Upgrade Your Jeans: The Casual Trouser
September 18th, 2014
As you may have read on Articles of Style in the past, I almost never wear denim in the summer. Denim is a thick and rigid fabric that is not meant for hot days.
As the weather in NYC gradually begins to cool down, however, I’ve been dusting off my selvedge and getting reacquainted with some of my favorite jeans.
It’s usually around this time of year that I’m reminded of why I much prefer trousers to jeans. I find that jeans are usually tight and restrictive (especially around the hips and upper thighs), they sit too low on the hips (especially when seated) and the fabric is stiff and sweaty. Not to mention the front pocket space is impossibly tight (I have some pairs that I can barely fit my hands into).
I don’t get it, really. How denim has become the de-facto “comfortable” pant for so many guys. I find trousers to be significantly more comfortable. They sit at the natural waist, they drape away from the body, the pockets are much more convenient (I also have coin pockets sewn into all my trousers), and most trouser fabrics feel softer and breathe easier than traditional denim. Not to mention trousers are much more malleable, as a tailor can take them in or let them out as needed (jeans cannot be let-out).
Most importantly, though, in a world where the majority of guys are wearing jeans day-in and day-out, a well-tailored trouser worn in a casual context can immediately set a man apart. A casual tailored trouser creates a sharp, smart, and gentlemanly look.
With all that said, I pulled together a few looks from the Articles of Style archives that easily could have been styled with jeans, but the trousers were used to amp up the elegance of the overall look.
All four of the trousers in this story are part of a suit, as well. Which means they can be worn as a suit, as separates with a patterned blazer, or simply as day-to-day pants…making them more versatile than denim.
Gold Plated hand-engraved shades by Matsuda, Navy wool cardigan by Uniqlo, White t-shirt by Alexander Wang, Burgundy paisley silk scarf Vintage, Camel hopsack suit trousers by Michael Andrews Bespoke (Cloth by Ariston AR A917/9), Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic, Brown alligator watch band by Montblanc, Burgundy socks by Marcoliani, Leather/suede double monkstrap shoes by Scarpe di Bianco, Brown leather duffle by Frank Clegg Leatherworks
Jeans here would have made for a much more casual look. The tailored hopsack trouser gives this vintage military trench a slightly more “upscale” feel. It’s a $30 coat from the east village (that I had tailored) but combined with the sharp trouser and a beautiful boot, it looks more like something sold on fifth avenue.
Black/Grey shades by Matsuda Eyewear, Black woven belt by KMart, Cashmere block stripe henley by John Varvatos, Necklaces from NYC Street Artist, Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic, Nato Striped grosgrain watch strap by Corvus, Military surplus trench coat (tailored) Vintage, Grey hopsack pants by MAB by Dan Trepanier, Black pebbled leather kilted chukka boots by J. FitzPatrick
Again, easily could have went with a pair of jeans here, but the soft flannel trouser adds the perfect texture to offset the sheepy shearling (another vintage beauty) and anchor down the weight of the waffle turtleneck.
Vintage shearling bomber jacket, Burgundy waffle turtleneck by Club Monaco, Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic, Suede watch strap by Alpha Bravo Straps (etsy), Grey flannel suit trousers by Michael Andrews Bespoke, Brown wool blend socks by JCrew, Burgundy tassel loafers by Johnston & Murphy
These olive cotton trousers are probably the most casual of the bunch. These are part of a suit, but easily transition as a go-to chino. They also have a little bit of stretch (2% elastane), making them one of the most comfortable pants in my wardrobe.
Gold Plated hand-engraved shades by Matsuda, Brown leather jacket Vintage, Olive/Brown henley Guess by Marciano, Slim brown leather belt Vintage, Olive cotton chinos by Michael Andrews Bespoke by Dan Trepanier, Suede chukka boots by Scarpe di Bianco, Brass railroad spike ring by Giles & Brother, “Stella” Watch by Brera Orologi
Thanks, as always, for reading. Major upgrades coming soon to Articles of Style!
Yours in style,
Articles of Style
Photography by Alex Crawford.