Khakis or chinos? Odd trousers or suit trousers? Joggers or sweatpants? So many subtly different types of pants. Pick the wrong ones and you’ll look like a pirate clown robot from one of those kids’ flipbooks. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But you will look mismatched.
Pick the rights ones, though, and you’ll look savvy and put together.
Know what defines the different styles of trousers and their levels of formality and you can pick the right ones on autopilot every time.
- Drawstring Types Of Pants
A drawstring allows you to cinch the waist of your pants, so whether you’ve got a 30-inch waist or a 40-inch waist you can probably get away with the same pair of trousers.
Made from linen, cotton, or synthetic materials, these trousers are going to be casual because of the loose fit.
- Men’s Pajama Pants
Pajama pants are similar to drawstring trousers, except in the choice of material.
They’ll use brighter colours, more flamboyant patterns, and fabrics like wool, flannel, and brushed cotton, with napped (fuzzy) surfaces for insulation.
- Sweatpants, Tracksuit Pants, Joggers
Sweatpants are historically the oldest of these three types of pants. They have a very loose fit with an elastic or drawstring waist and possibly pockets. Tracksuit pants often use a synthetic material, can have a very tight weave, and also tend to have a loose fit, although some will be tighter. What sets them apart is a stripe of colour down the side of the leg.
- Khakis And Chinos
Khakis are cotton twill pants that came from British military uniform in 19th-century India – ‘khaki’ is Persian for ‘dust’, from the colour.
Chinos are a version of khakis made in China (hence the name) for soldiers in the Philippines during the Spanish-American war. The easiest way to spot the difference between these two types of pants is not the colour – it’s the stitching.
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