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Loutre: The truth lies in the grey area

It’s good to get out of your comfort zone they say. Try something different, push the boundaries.

On the other hand apparently it’s all about personal style, finding what makes you comfortable and sticking with it.

I’ve never quite reconciled these two perspectives. Our culture appears determined to reduce itself down to snackable truisms, but in doing so, it leaves a lot of nuance on the table.

Personal style sounds cool. But can it also be read as apathy? Just a posh way of saying you’ve given up and have committed to wearing broadly the same things till the end of time. And what about breaking out of your comfort zone? There are some things I draw the line at: leather trousers, vests in public, short-shorts, capes. Does my blanket ban on such things mean I’m not fully expressing myself?

As I say, I don’t know, but I imagine the truth lies somewhere in the grey area. And I suspect my grey area looks a lot like this getup from London brand Loutre.

Loutre are doing some great things  — London based, committed to responsible local manufacture, baggy-ass jeans. And while I do realise the outfit pictured is more street than I have any right pretending to be, I still think it’s dope. I mean, fire. Is lit still a thing?

The cotton is 100% organic and Kitotex Vegetal (a biodegradable made from seaweed and mushroom) is used instead of more traditional sizing and fixation agents, starches and PVA. Still not seen the 2015 fashion documentary The True Cost? Get it watched brotherman, you owe it to yourself to get clued up.

The key things to know: The popover shirt features a snap fastening pocket, a big zip and comes in one (oversized) size. The jeans feature front pleats, drawstring waist and back pockets big enough for, and I quote, “two tinnies each.”

The pattern on each piece is individually hand painted by artist Liisa Chisholm  — so everyone gets a unique pattern. As a look I think it’s pretty amazing. Options for fans of the super-wide silhouette (as espoused on this site for years now) are growing fast. With Needles and Studio Nicholson at the pricier end and Korea’s Anglan offering a more budget take, Loutre hits somewhere in the middle, like our own home-grown Sillage.

Personally, I’m thinking about trying their jeans. Maybe not the patterned ones, perhaps just a plain pair. Both figuratively and literally I’m still stuck in my grey area.

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