Dress Pants vs. Slacks: Everything You Need To Know
While many shoppers may think that slacks and dress pants are one and the same, there are actually a few key differences between the two kinds of trousers. At the end of the day, pants are pants, however, knowing when it’s appropriate and where it’s appropriate to sport each kind is necessary for dressing with both style and purpose.
Though the differences between dress pants and slacks are small enough for some writers to claim that they are actually the exact same, true style experts know that this is not the case. That being said, in order to look and feel your best, here is our guide to everything you need to know about dress pants and slacks.
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Slacks can best be characterized by their loose-fitted construction, which is fitting considering the word “slack” actually comes from the Saxon word “slack” which literally translates to “loose.” Rather than being tight, slacks fit loosely and without snug form. For the most part, slacks are made out of woolen material, making the trousers quite lightweight which makes their looser fit that much easier.
One of the big positives of this is the fact that you don’t have to worry about slacks sticking uncomfortably to your body. Slacks truly provide your body with an ample amount of room and breathability, making them some of the more comfortable and enjoyable men’s pants available.
If you’re looking for something that is more formal or even semi-formal, dress pants are probably what you’re seeking. The name is pretty self-explanatory given that dress pants are most often used for dressing up and special occasions. In fact, men’s dress pants are a pertinent piece to any man’s formal outfit. However, there is not just one type of dress pant. For example, chino’s are one of the more popular types of dress pants.
Chino’s are often made of twill which is a cotton-based fabric that is also known as “chino cloth.” They first appeared in the 19th-century and were used by the British and French armies as military uniforms. Obviously, chino’s have since become much more mainstream, and you can find them at pretty much any men’s clothing store.
Another example of dress pants comes in the form of “suit trousers.” Again, sticking true to their name, suit trousers are pants that are worn as part of a suit and often feature a matching blazer or jacket.
Differences Between the Two
One of the most obvious and distinct differences between slacks and dress pants is in their fit. While slacks feature a looser and less contoured fit, dress pants tend to have a more tight-fitted construction. This tighter fit leads to a more formal and done-up look, which is perfect for dress pants. The looser fit of slacks also makes sense being that they are known for being a bit more casual and comfortable to wear, given the extra space and roominess.
In addition to their fit, dress pants and slacks are usually made out of very different materials. With wool and woolen material being the typical choice for slacks, dress pants can come in a variety of materials ranging from cotton to linen, and even synthetic fabrics.
All of that being said, when it comes to dressing and styling, the biggest factor to keep in mind when choosing between dress pants and slacks is their formality. If you are going to a more casual occasion or outing, then slacks should be just fine. In addition to looking less done up and more laid back, they will also be much more comfortable, especially for anything that requires hours of wear.
Dress pants on the other hand are necessary for formal events. Though it is worth noting that slacks can be dressed up, dress pants are always the safer option, especially if the event is particularly fancy.
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