Trousers are an essential component of a suit. In fact, the definition of a two-piece men’s suit is a pair of formal trousers with a matching formal jacket. A three-piece men’s suit is essentially the same except it includes a waistcoat as well. But even if you wear a suit on a regular basis, there are probably some facts about trousers that you don’t know. Below, we’re going to reveal seven fun facts about suit trouser, some of which may surprise you.
#1) They Are Made of the Same Fabric as the Jacket
Assuming you purchase a complete suit, the trousers and the jacket will feature the same material. For over a century, suit trousers have always been constructed of the same material as the suit jacket. If the jacket is made of wool, for example, the trousers will also be made of wool. Of course, you can mix and match different materials, such as a wool jacket with a pair of linen trousers. But if you purchase a complete two- or three-piece suit, the jacket and trousers will be made of the same material.
#2) Wide-Legged Styles Used to Be Popular
Throughout the 1920s and 30s, suit trousers featured an almost exclusively wide-legged cut. In other words, the legs of the trousers expanded to become more open towards the bottom. Wide-legged trousers are still sold, but they’ve since been largely replaced with narrower styles. Straight-legged trousers, for example, remain straight throughout the legs. They don’t expand or flare out. Instead, they remain straight to provide a more form-fitting appearance that many men prefer.
#3) Pleated Trousers Are More Comfortable When Sitting
It’s a little-known fact that pleated trousers are more comfortable to wear when sitting than non-pleated trousers. With two creases or folds on the front — one on the front of each pant leg — pleated trousers are more flexible than their flat-front counterparts. If you sit down in a chair while wearing non-pleated trousers, the front will stretch while constricting against your skin. As a result, many men who work in offices or otherwise sit for long periods of time prefer pleated trousers over non-pleated trousers.
#4) Nearly All Trousers Support a Belt
With the exception of custom-tailored trousers, nearly all suit trousers support a belt. This is because belts are considered an essential accessory for men’s formal wear. If you’re going to wear a suit, you’ll need to accessorize it with a belt. Thankfully, virtually all suit trousers belt loops to support this otherwise essential accessory. Regardless of which type of belt you prefer, you can slide it through the belt loops on your trousers. In comparison, many casual pants, specifically athletic wear, don’t support a belt.
#5) Non-Pleated Trousers Are More Popular Than Pleated Trousers
While pleated trousers are more comfortable when sitting, non-pleated trousers actually more popular. This hasn’t always been the case, though. Up until the 1960s, pleated trousers were more popular than their flat-front, non-pleated counterpart. It wasn’t until the 1960s when flat-front trousers became the norm. Since then, more men continue to wear flat-front trousers than pleated trousers.
But if pleated trousers are more comfortable to wear when sitting, why do so many men prefer flat-front trousers? Flat-front trousers are generally more popular for a few reasons. First, they have a more slimming appearance when worn, meaning they’ll make you look thinner. Second, flat-front trousers offer a more formal appearance. With pleated trousers, the creases on the front look somewhat messy. Countless men still wear pleated trousers in their formal outfits, but flat-front trousers typically offer a higher level of formality than pleated trousers.
#6) Linen Trousers Are the Lightest
If you’re looking for a pair of lightweight, breathable trousers to wear during the summer months, you can’t go wrong with linen trousers. Derived from flax plant fibers, linen is incredibly lightweight. In fact, linen trousers are the lightest of all trouser materials. Some men assume that cotton trousers are the lightest, but this isn’t necessarily true. While cotton trousers are lighter than trousers made of wool, corduroy and many other materials, they aren’t as light as linen trousers. Therefore, linen trousers are an excellent choice to wear during the hot summer months.
#7) You Can Wear Them Without a Suit Jacket
Who says you need to wear a suit jacket with trousers? While a complete suit requires the use of both trousers and a jacket, there’s no rule stating that you must wear them both. On the contrary, many men prefer the semi-casual appearance of wearing trousers with just a dress shirt. Eliminating the suit jacket from your outfit brings down its formality. You won’t be able to create a complete formal outfit without a suit jacket — but that’s typically okay. Unless you’re getting dressed for a black tie or other formal event, you can skip the jacket altogether and, instead, wear a pair of trousers with just a dress shirt.
If you’re going to wear a pair of trousers without a suit jacket, though, you should choose an appropriate dress shirt. Normally, your dress shirt will remain somewhat hidden if you wear a jacket. A suit jacket naturally conceals your dress shirt so that it doesn’t significantly impact your appearance. But if you eliminate a suit jacket from your outfit, your dress shirt will be completely visible for the world to see, so you need to choose the right type of dress shirt.
Don’t wear a dress shirt in the same color as your trousers. Instead, choose a dress shirt in a contrasting color. If your trousers are black, for example, avoid wearing a black dress shirt. If these two garments feature the exact same color, they’ll look awkward when worn together. But if you choose a dress shirt in a contrasting color, such as white, you’ll create a more stylish and cohesive outfit that complements your appearance.