It’s amazing just how much you can change your outfit (and thus how people perceive you) with your selection of legwear. Think about it: you show up to a business deal. Up top, you’ve got a smart business jacket, tie, and maybe a spiffy designer watch. And down below, you’ve got a matching set of formal trousers. The people across the table are thinking this guy is here to do business.
But now let’s change things up down low. Swap out those formal slacks for a set of jeans. You’re still Forbes Fortune 500 up top, but now you’re Levi & Straus from the waist down. Now those guys across the table are seeing you as a laid-back executive, with business on your mind but with a bit of playfulness in your attitude.
Don’t underestimate just how much the right set of pants can say about you. It’s a sort of advertisement telling people how you want to be welcomed at any moment in time. Casual pants tell everyone that you want them to be at ease with you. On the other hand (or leg), dress pants in a business setting say you’re here to get some work done, no fooling around.
So today, let’s round up 30 examples of legendary legwear that will put some pep in your step, some pride in your stride, and some zip… in your zipper? We’ll take a look at the overall feel of categories of pants and then dive deeper into some killer examples of each kind.
In a rush? No problem! Here’s our selection of the best pants for men available right now.
The ultimate everyday pants for men. Comfortable, stylish, versatile, and durable
A timeless design carefully designed with premium materials for a relaxed look.
An elevated version of the classic sweatpants. Comfortable yet stylish.
The 30 best pants for men
To make it easier for you to navigate, we’ve arranged the thirty best trousers for men into the following categories:
- Chino pants
- Dress Pants
- Cargo pants
- Pleated pants
- Performance pants
- Work pants
- Khaki pants
Chino pants for men
Chino pants fall a bit more than halfway up the dressiness scale for men’s pants. They somewhat resemble khakis, but have a couple of distinct differences that make them the more dressy choice of the two. First, the stitching on chinos is visible, whereas on khakis the stitching is hidden. Second, chinos are made of a lightweight cotton or blended cotton material; khakis are made from a heavier weight of material.
Luca Faloni Lightweight Chinos
A superb pick for your smart casual wardrobe, Luca Faloni’s Chinos boast an internal waistband which is handy for keeping your dress shirts tucked in. You can use these pants to build a more athletic look by pairing them with a spiffy polo, or go for a smart accomplished feel with a dressy casual shirt.
|Best for:||Lightweight luxury, smart styling.|
|Colors:||Steel Blue, Camel Beige, Olive Green +More|
Hugo Boss Regular Fit Chinos
A classic example of the chino breed, the Hugo Boss regular-fit chinos are a textbook definition of this style of men’s pants. Featuring a regular rise at the waist and straight-cut legs, you can make these trousers the foundation of your casual dress outfit by adding white sneakers and a t-shirt for a lazy-day look. To add a dash of class, all you have to do is have a pair of luxury socks showing at the cuffs.
|Best for:||Making tradition work for you.|
|Colors:||Leight Beige, Dark Blue, Black|
Goodthreads Stretched Chinos
If “Thank God It’s Friday” was a pair of pants, it would probably be these Goodthreads stretched chinos. Fantastically affordable, these chinos make it a breeze to go from work-day to playdate without having to stop and change. And since they’re so affordable, you’ll be able to treat yourself to some upscale underwear with the money you’ll save.
|Best for:||Affordable tides lift all outfit boats.|
|Colors:||Pine Green, Gold, Stone + More|
Jeans for men
Jeans have come a long way since their workwear debut in the mid-1800’s. While they’re not dress pants, the best men’s jeans have certainly climbed up the fashion ladder by being combined with a sharp set of dress shoes and a blazer. Thanks to that effortless versatility, jeans remain enduringly fashionable and are a mainstay of men’s casual wear.
