We Tried All the New Vinyl Trousers, and Here's What We Found

Here at Who What Wear UK, we want to take all the stress out of shopping, and to help us do just that, we're launching a new series, We Try Before You Buy, where we'll be road-testing new trends, fresh labels, the latest drops and key buys.

When Gisele Bündchen wore a pair of high-shine vinyl trousers last year, I remember quickly concluding nobody other than Gisele could wear them. But now, less than 12 months later, retailers are experiencing something of a national shortage of vinyls, as pairs from Saint Laurent to ASOS are selling out fast. Even Alexa Chung, who dared to wear them to Glastonbury last summer, took to Instagram during a mid-vinyl meltdown, writing in desperation to the brand Tripp NYC: "hiyyyyyy, can you make the high waisted vinyl pants again? Mine split up the back and now I can only find low rise ones :-(."

A few weekends ago, I was out for a coffee, and over a two-hour time span saw three girls wearing vinyls. (Admittedly, this was in Broadway Market in Hackney, but still.) I mentioned this observation in a team brainstorm, and the next thing I knew, I was tasked with putting plastic pants to the test and finding the best pair, the worst pair and the ones most likely to cause a powder-lotion-paste moment similar to what happened to Ross on Friends. Meaning you, hopefully, won't have to endure the same when stepping into this trend.


A photo posted by Alexa (@alexachung) on

The first challenge was actually getting hold of a pair of the high-shine pants in my size, as many are almost all but sold out. I begged, borrowed, and almost stole, and when my selection of squeaky trousers was finally assembled in the Who What Wear office, everyone's interest piqued. First lesson learnt? Maximum under-desk space is required for the leg-kicking needed to get them on, and so the office's disabled loo became my personal changing room—so far, not so chic.

After a number of tense trying-on sessions with vinyls stuck around my ankles, I managed to find four pairs fit for my experiment. If you are tempted to try this '80s trend, see below for my conclusion on the pair you should go for.

Scroll below to see my trial of the four best vinyl trousers on the high street.

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