This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Trousers. [From Fr. trousses, corresponding with the old English word breeches] In the United States the original word trousers is almost laid aside, the term being only applied to the loose garments of sailors or laborers, while pantaloons colloquially pants is used in all other cases. The English, on the contrary still adhere to the old term in respect equally to the dress of gentlemen and all others, confining pantaloons to its historical sense. Breeches are properly short trousers, reaching just below the knee; the use of the word for trousers is erroneous and vulgar. Tight fitting drawers for men are in trade termed trousers.