The good old dependable pair of trousers have gone in for a revamp. International brands have flirted with printed trousers in a big way and it’s trickled down to the city’s retail outlets. Here’s a low down on dos and don’ts.

Very few things come close to a pair of trousers when you want to put together a quick, non-fussy look. Trousers in basic shades of black, khaki, beige and navy blue will keep you in good stead for months and perhaps years. Oh but wait. Sometimes, just sometimes, don’t we all want to beat monotony and be unpredictable? Last season, coloured trousers were a rage.

Now, international brands are bringing in printed trousers as part of their Spring/Summer 2014 collections. Jacquard to floral and bright to subtle, there are several prints to choose from. A few stores in the city have also stocked up on printed pants. Here’s some help if you’re wondering how to walk the thin line between a smart, sporty look and looking out of place.

Stick to the thumb rules, says designer Sunaina Sood. “Choose a pair of printed trousers keeping in mind your body type. Tall, slender women (think Deepika Padukone) can carry off pants that have pleats or a drape effect at the waist. These look great when paired with short jackets or a ganji. Regular women can choose pants that fit at the waist and team it up with long tops or kurtas,” she says.

Pay attention to the prints you choose. Smaller prints in subtle shades on neutral coloured pants are versatile, giving you more options to mix and match with different coloured jackets, tees, shirts and ganjis. The bolder and brighter the prints, the limited are your options of mix and match. The recall value is also higher, making it tougher to repeat the trousers often.

The prints and colours are sure to hog all the attention, so tone down the shirt/tee and keep it free of prints. “A statement neckpiece in a colour similar to that of the pants can complete the look,” says designer Ishita Singh. Printed pants come in stretch fabrics, regular cotton trousers and loose palazzos. The stretch fabrics suit tall women while the regular-fits and palazzos can suit different body types. Ishita advises against teaming up a printed top with printed trousers unless it’s an earthy tone or indigo with subtle prints.

A bit of restraint will help while you shop for printed trousers. Sunaina suggests buying just a pair or two so that you’re not left with outdated stuff when the fashion cycle goes witnesses its customary change of trends next season. Printed pants are great for casual outings, semi-formal evenings or relaxed cocktail dos but not for formal events and boardrooms, caution both Ishita and Sunaina.