Types of Pants for Men: Styles for Every Occasion


The Fashionisto


Updated July 25, 2023

Types of Pants MenPin
Explore different types of pants for men.

In men’s fashion, pants play a crucial role. They are the linchpin of any wardrobe, providing a foundation for building many looks. While many men default to the tried-and-true staples of jeans and dress pants, the world of men’s pants is far more diverse and exciting.

From the relaxed comfort of joggers to the polished sophistication of tailored trousers, there are many types of pants for men to discover. This extensive guide will delve into the various men’s pants styles pivotal in shaping a comprehensive and versatile wardrobe.

Types of Pants for Men: Casual & Everyday Wear

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When it comes to casual pants, the options are endless. Photo: Gareth Abraham / Shutterstock.com

Casual and everyday wear is all about combining comfort with style. It’s about embracing the relaxed, easy-going vibe that allows for movement and ease while also ensuring you look put-together and stylish. From the classic appeal of jeans to the modern sophistication of casual trousers, this collection of clothing types redefines the concept of dressing down.

Jeans: The Timeless Staple

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Jeans rightfully claim their place among the top casual pants for men. Photo: FP

Among the many types of pants for men, jeans are perhaps the most universally loved. Their versatility, durability, and timeless appeal make them essential in any man’s wardrobe. From classic straight-leg cuts to modern skinny fits, jeans come in many styles to suit different body types and fashion preferences.

Investing in a few different styles and washes is the key to mastering the jeans game. Dark indigo jeans are a must-have, ideal for dressing up or down. Lighter washes offer a casual vibe, perfect for relaxed weekend outings. Distressed or ripped jeans add an edgy touch to your outfit, making them a popular choice for fashion-forward men.

Joggers: The Ultimate in Casual Comfort

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Joggers provide an elevated take on sweatpants, typically offering a tailored, tapered fit. Photo: FP

Joggers have grown in popularity in recent years thanks to the growing athleisure trend. They are essentially a more fashionable version of sweatpants, designed with a streamlined fit and made from comfortable, stretchy fabrics. Joggers typically feature an elastic waistband and cuffs and offer ultimate comfort without compromising style.

Joggers are ideal for casual, laid-back outfits. Pair them with a simple T-shirt and sneakers for a stylish yet comfortable look. Pair your joggers with a chic bomber jacket and sleek loafers for a more elevated ensemble.

Corduroy Pants: A Textured Classic

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Add texture to your cold-weather wardrobe with a pair of corduroy pants. Photo: Brooks Brothers

Corduroy pants, or cords, are a distinct and timeless classic in men’s fashion. Known for their unique ribbed texture and soft feel, they offer an appealing blend of comfort and style. Traditionally available in earthy tones like brown and beige, modern interpretations of corduroy pants come in many colors, adding a vibrant twist to this classic style.

Corduroy pants are versatile and can be styled in various ways. For a casual look, pair them with a simple T-shirt and sneakers. For more formal occasions, cords can be matched with a crisp shirt and a tailored blazer for an effortlessly sophisticated ensemble.

Cargo Pants: The Utility Choice

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Embrace a casual vibe and throwback style with cargo pants. Photo: PacSun

Cargo pants are characterized by their multiple large pockets and robust fabric. Initially designed for military use, they have found a place in casual men’s fashion. Modern cargo pants are often designed with a sleeker, more fitted silhouette, making them a stylish choice for casual wear.

While traditionally available in olive green or khaki, contemporary cargo pants come in various colors, allowing for various looks. They can be paired with casual shirts, T-shirts, or sweatshirts for a relaxed yet stylish outfit.

Drawstring Trousers: Comfort & Style

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Comfort and style collide with drawstring trousers. Photo: Mango

Drawstring trousers are an excellent option for those who prioritize comfort but don’t want to compromise style. They feature an elastic or drawstring waistband, offering a relaxed and comfortable fit. Despite their casual vibe, drawstring trousers can be surprisingly stylish and versatile.

Drawstring trousers can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion and your style. Pair them with a button-down shirt and loafers for a smart-casual look, or go for ultimate comfort with a simple tee and sandals.

