The weather’s been cold for a while now. At the start of fall, I thought I was well set for pants, but I’m already getting bored of my existing selection. That got me researching new men’s pants trends to see what I could buy to freshen up my wardrobe.
One thing was clear: men’s pants are trending towards more practical and loose styles. While it’s been heading this way for some time, the last twelve months seems to have really pushed this way of dressing mainstream. It makes you wonder if the pandemic has changed people’s needs and forced retailers to fit the more comfortable, casual aesthetic many of us now spend our days wearing.
Men’s Buying Habits are Changing
In an article published soon after the U.K. was forced into a second lockdown, The Guardian explained how the pandemic had a huge influence on the types of clothes people are buying. Sweatpants were the biggest beneficiary, but practical outdoor clothing also saw sales surge. On the other hand, men are having less and less use of all the shirts, blazers, suits, and dress shoes in their closets.
Cue fashion retailers across the world releasing lookbooks featuring these styles. I mean, just check out the image from River Island’s AW2020 campaign below, it features hiking boots, combat pants, and a fleece—all classic outdoor wear. Also, I can’t be sure, but I don’t imagine the brand normally shoots campaigns on forest paths in the country.
Maybe I’m wrong and the new pant’s styles are nothing to do with the pandemic. But, even if that’s the case, looser fits, convenient pockets, and relaxed pants seem here to stay. And who can complain if we all get to spend our days in a bit more comfort?
Of all the new pants styles in this article, I’m most excited about corduroy. I haven’t had a pair of corduroy pants in my wardrobe since the early 2010s so it’s a trend I’m super excited to try out again. The only problem is I’m yet to find the exact pair I want. I like the classic khaki-colored pants, but I’m also on the lookout for amber pair.
Whatever you’re after, here are some great men’s pants trends to freshen up your wardrobe.
2021 Men’s Pants Trends
I wrote a post recently about how jeans are getting wider and the trend has only grown in prominence since. Wide jeans come in a variety of styles, from ones that just slightly fall off the legs to full-on 90s style baggy denim. My biggest issue with wide jeans is that because I’m relatively tall and thin my outfit seems to lose all its shape as soon as I put them on. I do want to keep trying though. On my wishlist is a pair that is cropped slightly at the ankle (as per the image above) in the hopes that this will give the outfit some shape.
Corduroy is another trend that is growing more popular by the month. And it makes a lot of sense. The material is warm and comfy and comes in a variety of colors that are perfect for fall. Like the jeans, there’s a lot of wide corduroy out there at the moment. I haven’t had a pair of corduroy pants for a few years now, so I’m super excited to grab a new one.
Cargo pants are another style making a comeback. This seems almost inevitable as cargos fit the casual aesthetic perfectly. When looking for cargo pants you really do have an incredibly wide selection available. From relatively toned-down pairs in dark colors, to full-on camo adorned with multiple pockets.
Heavily Cropped Pants
Heavily cropped pants have been popular for a few seasons now and there are still plenty around. It’s a look that goes well with the wider styles mentioned above. All styles are being cropped, from jeans and combats to chinos and tailoring.
Smart comfort is an interesting men’s pants trend that seems made for the pandemic. These are more comfortable, relaxed takes on regular pants styles. A common example of this is jeans or cords in super soft material with an elasticated waistband. Another is smart-looking sweatpants that can be worn outside the gym: like the ones in the image above.
Checks seem to be everywhere at the moment. We’ve seen plenty on coats, shirts, and jackets, and pants are not being spared. It takes some confidence to wear check pants—more so that coats or jumpers. But it looks great if you can pull it off. And you can always tone it down by choosing a muted grey pair, or turn it up to eleven with a more colorful pair. This pants trend is one of the smartest on this list.
All About the Details
One thing I like about pants at the moment is that many of them feature extra details. They are never boring. Look for things like double belts, heavy seams, textured materials, pockets, and zips on your next pair of pants. The above pants from Topman are a good example of a pair of regular slacks with a combat pants type pocket on the side.