'Toffs' in red trousers a turn-off for nearly half of Britons

LONDON Thu Aug 1, 2013 2:50pm EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's class-conscious public have voiced their dislike of men in red trousers, associating them with elitism and garish buffoonery, according to a survey this week.

Just under half the respondents (46 percent) to a survey released by market research firm YouGov said they don't like men in red trousers.

"Gentlemen be warned. Wearing red trousers will not win you many admirers," YouGov said in an article about the sartorial study on their website.

Words such as "idiot", "odd" and "clown" sprang to the minds of respondents when confronted with the sight of a man sporting red trousers, YouGov said.

British Esquire magazine's Senior Fashion Editor Gareth Scourfield told Reuters that although continental men in France and Italy have been getting away with colorful clothes for years, Britons tended to be more reserved.

"I think the problem is it has a connotation as a rich man's casual wear," he said.

Class-ridden connotations for RTs, as they are known to aficionados, are hard to shake off in a country where privileged people are often mocked as "toffs" or "rahs".

But socialite and fashion journalist Henry Conway launched a defense of them in the Guardian on Thursday, citing their illustrious history from stylish 15th century scarlet breeches in Britain to Napoleonic army uniforms.

"I have to admit, I have a delicious pair in bold blood," he wrote. "I know they make me look like a total rah, but they are soft and beautiful..."

(Reporting By Amritha John, editing by Paul Casciato)

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