Statement jackets and the latest sneakers are always going to be top of men’s lust lists, but do not let high-wattage clobber blind you to the essentials. The right pair of trousers can be the most quietly powerful item you wear, but get it wrong and you’ll instantly dull the shine of the trending pieces you spent so long chasing. Here are some of the unsung trouser styles that you might not have considered, but definitely should.
1. Corduroy Trousers
Corduroy is one of the most underutilised materials in men’s style and, if worn correctly, can make for an indispensable pair of trousers. There’s a 1970s revival going on in menswear, too, so there’s never been a better time to cover your legs in cord. Cord is a textile composed of woven, twisted cotton or wool, resulting in parallel lines (called ‘wales’). Wool corduroy is the most durable type and wears particularly well. Corduroy is brilliant when dressed down and worn casually. Try teaming a pair of dark corduroy trousers with a sweatshirt and leather sneakers.
2. Wool Trousers
Wool trousers offer a throwback to the days when jeans were not the de facto king of legwear. Perfect both for styling with other tailored separates or smartening a casual getup, wool trousers have been a pillar amongst industry insiders for years. They are often grounded with a pair of brogues, Derbies or double monks.
3. Twill Chinos
In twill chinos, quality craftsmanship meets reliability and style that’s still exceptionally wearable. The style is still, strictly speaking, a casual trouser so wear them with an easy-going pair of shoes, a T-shirt or piece of knitwear and top with an overshirt or denim jacket for an effortlessly cool off-duty look.
4. Relaxed-Legged Trousers
While they are perfect for providing a platform for a standout piece of footwear, looser-cut chinos and trousers need to break perfectly. Too long and they’ll look like the floor-dragging bootcuts, too high and you’ll look like you’re wearing three-quarter lengths.
5. Slimline Joggers
There have been some excellent hybrids over the years: athleisure is a rare example of fashion and function joining forces for the greater good. Combining the “it feels like I’m wearing nothing at all” comfort of joggers with the slim-fit of a more contemporary work trouser, they’re equally at home in the pub or the gym.
6. Cropped Trousers
Ankle swingers, as some want to call them, allowing your ankles to breathe in summer while still giving airtime to your footwear in cooler months, cropped trousers are a great way to spice up what can be a tired formal outfit. Unless they fit perfectly off the peg, go to a tailor and take their advice, but if you are feeling braver, anything up to three or four inches above the ankle is a safe bet. Disclaimer: by cropped trousers, we mean shorter than your average, displaying a sliver of ankle or sock, not to be mistaken with pantaloons. Getting the length right is crucial, though.
7. Cargo Pants
The key to getting cargo trousers right is ensuring that they hit the middle ground between slim and spacious, so think tailored. Sure, you can technically fill their big ol’ pockets to the brim, but in this case clean lines trump practicality, so leave them empty. Our Recommended Colours : Standard khaki, navy blue, contemporary black
High-waisted trousers are quite literally on the rise. Getting them will look like a kid playing the dress up in his dad’s suit. The key to hitting the sweet spot lies in nailing the length and the cut. Up top, opt for either a fitted polo or a loose T-shirt, tucked into the waistband.
9. Pleated Trousers
As trousers make their way way back up to men’s natural waistlines once again, a long-forgotten tailoring detail is being thrust back into the fashion spotlight. A quirk chosen for its comfort rather than its aesthetics and frowned upon by those in the know. However, here in this age of smart joggers and oversized tailoring, comfort is no longer a dirty word. Pleated pants are back in style and now is the time to introduce them to your wardrobe.
10. Tracksuit Bottoms
There’s a wealth of variety when it comes to tracksuit bottoms. You can opt for a side-stripe trouser style and pair them with tailoring. Or alternatively, you can go full nylon and go for that 90s, head-to-toe vibe. Whichever you pick, go for a slim cut and if the cuffs aren’t elasticated then opt for a slightly cropped leg. A cropped side-stripe trouser can be paired with a smarter shoe just as effectively as it can with a luxe trainer. Throw on a plain tee and a bomber and you’re good to go.