Looking for a quick way to elevate your everyday outfits and sharpen up your personal style? The solution could be as simple as adding a pair of wool trousers to your legwear lineup. If you thought these smart pants were strictly for suits then think again. The wool trouser spectrum is a broad one. Sure, some are simple suit pants, but they can also be big, billowy, heavily textured, high-waisted, pleated, patterned or otherwise.
The right pair of wool trousers can completely alter the feel of an outfit. They can provide fresh context for sporty pieces, dress up casual staples like T-shirts and hoodies or become a new base for tailored looks. Versatility may not have always been the first word to come up when discussing this type of legwear, but we reckon it’s time for a rethink.
Then there are the practical benefits of wool as a material. It’s natural, which means it’s biodegradable; it’s durable, which means it’ll stand up to years of use; it’s breathable, which means plenty of ventilation for that undercarriage of yours; and it’s highly resistant to stains and wrinkling to keep you looking your best.
Wool Trouser Buying Considerations
Worsted Or Woollen?
When you hear ‘wool’, your mind probably conjures images of hairy jumpers and chunky knit cardigans. But wool isn’t always thick and fuzzy, it can be sleek and smooth too. This is the difference between woollens and worsted wool.
In the case of worsted wool, the fibres that make up the fabric have been combed to give them a fine, smooth texture. This type of wool is most commonly used in things like suits and trousers as it’s more durable, drapes better and is less prone to pilling.
That said, if you want to add some texture to your trouser game, there are plenty of woollen fabrics that work great for legwear too. These materials are thicker, fuzzier, coarser and heavily textured. Think textiles like tweed, hopsack and felt.
Fit & Cut
Fit and cut are important elements to consider when buying any garment, but arguably even more so in the case of wool trousers. A poor fit is particularly obvious here because of the way the fabric drapes, so you’ll want to make sure you either know your measurements well or have a good tailor nearby who can make any necessary alterations.
In terms of cut, there are a lot of options. Wool trousers range from cropped and slim fitting to wide legged and high waisted, so it’s really a matter of personal style and preference.
One thing to consider here is your body shape. If you have thick legs, something slim might not be the best option. Similarly, if you’re stick thin, a wide-legged trouser could leave you drowning in fabric. Aim for balance overall, and outside of that just wear what makes you feel good.
Like most things in menswear, it’s quite possible to spend outrageous amounts of money on a pair of wool trousers if you choose to buy from prestigious Italian labels that handcraft clothing using fine fabrics like cashmere. But dropping large sums of cash isn’t a prerequisite for acquiring a decent pair of wool pants.
Yes, the likes of Brunello Cucinelli and Loro Piana will have you shelling out upwards of £1,000, but there are lots of stunning premium options around the £200-£300 mark, and plenty for a lot cheaper than that if you’re not particularly bothered about brand names or where your clothes are made.
Expect to pay around £50 for a basic pair of wool trousers from a high-street brand and upwards of £100 for everything else.
The Best Brands For Men’s Wool Trousers
British brand L’Estrange is all about elevating, improving and refining those comfortable everyday basics. Its signature hoodie is the perfect example, fusing elements from tailoring with a classic silhouette taken straight from the sports field to create something that manages to be both comfy and classy.
This approach to making clothes extends south of the torso too. The brand’s 24 Trouser is designed to handle everything from heading to the office to chilling at the weekend. It’s got tailored looks and sweatpant-like comfort and is available in soft merino wool for added warmth and comfort.
Luca Faloni works closely with his native country’s finest mills and makers to bring the world high quality Italian menswear at competitive prices. There’s a particular focus on fine Italian fabrics like linen, cashmere and wool, and the brand’s wool pants, while not cheap, offer exceptional value for money.
Handmade in Lago d’Iseo in Northern Italy from 100% virgin wool, Luca Faloni’s trousers feature pleats, a straight-leg profile and a drawstring concealed within the waistband for added comfort.
Closed is a great brand to go to for the building blocks of a well-stocked and interesting wardrobe. The brand’s edgy takes on traditional menswear pieces and contemporary classics works really well, making for a fairly large collection of pieces that spans T-shirts to soft tailoring and everything in between.
The brand’s wool trousers are available in a variety of cuts and styles, including a superb tailored cargo pant. What they all have in common is that they’re highly versatile, easy to dress up or down and very reasonably priced.
If you’re looking to spend a little more on your wool trousers and like the idea of draping yourself in sophisticated Parisian regalia then we’d be inclined to point you in the direction of AMI.
Alexandre Mattiussi’s homegrown label has a proven knack for dealing with all things wool, from stunning double-breasted overcoats to swish-tacular wide-legged wool trousers. Styles chop and change from season to season, but generally there are always a few tempting wool legwear options on the menu for stylish shoppers to get stuck into.
On the other side of the channel, Sunspel offers its own decidedly English take on menswear’s key staples, including everything from underwear to tailoring.
The label offers a number of wool trouser styles, including textured versions cut from flecked Donegal wool, sharp suit trousers and even laid-back drawstring pants.
Prices aren’t cheap but this is reflected in the quality of the pieces and the precision of the fits. After all, it’s one of our favourite British brands for a reason.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a decent pair of wool trousers that can mingle with pieces well above their pay grade. COS is one of the best places on the high street when it comes to picking up stylish menswear staples for affordable prices, and wool trousers are no exception to the rule.
Styles vary depending on the season, but expect to find a number of more directional cuts, including loose tapered designs and wide-legged pleated pants.
We’re big fans of H&M’s tightly curated, minimalist sub brand and find it to be an excellent place to pick up refined wardrobe staples without breaking the bank.
And one area in which the Scandi label really excels is understated soft tailoring. Be it a single-breasted patch-pocket blazer in unstructured cotton twill or a pair of beautifully cut wool trousers that can be worn with anything from tailoring to track jackets, you can find it here.
We can’t get enough of Drake’s, with its eccentric patterns, relaxed tailoring and preppy casualwear. If you know anything about the brand, you’ll know wool trousers fall squarely within its remit, and for our money they’re some of the most stylish and well made around.
The label’s Games trousers feature pleats, a relaxed cut and are available in a number of different wool fabrics. Aimé Leon Dore even worked on a special pair for the labels’ latest collaborative capsule.
Oliver Spencer’s unique, casual take on tailoring has made his eponymous brand one of the best places to go for a pair of comfortable yet smart wool trousers. Wool is one of the key materials used in the label’s legwear offering, including everything from heavy textured woollens to soft, smooth worsted wools for a smarter look.
Expect to pay around the £200 mark, but for your money you’ll get high quality, attention to detail and unique yet tasteful design.
If you really want to push the boat out and buy the best wool trousers known to man, Loro Piana is about as good as it gets. This is the world’s largest processor of cashmere wool and has a long-earned reputation for producing the finest wool garments in the game.
Everything is handmade in Italy using the best materials on the planet, but the catch is that you’ll have to part with anywhere up to £1,500 for the privilege of owning a pair.