Carpenter Pants: Industrial Chic

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Channel a workwear aesthetic with carpenter pants. Photo: Gap

Carpenter pants offer a unique blend of utilitarian style and comfort, emerging as a men’s workwear fashion staple. Known for their roomy fit and signature tool pockets, these pants harken back to their origins in the uniform of carpenters. Characterized by the hammer loop on the left leg and many pockets, carpenter pants provide functional elements while adding an industrial flair to an outfit.

While initially intended for practicality on the job, carpenter pants have found their way into mainstream fashion, embodying a rugged, casual aesthetic. They offer a refreshing break from the conventional styles of trousers, adding a touch of edge to casual outfits. With a roomy fit, they pair well with slim-fit tops for a balanced look.

Wear them with a classic t-shirt and a pair of boots for a relaxed, effortless style, or elevate them with a button-down shirt and a tailored jacket for a juxtaposition of industrial and refined. This flexibility makes carpenter pants a versatile addition to your wardrobe, ready to offer a touch of industrial chic whenever the occasion calls.

Track Pants: A Statement of Casual Style

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Track pants top the list when it comes to sports-inspired pants. Photo: Lacoste

Trackpants have surged from the confines of athletic and leisure wear to the forefront of men’s fashion. They owe their rise to streetwear’s sway and the athleisure trend’s emergence, leading to an evolution of designs that strike a delicate balance between comfort and style. Various designs, from minimalist to visually intricate, cater to diverse style preferences, making track pants essential in a modern man’s wardrobe.

Styling track pants is a creative venture, given their adaptability to varied outfits. For a casual look, pair them with a crisp tee and sneakers. For a bolder style, consider a matching track jacket. With the right track pants, even a professional setting can witness their versatility, combined with a structured blazer and clean sneakers.

The design and fabric of track pants further determine the range of outfits, with luxurious fabrics and tailored fits leaning toward high fashion. In contrast, traditional cotton ones suit casual and sporty looks. Fashion gravitates towards comfort and style, so track pants have become a favored staple.

Khakis: The Bridge Between Casual & Formal

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Pay a nod to the past with the charm of khakis. Photo: American Eagle

In fashion, Khakis are more than a color—they signify a style of trousers known for adaptability. Typically made from cotton or a cotton-blend twill, these pants offer a balance of comfort and sophistication. Their color palette, predominantly featuring earthy and neutral tones, is universally compatible, ensuring that khakis are versatile in your wardrobe, whether your style leans towards the vibrant or the minimalist.

The true power of khakis lies in their chameleon-like ability to fit into many looks. Paired with a casual tee and sneakers, they offer relaxed air to weekend outfits. In a professional setting, khakis combined with a crisp shirt and loafers create a smart-casual look that’s approachable yet polished.

Even in semi-formal situations, khakis can impress when teamed with a dress shirt, blazer, and elegant footwear. Given their versatility, khakis are the silent, reliable workhorse in a man’s wardrobe, effortlessly connecting the dots between comfort and style.

5-Pocket Pants: Functionality & Style

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Slip into a classic with 5-pocket pants. Photo: Old Navy

5-pocket pants are a seamless blend of practicality and style, enhancing a man’s wardrobe with their unique blend of comfort and utility. Traditionally, these pants feature two back pockets, two front pockets, and a small coin pocket nestled within the right front pocket, hence the name 5-pocket pants.

Originally associated with denim jeans, the 5-pocket design has been adopted by different types of trousers, constructed from various materials such as chino cloth, corduroy, and even performance fabrics. The natural charm of 5-pocket pants comes from their perfect intersection of casual comfort and structured style. They offer the laid-back feel of jeans yet can seamlessly integrate into more formal attire.

The additional pocket provides a dash of functionality, making these pants a go-to choice for many. Styled with a casual button-down or a simple t-shirt, they answer weekend wear quickly. Paired with a blazer and brogues, they effortlessly shift into a business-casual setting. Given their convenience, comfort, and style balance, 5-pocket pants have carved out a distinct space in men’s fashion.

