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Can You Wear Golf Pants As Dress Pants? (Solved)

December 22, 2022
Can You Wear Golf Pants As Dress Pants? (Solved)

It’s been the players and brands who’ve rapidly pushed the modern outfits you see in golfing today. But the question is, can you wear golf pants as dress pants?

Golf pants can be worn as dress pants in smart-casual and business-casual settings, but would not be appropriate to wear in place of suit pants. When they’re appropriate, choose slim-fit golf pants in a neutral tone to ensure that they appear as sophisticated as dress pants would. 

Golf pants are sleek, refined, and often designed to be worn away from the course. 

The average golfing shirt usually isn’t too far from your standard sports polo. But the pants, they’re a little more stylish and can feature a range of different cuts, patterns, and designs. 

A clean and well-fitted pair of golf pants is a sign of a fashion-forward man. 

Although that’s the gist. There’s more to it. Let’s go through exactly when you can wear golf pants as dress pants, as well as when you’re better off avoiding it. 

example of golf pants
Image From Deposit Photos

When You Can Wear Golf Pants As Dress Pants

It’s more appropriate to wear golf pants as dress pants in smart-casual or business-casual settings. 

Smart-casual settings may include garden parties, dinners at mid-level restaurants, first dates, bars, and so on. 

Business-casual settings can include office parties, conferences, and modern workplaces with less conservative dress codes. 

Here’s an example of a pair of golf pants on Amazon. It’s clear how formal they can look when the correct pair is chosen. 

There’s good reason to have a desire to wear golf pants away from the course. They’re comfortable, generally have a good stretch and the breathable moisture-wicking materials that are often used are great at keeping you cool during those hotter months.

The good news is, there are times where it is appropriate to wear your golf pants as dress pants.

If you’re attending an event or visiting somewhere that has a smart-casual or business casual dress code, golf pants are likely to be an acceptable option. 

A good rule of thumb to remember, golf pants can generally replace chinos in an outfit, can usually (but not always) replace dress pants, but can’t replace formal suit pants. 

Tips When Wearing Golf Pants As Dress Pants

Below are our tips to help you wear your golf pants confidently as dress pants.

  • Pair them with a clean sports coat.
  • Stick with your neutral color pants, avoiding loud patterns and tones. 
  • You can pair them with Polos or button-up shirts.
  • Stick with a full length and slim fit.

If in doubt, cross-check the event or location you’re attending against the following to see whether it’s acceptable or not to replace your dress pants with golf pants.

When You Can’t Wear Golf Pants As Dress Pants

Just as there are times where it is appropriate to wear golf pants as dress pants, there are times where you should stick with the age-old dress or business slacks.

And although there’s no definitive “rule” that dictates when you shouldn’t wear them as dress pants, you can often pick when they’re not appropriate based on how formal an event or location might be.

We’ve put together a list of occasions where the golf pants are better left in the wardrobe in favor of traditional dress pants.

1. Funerals

Perhaps an obvious example, but in almost any case, funerals are an occasion where you’d be better off giving the golf pants a miss.

Instead, opt for a dark pair of tailored slacks. 

2. Job Interviews

Some might consider this a personal preference or make the decision based on the type of company or interview.

We’d almost always suggest sticking with a buttoned shirt and tie for job interviews. This would mean passing up the chance to wear your golf pants and opting for a more formal pair of dress pants to match.

3. Formal And Black Tie Events

Formal or black-tie events are definitely occasions where you’ll want to leave the golf pants at home.

Formal events would require a full suit – a matching suit jacket and pants combo. Golf pants would have no place. 

Black-tie events usually require a tuxedo. Once again, golf pants would definitely be unacceptable. The setting is way too formal for a pair of golf pants.

And as for work, we’ve touched on that below.

Can You Wear Golf Pants To Work?

If your workplace requires a formal suit, avoid golf pants at all costs as they’ll simply come across as unprofessional. If your work outfit usually consists of items such as polo shirts, Oxford shirts, chinos, sports coats, or blazers, a pair of golf pants would usually be acceptable.

Here’s the thing. 

Each business has different dress codes and rules when it comes to what’s acceptable to wear for your daily outfit.

Additionally, your specific role, seniority, and day-to-day tasks will also have an impact on whether your golf pants are an appropriate choice or not. 

That makes it tough to offer a blanket answer. 

If your current daily work outfit consists of a polo shirt, or perhaps even a t-shirt, paired with chinos or jeans, then it’s generally quite safe to introduce your golf pants here. Of course, avoid any loud colors or patterns.

If your regular outfit is a little more formal, say a sports coat with a polo or Oxford shirt, you’ll usually also be able to get away with wearing your golf pants.

However, if your formal attire consists of a tie and suit jacket, we’d recommend not wearing golf pants. Stick with the matching suit trousers and maintain that refined, smart look.

There are of course a few points to keep in mind here that may beat any of the above.

If you’re regularly interacting with clients in a formal setting, golf pants aren’t likely to be a good option.

If you work within the professional services industry, particularly within a senior management or c-suite position, you’ll want to stick with a formal suit with its matching jacket and pants. No golf pants. 

Additionally, if you’re in a front-facing position within your company, you’ll also want to avoid golf pants. This may vary based on the rules set out by your employer.


So as you can see, there are many occasions where wearing golf pants as dress pants is an acceptable practice. 

Always apply common sense and determine how formal the occasion is before pulling out those golf pants from the wardrobe.

Hope that helps.