Thursday, February 27, 2014

Men! Let's Talk Pants.

One would assume that buying and wearing pants would be pretty easy for most guys. After all, pants are the bulk of a man's lower-half-of-the-body wardrobe and they come in easy-to-understand waist and length measurements. Not everything is as simple as it seems, however, and pants atrocities abound.

First and foremost, there are the hem problems.

And then there are fit problems.

And sometimes there are style problems.

Hem confusion is rampant. Too short a hem on a man is very awkward (see the photo at the top of the page). I'm not talking about intentionally-too-short, like this:

This is a (now) classic Thom Browne look. Super-clean lines, flat front (always), with a nod to the '60's. This intentionally-too-short hem is definitely a fashion forward choice, sported by gentlemen in creative fields, and those who aren't afraid to dabble in trends.

The Thom Browne pant won't translate for most men, and that's fine. Regardless, hem length is so important that it should be executed with the same intentionality that trendy gentleman in creative fields employ. This is excellent reference material right here:

Men, when a pair of pants fit well you will feel fabric against your thighs. A belt will be a stylish accessory, not the only thing keeping the public from knowing your underwear brand.

Watch for pulling through the crotch and back seam (the fabric will strain horizontally), this means your pants are too tight. Bagging through the crotch, vertical pooches on the backside, and bagginess through the thigh are signs that your pants are far too big. That and having to constantly hitch up your waistband.

Personally, I prefer a flat-front pant for both casual and professional wardrobes. The look is tidy and attractive on pretty much everybody.

And now for the rise. The rise is the measurement from crotch to waist. Typically, a well-fitting pant's waistband settles around the top of the hip bone and the rise has ample (but not too much!) room for the "package." (Apparently this rule changes with age and related weight gain/underwear choices.)

Embrace your style! Explore, try new things, and enjoy. But, for the love of all things holy, DO NOT PULL YOUR PANTS DOWN BELOW YOUR BUTT.

And finally, here are some pants that have been universally flattering on my clients (and my husband).
Joe's Classic Straight Leg Jean. Excellent denim and perfect not-trying-too-hard fit.
AG Protege. A super-versatile jeans-that-are-also-chinos pant that can be casual or dressed up - great fit!
Hugo Boss "Sharp" Flat Front Trouser. No better dress pant, in my opinion. Superior fit, quality, and appearance.


  1. Where were you when I was buying my last pair of jeans! Good article!

  2. I am going online to Hugo Boss right now! The Big Kahuna needs new dress pants & I am going to get him out of pleats if it's the last thing I do!!

  3. Such a worthy endeavor - banish the pleats! So you know, Boss pants run a little on the small size (Italian design), so you might need to go up a couple of inches in the waist. Often available at The Rack!