Everything You Need to Know About Men’s Pants

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Written By Logan Adler
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A good pair of pants can enhance or deflate your outfit, depending on your style and what they’re paired with. However, learning about what pants are the right fit is easier said than done (and it often takes more than one trip to the fitting room).

The good news is that understanding how pants influence an outfit is simple.

It’s all about knowing where to look and what each type of men’s pants represents. 

In this guide, we touch on everything you need to know about men’s pants.

From casual to dress pants and everything in between, we have you covered.

Casual Pants 

Casual pants are unique because they’re lightweight, comfortable, and easy to match.

For these reasons, many guys own dozens of casual pants. There are also numerous variations of casual pants, so we’ll take you through the most common types.

Khakis 

Khaki pants come in many shapes, styles, and sizes. While these can be used as casual pants with a button-down shirt or polo shirt, they can also be used as work pants and are even used in many militaries.

The definition of khakis is simple: they are pants that have a tan or brown color, typically in a lighter shade.

Khakis are also made with wool and cloth, which gives them durability and flexibility. For these reasons, khakis have a wide range of applications and will continue to be popular in contemporary trends.

Chinos 

Chino pants are considered chinos because of the cloth they’re made with. These pants are made with twill fabric, which is typically cotton; in most cases, chinos are 100% cotton.

That said, some companies make chinos that have blends of cotton and other fabrics for enhanced flexibility or durability.

Chinos also come in many styles, which is why they can be used in formal and informal situations. In fact, chinos were once used in military situations during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Today, they’re civilian pants and have been replaced by khakis for military use.

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Jeans 

Jeans are durable pants that are worn almost every season. These pants are also customizable and can be worn with almost every outfit. In fact, some people wear jean shorts during the warmer months.

Jeans can also be used for business casual when paired with polo shirts and button-ups. When it comes to fabric, jeans are made with a twill weave, which consists of durable cotton with a diagonal ribbing pattern. 

We’ll take you through some of the common variations of jeans you can find.

Straight Leg 

Straight-leg jeans are a common type of jeans. These jeans are simple and hug the legs in ways that the name suggests. Therefore, straight-leg jeans have the same silhouette from the hips to the legs to the ankles.

Straight-leg jeans can also be referred to as regular or classic straight jeans, depending on the brand.

Some other factors make straight-leg jeans straight, but these are more technical. For example, most straight-leg jeans have leg openings that are 8 inches from top to bottom.

As for the fit, straight-leg jeans are not snug but not loose. Many people consider the fit to be “just right,” and this applies to all types of straight-leg jeans. The larger leg openings also make them more flexible than other jeans.

Straight Taper

Straight taper jeans are similar to straight-leg jeans. The difference is that straight taper jeans are tapered past the knee.

These jeans are perfect for people who have bigger thighs but smaller calves and ankles. Straight taper jeans are also great for people who want more room to breathe but prefer the straight-leg jeans look.

You can also find these jeans in many of the same style choices as straight-leg jeans.

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Slim Straight 

Slim straight jeans also share many similarities with straight-leg jeans. These jeans have a slim fit around the waist, which makes them tighter around the hips and thighs.

Slim straight jeans also maintain the straight style below the waist and knees, which gives them a slim fit. In fact, slim straight jeans are often known as slim-fit jeans by most brands.

They come in fewer styles than straight-leg jeans and straight taper jeans, though. The lack of style is likely because of the slim fit around the waist, which reduces the overall flexibility of the pants.

Slim Taper 

Slim taper jeans sit below the hips and are more similar to skinny jeans than straight-leg jeans. These jeans have a slim waist and hug your thighs and calves.

If you have larger legs, slim-taper jeans are better than skinny jeans. People with medium-sized legs will love these jeans, and they can be fitted to suit people with larger legs and hips.

Bootcut 

Bootcut jeans are designed to fit over boots and other types of shoes. These jeans are well-rounded and come in many shapes and sizes. In fact, bootcut jeans can be slim, relaxed, and even tapered.

Bootcut jeans declined in popularity when fewer people were wearing cowboy boots because they had a western-style appeal to them.

Today, bootcut jeans are making a comeback because more people are returning to the style. Bootcut jeans are also suitable for tradesmen who wear thick work boots.

Relaxed Straight 

Relaxed straight jeans are comfortable jeans. These pants are made for people who want to wear jeans but without the discomfort of having less flexibility and a tighter waist.

Relaxed straight jeans are more suitable for people with larger legs because they’re roomier than straight-leg jeans. These jeans have a baggy appearance if you have a skinnier waist and legs. These are some factors to consider before investing in a pair of relaxed straight jeans. 

Relaxed Taper 

Relaxed taper jeans are designed to showcase a more athletic build below the waist. While these jeans are roomy around the waist, they’re tapered around the thighs and calves.

For men with built quads and calves, relaxed tapered jeans are the best jeans to show them off. Plus, relaxed taper jeans are flexible and provide decent mobility compared to other types of skinny-fit jeans.

