Let's answer the main question in the clearest and easiest way possible: Are slacks and dress pants the same? Yes, they are. Slacks and dress pants are the same. The term slacks and what we call dress pants are mentioning the same garment. BUT once clarified, it is also true that somehow the term "slacks" acquired some meaning more related to comfort and style. After that, you will only have to choose your custom made shoes to complete your outfit.
The term slacks sounds cooler, and probably the fashion industry has used it to advertise dress pants in a more fancy way. Sometimes you can even mix the term slacks with chinos or khakis but that wouldn't be accurate as slacks don't need to be cotton fabric pants, while chinos or khakis main feature is the cotton fabric used to tailor them.
If this is what you already wanted to know, check our online 3D designer to create the perfect custom slacks online.
What Are Slacks?
The word slacks comes from an old Saxon term that meant loose. Somehow, slacks became the new term for dress pants. As dress pants, slacks are not tight, are not elastic and are different from jeans, chinos or khakis. Maybe you associate slacks with more classical dress pants because sometimes you hear older people referring to them like this. But there should be no difference in style. We encourage you to use also slacks even if you are a millennial.
As slacks are formal pants you can expect that mainly slacks are made of all kinds of wool fabrics or wool blends but also linen.
The history of slacks and their evolution in men's fashion
The word "slacks" is believed to have originated in the 19th century, and it is derived from the Middle English word "slak", which means "loose" or "slack." This reflects the fact that slacks were initially seen as a more comfortable and relaxed alternative to the tight-fitting trousers that were commonly worn by then. Does it mean that slacks are not in fashion any more? No way.
Slacks were only considered to be suitable for certain occasions, such as sporting events or leisure and casual activities. However, over time, they became more widely accepted as a form of casual and semi-formal attire.
In the early 20th century, slacks became a popular choice for men in the army, as they offered greater mobility and comfort than the traditional military uniform. This helped to further establish slacks as a practical and versatile option for men's fashion.
And as it happens to many army outfits it was little by little adopted by the rest of the population. During the 1950s and 1960s, slacks became even more mainstream and were often worn with a suit jacket and tie, as part of a gentleman suit. In the decades that followed, slacks continued to evolve and became available in a wide variety of styles, colors, and fabrics.
Today, the term "slacks" is commonly used to refer to a specific type of pants that are designed to be worn by men. They are typically made from a lightweight fabric, such as cotton, linen cotton blends or wool and wool blends, and are cut in a straight or slightly tapered leg style. Slacks are a staple of men's fashion and are commonly worn for both casual and formal occasions. Feel free to combine them the way you want. Later on in this post you will find some combination ideas.
The history of slacks is closely tied to the evolution of fashion. From their humble beginnings as a comfortable alternative to restrictive dress trousers, slacks have become an integral part of many men's wardrobes and are worn by men of all over the world in many different scenarios.
And Dress Slacks? Are They The Same?
Yes. You can call them the way you want: dress slacks, slacks pants or simply slacks. They all mean the same. If you add "dress" or "formal" or "pants" or "trousers" to the word slack you will just reinforce the concept of the garment. All those combinations are widely heard.
Are Chinos Also Slacks?
No. Chinos can't be considered as slacks. So what are chinos? Chinos are casual or business casual pants made of cotton. They are usually more relaxed and have a certain elasticity to make them more comfortable. Also, the pattern used to tailor them is more casual than the one used for slacks. Some slacks can also be used on a business casual dress code, but that will not transform them into chinos. Take a look at our custom chinos.
Slacks vs Suit Pants
Slacks are the perfect suit pants. The same way as dress pants are the perfect suit pants. As we said before, slacks are usually made of wool or wool blends which is the classical suit fabric. You will be able to wear your slacks both with and without a suit jacket and even combining different tones to create a broken suit. If you don't have it clear how to combine it, just order the whole suit with the same fabric. Design your custom suit online or get a pair of oxford shoes.
Slacks vs Khakis
Are slacks and khakis the same thing? Well, no. Slacks and khakis are both types of pants that are commonly worn by men. However, there are some key differences between the two
- Slacks are a type of pants that are typically made from a lightweight fabric and are cut in a straight or slightly tapered leg style.
- Khakis are a type of pants that are typically made from a sturdy cotton twill fabric and are cut in a looser, more relaxed fit.
- The fabric used to make slacks is typically more formal, while the fabric used to make khakis is more durable and suited for casual wear.
- The fit of slacks is generally more fitted, while the fit of khakis is more relaxed.
- Slacks are commonly worn as part of a suit or as a more formal option for casual wear, while khakis are clearly associated with casual wear.
