Dress Pants

Dress pants are a type of business attire worn by men & women.

This type of pant can also be referred to as dress trousers, dress slacks or suit trousers. 

Trousers or pants are a type of clothing worn from the waist to the ankles, covering both legs separately.

Men's Dress Pants

Suit trousers, also known as dress pants in the United States, are a style of trousers intended as formal or semi-formal wear. They are often made of either wool or polyester (although many other synthetic and natural textiles are used) and may be designed to be worn with a matching suit jacket.  Suit trousers have a crease on them because of their tight-fitting nature. Suit trousers can be worn at many formal and semi-formal occasions combined with a shirt that has no tie and a more relaxed fashion, which can be considered smart casual dress.

Are all dress pants suit trousers?

According to Apparel Search, “dress pants” may not all be considered “suit trousers”.  However, all suit trousers can be dress trousers.  Suit trousers are always made of the same material as the jacket of a tailored suit.  But we can also buy dress pants to be worn at a semi-formal occasion or as business attire that is not matching to a suit jacket.  For example, we can wear tan dress pants with a navy blazer.  Both of which are different colors & different fabrics.  The tan pants would be dress pants, but they would not be suit pants.

If you wanted to wear a “suit pant” without the jacket portion of the suit, they could qualify as dress pants.

Considerations When Selecting Dress Pants:

One primary variation when considering the design of dress trousers is the decision to use pleats or not use pleats.  A pleat is a type of fold formed by doubling fabric back upon itself and securing it in place. It is commonly used in clothing to gather a wide piece of fabric to a narrower circumference.  Pleats are categorized as pressed, that is, ironed or otherwise heat-set into a sharp crease, or un-pressed, falling in soft rounded folds.  Pleats that are sewn into place are called tucks.

The most classic style of trouser is to have two pleats, usually a forward pleat, since this gives more comfort sitting and better hang standing.  Pleats can be either forward or reverse pleats (signifying the direction of the pleat).  Pleated dress pants or non-pleated dress pants come in and out of style like other segments of the fashion market.  One year pleated may be in vogue and the next consumer preference may shift back to flat front (non-pleated).

Cuffs or turn-ups on the bottom of trousers verse non-cuff are another aspect to consider when selecting dress pants.  The style is dictated by personal choice and the style preferences of the time.

Forward pleats are sometimes called “inverse pleats”.  On forward-pleated trousers, the pattern for the trousers is extended from the crotch and inside of the leg twice the depth of the pleat, usually down to the knee. The added fullness is neatly kept to the inside of the leg. When there is a second pleat, the extra cloth is taken from the outer edge on the hips.

Reverse pleats the extra cloth for reverse pleats is all taken from the outside of the leg. This gives the trousers a baggier look, which goes well with full-cut jackets because the trousers fill out the bottom of the jacket for an unbroken silhouette. 

It is important to note that pleats are sometimes in style, and sometimes completely out of style.

Other aspects regarding the cut or trousers include the length, which determines the break in the pant.  The break is the bunching of fabric just above the shoe when the front seam is marginally longer than height to the shoe's top.  Some parts of the world, such as Europe, traditionally opt for shorter trousers with little or no break, while Americans often choose to wear a slight break.  As with other aspects of style, the trend on this matter would change from time to time.

A final major distinction is made in whether the trousers take a belt or braces (suspenders).  While a belt was originally never worn with a suit, the forced wearing of belts during wartime years (caused by restrictions on use of elastic caused by wartime shortages) contributed to their rise in popularity, with braces now much less popular than belts.  When braces were common, the buttons for attaching them were placed on the outside of the waistband, because they would be covered by a waistcoat or cardigan, but now it is more frequent to button on the inside of the trouser.  

Other variations in trouser style include the rise of the trouser.

Dress pants can be solid color or have patterns such as chalk stripes, houndstooth, checks, pinstripes, twill, etc.

Business casual is a little less dressy, but dress pants can still be worn.  Business casual is a rather ambiguous dress code that has been adopted by many professional and white-collar workplaces in Western countries.  It entails neat yet casual attire and is generally more casual than informal attire but more formal than casual or smart casual attire.  Casual Fridays preceded widespread acceptance of business casual attire in many offices.

Dress for success with a wide selection of men's dress pants from clothing retailers such as Brooks Brothers, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and other fine retailers.  Many department stores & specialty chain stores often have dress pants available in multiple fits, colors, styles and brands. 

You may also want to learn about dress shirts.

Yes, dress pants are totally different and have absolutely nothing in common with a dress.

Learn about different types of pants.  Choose the pant style that is right for you.  By the way, business attire can be work for occasions other than work.

Well dressed fashionistas have an influence on fashion and on the world around them.

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