How to buy dress pants

Not all pants are created equal. We think a wise man once said that, but we’re not sure which one.

We stress over our dress shirts, ties, shoes, and blazers, but do we stop to really think much about the pants we buy and how they fit us. Guys, you’ve probably had your fair share of pants that were a bit too baggy or just too tight, but you stuck it out and wore them anyway.

That’s about to change. We want to show you the proper way to buy dress pants to ensure they always fit you and your body type. You need to be concerned not just with the waist size and color, but also the length, the inseam, the way they hit your shoe.

Why do guys buy the wrong pants?

If you don’t know that to look for, it’s pretty hard to find the right pair of pants. Usually, if we’re at the store, we just want something that fits our waist size. It’s a hurdle just to find a pair you like that fits your waist and that’s where many of us stop.

But it’s time to start being picky about your slacks.

How to take measurements

Here are the main measurements you need to be concerned about:

  • Inseam (bottom side of ankle to underside of the crotch)
  • Waist
  • Rise (crotch seam to top of waist)

You’re probably familiar with waist and inseam. But rise may be a new one. Many retailers sell pants with the rise at 10 inches, but guys over 6 feet tall may need long rise pants that are around 12 inches.

Real Men Real Style has a great write up on how to take measurements for each of these items.

What to look for when buying

Now it’s time to head to the store to try on some pants. When it comes to dress pants, you will noticed that they need to be worn a bit higher on the body. That’s because the distance from the waist to the crotch is longer than for casual pants. Pull your trousers above the hips to get the optimal look.

According to A Tailored Suit, when your pants wrinkle or bunch around the thighs, they’re too tight.

If you notice billowing or the crotch area sagging, then the pants are too loose.

Next, decide between pleated and plain-front pants. Real Men Real Style has an infographic to show you the different between these two pants.

Pleated means that the pant has small folds in the fabric. Pants can come as single or double pleated.

Trouser cuffs are at the bottom of the pant leg. Some pants may or may not have them. According to A Tailored Suit, the best fit is when the cuff rests against the back of the shoe.

Next up is the fabric. The most common are woven wool or woolen blends usually in gray, navy blue, or black. They can also come in heavier fabrics that are better for winter than hotter months.

Real Men Real Style has an excellent checklist to help you purchase your new favorite pair of pants.

And if you look through this article and don’t want to go through the hassle of going to the store and trying on pants, come to Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers and see about getting a perfectly-fitted pair of custom trousers.

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