What pants to wear instead of jeans?
Alternatives To Jeans: Eco-Friendly Pants For All Occasions
Honey, get ready to ditch those Blue Jeans! The beloved denim look isn’t always suitable and, let’s face it, it’s surprisingly harmful to the environment. It’s time to explore more eco-friendly alternatives to jeans that are not only sustainable but also more versatile. That’s why we at SANVT have compiled a list of sustainable trousers for every occasion.
Did you know that blue jeans are one of the most environmentally damaging clothing items, leaving a significant ecological footprint? One of the reasons for this is that jeans are mostly made from unsustainable cotton, which is known as the «dirtiest crop in the world.» Denim is the largest consumer of cotton worldwide, accounting for a whopping 35% of global cotton production. Moreover, cotton requires about 10,000-20,000 liters of water to produce just 1 kg and uses 10% of the pesticides used globally during its cultivation. Unsustainable cotton is, therefore, extremely harmful to both the environment and humans.
But it’s not just the cotton itself that’s the problem; the dyeing and processing of jeans make them one of the most environmentally damaging clothing items. The use of dangerous chemicals and hazardous working processes creates additional risks to both people and the environment. To incorporate the popular blue dye indigo into jeans, it must be made water-soluble with chemicals and heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead, and copper. Subsequently, jeans are further processed through techniques such as stone-washing, bleaching, washing, whisker effect, and grinding, which again require immense amounts of water and chemicals that end up in wastewater, nature, and oceans. In short, jeans aren’t a great choice to make fashion more sustainable. Therefore, we recommend some eco-friendly and stylish alternatives to jeans.
Chinos are one of the smartest alternatives to jeans. They are the perfect hybrid between jeans and dress pants, making them the ideal choice for any casual or business-casual outfits. They come in a variety of colours and styles, from slim-fit to loose-fit. Chinos are not only comfortable and functional, but also extremely stylish and versatile. For example, pairing a navy blue chino with a light blue Oxford shirt and dress shoes creates a formal look, while the same chinos with a simple white tee and white sneakers are perfect for casual wear and a more laid-back vibe. Since chinos are also made of cotton, it’s crucial though to choose sustainable materials.
Our Smart Chino by SANVT is made with 97% premium organic cotton and 3% elastane. The high-quality stretch cotton not only ensures incredible comfort, but also special shape retention. Not only that, we dye the fabric without harmful chemicals or heavy metals and have closed water circuits, allowing us to recycle 99.9% of the wastewater generated. This means you get a sustainable, fairly produced, and climate-neutral pair of pants that’s among the best alternatives to jeans.
You can find more differences between jeans and chinos here.
Khakis and Cargos
If chinos are a bit too dressy for you and you’re looking for a more rugged style, khakis or cargo pants are the way to go. While khakis and cargo pants were once considered a fashion faux pas, they’ve made a comeback in recent years. Made from a heavier cotton fabric, they have a looser, straighter cut. Khakis and cargo pants are particularly popular in muted earth tones like khaki, brown, or beige, and often come with visible pockets, side pockets, and zippers, giving them a cool vibe. This makes them extremely comfortable and functional. Plus, they’re perfect for outdoor activities like hiking or barbecuing. We recommend buying your khakis and cargo pants from sustainable and fair brands to get an environmentally-friendly product.
You can find more differences between khakis and chinos here.
Let’s be real: there’s nothing more chill and comfy than a pair of sweatpants. And what used to be acceptable only for the gym or lounging at home, is now a trend seen on fashion icons, runways, and in street style. Don’t confuse them with those 80s-style track pants, though. Modern joggers are simple in design and made from high-quality materials, making them the perfect alternative to jeans. Especially in beige or black, they look far from sloppy.
Pair them with a polo shirt and stylish sneakers for a relaxed look. It’s important to choose sweatpants made from sustainable materials like organic cotton, and that’s where our Perfect Sweatpants from SANVT come in. They’re made from 100% organic cotton and dyed without chemicals in a closed water cycle, just like our chinos.
