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.
The British eventually overwhelmed the Gurkhas through sheer numbers. However, the British were so awed by the combat prowess of the Gurkhas that they created the highly unusual Treaty of Sugauli, which allows the British Army to recruit Gurkhas into their military to this day.
The pant is defined by its double-pleated front and high, cummerbund-style waistband with buckle fastenings.
It would be remiss to discuss the Gurkha trouser without mentioning its brother the Gurkha short. Essentially the same design but - obviously - cut as a short, it’s as easy-wearing as its longer counterpart, and the buckle construction makes it a surprisingly unfussy choice for summer dressing; no belt required.
This is a trouser that one could comfortably wear on the plane, out on the weekend or dressed as part of a smart evening or cocktail ensemble. It pairs elegantly with a tailored blazer, and yet would feel just as at home with a shooting jacket, a boatbuilder’s sweater, or even a T-shirt.
The Gurkha pant was designed to be practical - it simply happened to be damnably stylish along the way, and regardless of how it’s worn it will always retain a touch of its namesake’s dauntless and adventurous spirit.