Trousers. Essential, right? We think so too. Why is it then that they’re so often the last thing men think about when piecing together outfits or updating their wardrobes? We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve seen an outfit ruined by an ill-fitting or poor-quality pair of pants, when on paper it’s such an easy thing to get right.
We get it. Buying a pair of trousers doesn’t give you that same serotonin hit you get from picking up a new piece of outerwear, watch or pair of shoes. But an outfit is only as strong as its weakest link, and 9 times out of 10, it’s the legwear that lets things down.
A big part of getting your legwear game dialled in is knowing the best brands to shop for each and every type of trouser there is. We’re talking dress pants, sweatpants, chinos and everything in between. This is our pick of the best legwear labels to buy from, no matter what type of pants you’re looking for.
Drawstring trousers are part jogger, part chino and part dress pant. Thanks to this diverse genetic makeup, they can be worn with anything from hoodies and sneakers to soft tailoring. If you’re looking for the ultimate pair of pants for WFH, or something to elevate your off-duty looks, this is a solid option.
London’s L’Estrange is all about elevated essentials. It offers a tightly curated collection of upscale, multifunctional pieces that can be dressed up or down with ease. The 24 Trouser is one of the hero products, offering the looks of a dress pant and the comfort of a jogger thanks to a concealed drawstring waistband.
Harajuku-based label Beams Plus is known for blending elements of workwear, military, Ivy League style and streetwear to create an instantly recognisable look based around boxy cuts, textures, layers and the odd pattern here and there.
The Japanese brand makes all sorts of pants, but the drawstring trousers are some of our favourites.
Styles change from season to season, but Japanese high-street retailer Uniqlo usually has a good spread of drawstring pants available. These range from chino-like options in cotton-twill fabric to flannel and wool versions to carry you through the colder months in style.
Dress pants are what you’d wear as part of a suit, but they can be worn separately, either with tailored separates or to dress up more casual pieces. They tend to be made of smooth worsted wool, which is sometimes blended with things like cashmere and silk as you reach the upper end of the pricing spectrum.
Known the world over for his razor-sharp, form-flattering tailoring, there are certainly worse people than Tom Ford to turn to when you need a pair of dress pants. Expect clean lines, premium fabrics and high-end price tags to match.
Reiss occupies the middle ground between a high-end designer label and your average high-street chain. It’s a good place to pick up a well-made, well-cut pair of dress pants that are premium without straying into completely unaffordable territory.
Gieves & Hawkes
Where better to shop for a pair of dress pants than from one of the most respected and established names on Savile Row?
Gieves & Hawkes makes both bespoke, made-to-measure pants and ready-to-wear ones, all featuring unparalleled attention to detail and a level of heritage and expertise that you won’t find anywhere else.
With folds in the fabric stitched underneath the waistband, pleated trousers have more room in the seat, offering a slightly relaxed (yet still smart) look and feel. They can be worn with tailoring or casual clothes.
London’s Drake’s offers a unique and timely take on British dandy style, incorporating elements of mid-century US collegiate fashion, traditional English tailoring and even the odd nod to the streetwear world.
If we had to pick one garment to sum up what the look is all about, it’d probably be a pair of the brand’s pleated pants.
Part of Italy’s Slowear collective, Incotex is known for making some of the best legwear in the game. The chinos are great, but we’re particularly fond of the pleated pants, which are all made in Italy using the finest fabrics and cut to perfection for the perfect fit.
Founded by former Supreme creative director Brendon Babenzien, Noah mixes Ivy League and streetwear influences to create a range of colourful, playful clothes that manage to feel distinctly ‘grown up’ without coming off as overly stuffy, preppy or smart. Pleated trousers are one of the things the brand does best.
Corduroy pants should be handled with care. One wrong move and you’re a geography teacher, but get it right and you can really use this uniquely textured fabric to your sartorial advantage. The key is to keep textures elsewhere in the outfit varied and stick to one corduroy piece at a time.
We love ISTO’s simple, contemporary wardrobe essentials. The brand’s corduroy trousers are made from Italian fabric, featuring a medium rise and tapered fit for maximum versatility across the rest of your wardrobe.