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Wide-Leg 

Wide-leg jeans are made for comfort. From the waist to the ankles, these jeans have wide leg openings. This makes them comfortable for people with larger legs, but they have a baggy appearance on people who have smaller legs.

While these jeans were fading in popularity, they came back into style during the 2010s. Even for people with skinny legs, wide-leg jeans can match and compliment some outfits.

When shopping for jeans, you should always consider your waist, legs, and ankles. Depending on your build, you want to be comfortable and flexible. You should never feel constrained in a pair of jeans that fit properly.

Travel Pants 

Travel pants are in a class of their own. These pants look like chinos but leverage a material that’s similar to sweatpants. For this reason, they’re comfortable for traveling (hence the name).

Travel pants also feel like parkas, and the trend became popular during the second half of the 2010s (2016). The material used for these pants is typically cotton, polyester, or nylon.

Travel pants are not the same as other pant variations because there is not a specific category for travel pants. Instead, travel pants can be anything you want them to be. We’ll walk through some options for different types of travel.

Hiking and Climbing 

When it comes to hiking, you want a pair of pants that are durable and flexible. Many hikers also wear boots, so the leg needs to be wide enough to cover hiking boots and other accessories.

Some hikers will also traverse difficult terrain and even climb mountains. For these reasons, cargo pants are often a great choice for hiking pants. With many material options and tons of pockets, you can’t go wrong with cargo pants for hiking. Some other viable hiking pants include chinos, jeans, and even khakis.

Airline Travel 

If you’re traveling on a plane, you want something comfortable, especially if it’s a long flight. Therefore, we recommend sweatpants for airline travel.

On the other hand, if you’re traveling for business, joggers and casual pants are also great choices. Something to consider, though, is the material. For travel, you should avoid cotton and favor nylon or polyester. This can prevent sweating if the cabin is hot.

Touring Cities 

If you’re touring cities or traveling on vacation, your choices are limitless. Some great recommendations include pants like:

  • Casual pants
  • Jeans 
  • Chinos 
  • Khakis 
  • Sweatpants 
  • Joggers

If you’re traveling for vacation, the most important thing is to make sure you have a varied wardrobe that’s suitable for many occasions.

Work Pants 

Work pants are thick pants that are commonly made with dense cotton. They’re typically more durable than casual pants, but sometimes people wear jeans as work pants, so we’ll touch on that briefly here as well.

Though it may not need to be said, work pants are designed for labor work. This includes construction, carpentry, and landscaping. It’s also worth noting that work pants have become popular for non-work use as a style.

Cargo Pants

Cargo pants are the most common type of work pants. These pants have been around for years and continue to be useful because of their durable materials and extra pocket space.

While a pair of jeans might have four pockets, some types of cargo pants can have more than eight pockets. Plus, cargo pants also have loops that can hold tools.

Cargo pants also have a looser fit around the waist than jeans, which makes them more comfortable for bending down and traversing job sites. These pants are also available in many styles, colors, and material types.

Double Knee Work Pants

Double knee work pants are simple pants that are made with a combination of cotton and polyester. However, these pants have a key difference that separates them from other work pants.

Double knee work pants have more fabric on the knee, which provides extra protection for the knee. While this protection won’t protect your knee from trauma, it’s perfect for people who are kneeling during work. That extra cushion can help you avoid knee problems from constantly being on your knees.

Carpenter Pants 

Carpenter pants are a lighter version of cargo pants. While they have the extra pocket space that cargo pants provide, carpenter pants are more flexible and made with a lighter material.

This helps the pants fit comfortably when moving around a job site, which is great for carpenters and other tradesmen. Furthermore, carpenter pants are made with durable fabrics. Therefore, they won’t rip or tear easily.

Canvas Pants  

Canvas pants are designed to be stain-resistant. For this reason, canvas pants are typically used for messy jobs like painting. The material is also flexible and comfortable, so you don’t have to worry about feeling cramped if you wear them for long hours.

Canvas pants are also resistant to wrinkles, so they maintain their look longer than other types of pants. When it comes to canvas pants, it’s all about getting more use out of your pants with less time spent in the washing machine.

Cheap and Flexible Jeans

Jeans are also a versatile option when it comes to working pants. Many people choose to wear jeans for things like construction and landscaping because the material provides ample protection from the elements.

Jeans are also more durable than other types of pants, so they can last a long time. You should opt for a pair of jeans that are comfortable and affordable. In many cases, straight-leg jeans are the best choice for cheap work pants.

The type of work pants you choose depends on your work needs. Each pair of pants is viable, so it comes down to preference.

Dress Pants 

Dress pants are used for formal occasions. These are pants that are commonly worn with suits, tuxedos, and other types of formal attire.

Dress pants come in many shapes and sizes, so we’ll take you through a few variations. It is worth noting that the modern style of dress pants is slim-fit.

