Yes, and no. It really depends where in the world you are wearing your pants or trousers. In the UK, the word ‘pants’ usually refers to undergarments, with ‘trousers’ or ‘slacks’ referring to an outer garment that extends from waist to ankle, and covers each leg separately. In America, ‘pants’ and ‘trousers’ are pretty much synonymous. Although, we may say ‘pants’ to reference almost any style of bottom that covers both legs separately, including jeans, skinnies, and (gasp!) leggings, ‘trousers’ usually implies a slightly elevated, tailored style of pant.
Men wear pants or trousers nearly everyday, and have for many centuries. The world’s oldest known pair of pants is from China, and is thought to have been designed for riding horses, given the practicality of wearing a garment that covers each leg separately. Men around the world gradually adopted the style, but it was not until women wanted to ride horses astride (as opposed to side saddle), that it became acceptable for ladies to sport trousers. Even then, modesty dictated that women wear dresses or skirts for most other occasions. At the beginning of the 20th century, however, women started experimenting with pants as a fashion statement, and by the 1950s, most women had a pair of trousers in rotation.
Trousers are pants, but not all pants are trousers. The trouser, unlike average pants, is usually tailored, with a hidden button and hook closure. Some trousers have belt loops, and are cuffed or pleated. As far as silhouettes go, trousers can be straight leg, wide leg, cropped, flared, bootcut, or skinny. Trouser material is usually wool, cotton, linen, chino, leather, and sometimes even denim.
Women’s trousers, or dress pants, are essential to every wardrobe. Black trousers, in particular, are extremely versatile and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. For the office, a pair of classic trousers wears well with a blouse, blazer, and pumps. But this sophisticated look isn’t just for work. Off duty, try a striped or patterned trouser, or perhaps a cropped style, with flats and a designer tee, as an alternative to a jeans or skinny pants outfit.