Learn more about the differences between sweatpants and tracksuits here.
Fabric Pants and Corduroys
If you’re looking for something a bit dressier than sweatpants and want more options in their wardrobe besides chinos, sustainable fabric pants and vintage corduroys are great alternatives to jeans. Lightweight linen, bamboo, or hemp pants are perfect for spring and summer, paired with flannel shirts or simple tees. Meanwhile, vintage corduroys in muted tones pair well with cozy sweaters in the fall and winter. Roll them up with some cool socks and accessorise with hats or beanies for a Dandy or Skater look.
Alternatives to Jeans: Conclusion
Even though blue jeans have been an absolute fashion staple since James Dean rocked them in the 50s, there are many alternatives to jeans that can make our daily outfits more diverse and sustainable. And if you’re a style- and environmentally conscious consumer who still wants to wear jeans, we recommend buying vintage or from sustainable brands, and taking proper care of them by not washing them too frequently to extend their lifespan.
Are Jeans and Pants the Same Thing?
When you peek into your closet or your dresser, you likely see lots of options for bottoms. And, of course, the different bottoms in your wardrobe serve other purposes in your life. With that in mind, it’s important to understand the difference between various categories of clothing, so you don’t accidentally wear PJ bottoms to your next board meeting, for example (okay, we’re kidding about that one, but you get the idea!).
If you do have an office dress code, though, or even reservations coming up at a nice restaurant that lists approved attire, it’s helpful to understand the difference between two of the most common bottoms we own: jeans and pants.
What Are the Differences Between Jeans and Pants?
In short, jeans and pants are both long bottoms that cover the lower half of your body. While all jeans are considered pants, not all pants are jeans. It really comes down to the material more than the style, as jeans and other pants often share similar styles. Instead, jeans are recognizable and distinguishable from other types of pants due to their distinct durable cotton material, whereas other types of pants can be linen, other types of cotton, velvet, or a wide range of other fabrics.
What Are Some Types of Pants?
While jeans are a type of pants, there is a huge array of women’s pants styles that extend beyond jeans. Pants can be anything from corduroy bell bottoms to cropped linen chinos to straight-leg khaki slacks to crushed velvet lounge pants or leggings, just to name a few.
The type of pants you’ll want will be dependent on your personal style and where you’ll be rocking the outfit in question, in addition to the season. Opt for dress pants like boot cut chino pants or velvet ankle pants for the office or if you have dinner reservations somewhere with a dress code. Dress pants paired with a nice sweater or tunic top can be a perfect alternative to dresses or skirts if you want added warmth or simply feel more comfortable with these types of bottoms.
For the warmer months, you can still absolutely incorporate pants into your outfit rotations. Opt for capri pants any style of cropped pants in an airy material like linen or chambray cotton. While chambray looks very similar to blue denim, pants made of this fabric don’t fall into the jean category. So for a pair of pants, that’s super on-trend and perfect for a springtime picnic or a somewhat casual summer dinner date, opt for a pair of wide-leg chambray pants that you can pair with mules and a breezy quarter-length sleeve tunic top.
What Are Some Types of Jeans?
As we mentioned earlier in the article, while jeans are technically a type of pants, they’re really in a category of their own. While many of us might immediately think of classic blue denim jeans when we picture these bottoms, there are a ton of different types of jeans to choose from. In addition, jeans provide a durable option for pants that you can wear repeatedly, although they might not be appropriate for all settings. For example, some office dress codes don’t allow jeans.
While there might be a few instances where you can’t wear jeans, they’re still an essential part of any wardrobe, in part because there are so many different styles to choose from. Plus, we all know that instant confidence boost we get from rocking the perfect pair of jeans.
If you’re looking for your perfect pair, try high-rise jeans. High-rise jeans create a flattering and streamlined silhouette by sitting right above your belly button. This style tends to look great on everyone, however, if you happen to find this rise uncomfortable, you might find your favorite new jeans in a pair of mid- or low-rise instead.
