One of the easiest style mistakes to correct is wearing pants that fit well and compliment your body. Baggy or loose pants not only make you look shorter, but also unpolished and sloppy. On the other hand, wearing pants that are too tight can make your upper body look way larger in comparison to your lower body. The key is balance. The perfect fitting pants can make you look taller, like you hit the gym, and effortlessly stylish.
Photo Credit: Zappos, Nordstrom
Loose pants don’t do anything for you (left), while fitted pants make you look more put together (right).
When deciding on how tight your jeans should be, you have to work with your body type. Your body type can tell you if you can pull off “slim” or even “skinny” jeans or if you’re better off with a straight pair. The rule is easy, the slimmer you are, the slimmer you can go. If you’re an average build, stick to slim. If you are on the bigger side, stick to “slim-straight”. Men rarely need to go into the “straight” or “relaxed” territory unless they are really big. When I say really big, I’m talking about Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock big.
Not convinced? Below are some examples of what an ill-fitted pair of jeans can do to you vs what a well-fitted pair can do for you. I broke down the advice by body type, if you don’t know your body type, check out THIS POST.
Trapezoids should stick to slim fits in pants since a slim leg compliments the rest of their shape and looks modern.
Photo Credit: Pop Sugar, I Am Galla
Don’t wear pants too loose and bunching at the bottom (left). Instead, go for a slimmer fit and get them hemmed to your correct length (right).
It’s important for Ovals not go too skinny their pants since it will make their upper body look really big in comparison to their lower body. Create balance by going for slim or slim-straight. Don’t go too baggy or it will make you look wider than you are.
Photo Credit: ASOS, Notoriously Dapper
Don’t go too skinny in your pants either, it will make your upper body look way bigger than your lower half (left). Instead, work with your body and go for a slim-straight (right).
Stick to slim or slim-straight depending on how big your upper body is. Baggy pants will make you look much wider and shorter than you are.
Photo Credit: Pinterest, Cool Artisan
Pants too loose will make you look short and small (left), while going for well-fitted pants helps give you shape (right).
Photo Credit: Pinterest, Esquire
Inverted Triangles hit the gym a lot, so it’s easy to think you need relaxed fit pants, but you don’t (left). Show off your body with fitted jeans, but go for “athletic” fits which are slim and give you more room in the thighs (right).
Guys on the slimmer side should not wear baggy pants. Not only does it not look modern, but the loose clothing can make your head look smaller than the rest of your body. Work with your body and wear pants that fit well. You don’t need to go “skinny”, but at least stick to “slim”.
Photo Credit: Pinterest, Newscom
The image on the left shows pants with no taper from knee to ankle. The image on the right shows how clean a slight taper looks.
Another tip on making sure your pants fit well is to make sure they are the proper length. Having jeans or chinos that slouch at the bottom due to excess fabric is going to make it look like your pants are too long for you, hence making you look short. Getting your pants adjusted to the right length is called getting them “hemmed”. Hemming is a very common alteration tailors do and is usually in the $10 to $20 range and is worth it. Lots of department stores have in-house tailors that can do it for you so you don’t have to go searching for a tailor elsewhere.
Photo Credit: Pinterest, Nordstrom
Avoid your jeans scrunching at the bottom, it looks bad (left). Instead, get your pants hemmed to the correct length and have a small break (right)
Waist Height Also Matters
Last, but not least, wear your pants at the right length. Wearing your pants too low on your waist will make your legs look short and your upper body look unproportionately long. Wearing them at the right length will balance out your body. The waist height is called a “rise”. Avoid low rise jeans, mid-rise is the way to go. Low rise works for guys whose hips sit really high, in which case they would make your hips look like they sit at a normal length.
Photo Credit: Fashion Beast, Notoriously Dapper
Wear your jeans at the correct height. The rise in the photo on the right makes his legs look longer, the photo on the left makes his legs short and waist very long.
Next time you get a new pair of jeans, chino or dress pants, keep this advice in mind and you’ll be looking effortlessly stylish.
2 thoughts on “Men’s Style: A Case For Fitted Pants”
Excellent advice and guides! Thank you! I would love it if you could share additional insights re dressing an extreme oval man, as in medium build/large tummy…do you tuck in shirts, leave untucked, half tucked? How to get shoulders *and* tummy to fit?
Hey Kay, gosh, so sorry… I thought I replied to this! For ovals, it’s best to shape your body, so tucking in your shirts is key. Going custom made for shirts can be a great solution if off-the-rack isn’t fitting quite right. I use Pacific Issue for my clients and they love it. Also, check out these two male fashion bloggers: @kelvindavis and @thebigfashionguy on instagram, they dress their shape very well 🙂