Robert Graham Letcher Jeans
If you are going to use your jeans in a dressier fashion, dark-wash jeans work the best. Take for example Robert Graham’s Letcher jeans; match them with a leather jacket and some upscale all-day shoes, and you’ve got yourself a casual outfit that still looks classy enough to impress onlookers.
|Best for:||Relaxed on the inside, head-turner on the outside.|
Rag & Bone Throop Jeans
Rag & Bone’s Throop jeans are the brand’s most popular jean fit. Presenting a slim silhouette, these jeans feature a narrow waist and thigh fit, with slender leg openings. Comfort is assured thanks to the use of 10-ounce Japanese comfort stretch denim, which allows for a soft and stretchy feel you may not find in all brands of jeans.
|Best for:||Not denying yourself comfort in the denim world.|
Levi’s 505 Jeans
We’d lose our license to talk about jeans if we didn’t mention the granddaddy of the jean world, Levi’s. In particular, take a look at the classic, Levi’s 505 regular fit jeans. The 505s are the jeans that all other jeans are measured by—the look, the fit, the durability of jeans, they all start here. Match some 505s with a bomber jacket and luxury sneakers and you’ll be the epitome of coolness.
|Best for:||Joining in with generations of jean wearers.|
|Colors:||Clif, Caraway, Tin Man + More|
Dress pants for men
Let’s put on the Ritz. Be it for business or a formal occasion, the right pair of dress pants for men can make you look like a million bucks. Happily, brands have gotten so good at tailoring dress pants that you have no need to sacrifice comfort.
One quick tip for wearing dress pants to go along with our professional dress code guide—unlike more casual wear, dress pants don’t look very good with the leg bottoms crumpled up by your shoes. The cuffs can be touching, and a tiny bit scrunched, but it’s best to have your cuffs just brushing the tops of your shoes, mostly hiding the sock.
Luca Faloni Wool Pleated Trousers
If you’re going to be at work all day every day, you’re going to want a set of dress pants that are ultra comfortable. Luca Faloni’s wool pleated trousers fit the bill. Made from 100% virgin wool, the tailored pleats give you room for your legs to relax in.
|Best for:||Immediate style, comfort for days.|
|Colors:||Midnight Blue, Charcoal Gray|
Ami Paris Wool Evening Pants
The minimalist look of Ami Paris’ wool evening pants make them an easy-to-match go-to for dressy as well as business-casual scenarios. Featuring a dropped crotch, this is another set of dress pants that has comfort tailored in along with its good looks. These pants will serve you well both in business settings and in upscale social situations.
|Best for:||Making friends with all your other formal wear.|
Haggar Premium Khakis
Let’s get a little more comfortable while still maintaining our classy demeanor. Haggar’s premium khaki’s are quite affordable, and have a hidden little secret—the waistband expands. So if you know you’re heading out for a big meal with your office gang, you can eat in ease without your waistband cutting you off from having a good time.
|Best for:||Sneaking a lot of comfort into a dressy scenario.|
|Colors:||British Khaki, Dark Navy, Toast + More|
Sweatpants for men
You’re probably going to be wearing your sweatpants for one of two reasons: lounging around your home, or working up a sweat. So you’d be correct in thinking that your main concern should be functionality; freedom of movement and moisture-wicking coming in on the top of the functionality list.
But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on looking good. We’ve pulled together examples of men’s sweatpants that combine functionality and looks into one practical package.
Axel Arigato Sweatpants
Kick-back on your days off in comfort, but also in style in case you have to answer the front door and want to sport good lounge-wear looks while doing it. Axel Arigato’s sweatpants are made from 100% organic cotton, and are tailored with a relaxed fit to make you as relaxed as possible during your down-time.
|Best for:||Lounging like it’s your job.|
Fear Of God Vintage Sweatpants
Slip into softness with Fear of God’s vintage sweatpants. The fleece-backed jersey knit is about as soft as it gets, and the vintage appearance makes them a great match for your favorite worn-in hoodie. A word of warning though—once you put these bad boys on, you’re not going to want to take them off again.
