Difference Between Trousers and Pants

Main Difference -Trousers vs Pants

Both Trousers and Pants refer to the same garment; they both refer to an outer garment covering the body from waist to ankles, with a separate part for each leg. The difference between them lies in usage. The main difference between trousers and pants is that the word trouser is commonly used in the UK whereas the word pants is commonly used in America. It is also important to note that in the UK, pants refer to undergarments. We are going to elaborate this difference between trousers and pants in this article.

What are Trousers

Trousers are an item of clothing worn on the lower part of the body and cover both legs separately (as opposed to cloth stretching across both legs as in skirts and dresses). For centuries, trousers have remained the standard lower-body clothing item for males; but, by the late 20th century, trousers had become a popular clothing item for females as well. Trousers are worn at the hips or waist; they are held up by their own fastenings, suspenders/braces or a belt.

The word trouser is mainly used in British English; in American English, the term pant is used to refer to trousers. In America, trousers may specifically refer to a tailored garment consisting of a waistband, belt loops, and fly front. Main Difference - Trousers vs Pants

What are Pants

In North America, pants is the general term used to refer to trousers. As explained above, trousers, in American English specifically refers to formal, tailored pants. However, in British English, the term pants is never used to refer to trousers. In England and most of the British English speaking countries, Pants refer to undergarments or underwear.

In the US, what is worn under the pants is called underwear, underpants, or panties (panties specifically refer to women’s undergarments.) In the UK, pants are worn under the trousers. So this linguistic blend can result in awkward and embarrassing situations if you are talking with a British or American. If you say ‘nice pants’ to an American, he would in return, thank you for the compliment. But if you say the same for a British, it’d create an awkward situation as you are referring to his undergarments.

Nevertheless, in some countries like Australia, pants and trousers are used synonymously. These two are not the only terms that refer to clothes worn to the lower part of the body in men’s wardrobe. There are other terms like slacks, jeans, khakis, chinos, Corduroys that are different varieties of pants/trousers.Difference Between Trousers and Pants

Difference Between Trousers and Pants


Trousers is an outer garment covering the body from the waist to the ankles, with a separate part for each leg.

Pants is a term for underwear or knickers.


Trouser is a tailored garment with a waistband, buttoned loopholes and a fly front.

Pants is an outer garment covering the body from the waist to the ankles, with a separate part for each leg.

Inner vs Outer Garments

In the UK, pants are worn under the trousers.

In America, pants are worn as an outer garment.
Difference Between Trousers and Pants - infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Trouser-parts” by Spodnie.svg: Bastianowderivative work: Themightyquill (talk) – Spodnie.svg. Licensed under via

“Basic trousers for men” by Oxfordian Kissuth – Own work. via

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