Slacks vs. Suit Pants: Ultimate Guide

Are you one of the gentle shoulder shruggers who do not have an idea about the thin line in between bottom clothing that almost looks the same? Are you one of the confused many who quickly grabs google ideas regarding the required bottom wear written on an invitation? Is your pair of slacks in the drawer the same as the suit pants you are required to wear in your event? 

The number of considerations such as the classification of styles and types, fabrics and patterns, appropriate treatment, and how to style those bottom clothing, could take a toll on your preparations and imaginations. 

Here, we make it easier for you to identify the differences between slacks and suit pants and a few styling suggestions with online shops to get those pants yours.

What To Know

To set things first, slack came from an archaic Anglo-Saxon term ‘slak’ which defines as things that are not too secure. These can also refer to as untightened things that humans use. With age, it became a term that represents men’s wear that is loose and not fitting. 

On the other hand, a suit is a combination of a jacket and pants with a thematic combination of a tie, shoes, and other accessories. Suit pants are almost similar to a tuxedo at first glance; but, for utility’s sake, suit pants are almost always worn with a matching belt because these are usually tailored with belt loops.

Styles and Types


Slacks have a style of business casual and since these types of pants are open to being paired with any shirt, the types of fabrics are playing around chinos, cargo, corduroy, and or khakis. You can go over the closet and look for more options to dress it with depending on the event you are attending. However, with the number of selections you can choose from, this might take more time in preparing than usual. But still, its versatility will save you from spending time and money to get a good pairing with it.  


On the contrary, suit pants are classic wear that has lesser options with two classic types such as pleated and flat, to pair it with. These few options will save you from your extended thinking time in front of your closet; however, they will also present you with slighter creativity and styling innovations. So, these pants must be reserved for the most formal occasion you will attend. Thus, your daily fashion goals might not support your mix-and-match fashion sense every day.

Cuts and Footwear


For a stylish look, suit pants can come in classic, straight, and slim cuts. These big-three-special cuts can embrace various body shapes and are the most popular cuts in almost all men’s wear and clothing lines. Slim cut can best be worn on slimmer bodies and the classic ones are meant to fit on larger physiques or for ones that are more comfortable with more loose fittings in the legs. 


Similarly, slacks typically come with the big three special cuts. In addition, this can also fit as skinny or bootcut. These adaptable types of trousers can be differently sported if the pair of shoes is considered to complete a certain look. Classic, straight, and slim-cut slacks and suit pants can go along with any boat or dress shoes that fit the colors and theme of the look. While your conventional casual get-up with skinny and bootcut slacks can be perfect with just your sneakers, boots, and casual topsiders. 

Fabric and Pattern 


1. Fabric: Wool Flannel from Vitale Barberis Canonico Pattern: Glen Plaid

Plaid comes from the Gaelic word plaide which refers to a pattern of box-like designs. This pattern is similar to ‘tartan’ in the US. This design is a combination of vertical and horizontal lines in the fabric; so, it is best to use in the daylight to give more emphasis on the intricate look of the suit pants.


2. Fabric: Polyester, Wool Pattern: Window pane

This polyester fabric will enable you to move around without getting bothered by that much a crease. So, you can maximize your on-the-go personality in events. A plus is the fancy pattern of a windowpane, as it resembles windowpanes, that you can sport in upbeat occasions with fun activities while looking smart all day long! This could only go for machine wash at 40 degrees

3. Fabric: Wool, Silk Pattern: Herringbone Weave

This suit is of wool and silk-blend which makes the garment the lightest you can ever wear! This subtle silky fluid and sheen drape can stimulate texture and visual depth. You can change your usual aura with this nobleman-inspired weave and a smart-looking exceptional guy while enjoying these easy-to-wear and light-weight suit pants. This is the perfect attire to attend occasions and special events that are set in the summer or springtime seasons

4. Fabric: Wool Pattern: Solid

This micro-pattern nailhead weave pattern appears charcoal solid from afar. These suit pants provide you with an in-depth sophistication that when added to your luxurious collections. As this is one hundred percent made of wool, you can expect an extra lightweight feeling and could adjust easily to your unique body measurement and specifications.

5. Fabric: Wool Pattern: Houndstooth

Houndstooth is also known as dogstooth, shepherd’s check, pied-de-poule in French, and qianniaoge in Chinese. This pattern is balancing the depth of solids and the creativity of patterns and these are usually characterized by broken checks or abstract four-point jagged checkered. Popularized in wool cloth, suit pants made of these fabrics and design creates an illusion of checkered that is not too small to be noticed but not too large to get big attention.


1. Fabric: Pure Linen

Add versatility to your wardrobe by adding linen-made slack in your regular fashion gaming in the summer! Known for having a lightweight material, linen is a classic wardrobe essential that helps you stay relaxed and comfortable even on the warmest day.

2. Polyester Rayon

These polyester blend slacks have a wider range of color varieties and add fun combinations with sport coats, sweaters, and other upper attire. It holds a sharp crease better than wool fabric and resists the wrinkle effect in humid seasons. Machine-dry it upside down to avoid machine agitation and iron it with lesser warmer temperature to avoid shining on parts that are exposed to excessive heat.


