Looks / February 2019

Style 101: The Gurkha Trouser

Complex in nature but clean in silhouette, the Gurkha trouser works equally hard when navigating rising temperatures or spring dress codes.

Rubinacci's Gurkha trousers in white.

Many a stalwart piece of clothing has been forged in the crucible of battle, but few possess such a fearsome reputation as the Gurkha trouser. Technical, sartorial and practical, it’s a style that’s been long-overdue for a renaissance, and with silhouettes becoming more relaxed and tailoring more focussed on utility, it seems the Gurkha’s time has come once again.

The Gurkha trouser takes its name from Nepal’s elite soldiers of the same name, and the Gurkhas themselves in turn derive their name from the Nepalese Kingdom of Gorkha. It was at the Gorkha military fort of Nalapani that the British military, in the form of the East India Company, came into conflict with the Gurkhas in around 1814, and their bravery and ferocity came as something of a shock. Armed with intricate knowledge of the terrain, superior stamina borne out of living most of their lives at high altitude, and complete fearlessness, the Gurkhas held out at Nalapani against a British force around six times their size until they had exhausted all food, water and ammunition. Even then they chose not surrender, instead fighting their way out of the surrounded fort and escaping into the hills.

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