Formal Pants 

Men’s formal pants are something that belongs in every man’s wardrobe. While these pants come in many styles, we’re going to lay out the basics.

Men’s formal pants are durable and made of either wool, synthetic material, or polyester. In fact, some formal pants are made up of a variety of fibers, such as wool and polyester.

These fabrics are often used for formal pants because they cause fewer wrinkles, but you’ll need to take them to the dry cleaners for proper cleaning.

Formal pants also have a unique style. They’re wide around the waist (which is why many men prefer suspenders), but tapered around the ankles. For a modern look, many men wear these pants with a high-rise style (showing some ankle) because it’s one of the more desirable modern looks.

Casual Pants 

Casual pants are another type of dress pants that look more classy than jeans. Still, they’re not as formal as formal pants, and this is evident in the material and color scheme.

Instead of sticking to black or navy blue, casual pants have more fun color combinations and vibrant colors. Some examples include bright reds, lime greens, and even baby blues.

Because of the color scheme and more relaxed style, casual pants use a different fabric than formal pants. In most cases, casual pants are made with a type of cotton known as duck canvas.

Casual pants can also be worn in more ways than formal pants because they’re informal in some settings. While you can wear tight casual pants, there are also more relaxed fits that are loose around the waist, legs, and ankles.

Plus, there are even unique types of casual pants that are similar to cargo pants if you need the extra pockets. For these reasons, casual pants have grown in popularity.

For dress pants, we recommend that every man have a pair of formal pants. These are pants you’ll be using for things like weddings, black-tie formals, and even funerals.

Lounge Pants

Lounge pants are designed for relaxing and lounging around. These pants have flexible waists, which makes them great to wear if you’re about to have a massive meal. There are a few types of lounge pants to consider, and we’ll focus more on pajama pants in another section.

Sweatpants

Sweatpants are what most people think of when it comes to lounge pants. This is because sweatpants are made from comfortable and flexible fabrics. There are dozens of fabric variations, but most sweatpants are soft, comfortable, and flexible.

Sweatpants also come in many styles, so it’s about preference when shopping for sweatpants. There are even some athletic variations of sweatpants that are great for hitting the gym.

Joggers

Joggers are a recent innovation. These are pants that can come as sweatpants or pants that have a material that’s closer to chinos. There are even some joggers that resemble jeans and khakis.

Joggers are considered lounge pants because they have comfortable and flexible waists. The key difference between joggers and similar pants is that the waist is loose while the ankles are tight. The pants have a more tapered shape than standard sweatpants thanks to the loose waist and tight ankles.

Lounge pants can be anything you want them to be, as long as they’re comfortable! 

Pajama Pants

When it’s time for bed, you want to wear something comfortable and easy to take off. This is where pajama pants come into play. These pants can be light or heavy (depending on the season) and can be full-length pants or shorts. We’ll run through the common variations of pajama pants.

When it comes to pajamas, a lot of it comes down to the type of material they’re made with. For men, there are a handful of options.

Satin Pajamas 

Satin pajamas are lightweight pajamas. The material is similar to the material found in silk robes, wedding dresses, and even some shirts. Because of this, satin pajamas are lightweight, comfortable, and easy to sleep in during the warmer months of the year.

Satin pajamas are also commonly used as a seductive outfit for men and women to intrigue people of the opposite sex. Therefore, a good pair of satin pajamas can be a game-changer for many men.

Flannel Pajama 

Flannel pajamas are the most common for men. This is because flannel can be styled in many ways. Most flannel pajamas come in matching sets (with shirts) and are durable enough to be worn outdoors.

Organic cotton, polyester and cotton (polycotton), long-staple cotton, and other materials are used in flannel pajamas.

Overall, flannel pajamas have the most style options because of how customizable the fabric is. There are hundreds of combinations to choose from with the flannel style.

Cotton Pajama

Cotton is one of the most common materials used for pajamas. It can be found in other pajama pant types and it works well with other materials.

That said, cotton pajama pants are typically heavier than silk or satin. This makes them a better choice for the colder months because of their thickness.

There are also many types of cotton. Some types of cotton include polycotton, organic cotton, woven cotton, brushed flannel, and more.

A good pair of pajamas can help you sleep comfortably at night, so we recommend having a few types of fabric for each season.

Stay in Style! 

The right pair of pants can make or break your outfit. If you want to look your best, having a pair of pants that suit your outfit is essential. For example, your choice of trousers determines whether a polo shirt is casual (with jeans) or business casual (with slacks).

Furthermore, you need to have more than one pair of pants; you can’t wear sweatpants to a wedding. So, take some time to think about what you need to upgrade your wardrobe and stay in style! 

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Logan Adler
I enjoy good bourbon, cool gear, and well-made clothing. When I'm not writing for The Bullfighter, you can catch me playing chess or practicing jiu-jitsu. Happy to connect on Instagram or drop me an email at hello@thebullfighter.com

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