March 7, 2013  ·  style

Casual Wool Trousers

Most of us probably first encountered wool trousers when buying a suit, or perhaps some dress pants for work. So it's natural to associate wool pants with tailored, smooth worsted or gabardine, to be worn with polished shoes. In fact the rough end of the wool spectrum may be even more interesting, and the coarser, textured fabrics lend themselves well to casual wear when rendered in looser cuts and paired with suede shoes or desert boots. All of the things you like about wool—its durability, dirt resistance and the way wrinkles fall out of it after a few hours on the hanger—make it a great material for weekend wear. A few options:

Herringbone has all the texture you need for your entire outfit. Mushroom tans like the one shown here are common, and work well with darker browns.

Donegal, named after the Irish county from whence it originated, is at its slub-tastic best when appearing in the classic palette of brown shot through with flecks of reds, greens and golds. Can be tricky with similarly fine patterns and textures; best paired with solids or loose open stripes and checks.

Flannel comes in a range of textures from Silky Smooth to Army Blanket Grit, and while the former is terrific for winter suits and coats, the latter (strictly in solid colours) makes for great casual pants that can be dressed up as well. Look for lined if you're itch-prone, and don't be put off by blends with a bit of Lycra or nylon—they'll fit more comfortably and hold their shape even better.

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