|Best for:||Committing to ultimate lounge-wear comfort.|
On Running Sweatpants
Athletic-wear company On, a.k.a. On Running, is headed by Swiss ironman champ Olivier Bernhard. He went on to pull in some serious athletes to help him design the next stage in athletic wear. That makes On Running’s Swiss-engineered sweatpants a sure thing for athletes. Happily, all those pavement pounders didn’t forget to add some good streamlined looks into the mix, making these a fine set of sweatpants for kicking back at home as well.
|Best for:||Working up a sweat like a world-class athlete.|
|Colors:||Black, Mulberry, Navy|
Cargo pants for men
Cargo pants started life with the British military in the late 1930s. Nowadays, cargo pants are generally thought of as gear for the working man. But certain designers and brands are making an effort to broaden their appeal, making them work as fashionable casual wear, and even creeping into dressier outfits. The key to integrating cargo pants into a stylish outfit? Match them up with clothes that have simple streamlined silhouettes, like a leather jacket or long-sleeve button-down.
Alpha Industries Jet Cargo Pants
The most workmanlike of our picks, Alpha Industries’ Jet cargo pants have a military look to them, especially if you pair them up with some rugged-looking boots. The cuffs feature ties, so you can cinch them up as needed to fit the height of your boots. Pull ‘em on and then move ‘em on out!
|Best for:||Adding the handsome factor to your hard-working gear.|
|Colors:||Black, Dark Olive|
Prada Nylon Cargo Pants
If Prada is making cargo pants, it’s a good sign that they’re making inroads into the fashion scene, as opposed to being looked at as purely functional. Prada’s nylon cargo pants certainly make the case; while they feature additional leg-pockets like other cargo pants, they manage the trick of having a slim silhouette like traditional dress pants. You won’t get any complaints if you match these pants with a sharp-looking dress jacket and some swank shoes.
|Best for:||Bringing in a whole new vibe to your swankiest affairs.|
Dickies Cargo Pants
Landing somewhere between our two previous entries, Dickies’ cargo pants have a bit more of the classic bulkier cargo pant silhouette compared to the Pradas, but they’re not as military as the Alpha Industries’ gear. Dickies’ cargo pants make for good-looking and functional casual wear, pairing up quite nicely with a crisp t-shirt or sharp polo and some luxury leisure footwear.
|Best for:||Dressing up functionality.|
|Colors:||Black, Dark Navy, Desert Sand|
Pleated pants for men
Pleated pants stepped onto the stage in Paris around 1930, invented by tailor Lars Larson (or at least he’s historically given the credit). Pleats look dressy, but they also serve the practical purpose of stopping higher-waisted trousers from pulling up when you sit. And by creating a bit more volume inside the leg of your pants, they also allow more air to circulate for cooling and breathability, plus they let you have more freedom in your movement.
PS Paul Smith Tailored Pleats
We mentioned that pleats add a lot of comfort in dress pants. Paul Smith’s tailored pleats add to the comfort-factor by flowing out from the waist and utilizing a dropped-crotch silhouette, giving you plenty of space to move and relax in. Match them with your favorite pair of white sneakers and a looser-fitting dressy casual shirt for a sharp look with a relaxed feel.
|Best for:||A whole lotta class with a whole lotta comfort.|
Lardini Pleated Pants
The light beige of Lardini’s pleated pants speaks of long relaxing summer days spent in the company of friends. The 100% linen composition ensures you won’t overheat while trying to play it cool at the country club or a restaurant’s patio. The simple design lets you play with your accompanying top—go tasteful with a dark monotone, or all out with a playful print.
|Best for:||Making the most of the summer months.|
Docker’s Classic Khaki Pleats
If you’re drawn to pleats for comfort then you’re definitely going to want to take a gander at Docker’s classic signature khaki pleats. These Dockers are considered a classic for a reason—they go big on giving you room to relax. They’re partially made from spandex, and the waist features up to two inches of expansion. Perfect for breathing a sigh of relief when you slip them on.
|Best for:||Letting it all hang out inside of a classic look.|
|Colors:||Dark Pebble, Burma Grey, Olive Grove + More|
Performance pants for men
Yoga. Jogging. Weightlifting. Martial arts. Whatever road you take to stay in shape, you’re going to need legwear that can take a beating, lets you move, and hopefully keeps you from becoming a soggy mess. The very best of men’s workout brands do all that, but these ones have a little something more, something special—good looks and the ability to double as ultra comfortable loungewear. We’ve found three examples of performance pants that do it all just right.
