A thing that’s been on my mind for some time now: gurkha trousers.
Gurkha trousers, as many cool things in menswear, have been first used by military. This originally British design has a unique belting system, allowing to easily adjust the fit in the waist.
And it just looks really cool.
I’ve first seen the photos of this kind of trousers several years ago on Put This On, and I couldn’t get them out of my mind since. The details of the self-belting construction look interesting, and I imagine them being quite comfortable, especially combined with high waist.
I’ve seen plenty of variations on the gurkha theme. Not all are to my liking. Many of the vintage military ones are cut very baggy; I’m also not sold on all the details, like the cargo pockets, which may very well be functional, but don’t mix well with the stuff I normally wear.
But there’s a lot of really cool modern gurkhas. They’re cut slimmer, but not super slim – after all, high waist and double pleats add some volume and space. They’re devoid of clutter like additional pockets; and they exist in variety of fabrics and colours to choose from.
And they work great in casual, as demonstrated by Shuhei Nishiguchi, the fashion director of Japanese BEAMS:
They can look laid-back and almost boring – which I use as a compliment, because it means they can be worn without calling too much attention to themselves, without looking like a part of a costume. This is a problem with many vintage military or military-inspired pieces. You don’t want to appear to be doing some re-enactment, in this case of British soldier occupying India. Not really a look or a feel I’d like to go for.
Just look at the photos below, of simple trousers with gurkha construction, worn with a blue shirt:
While the most popular versions seem to be made of cotton twill, like the one used in chinos, there are other options. Linen will be great for summer. And if you go with wool – either hopsack or flannel – they can be very well worn with tailoring.
Though I wouldn’t go as far as to order a pair in worsted wool, as a part of a suit. This seems too much of a formality clash even for me.
The question remains where to get them. There’s vintage military stuff to be found. I haven’t really had a chance to look at what RTW brands offer outside of Instagram – most of them don’t ship to Poland anyway, and if they do, the price is a bit of a turn-off.
But not so long ago, an online MTM Luxire.com (I wrote about a shirt I ordered from them before) revamped their website. And lo and behold, when you order trousers, gurkhas are one of the predefined options. Made to measure gurkhas in this price? I think I’ve found what I’ve been looking for.
I’m still unsure about some details, and I have to think them through before ordering. But expect some gurkha trousers to appear here sooner or later.