3. Wool

Wool fabric naturally pulls moisture away from your skin and keeps you warm especially in cold seasons. Slacks made of wool, as much as possible, should not be machine-washed at home. But with delicate washing with the use of fiber-garment-friendly detergents, could save your wallet big time especially if you tend to use these types of garments regularly.

4. Wool, Cashmere

For most men, slacks that are made of a high-quality blend of wool and cashmere fabrics are the ideal trouser for luxe-looking and comfortability. This slim mid-rise cut is comfortable through the seat and thigh. Who doesn’t want additional polished slim-fitting slacks crafted from a cashmere-kissed wool blend?

5. Cotton

This fabric is the most commonly known garment for slacks. Cotton has that flexibility to maintain warmth in the cold weather and to not get too hot in the summer. As cotton and cotton blend pants are affordable, it is also durable which allows you to treat this through your usual wash-dry-iron cleaning at home.

Treatment and Care 

Aside from the activities that one does while wearing a pair of pants, the treatment is the ultimate argument of fabric longevity and maintenance. The higher attention you spend in fabric care, the more likely that these pants last a long time and resist discoloration or fading, lint accumulation, and or static effect. 


Good news for those who prefer slacks in their everyday outfit, these types of pants do not require that much attention in fabric treatments than that of the suit pants. Slacks can be worn every day and depending on the duration of you wearing them, you can put them on twice before washing them. Due to those activities, colorfastness might be a concerning factor that enables the fabric to keep the same color without fading or running. These might be caused by exposure to harsh light while drying, to perspiration, and/or to abrasions. To avoid these, it is much suggested to wash your slacks separately from other garments that are heavy-colored which would eventually bleed, and use fabric-friendly detergent and conditioner. 

Since these are usually made of cotton and other wool, you can slide the iron flatly with the crease placed on the sides. Feel the lesser need to set the crease somewhere else and it can make life easier, especially with khakis. Though all these might just be your normal routine in washing most of your clothing, it may be different from how suit pants must be taken care of. 


Including the paired jacket, your suit pants have more delicate fabric and since these are usually reserved for a more formal occasion, spending for launder and press servicers is still a good option. But if you would rather take care of it, you can always use detergents and conditioners that are fabric-friendly while washing it separately from other garments. Avoid exposure to high temperature of drying and as much as possible, never use an iron to drag against the fabric. Pushing and pulling the iron along will give you that shiny marks that could look bad. Just press and lift from one spot to another after setting the crease in place. Take note to iron the pocket linings from the inside since most suit pants are worn embracing the thigh parts and you do not want to give an impression that your pockets from the inside are visibly wrinkled.

How To Wear 


Suit pants are bottom wears that you can sport with a dress shirt and a matching belt. In some regions with cold weather, you may style it creatively comfortable by incorporating layers in your fashion. A sweater, topcoat, or leather jacket may do the honors for you and your pants. To add, suit pants also have a higher rise than slacks so it is worn more pleased with the jacket on, especially those that are custom-made and tailored specifically to one’s body measures. Another reason why it is important to wear suit pants with a pair of jackets is due to the wearing out the effect of one if it is worn usually than the other. If your dark shade suit pants are more often being sported alone and the jacket is kept in the closet, there is a high chance that your pants get lighter and you do not want people to notice that for sure. However, even though it is usually bought or personalized in pairs, suit pants, though rarely, can also be purchased alone. These ready-to-wear suit pants are called suit separates. Sharing you a tip in buying these, a standard difference in sizing is six inches from the jacket to the trouser. As an example, if your available jacket has a size of 38 inches, then you have to go and look for 32-inched pants. The same standard sizing goes if you plan to wear custom-made suit pants and purchase a ready-made jacket. 


On the other hand, slacks are generally considered as stand-alone trousers which could go along with any plain long-sleeved business attire such as blouses and polo. Usually, in clothing lines and shopping boutiques, these pants are displayed and sold on racks that do not have particular top-wear to pair them with. Due to this, there are far more styling options for you! You can wear it with button-downs and button-ups. You can also pair it with sweaters and cardigans on a cooler season but slack-versatility can get you cheeky with your tucked plain white or black shirt in. If your slacks are perfectly tailored to your size, you can go around being trendy without the need for a belt to hold it up! Find the perfect cut, fit, and matching shoes and you are good to go, Sir!


In general, try on a pair of trousers regardless of the fabric, style, print, and fit, make sure to try it on while sitting, too. Particularly on instances that will require you to wear it on in seats for a long period in the office, business meetings, wedding events, or a date. In the process, if the thighs are feeling strained, adjust to a larger size and bring in the waist. If your pants are catching on your calves while standing, consider the pants too tight. Also, if you plan to alter some parts of your pants, remember that the length is the one component that can be easily modified by the tailor. Therefore, it is necessary to find the absolute fit in your body type and size before you spend on costly pants. Though it may add an extra amount of effort on your part, comfortability and good-looking fashion style are at your hands if you do not let these be compromised.