On Running Active Pants
We mentioned earlier On, or On Running’s pedigree—it’s been built on the backs and ideas of world-class athletes. We’ve paid tribute to On Running’s shoes in the past, but their athletic wear is just as deserving of attention if you’re serious about your workout wear. The big question: can a bunch of athletes come up with a good-looking set of leisure-wear performance pants? On Running’s Active Pants are their reply, and it’s a great big YES.
|Best for:||Looking like you’re moving at a million miles per hour even when you’re mostly just on your hammock.|
|Colors:||Olive, Navy, Black|
Alo Talus Tech
Durability and functionality come together in Alo’s stylish Talus Tech pants. The durability: ripstop fabric integrated into the seat, yoke, and knees. The functionality: water-resistance, zippers at the ankles and pockets, and a built-in belt-buckle to keep the works from falling down while you’re making moves. The look? Classic performance pants with a modern tech twist.
|Best for:||Old-school tailoring mixing with modern touches.|
|Colors:||Black, True Navy, Anthracite|
Western Rise Spectrum Joggers
These sneaky little devils look quite a bit like chinos, don’t they? But Western Rise’s Spectrum Joggers actually do a bang-up job of wicking moisture, letting you breathe, and stretching in all the right directions as you get your daily jog in. Wear them for your workout or when you’re running chores around town, they’ll work just fine either way.
Learn more about Western Rise.
|Best for:||Sneaking around in performance pants comfort camouflaged as dressy-time chinos.|
|Colors:||Navy, Sand, Ash + More|
Work pants for men
Let’s get to work. We’re talking durability. We’re talking functionality. We’re talking pants that can be outside all day, exposed to hours of sun or the sudden blast of a rainshower. Pants that let you carry what you need on the job, and pants that can offer protection from things that can poke, prod, or scratch you. Working pants for the working man.
Carhartt Cargo Pants
Carhartt’s cargo pants do a whole lot of work for you at a very reasonable price. As the name states, they’re cargo pants, so they have a lot of pocket space to help you carry your gear. They’re made with ripstop cotton, so they’re going to last you a long time and protect you from scratches. And as an added bonus they offer a relaxed fit in the thighs and in the rear, so if you have to do a lot of kneeling or squatting you won’t have to fight with your trousers in order to get into position.
|Best for:||Getting the job done all day every day.|
|Colors:||Desert, Dark Coffee, Moss + More|
Icecream Work Pants
The clothing brand Icecream is the lovechild of musician and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams and Nigo from A Bathing Ape, a Japanese DJ, musician, and fellow entrepreneur. Made from cotton twill, Icecream’s work pants are a fashionable take on a traditional look, with features inspired by the skateboard and music scenes.
|Best for:||Working bright colors and a fun attitude.|
Wrangler Riggs Ranger Pants
Wrangler Riggs Ranger Pants
Wrangler is one of those brands that epitomizes tough gear for physically demanding worksites. Wrangler Rigg’s Ranger pants are certainly no exception. The pants are manufactured with ripstop cotton, and offer up reinforcement at the knees, the seams, and on the tape-measure clip. They’re also exceptionally well priced for all the durability that they offer.
|Best for:||Being the best back-up a working man could ask for.|
|Colors:||Bark, Loden, Slate + More|
Khakis for men
Khakis can trace their lineage back to the 1840s. A Hindi word meaning “dusty” or “dust”, it originally referred only to the color of the pants, not the style or material. As the British Indian Army marched around India they wanted clothing that would help them blend in a bit better, so they would dye their pants in a combination of mud, curry powder, and tea to get the desired camouflage look.
