'When it comes to putting together an outfit, the task of creating a daily ensemble suitable to manage whatever tasks are at hand with a splash of style unique to you, often the last thing in mind is the type of trouser one might wear. Here we will unravel the history of the trouser from its humble and overtly functional origins to the modern era where various styles, silhouettes, colours and textures are considered part of everyday fashion.
It is widely accepted that the first type of trouser like garments were created around the same period as the domestication of horses in Asia between 3500-300bc. Born from the need to have an item of clothing that protected the legs and groin area from the rubbing caused by long rides. Across Europe the acceptance of trousers as part of the male wardrobe came much later – the Greeks and Romans alike much preferred dress style robes commonly known as a ‘Chiton’ or ‘Toga’ respectively. It was Edward VII, eldest son of Queen Victoria that made trouser creases fashionable during hes period of history. In fact, the term trouser might seem alien to you depending on your location around the globe. Here in the UK that’s our standard term, across the pond they are referred to as ‘pants’ or ‘slacks’ depending on style some might say. Historically they have been referred to as Breeches, Britches, Strides, or Pantaloons.
So regardless of what you refer to them as, unless you live somewhere on the equator and live in shorts constantly, they are no doubt part of your wardrobe.
Dress trouser – the dress trouser is the most common trouser worn by folk who need or appreciate a formal look. Coming as part of a suit, the dress trouser can come with a button or a zip, have pockets on the back front or side, and often with pleating that allows for a more forgiving and flattering fit with a classy looking finish. Its worthy to note; Slacks is the common name given to formal trousers that do not belong to a suit.
Go To Look – Wear a two piece or a three piece, for the office or an event, your suit must fit your body shape, be the perfect length on your leg and be of a fabric colour and design that suits your skin tone and personality
Corduroys – This type of trouser had its heyday in the swinging sixties with variations in wild colour and patterns and the classic bellbottom shape making them a real eye-opening statement of the time. They have long since declined in popularity in mens fashion, ask some of the younger generations and they might associate this trouser type with an old geography teacher, a historian or the like. Among the brave and bold in mens fashion and those confident enough in their sartorial selections, they are still very much a favourite. They can add texture and colour to an ordinarily drab outfit and have enough structure to be paired with some bold patterns.
Go To Look – Earthy tones or vibrant ones, wear with bold patterned shirts, a waistcoat or jacket in an equally robust fabric would work well with these trousers.
Cargo – originally developed for military wear, the cargo trousers were designed to be functional and comfortable. They generally have a tapered leg or are hemmed at the ankle to ensure ease when moving around in rough or unknown terrain. Usually available in neutral colours as well as navy and Khaki, though don’t let the colour confuse with the trouser type.
Go To Look – boots, open necked shirt, loose knit pullover.
Chino – Similar to the cargo in their appearance, they were originally constructed using a twill weave and have a hidden cross-stitched seams creating a tough & durable garment. Also developed for military purposes, except they originated in China to supply the soldiers in the Philippines during the Spanish/American War.
Go To Look – Boat shoes, short sleeved shirt.
Khaki – Similar to the Chino, except constructed from heavier materials and thicker thread to withstand the colder temperatures and rough terrains. Most notable differences are the visible stitching and looser cut.
Go To Look – Shirt Blazer & Trainers.
Denim – Classically blue in colour, largely known as jeans, you now find denim in such a wide variety of colour & style on almost all types of garments. However, they originated during the gold rush period in the US, designed for the California gold miners as it was a relatively cheap yet very strong and durable material.
Go To Look – Double up if you dare, or if subtlety is more your thing, than wear a pair of classic indigo jeans with a tan or brown brogue and a crisp white or checked shirt.
Joggers – Not classically considered as a sartorial option, usually we associate joggers with sports or loungewear. However, in recent years all the big fashion houses from Gucci to Prada et al, have found ways to modernise the cuts and silhouettes and amalgamate sportswear and high fashion so much so that if you are brave almost anything is possible.
Go To Look – White T Shirt, Blue Oxford Shirt – sleeves rolled up, white trainers.
Photo by Henry & Co.: https://www.pexels.com/photo/assorted-color-pants-lot-1210484/