Trouser Fit - Taking It In Stride

By Mark Ferguson

Men’s bodies come in many shapes and sizes. Getting the right trouser fit can sometimes be difficult. If the pant legextends too far, then you’ll appear shorter than you actually are — plus you might come off looking like a slob. However, trousers that are too short you may look downright ridiculous, particularly if you have a “leggy” or taller build. Needless to say, this is a very important component of suiting and well worth the attention.

Where to Begin?

Of course, the most important factor that determines where your pants end is finding the right place for them to begin. Traditionally, it’s fine to wear your trousers as high on your waistline as you feel comfortable. When deciding, consider your body type. Those with shorter legs may choose to go a little higher on the waist than taller men. This will help give the illusion of longer legs. The habit that all men, short or tall, should avoid is wearing their pants to low on their hip. This style is fine for jeans, but when it comes to formal wear, a little higher is better. If your hips are stretching pockets and pleats, you’ll know it’s time to move your pants north.

A Perfect Ending

Now that your waistline is just right, it’s time to work your way down. Those that opt for pleats should be sure that they remain flat and refrain from flying open while standing. Of course, if you don’t need room up front, then go ahead and choose a trouser option without pleats. Either way, when standing, the crease should run straight through the knee cap. If you continue the crease as an imaginary line, it should cut your shoe in half. If the line does shift to one side or the other, it’s preferable that it tends toward the inside of the knee. Those that fall to the outside tend to make the wearer look unnecessarily wide.

Currently, there’s some room for preference on how the cuff rests against the shoe. For instance, many styles call for the cuff to lie in a manner where there is a small break on top of the shoe. Others simply opt out of the crease for a cuff that cuts straight across. Cuffless bottoms, however, should slant down from front to back. For those that do opt for cuffs, the width should be 1¾ inches for taller guys (over 5 feet 10 inches) and 11/2 inches for shorter men.

This guide, along with somediligence, can keep you from getting “caught with your pants down.”

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