Men’s Pants and Trousers
Pants are any long leg garment that covers your lower half – jeans, snow pants, chinos, joggers etc. Trousers are more formal, crafted out of wool or cotton and have belt loops and a fly front.
A trouser should be slim enough around the waist to not need a belt but snug enough to stay locked in place. The fabric should be soft and drape, not stiff poplin or body con.
Pants are worn to cover the lower part of the body, ranging from jeans to formal trousers. Trousers (called slacks in Australia and North America) are tailored garments with a waistband, belt loops, and a fly opening, which can be fastened with buttons or a zipper. They can be loose or fitted and may have pockets.
Fabric choice is a big deal when it comes to pants, especially when they will be worn frequently or for formal occasions. The fabric must be sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of daily wear and sitting for long periods, and it should also have good elastic recovery.
When you shop for trouser fabrics, you should be able to stretch the fabric lengthwise and widthwise to test its flexibility and resilience. If the fabric stretches and springs back easily in both directions, it has bi-directional stretch, which is ideal for trousers.
The color of the fabric can also influence its formality, with darker tones being more appropriate for fall and winter and lighter or pastel tones being better for summer. The weight of the fabric is important, too. A heavier fabric is more durable and will be able to withstand the rigors of everyday wear. Fabric weight is typically listed Pants and Trousers in gsm or g/m2 and ounces per square yard or oz/yd2. The higher the number, the heavier the fabric.
The fabric used in pants and trousers needs to be able to withstand the rigours of daily wear. Unlike shirts which don’t move around much or sit a lot, pants and trouser are constantly being pulled at, pushed down or tugged at, so they need to be strong. In general, densely woven fabrics are the best choice because they’re more resistant to wear and tear. Heavier and thicker fabrics are also good choices, especially for casual trousers that get a lot of wear, to prevent them from stretching out or losing their shape over time. Fabrics with a bit of natural stretch and good elastic rebound are also excellent for pants.
Trousers can be made in a huge variety of fabrics, but some of our favourites are wool, corduroy and cotton satin. These rich fabrics are perfect for slim-fitting chino pants, with their subtle sheen and crisp drape. They’re also a fantastic complement to a light-gauge roll neck and monk strap shoes for that elegant look that suits both men and women.
Another great option is technical fabric, which is designed for outdoor activities. This type of fabric provides sun protection and is water repellent, so you can stay comfortable in the sun and in rainy conditions. Joggers and knickerbockers are examples of this kind of fabric, which are optimized for comfort and functionality in outdoor settings.
The length of your pants can have a major impact on their appearance. Too short and they’ll look untidy, while too long and they’ll seem sloppy and outdated. The ideal trouser length depends on many factors, including your height, body type and style preferences. But there’s one important factor that all men should pay attention to – the so-called break, or the point where your trousers meet your shoes.
A full break is when there’s about 1” of fabric extending beyond the front of your shoe. This is a conservative length that works well for most people, but it’s not the best option if you want to appear sleek and modern.
No break is a more fashion-forward style where the trousers barely touch the top of your shoe. This is a good choice for most men, but it’s essential that you wear thin or skinny trousers and have them properly tapered. You’ll also need to have great socks, as your heels and socks will be visible when you sit or walk.
A half or medium break is the most traditional and safest option. This is the industry standard and is ideal for most people. It’s a little longer than Pants and Trousers the full break but still leaves enough room for you to cuff your trousers if needed. The medium break also works well with most fabrics and styles.
Pants should fit comfortably around your waist, seat and thigh. If they’re too tight, you won’t be able to sit down and you may experience back pain; if they’re too loose they can easily flap in the wind. Most pants come in one length, so if they’re too long you can have them tailored without too much cost.
Trousers that fit properly have a front and back rise that hang well together. If the front is too short, you run the risk of moose knuckles (horizontal folds that form under your knee when you bend down); too long and they can start to stick to your calves.
The waistband should sit on your natural waist, which is located right below the navel. This will lengthen the leg, make movement easier and look better when worn with a jacket.
Technical pants are designed to provide warmth and functionality in outdoor settings, and are typically made from fabrics that protect against sunburn and rain showers. Some also have built-in insect repellent and antimicrobial properties. They can be worn with a T-shirt or buttondown for casual occasions, or with a jacket and tie for more formal events.