It took me a while to start taking printed trousers seriously as a trend. There's something very pyjama-like about some of the styles, especially those designed for plus sizes which tend to be cut on the roomier side around the hips and bum, and often come up a bit short in the leg. Pick the wrong pair, and they can look very wrong indeed.
But if you're not into dresses, they are a really good way to try a bit of colour and print, and they have a playful feel that a lot of the more boring plus size styles don't. If you hunt around a bit, there are a few slightly more tailored styles on offer which look less like nightwear and work better overall.
Here are five of my faves...
So Fabulous at Very has a really wide range of sizes (14 - 32) and doesn't seem to dilute trends quite as much as other catalogue plus size collections. These peg trousers in a floral-on-black print remind me of the H&M pair from last year that sucked me into this trend in the first place. They're a nice option if you're conscious of too much print around the bum area too - the back is plain black! They're usually £29, but there's 24% discount today only.
Over at Simply Be, butterflies and bluebells (in, er, yellow) are the name of the game, on a pair of black tapered pyjama trousers (£45, sizes 14 - 32). Don't let the 'pyjama' in the product name put you off, they're not as floaty as they look and they have plenty of length to offset that. If you're petite, you could cuff the bottoms and wear with wedges.
Taillissime wins this week's award for worst use of non-plus size model, but I couldn't resist their faded floral print trousers - or should that be skinny jeans? The 50s style styling of the model is spot on, though a longer-line top would work just as well if you want a bit more coverage. These babies are £55 at Castaluna in sizes 14 - 30.
Forever21+ may be a small range in stores, but there's a bigger selection available online and it's really great for a cheap way to try trends. These bow print trousers (£19.75) are a nice introduction to printed bottoms - nothing too crazy and bright, but still strong enough to make a statement. They come in sizes 12 - 20 (UK 16 - 24) though F21 comes up a bit small in general due to US / UK size conversion.
Finally, good old ASOS Curve comes up with the goods with a green geo print that comes not only on trousers but also a matching jacket. The trousers come in sizes 18 - 26 for £40, and the jacket is £50. Heels are a must with the slightly cropped cut to balance the proportions.
Hopefully these picks cover a wide range of prints, from the brave and bold to the simple and subtle. If anyone tries the full-on printed suit I need to know - pic or it didn't happen!