How Should Pants Fit?

By now we’ve covered how your suit jacket should fit, and definitely how your shirt should look if it has been well tailored.  But what about your pants.  It’s eerily similar how so many men have parallels between how they treat both their bodies and their clothes: Meatheads at the gym focus on their torso and arms, and so-called male ‘fashionistas’ focus on their shirts, sweaters and jackets without paying enough attention to their pants.  If you want to avoid falling into the meathead / fashionista trap that is oh so common, fear not!  We are here to address all of your formalwear fashion concerns, including the VERY IMPORTANT: HOW SHOULD PANTS FIT.  So without further ado, here we go:

Pants are particularly important because they serve as the base of your ensemble.  Their importance hinges largely on the fact that they can alter perception of your height.  A pair of high rise pants  (‘rise’ refers to measurements between the top of your pants and your crotch) without a break can make you look longer, while pants with a shorter rise, cuffs or pant breaks can serve to make you look shorter than you really are.


Break refers to the fold above the cuff of the leg, which is created when the fabric of the pant is longer than your leg (Sweet!). Thus the pant line breaks.  A full break refers to when the pant develops a crease so large that a second break may ensue, and by extension of that, quarter and medium breaks are milder versions of such heinous crimes.

Pants placement

Your pants should sit at the top of your hip bones, and below your navel.  They should be slim enough so that you do not require a belt to keep them positioned in place, but they should not be cutting into your waistline either.  Most people opt for medium break or no breaks.  You could go for a full break if you really want to push the envelope, or EVEN BETTER, go for a hybrid which I’d like to call POINT BREAK: PATRICK SWAYZE PANTS IN DIRTY DANCING.  NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL SWEETNESS!

Hotness: Point Break personified

Hotness: Point Break personified

On a more serious note, while pleats can serve a great functional purpose (as they allow for greater pocket room and more stretch), they will make your pants appear looser.

And that’s a wrap!  As always, comments and suggestions are welcome!

Categories: Pants

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1 reply


  1. Pants 101 | bridge city style

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