Formal & Business

Every gentleman has room for both elegance and business refinement in his wardrobe. In men’s fashion, this balance is best struck with chinos, wool trousers, dress pants, linen trousers, pleated trousers, and high-waist trousers, each offering a unique blend of style, comfort, and functionality.

Chinos: A Versatile Classic

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Chinos are the epitome of smart and business casual style. Photo: Bonobos

Chinos are a fundamental part of any man’s wardrobe, often bridging between casual and formal attire. They are typically made from lightweight cotton or twill and come in various muted tones such as navy, beige, tan, and gray. This makes chinos incredibly versatile, capable of being paired with everything from blazers to sneakers.

Chinos can be dressed up and down, making them a go-to choice for various occasions. Pair your chinos with a casual T-shirt and sneakers for a more relaxed look. Don a crisp shirt, a chic blazer, and polished dress shoes for a more refined ensemble. Slim-fitting chinos offer a modern, tailored look, while those with a relaxed fit provide ultimate comfort for laid-back days.

Wool Trousers: The Smart Choice

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Wool trousers are a classic and elegant wardrobe staple. Photo: SABA

Wool trousers are a quintessential piece in any man’s cold-weather wardrobe. Known for their warmth, comfort, and elegant appearance, they are preferred for formal occasions and office wear. Wool trousers come in various styles, from sleek tailored cuts to relaxed, roomier fits, catering to various sartorial preferences.

Wool trousers can be paired with various garments, including dress shirts, sports coats, and sophisticated knitwear, creating impeccably stylish outfits. They are available in various colors, though shades of black, grey, and navy are remarkably versatile and easy to match with other clothing items.

Dress Pants: The Formal Essential

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Wear a pair of dress pants for an instant formal style. Photo: H&M

Dress pants are a type of trousers specifically designed for formal occasions. They are typically made from high-quality materials like wool or silk and feature a more tailored, streamlined fit than casual pants. Dress pants are a staple in any man’s wardrobe and essential for events requiring a more polished and sophisticated look.

Dress pants can be paired with various formal wear, including dress shirts, blazers, and formal shoes. They are traditionally available in neutral colors like black, navy, and gray, though modern versions may come in various colors and patterns.

Linen Trousers: The Breathable Choice

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Transition from spring to summer and beat the heat with linen trousers. Photo: Massimo Dutti

Linen trousers are a fantastic option for those seeking comfort and sophistication. Known for their breathability and lightweight nature, these trousers are especially suited to warm summer days. The airy and durable fabric makes linen trousers a favorite for comfort-seeking fashion enthusiasts.

Linen trousers embody a casual yet polished aesthetic, making them perfect for various outfits. They can be paired with a round-neck or button-down shirt, depending on the desired look. Linen trousers’ natural texture and relaxed fit make them an appealing alternative to more structured pants.

Pleated Trousers: A Vintage Revival

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Incorporate an element of old-school style into your wardrobe with pleated trousers. Photo: Suitsupply

Pleated trousers are a vintage-inspired style making a comeback in men’s fashion. They feature folds or pleats on the front, creating a slightly more formal and traditional look. Pleated trousers are often made from luxurious fabrics like wool or linen, adding to their sophisticated charm.

Pleated trousers can be paired with various tops, from dress shirts to knit sweaters. They can be worn for formal and casual occasions, making them a versatile addition to your wardrobe.

High Waist Trousers: Classic Elegance Revisited

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Let your pants make a statement with high-waist trousers. Photo: ASOS

High-waist trousers represent a noteworthy resurgence in men’s fashion, taking a sartorial cue from classic mid-20th-century attire. Defined by a waistline above the hips, these trousers offer a unique, distinctive, flattering silhouette. The higher waist elongates the appearance of the legs and provides a structured, clean line. They lend an air of old-world charm while fitting comfortably into contemporary fashion narratives.

The versatility of high-waist trousers is the key to their appeal. On casual occasions, they pair excellently with tucked-in tees, polos, and loafers, creating a relaxed yet refined look. High-waist trousers with matching blazers, crisp shirts, and ties evoke a powerful, tailored impression in a formal or business setting.

