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Black Trousers: How to Choose One with Character

October 6, 2009

Black trousers are a staple for every closet but can become predictable. There are many ways in which to infuse a touch of character into a basic black trouser. Different stitch details, less traditional styles and unique fabric selections  may be used to energize a trouser’s look.

Stitch detail is the most subtle way to individualize a pair of trousers. Top stitch or pic stitch around the front and back pockets, fly, darts, and side seams draws the eye in without detracting from the overall look of the trouser. For those who feel bold, a contrast thread colour, such as tan,  may be chosen to assemble the trouser. This affect  especially works well when pairing a black trouser with a sport shirt, where the trouser’s contrast stitch picks up on the shirt’s dominant colour.

Example of top stitch around the back pocket and darts.

Example of top stitch around the back pocket and darts.

Trousers are available with an array of front pocket styles, including, 1/8 top, besom, on seam, 3/4 top, full top and 5 pocket. A front pocket style is able to change the identity of a trouser by making it more casual or formal. A 5 pocket black trouser, although more casual, is very versatile since it may be worn with a sport shirt or dressed up a little with a button down dress shirt. A trouser’s side seams may also have an impact on its overall appearance. Raised side seams add informality to a trouser by imitating the look of jeans. For a more unique expression, Antonio Valente seamless trousers create a visual impact that stands out from the crowd, especially when made from a patterned fabric. The seamless sides of the trouser keeps any pattern true and definitely contributes to the overall personality of an outfit.

Raised seams subtley changes the look of a black trouser, especially when combined with less traditional pocket styles

Raised side seams change the look of a black trouser, especially when combined with less traditional pocket styles

The last method for styling a black trouser is fabric choice. When people shop for black trousers, they mostly picture plain black fabrics made from 100% wool. However, a black on black pattern or a wool-stretch fabric easily turns the most straightforward trouser into a more interesting expression of character. Below is an example of how a fancy fabric can translate a trouser into a completely different look.

This floral black fabric adds dimension to this balck trouser.

This floral black fabric, styled with 3/4 top front pockets, adds dimension to this black trouser.


Whether you choose to focus on subtle stitch details, revampig a trouser’s front pockets or trying your hand at some unique fabrics, they’re all great alternatives for redefining the classic black trouser.

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