Trouserspants" in American English) are an item of clothing worn on the lower part of the body and covering both legs separately (rather than together as in a Skirt and dress). Trousers are worn at the hips or waist, and may be held up by their own fastenings, a belt, or suspenders. Leggings are form-fitting trousers of a clingy material, usually a knit. Trousers, together with a shirt, are the standard clothing for men in many or most parts of the world.
Trousers may be characterized by:
- length: They can cover the body from the waist all the way down to the top of the foot, or stop almost anywhere from upper thigh to ankle. The most common short pants, known as shorts, are usually informal wear and stop anywhere from the upper thigh to the knee. Capris are women's pants that end mid-calf or just below the calf. . Children who have grown such that the trouser legs are not long enough are pejoratively said to be wearing "floods" (a reference to hiked pants to keep them dry in flood times).
- some trousers have detachable legs, usually with zippers
- pockets: There may be front pockets (usually inset) and back pockets (usually patch).
- cuffs may or may not be present
- pleats: vertical folds in the front for a looser fit
- waist band may be elasticized
- fly: This allows easier dressing and for men urination without undressing. The fly may further be distinguished by the closure mechanism: zipper or buttons. There may not be a fly.
- leg shape: The bottom may be flared for "bell bottoms". The trouser legs may be straight, or tapered to be snug around the ankles
- beltloops may or may not be present to support a belt which may be used to adjust the tightness in the waist, and for decoration. Men can use suspenders (called braces in British English) to support trousers that are loose in the waist.
Based on a dubious interpretation of Deuteronomy 22:5 in the Bible, a small minority of Christians believe that women should not wear trousers, but only skirts and dresses. See more at http://www.spiritualabuse.org/issues/standards/dress/pants.html Some women and many young girls see trousers and shorts as being more practical and comfortable than skirts or dresses for most activities.
It is customary in the western world for men to wear trousers and not skirts or dresses. However, there are exceptions such as the Scottish kilt and the Greek tsolias, which are worn on ceremonial occasions, as well as clothing such as cassocks etc of religious functionaries.
Cut-offs are homemade shorts made by cutting the legs off trousers,