Slacks vs Jeans
Are slacks and jeans the same? No, of course not. Jeans are the most different type of pants that we mentioned in this post. Jeans are the most used men's pants at the moment, they can be combined with sneakers but also with derby shoes in any casual or smart casual attire. Some people will also defend that jeans can be worn when aiming for business casual attire, but they are definitely more casual and relaxed than the definition of slacks. Jeans are really limited in terms of colours, they are usually blue, black, grey, or even white, while slacks are designed in a wider range of colours including any shade of brown too. What do they have in common? Quite simply, both can be designed at Hockerty: custom slacks and custom jeans.
How to accessorize with slacks to elevate your outfit
Here it goes some basics about what to wear with slack pants and create a perfect outfit.
- Choose the right shoes: The shoes you wear can make a big difference in how your outfit looks. For a formal occasion, opt for dress shoes, such as oxfords or loafers. For a more casual look, try pairing your slacks with sneakers or loafers, any of them: penny, tasssel or horsebit. And of course, you can design your own sneakers at Hockerty. Mix and match, but always custom made.
- Add a belt: A belt is an essential accessory for any pair of slacks. It not only helps to keep your pants in place, but it also adds a touch of polish to your outfit. Choose a belt that matches the color of your shoes for a cohesive look.
- Consider a pocket square: A pocket square is a small piece of fabric that you can add to the breast pocket of your jacket. It adds a touch of color and personality to your outfit and is a great way to accessorize with slacks.
- Experiment with patterns and textures: Slacks are available in a wide range of patterns and textures, from classic solid colors to bold plaids and checks. Experiment with different styles to find the one that works best for your personal aesthetic.
- Add a statement piece: A statement piece, such as a watch or a bracelet, can add interest and personality to your outfit. Choose a piece that complements the color and style of your slacks and avoid overdoing it with too many accessories.
- Don't forget the socks: The socks you wear can make a big difference in how your outfit looks. Choose socks that match the color of your pants and avoid patterns or loud colors that may clash with your slacks.
Accessorizing with slacks can help to elevate your outfit and make you look polished and put-together. By choosing the right shoes, belts, and other accessories, you can create a cohesive and stylish look that is perfect for any occasion.
The best colors and patterns for slacks and how to pair them with shirts and shoes
Here we wrote some basic hints to know how to choose the color and pattern of your slacks and how to combine it with dress shirts and dress shoes or even sneakers.
- Choose neutral colors: Neutral colors, such as black, navy, and gray, are always a safe choice for slacks. These netural colors are versatile and can be easily dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. What event are you planning to dress for? start with neutral colors and build your outfit from there.
- Opt for classic patterns: Classic patterns, such as plaids and checks, are always a good choice for slacks. These patterns are timeless and can add interest to your outfit without overwhelming it.
- Avoid loud patterns: Loud patterns, such as large florals or animal prints, can be overwhelming and may make your outfit look dated. It's best to avoid these types of patterns and opt for something more subtle.
- Match your shirt and shoes: When pairing your slacks with a shirt and shoes, it's important to choose colors and styles that complement each other. For a cohesive look, try matching the color of your shirt and shoes, or choose colors that are in the same family.
- Consider the occasion: The occasion you are dressing for can also play a role in choosing the right colors and patterns for your slacks. For a formal event, opt for darker colors and more classic patterns, while for a casual occasion, you can experiment with brighter colors and bolder patterns.
The best colors and patterns for slacks depend on your personal style and the occasion you are dressing for. By choosing neutral colors and classic patterns, you can create a versatile and stylish outfit that is suitable for any occasion.
How to Fold Slacks?
Difficult to explain with words how to fold your slacks. So check this video and learn different ways of folding your dress pants properly:
The different types of slacks and which ones are right for your body type
There are several different types of slacks, and choosing the right ones for your body type can help to flatter your figure and create a cohesive and stylish outfit. Some of the different types of slacks include:
Straight leg slacks
Straight leg slacks are a classic style that is suitable for most body types. They are cut in a straight, narrow silhouette that runs straight down the leg from the waist to the hem. This style is versatile and can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.
Tapered leg slacks
Tapered leg slacks are similar to straight leg slacks, but they are slightly more fitted at the ankle. This style can be a good choice for men with slimmer legs, as it creates a more streamlined silhouette.
Wide leg slacks
Wide leg slacks are a more relaxed and casual style that is cut in a wider silhouette. This style can be a good choice for men with larger or more muscular legs, as it provides more room and comfort.
Pleated slacks are a formal style that features a series of vertical folds or pleats at the waist. This style can be a good choice for men with a larger waist, as the pleats provide extra room and allow for a more comfortable fit.
When choosing the right slacks for your body type, it's important to consider the fit and the style of the pants. Try on different styles and sizes to find the ones that are most comfortable and flattering for your figure.
DOs and DON'Ts with Slack Pants
Once again to illustrate:
Slacks are the same as:
- Dress pants
- Dress trousers
- Suit Pants
- Dress slacks
But slacks are NOT:
- Chinos. (What are Chinos then?)