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The Importance of Knowing Your Trouser Style

The trouser is a true mainstay of the male wardrobe, turned to by men of all tastes whether they seek casual, semi-casual or formal wear. Whatever your age, social standing, political beliefs or pretty much any other aspect of your life as a man, the chances are that you have a few pairs of trousers on standby - and are eager to ensure that yours always look the part.

Introducing the many men's trouser styles 

With so many different types of male trousers out there - from work pants and jeans to sweat pants and shorts - what exactly do we mean by “trouser style”? The term may also be used in reference to the fit of the trouser, such as slim fit or skinny fit, or even in relation to certain distinctive branded trousers such as Dickies pants. Colour is a major consideration too, of course. In this piece, however, we will focus largely on the two main popular styles of trouser front - the flat front trouser and the pleated trouser. Get yourself up to date with Esquire trouser buying guide and read our very own ultimate guide to trousers article.

If it's a more traditional and styled look that you would like to achieve with your choice of trouser, the pleated variant may be the one to go for. As its name suggests, this trouser style is characterised by pleats of material folding down the front on each side of the fly below the waistband. Although this comfortable and roomy trouser option is frequently chosen for business settings where there is a tendency towards more time-honoured styles, it is a suitable choice for almost any occasion. The flat front trouser, meanwhile, is paradoxically both quite old and the darling of young hipsters who appreciate a type of trouser that can be worn low on the hips. They offer a clean minimalistic look - making them a good complement to a fitted jacket and sophisticated accessories.

It's a question of cuff... 

The term 'cuff' refers to the upturned flap of material on a trouser extending right around the leg hem, and it's another important consideration if you are trying to choose your perfect trouser style. You may prefer not to have cuffs on your trousers at all, or you may like the extra weight that they add to your trouser leg. Those in the latter need to think carefully about the right depth of cuff for them - anything between one and two inches is a good general guideline. Cuffs are also seen as much more of a stylistic requirement for pleated front trousers than they are for flat front trousers, given the potential otherwise for the pleated trouser to seem a little top-heavy.

Take body shape into account, too 

If there's one other important factor that will help you to decide on the right trouser style for you - aside, of course, from personal preference - it will be your body type. Flat front and pleated trousers are both sound choices for skinnier, longer-legged men, the more heavily-built man needs to give more thought to a style that will suitably flatter them, perhaps avoiding the pleated option on account of the additional weight that they can seem to add to your silhouette.

Whatever type of trouser you decide on - perhaps some straight jeans, a wide leg, pyjama pants, pleats or something else altogether - these guidelines should be of assistance when you come to buy your next pair.

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