 02, 2019 10:08 AM

Please could you consider making smart slim ( not skinny) trousers in a subtle self coloured brocade type fabric. I have looked everywhere for some.

Carol Burgess on Nov 02, 2019 9:06 AM

As usual lovely selection in great colours however why do you not cater for the short lady. I need 27" in a trouser. I love the velour trousers but Β£85 am not prepared to buy and then have to have the shortened. I can buy velour trousers in the high street or catalogue and whilst not up to your quality perfectly acceptable for less than half the price. So it looks like I will only continue to buy tops and usually in the sale.

Dee on Nov 02, 2019 8:47 AM

Hi this is really useful but is there any possibility of a petite range as I am only 5’ 1”? Thanks

Diana on Nov 02, 2019 8:35 AM

I am 5’8” and need a 33” inside leg. As with a previous post I’m happy with capris in the summer. However in line with your comment that trousers can be shortened would you consider stocking a β€œlong” length?

Angie Lamb on Nov 02, 2019 8:29 AM

I really was interested in these trousers but scrolled and scrolled through and none apart from the culottes were offered in XS. As a petite this is very disappointing. Hopes dashed.

Lynn on Nov 02, 2019 8:21 AM

Please add my name to the list of long legged ladies out there.

I too am a 32 inside leg.

Emma on Oct 30, 2019 4:19 PM

I would love to try your trousers but am tall and the 30.5 inside leg is too short. In summertime, I'm happy to have a "capri" or cropped length, but in winter I would love a "full length" trouser. Would you consider stocking/providing this?

Kettlewell Colours: I have passed your suggestion on to the design team :-)

Valerie on Oct 16, 2019 5:24 PM

Like the comment on 30 September I also would like to see more High Rise trousers, need them at my waist because of lower spine problems. Would also like 32 inside leg length. Love all your other clothes but sadly the trousers are not for me.

Barbara on Oct 05, 2019 3:18 PM

It's good to see more videos this season and nice that Jo has joined the modelling team. The more variety of shapes and sizes the better. It would be really helpful to know how tall she is.

Kettlewell Colours: Jo is 5' 6"

Jill Freeman on Oct 03, 2019 3:38 AM

What are the wash instructions for the velvet trousers?

Kettlewell Colours: They are machine washable on cool at 30Β°C

Jeanne Mann on Oct 02, 2019 12:23 PM

This was a very interesting article. I have never taken an interest in your trousers before because they are all displayed on skinny, mostly white, models with perfect proportions and therefore I assumed they would not fit well on my muscular legs and rather droopy behind! However, I now think there might be a fit for me and are certainly worth trying out. Thank you.

Marian Roe on Sep 30, 2019 12:00 PM

Just thought I would mention I would like to see more high rise trousers i.e to waist and not below. No need to reply - just another comment in case you have had other ladies making the same point.

Jennifer Leonard on Sep 29, 2019 11:19 AM

It would be really helpful if you could just state clearly whether the rise is low, medium or high. Hiding that information in a measurement, in the middle of text or ignoring it altogether is not much use.!

Kettlewell Colours: Thank you for the suggestion - I will pass it on to our design team.

Clare on Sep 29, 2019 10:15 AM

I am looking for some smooth fitting and flattering casual trousers. I find tighter thigh styles do not suit me (usually size 10/12) but I do not want culottes. I am looking at Bella and Marie 29” styles but are the thighs very slim fit? Also annoying that short people always have to pay to have trousers/jeans shortened but I do understand your logic about lengths. Thanks

Glynis Owens-Dawkin on Sep 29, 2019 9:32 AM

What a helpful article, I don't know of any other company which takes the trouble to explain their products so well. Will definitely be trying a couple of these styles soon!

sue on Sep 29, 2019 3:31 AM

Brilliant resume of trouser sizing and very very helpful!

Kerriann on Sep 29, 2019 2:10 AM

This is really helpful, thank you! I'm now much clearer on the different trouser styles and sizing.

Deborah Elgie on Sep 28, 2019 1:19 PM

Thank you so much for this lovely detailed guide! I am saving up for the Lauren jersey trousers & the velvet.

Best wishes to all at Kettlewell you deserve every success I am so pleased you formed this company. Please keep up the good work. I am so pleased to find a company passionate about colours & styles that work for women & helps them to avoid colour & style mistakes.

Mirabelle Hatch on Sep 28, 2019 10:07 AM

Do you have any high-rise jeans?

Great for giving one a waistline - no more muffin tops!

Marsha on Sep 27, 2019 11:20 PM

This post was duly meant for me! I hardly ever buy Kettlewell pants/leggings etc since I am so u sure what will fit or look good. Thank you for such an in-depth post !

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