Tapered Trousers

The WhoWhatWear.com readers are a stylish bunch, able to master the toughest trends in the blink of an eye. Undoubtedly you already know how to wear wide-leg trousers in a flattering way and can style skinny jeans in seconds. However, judging from the number of emails we've recently received, there is one pant silhouette that seems to confuse, confound, and flat out frustrate everyone-the tapered trouser. Today, we'd like to put those feelings of fear and loathing to rest, because these pants are poised to become an important part of your spring wardrobe.

Long before the tapered trouser appeared on runways all over the world and red carpets galore, one key individual-Stefano Pilati-championed this style. Fashion devotees know that the Yves Saint Laurent designer has been dedicated to this shape for ages; over the past four seasons, he's consistently included a few high-waisted options in each collection. But this spring, the tailored and slouchy style is officially getting its big break, as designers ranging from Phillip Lim to Sophia Kokosalaki are showing their own versions of this Go Buy Now item. Of course, the runways aren't the only place these pants are popular; a few daring members of Hollywood are trying them too. In fact, Keira Knightley just wore a pair of Chloe tapered trousers (from Pre-Fall 09) to the Berlin International Film Festival and looked darling and dashing in her selection!

If you've been reluctant to try this trend or dismissed it outright because you assumed it would be unflattering, we'd like to offer a counter argument to your concerns. First of all, the tapered trouser is exceedingly figure-friendly and works well on lots of different body types. Much like boyfriend jeans, these pants are a little baggy and relaxed-which means they're comfortable-so they're actually quite kind to your thighs and stomach. Additionally, the cropped length allows you to show off an eye-catching pair of shoes, a lovely bonus indeed!

Though there are heaps of amazing styles available right now, we narrowed it down to three pairs (and matched them up with coordinating shoes) for today's story. Up-and-coming British designer Richard Nicoll made a tapered trouser for Topshop that's simply smashing. The white cotton Richard Nicoll Trouser ($110) is generously cut at the top and narrows down to a simple slim cuff at the bottom. In our dream world, we'd wear them with Stella McCartney's Mesh Basket Sandalsicon ($995)-as recently seen on Mary-Kate Olsen-though in the real world, we'll probably pair them with something like the Givenchy-like Calista Lace-Up ($154) by Dolce Vita.

If you'd prefer a less-voluminous, pleat-free pant, then 3.1 Phillip Lim's Peg Leg Pantsicon ($450) might be just the ticket. As seen on the runway, these semi-loose silk pants are relatively high-waisted and less cropped than our other pairs, which means they're going to lengthen your legs. The slightly longer length hits at the ankle, making for the perfect backdrop for a stunning pair of tough shoes, like Pour la Victoire's Sabrina Grommet Heels ($311).

Unsurprisingly, H&M is also making a spot-on style this season. Their subtly stylish Tapered Pants ($39.90) are the ideal way for most readers to try this trend, thanks to the moderate cut and excellent price. We love the little details, like the elongated rise and diagonally slashed pockets, which really give this pair a great deal of style. Punctuate their long, lean line with an equally modern shoe (like Calvin Klein's Dail Peep Toe Platform ($130), shown above in Chino) for a noteworthy spring look!

Last, but most certainly not least, we'd like to remind you that today's the last day to enter the amazing WhoWhatWear.com/Purseblog.com Louis Vuitton Luggage Giveaway! Don't forget that by telling your friends about the contest, you can increase your chances of winning this insane prize! Spread the word today!

Photo of Keira Knightley, Getty Images.