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What does your choice of trousers say about you?

Suit trousers or slacks: what your choice of trousers says about you

As the saying goes, clothes make the man. But does what you wear really count for that much when it comes to how people perceive you? And do we treat people differently based on their choice of clothing? Let’s find out.

Clothing as a vital part of impression formation

According to research, clothes are an important part of impression formation. An academic paper published in the Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management states that even minor changes in clothing choice can alter how you are perceived. In addition, clinical psychologist, Dr Jenniefer Baumgartner, claims what you wear can give clues about your line of work, ambitions, feelings and spending habits.

And it seems that different wardrobe choices can even affect how we are treated, with a former flight attendant recently claiming in an interview with the Daily Express that dressing to impress is more likely to land you with a free flight upgrade.

Suit trousers or slacks?

In this blog post, we’re focusing on trousers in particular and what they might say about you. Let’s take a look:



First up, we have corduroys. These dapper trousers have long been considered casual wear but new interpretations of the material mean that they can be styled to create a more formal look. So whether you’re nipping to the shops in the afternoon or enjoying some upscale dining in the evening, you could create the perfect look with a pair of cords. Often associated with professors, philosophers and artists, cords can give off an air of intellect and creativity, and the richness of the fabric may even suggest that you’re something of a well-heeled gent.

Cargo Trousers

Cargo Trousers

A man is ready for anything in a pair of cargo trousers. With features like side pockets, fleece linings and water repellency, these trousers are perfect for gardeners, tinkerers, hill-walkers and the like. Whether you wear them with a jumper down at your local men’s shed or with a shirt for an evening pint, you can guarantee that you’ll look like a man of action.



Chinos are the chameleons of the men’s trouser world. These highly versatile garments go as nicely with a t-shirt and trainers as they do with a formal shirt and a pair of leather brogues. Whether you choose to style them up for a business meeting or down for a casual Sunday lunch, one thing is for sure – you’ll look stylish and sophisticated. Perfect for ‘smart-casual’ dress codes or as an alternative to jeans, chinos tell the world that you’re a man of good taste and you know how to adapt to your surroundings.

Formal Trousers

Formal Trousers

Sometimes, only formalwear will do. Think weddings, important work events and dress-to-impress parties. Whether you choose a tailored or classic fit, twill, wool blend or brushed back material, suit trousers let people know that you mean business. There are no half measures here - if you do something, you’re going to do it right. What’s more, smart trousers can create the impression of opulence and suggest that you’re a man who enjoys the finer things in life.

It’s clear that there’s a psychological correlation between the way we dress and how others perceive and treat us. Next time you’re picking an outfit, why not ask yourself what messages you’re sending out? Making a simple change could alter how others see you, and maybe even change how you see yourself.

What are your thoughts on the psychology of dressing? Do you think about other people’s perceptions when you choose your clothing? Let us know by joining the conversation on social media using #PsychologyOfDressing…

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