Lois might not be a name you’re instantly familiar with, but it’s arguably the most iconic brand when it comes to corduroy legwear. The Spanish label is known for its heavy corduroy fabric and is a staple of the ‘casual’ subculture that emerged on British terraces in the late 1980s.
Built around generous cuts, textured fabrics, slouchy silhouettes and an overarching British blue-collar aesthetic, Universal Works’ garments are instantly recognisable and can be worked into any wardrobe.
We’d like to say that a pair of linen pants are worth their weight in gold during the summer, but due to the lightweight nature of this fabric, that particular phrase doesn’t really fit. What we can say is that they’re extremely breathable, great at wicking sweat and will keep you cool on even the warmest of days.
Luca Faloni is one of the first names on our list when it comes to anything linen or cashmere related. The Italian brand makes some wonderful linen drawstring pants with a tapered fit that hang beautifully and are perfect for keeping cool through the summer.
Premium resortwear label Vilebrequin crafts everything a man could possibly need for spending time in the sun. Not only that, it does it to extremely high standards, using high-quality fabrics and paying particular attention to achieving the perfect fit.
Linen pants, as you might expect, are no exception.
Another high-end resortwear label, Orlebar Brown made a name for itself by creating the garment we didn’t know we needed: the tailored swim short. Now owned by Chanel, the British label crafts a whole range of premium vacation-ready apparel, including some of the best linen pants on the market.
Perhaps the ultimate in smart-casual legwear, chinos fill the gap between dress pants and denim. They can be dressed up or down depending on the garments they’re paired with and are an absolute must in every man’s wardrobe.
Swedish basics label ASKET makes only the essentials and does so to as high a standard as it can while keeping production ethical and prices competitive. We think its signature chino perfectly sums up what the brand is all about.
Polo Ralph Lauren
Labels like Amié Leon Dore and Noah might be running the collegiate streetwear game now, but Polo Ralph Lauren was making hoodies alongside candystripe blazers when Teddy Santis and Brendon Babenzien were just twinkles in their fathers’ eyes.
Given that the chino is nothing short of a preppy essential, it stands to reason that Polo would make some of the best around.
Hardly the most exciting brand on the face of the earth, but you can’t talk about chinos without mentioning Dockers. This iconic American brand is beloved the world over for its khakis and is probably the best-known name in the chino game.
A good pair of sweatpants can take your chill time to the next level. They’re comfy, cosy, and if you buy from one of the best labels they can look good enough to wear out of the house, even if it’s just to grab mid-Netflix marathon supplies from the shop.
Hamilton & Hare
Hamilton & Hare’s luxurious loungewear is almost too nice to slouch around on the sofa in, but if you can afford to then it’s worth every penny.
The brand makes some fantastic terry-cloth joggers that’ll add a nice bit of texture to your loungewear rotation and are great for keeping warm during the colder months.
As far as heavyweight jersey cotton goes, there’s no label making better garments than Camber. The American brand makes the best blanks we’ve every come across, including super-thick sweatpants that stack beautifully at the ankles, and they even look good enough to team with casualwear and venture outside in.
Add a bit of texture to your tailored and casual looks with a pair of wool trousers. These fuzzy pants are great for wrapping up in the autumn and winter months, making them a valuable addition to any man’s wardrobe.
There aren’t many brands we’d be happy to stock our entire wardrobe with, but Wax London is one of them. The whole collection is great, but we’re particularly fond of the pleated wool trousers, which are perfectly cut, slightly cropped and go great with anything from tees to tailoring.
Parisian label AMI makes elegant contemporary menswear with clean lines and modern cuts, and the wool pants are no exception. The brand’s Cigarette Fit Trousers are cut from a wool-gabardine blend and boast premium details like engraved horn buttons and lined knees.
Looking for a high-end option? It doesn’t get much more luxurious (or expensive) than a pair of wool pants from the world’s premier cashmere manufacturer, Italy’s Loro Piana. If you’re on a budget then look away now, but if you’ve got money to burn then these are probably the best wool trousers it’s possible to buy with it.