There are also a ton of different cuts of jeans, like skinny jeans, boot cut jeans, and the oh-so-trendy straight leg jeans. Since the straight-leg trend seems to be here to stay, opt for a universally flattering pair like high-rise cropped straight-leg jeans in a light denim wash or even a print like an indigo stripe. These jeans are perfect with a pair of sneakers or ankle boots.
While classic jeans tend to be a shade of blue denim, you can absolutely find jeans in other colors, like women’s black jeans if you want to feel a bit dressier or white jeans for a summer soiree.
It’s important to have both pants and jeans in your wardrobe since different settings might call for one over the other. Plus, having a balance of casual, durable jeans and dressier, more breathable pants in your rotation will make for endless outfit options for any occasion!
Alternative trousers to wear instead of jeans
One of the requests I often get when shopping with clients (and a question I was recently asked over on Instagram) is for an alternative pair of trousers to jeans. Something hard wearing and casual without resorting to sweatpants — which no doubt you’re all sick of wearing now.
So, I’ve put together some suggestions below of casual trousers you could easily wear instead of jeans to switch things up a bit. You should be able to easily slot them into your wardrobe without too much thought on what to wear them with, but let me know if you have any questions!
The most obvious alternative to jeans is probably chinos. but there are so many different types so how do you choose? These ones look washed in which gives them a much more casual feel than the styles you get in crisp cotton with the crease down the front. So they won’t feel a million miles away from your jeans, and they’ll slot easily in to your weekend (or working from home) wardrobe. The slim cut is particularly good for slim, short guys and there are other colours to choose from here.
‘Slim Adam’ black slim fit chinos — Nudie Jeans — £120
OMG — cargo pants are back! Have you missed them? Having been all any one wore back in the 90s, they then entered the wilderness years and were derided by fashion types (such as me!) But now they’re back with a vengeance, and with good reason too — they’re comfy, they’re practical and they’re hard wearing — making them the perfect alternative to jeans. If you’d like to ease yourself in gently and don’t want to feel like you’re going back in time, then go for a slim fit pair like these, instead of going full on baggy.
Green slim fit cotton and linen blend cargo pants — Incotex at Mr Porter — £270
It’s hardly ever a complete transformation to their wardrobes that my clients are looking for, just some new ideas and variation on what they already have with some tweaks here and there to sharpen things up. So, when looking for alternatives to jeans you can keep the same shape but by swapping from denim to corduroy you’ll get a very different feel to them. You could dress them up a with a blazer and boots, or keep them super casual with a sweatshirt and Converse. Just don’t wear them with a corduroy jacket or corduroy shirt! Double denim might be cool but double corduroy (unless it’s a suit) is not.
Tapered fit dark green corduroy trousers — Paul Smith — £125
Aha — and here’s another clever bit of side stepping. This time taking the familiarity of denim but switching the shape to make them into chinos. These Nudie ones offer up a different version of smart jeans, which could come in especially handy for a smart casual outfit with an unstructured blazer and fine knit sweater, once you head back to the office. Notice the straighter shape too, so if you’re fed up with wearing skinny and slim then this provides a new shape.
‘Lazy Leo’ dry classic slub denim trousers — Nudie Jeans — £120
And last but not least, another chino style but this time wider cut and with pleats. Having had flat front everything for so long, it’ll make a change to wear a pleated style — and with a wider cut, these will be more comfortable on you if you have chunkier thighs or calves. And the way they’ve styled it here, makes the perfect Spring outfit.
‘Assembly’ green tapered pleated cotton canvas trousers — Folk at Mr Porter — £115
So what do you think? Will you be getting some trousers, not jeans to wear this Spring? If you’d love to but are not sure what would work best on you, then let me help. book in below for either Online Personal Shopping or for an In Person Personal Shopping trip (I’m taking bookings for after the 12th April) by clicking the buttons below and we can explore the options.
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- What trousers can I wear instead of jeans?
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