Nowadays, we know them in the civilian world as somewhat dressy and quite practical everyday pants. We especially like them because of their versatility—they can become just as dressy or as casual as you want by matching them with tops and shoes that match your mood.
Lee Performance Khakis
A cotton, polyester, and spandex blend that stretches just right? Check. Wrinkle resistance? Check. A flexible waistband for a comfortable waist fit? Check and check again. Lee’s Performance Extreme Comfort khakis are an enjoyable bit of khaki fun, matched with a fantastically affordable price.
|Best for:||Relaxing in khaki comfort.|
|Colors:||Khaki, Dove, Mushroom + More|
Gucci Cotton 60’s
Bet you didn’t know that fashion statement khakis were a thing. Well here they are, Gucci’s cotton 60’s pants with Web. “Web” refers to the lining that decorates the pockets, made up of Gucci’s traditional colors. The brand further distinguishes itself from other khakis with piping down the sides of the legs, done in a military green.
|Best for:||Carrying khakis into the realm of high fashion.|
Asos Skinny Khakis
Some might consider traditional khaki cuts a little too loose for their taste. Have no fear, Asos’ skinny chinos are here. Developed around a skinny cut, these khakis are going to look especially good complimenting a bulkier top like a luxury hoodie or a leather jacket.
|Best for:||Struttin’ around in slim-cut style.|
Slacks for men
Slacks are dressy pants that aren’t specifically meant for a suit (suit pants shouldn’t be worn on their own). They are those classy bits of legwear that do just fine in fine-dining scenarios, formal events, and workplaces that want a dressed-up look without requiring a full-blown suit. Match your slacks with a sharp-looking set of dress shoes and an eye-catching watch, and you’ve got yourself an outfit that will open all the right doors.
Calvin Klein K10K1038811407
It’s no surprise that Calvin Klein made it somewhere onto this list. What is a surprise is how well Calvin Klein’s K10K1038811407 slacks go with less-formal tops and shoes. You can absolutely match them with a blazer and some upscale dress shoes, but they also go really well with luxury sneakers and a bomber jacket. Play around with these slacks and see what looks you can come up with.
|Best for:||Mixin’ and matchin’ to your satisfaction.|
Valentino Wool Pants
Valentino’s wool pants are the textbook definition of classy black slacks. The simple and streamlined silhouette makes these slacks a go-to pair of pants when you’re putting together a dignified look for work or for a formal event. The rich black coloring will do especially well at setting off any silver or gold belt buckles you might have in your wardrobe.
|Best for:||Formalizing your outfit with a classic black look.|
Van Heusen Flat Front
Van Heusen’s flat front straight-fit pants are designed with all-day wear in mind, making them a primo pants choice if you work in a formal environment. They stretch comfortably, are easy to maintain (they’re machine washable, skip the trip to the dry cleaners), and they have an installed shirt-gripper that keeps your shirt tucked in for your hours at the office.
|Best for:||Easy formality for all-day wear.|
|Colors:||Black, Khaki, Ash Navy +More|
Frequently asked questions about pants for men
If you’re looking for all-out dressiness, Valentino’s wool pants have a classic formal look. If you need something durable for a rugged workplace, try out Carhartt’s ripstop cargo pants. Need athletic wear? On’s active pants or On’s sweatpants are both great places to start.
Jeans like Levi’s classic 505 line are generally regarded as the most popular pants for men. They’re built from durable material, they work with a wide range of outfits, come in a variety of colors, and become more comfortable the more you break them in.
Goodthreads makes excellent chinos in a wide variety of colors. They’re easily affordable and built to be easy to maintain, requiring just a regular wash. If you want some chinos that are more upscale, then check out Hugo Boss’ regular-fit chinos.
Lee’s performance series khakis are wrinkle-resistant and offer a relaxed fit.