Most men put consideration into how their shirts fit. You may not even hesitate to pay more for a tailored jacket. However, too often men forget about the fit of their pants. How your pants fit is an essential part of your overall look. Here's what you need to know about how dress pants should fit and how they should look with your dress shirt and jacket.
Essentials of How Dress Pants Should Look
To make good decisions about what dress pants to buy and how to wear them, you have to know how they should look. Here are some essentials about the way your dress pants should fit and how they should look on you.
How Should Your Pants Fit Your Body?
Not Too Loose
More men tend to wear their pants too loose than too tight. Pants that are too tight aren’t comfortable, so it is easier for you to realize that they're not the right fit for you. You probably know to test pants by sitting down in them before you buy them.
Pants should be just loose enough to allow you free range of motion, but still fit the contours of your body.
The Correct Length
Your pants should not be too short or too long. Some men like a very slight break in most pants where the fabric just drapes over the edge of the shoe. However, these days, the style is to have no break at all (otherwise known as a zero break.)
In any style, a big break, in which the fabric hangs over the back of the shoe or even comes close to the ground, means the pants are too long. Pants are too short if you can see a lot of the sock when you are standing in a relaxed position. Preferences vary on how much of the sock can be revealed, though.
Sit on the Natural Waist
Pants that are cut too low on your waist tend to have an unflattering fit. It can be harder to find pants that sit on your natural waist without a belt and fit you well, but it is worth the extra effort to avoid pants that sit too low.
Choose a Tailored Cut
Some men prefer a wider cut in the pants, but for the vast majority of men, a slimmer cut is considered more fashionable by modern standards. Pants with a slimmer cut shouldn't have any break at all. The hem should end cleanly at the top of your shoe and reveal a little bit of sock. The leg should fit the contours of your body from the thigh all the way down through the calf.
To be sure that you're picking the right cut for you, pick pants that have a little bit of stretch and choose from tailored or extra trim, depending on how slender your legs are.
Pick a Lightweight Material
Your pants are one thing that you generally want to be light and cool. The fabric of heavier pants may not seem too uncomfortable when you try them on in the store, but if you want to spend all day in a pair of pants, you need something that is light enough to be comfortable even in the heat. Pick a hyper breathable and moisture-wicking material that will keep you comfortable even through a long day of work.
How Should Your Pants Look When Worn?
Pants that are wrinkled are never a good look. Since you will almost certainly be sitting in your pants, you need to choose a wrinkle-free fabric that will keep looking good as you sit and stand throughout the day.
Ideally, your pants will be able to go from the dryer to the drawer to being worn without a wrinkle. This will save you a significant amount of time in your daily preparations for work or for going to a formal occasion.
Pants tend to move over the course of the day, no matter how well they fit. The only way to ensure that your pants don't move around throughout the day is to wear suspenders, but these have fallen out of fashion.
For men that would rather not wear suspenders but want their pants to stay in place and look great all day, a great pair of dress pants with a shirt-gripping waistband will help your pants and your shirt to stay in place, helping the entire style to look organized and well-fitted. Another great tactic for getting your pants to stay in place is to choose pants that have some stretch.
Most people don't think about stretch and dress pants, but you won't be able to tell that your pants have stretch. Pants with some stretch do a better job of moving with you instead of shifting on your body throughout the day.
Shirt Stays Tucked In
Your shirt should stay tucked in all of the time. Whether your shirt stays tucked or not depends a lot on the shirt, but the right pants can help as well. Choose pants that grip your shirt to keep it in place. Pants that don't move around on your body are also more likely to keep your shirt tucked in, so a close fit and a little bit of stretch can help as well.
Make Sure That Your Pants Fit Well
Don't make the mistake of overlooking how your pants fit when you are putting together an outfit. Whether you are wearing your dress pants to work or to a formal occasion, you need pants that fit you well and look great on.
High-quality pants that fit you well are essential for the success of your look. In some ways, getting great dress pants is even more important than buying a well-fitted dress shirt, since you'll probably wear your dress pants with multiple shirts.