How to properly select and pair odd trousers for any man's wardrobe
Odd trousers are pants with a decidedly separate style or color than the jacket and shirt worn with them. They should be carefully considered when pairing, but should also show a man's individual style.
This is a guide for selecting and pairing complimentary colors and styles of pants with regular suit jackets.
The Origin of Odd Trousers
The term “odd trouser” is actually a counterpart to the term “odd jacket”, also known as the blazer or sport jacket. After the success of the odd jacket in youth culture of the 1920s, stylish men began to push the limits of trouser decorum shortly after.
The odd trouser came of age when about a decade later when young men ordered an extra set of pants mix up their standard three-piece tweed suits. The brighter, more relaxed style of pants paired with darker waistcoats and jackets now became the norm and the style lives on today.
Many men are not required to wear a three-piece suit to work, but do need a three-piece ensemble of some variety. Though a constant rule of permanent male fashion is not to draw attention to tailored pants, the odd trouser is a bit different.
They should follow the pants' guide to fit, but add a splash of color and style to an otherwise standard variety three-piece suit. Odd trousers should always look like they were chosen to best fit the arrangement, not as if they were a stand-in for an incomplete suit.
Color Harmonies for Odd Trousers
Grey flannel trousers are the most popular and accessible pants to be worn as odd trousers. Flannel is considered the most stylish cloth for odd trousers by some, but grey wool works just as well for this arrangement.
Grey flannel trousers are considered the best starting point because they can be paired with virtually any color or style of suit jacket, sport jacket, shirt and waistcoat. If the jacket is also a medium-grey but slightly lighter or darker, consider a different jacket.
The purpose of the odd trouser is to “piece-up” the ensemble, not for color blocking. These pants are considered the most formal color option.
Tan or Beige Trousers
The next option for odd trousers are in the light brown varieties. These tones are a bit less formal than grey, but no less sophisticated.
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