Jeans, Slacks, Trousers, Pants and everything in between


So I have been up for about an hour, have my second cup of coffee and everyone else is still sleeping.  I cut out my material for my trousers yesterday, and decided I didn’t like the way the legs looked. I want them to be a super skinny leg maybe even with a button on the cuff for foot entry. So I have to re-measure and recut the legs. It has me a little worried because I know that you can take away but you can’t add(well you can but not in this case). It all got me on a train of thought about pants.

I started thinking about all the different ways that everyone says pants,trousers,slacks and all that stuff. So this is what I came up with;

In North America, pants is the general category term, and trousers refers, often more formally, specifically to tailored garments with a waistband and (typically) belt-loops and a fly-front. For instance, informal elastic-waist knitted garments would never be called trousers in the U.S. Undergarments are called underwear, underpants, or panties (the last are women’s garments specifically) to distinguish them from other pants that are worn on the outside. The term drawers normally refers to undergarments, but in some dialects, may be found as a synonym for “breeches”, that is, trousers. In these dialects, the term underdrawers is used for undergarments.

In Australia, the terms pants and trousers are synonymous.

In most parts of the United Kingdom and Ireland, trousers is the general category term, and pants refers to underwear. In some parts of Scotland, trousers are known as trews; taken from the early Middle English trouse, its plural developed into trousers.

 I could go on and on about pants, panties, knickers and so on. But the point being with the exception of jeans, because I am pretty sure the term jeans is universal. The evolution of these words is amazing.
Take pants for example, In the UK pants meant underpants and referred to as something you wear under your trousers. In the US trousers mean a well-fitted tailored pant.
Slacks use to mean a loose-fitting comfortable type of pant for men, now it is mostly a term for women’s pants. What!!!!
It’s all so very confusing really, most people I know call all their pants, jeans. That seems to be the most universal term for an item worn below the waist separately on each leg.
I started thinking about all of this because I was concerned that when I say I am working on a well-fitted, tailored pair of trousers people would have no idea what I was talking about.
I am sure there are plenty of other things in this world that I could be worried about other than what to call my current design item. But then again everyone needs a well-fitted good pair of  Jeans, Slacks, Trousers, Pants or whatever you want to call them.
Until we talk again remember to put your pants on one leg at a time! 🙂

2 responses »

    • I totally understand that feeling. I have been doing a lot of new stuff lately and I have to make myself not give up. I make shorts,skirts and pants for children all the time. This will be my first pair of structured trousers in adult size. I fell in love with a pair I saw online and decided to make my own. Wish me luck. I will post the final product for all to see, good or bad.

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