Whether channeling a retro aesthetic or seeking a fresh twist on classic tailoring, high-waist trousers offer a unique and stylish option to expand your sartorial horizons.

Trendy & Unique

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Experiment with shape and proportion to achieve modern looks. Photo: AndreaA. / Deposit Photos

For the sartorially bold and trend-conscious, the fashion universe goes beyond the classic styles and dips into the realm of the unconventional. Wide-leg pants, cropped trousers, parachute pants, and harem pants offer a broad canvas to express the personality with designs that dare to redefine norms, uphold comfort, and still turn heads in admiration.

Wide-Leg Pants: The Freedom of Movement

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Wide-leg trousers cycle in and out of fashion but always make a grand statement. Photo: Zara

Wide-leg pants embody relaxed comfort and style in men’s fashion. Defined by their loose fit that flares out from the waist down, these pants provide unrestricted movement while making a bold fashion statement. The roomy silhouette offers a breezy feel, perfect for those who value comfort without sacrificing style.

Wide-leg pants can be worn in various ways to achieve different looks. Pair them with a simple t-shirt and casual sneakers for a laid-back aesthetic. Style them with a fitted button-down shirt tucked into the waistband for a more polished look. Wide-leg pants are versatile and stylish whether you choose a solid color or a bold pattern.

Cropped Trousers: Show a Bit of Ankle

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Cropped trousers are the perfect fit for showing off some ankle or your socks. Photo: AllSaints

Cropped trousers bring a fresh perspective to the traditional trouser silhouette by cutting off just above the ankle. This feature adds a bit of a playful flair and allows you to show off your shoes. The style originated from warmer climates and summer fashion but has entered all seasons and facets of men’s fashion.

Cropped trousers can be dressed up or down, making them a versatile addition to any wardrobe. They create a chic casual look paired with a simple t-shirt and sneakers. With a crisp button-down, a well-fitted blazer, and brogues, cropped trousers transform into sophisticated business attire.

Parachute Pants: The 80s Retro Revival

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Expand your silhouette and embrace nostalgic style with parachute pants. Photo: Zara

Parachute pants, reminiscent of the vibrant 80s fashion scene, are characterized by their lightweight material and baggy fit. Initially designed for breakdancers to allow maximum mobility, these pants quickly became a cultural fashion icon of their era, identified by the numerous zippers and narrow ankles.

In modern fashion, parachute pants can be styled in a fun, retro look or incorporated into a contemporary outfit. Try pairing them with a graphic tee and high-top sneakers to embrace the 80s vibe fully. Alternatively, match them with a fitted black turtleneck and minimalist shoes for a modern, urban look.

Harem Pants: East Meets West

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Harem pants represent a marriage of style and comfort as East meets West. Photo: Shutterstock

Hailing from the Middle East, harem pants are distinguished by their spacious fit from the waist to the knee, then tapering down to the ankle. This feature is shared with the contemporary drop crotch pants, giving both styles unique silhouettes and relaxed appeal. These pants offer an unmatched level of comfort without compromising style, so they have gradually entered Western fashion trends.

The versatility of harem pants allows for a variety of styling options. A laid-back, comfortable ensemble can be paired with a simple tank top or t-shirt. To channel more of an urban edge, team them up with a leather jacket and high-top sneakers. This adds a bit of ruggedness to the relaxed nature of the pants.

The drop crotch detail, a significant shared characteristic, brings an unconventional twist to the look, showcasing the exciting blend of cultural tradition and modern street style.

Final Words

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Experiment with different pant styles to add variety to your wardrobe. Photo: Shutterstock

The world of men’s pants is vast and varied, offering styles to suit every taste and occasion. Whether you’re looking for the casual comfort of joggers, the timeless appeal of jeans, or the polished sophistication of dress pants, there’s a pair of pants for every man. By familiarizing yourself with the different types of pants for men, you can make informed decisions when building your wardrobe and creating outfits that reflect your style.

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