Style Police: It's just one big shin dig

Worried that pedal pushers are on their way out? Fear not, they're still with us - just cut looser, cheers JAMES SHERWOOD
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Indy Lifestyle Online
A trend has to take you somewhere. Being new isn't enough. Last year's pedal pushers took us from pencil skirts and pretty dresses to a more aerodynamic glamour. Shorts cause all kinds of trouble for most women, but there was something utterly right about a fitted pant that stopped just below the knee. The mid-calf crop pedal pusher covered enough, revealed enough and fitted only where it ought to.

So what do you think designers do one season down the line? They weigh up the hits, misses and maybes of the past season and adapt. You've already bought pedal pushers so there's no point repeating the formula unless they take you somewhere special. This season we're seeing second-generation pedal pushers and we presume they will sell as well as the originals. Of course there were misreadings of why women embraced the pedal pusher last season. The designers who support short shorts this season miss the whole point. It's a step backwards. Women want micro shorts like men want the return of the codpiece.

The natural progression from the fitted pedal pusher shape is a more fluid, wider culotte shape which still cuts off at mid-calf. At Celine and Missoni it's in oyster satin-finished cotton. At Ferragamo, we're looking at sand suede culottes with a drawstring waist. Marc Jacobs made them in an anthracite blue/grey satin and in white cotton for his Louis Vuitton collection. The message? A little more luxe in the fabric and a lot more generously cut than last time round.

But let's take time out here. Lovely as Marc's anthracite satin numbers may be, it takes more than a designer to make a trend. The high street has to get behind it and, you know what, they haven't with the culotte calf-crop pant. So what's going on?

How to wear them

The answer is simple. Style Police doesn't think you're gonna wear it. We've had women practically in tears because they've read in some glossy that the denim fitted pedal pusher is out this season. Dry your eyes, honey: it's not. While the pedal pusher was hot last season, it will, like Gloria Gaynor, survive. Frankly, women don't want fancy fabrics or alternative cuts because the pedal pusher is your seasonal staple. You want it in khaki, denim or satin-finished cotton and you want it in simple base colours: white, cream, black or any hue of beige. The pedal pusher is the easy part of your summer wardrobe. You want pretty? Buy a beaded crop cardigan. You want hot colour? Do it with a chichi kitten heel or a great hip holster bag. You want something to take you through summer? Then it's a new pair of pedals.

Where to buy them

Style Police has been shopping for you just to prove the culotte isn't on the menu for spring/summer. Did we see any suede or satin crop culottes on the high street? Did we buffalo. There were, however, enough variations on the pedal pusher to suit everybody. The hidden gem in the current crop of pedal pushers comes from Muji. They are in a fine stretch chino cotton (pounds 29) and are as sharp as Jonny Lee Miller's cheekbones. We're loving the way Paul Costelloe has pushed pedals this season. His Costelloe white broderie anglaise pair (pounds 115) are perfection.

When will Style Police get over the joy that is shopping in Top Shop? It takes us back to that teenage Saturday feeling when we could buy an entire outfit for less than pounds 50 and still have change for a vinyl single and 10 Silk Cut. The killer Top Shop pair of pedals are a shot silver grey pair which come in a longer line with turn-up (pounds 32) or in the simple calf-crop (pounds 25).

If you didn't buy denim pedals last season, shimmy off to Warehouse for a pair with deep Fifties turn-ups (pounds 40) or zip into Miss Selfridge who have cleverly copied Hussein Chalayan's pedal pusher shape with "wing" turn-ups (pounds 25). For your dead basics, you can do no better than River Island for black cotton (pounds 26.99) or Dorothy Perkins for black stretch (pounds 22).

ADDRESS BOOK

Dorothy Perkins: 0171 291 2604; Costelloe: 0171 589 9484; Miss Selfridge: 0181 910 1359; Muji: 0171 323 2208; River Island: 0181 998 8822; Top Shop: 0171 291 2706; Warehouse: 0171 278 3491.

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