Men’s Pants Buying Guide
Men’s Pants 101
Types of Men’s Pants
Men’s Casual Pants
Men’s Dress Pants
Men’s Cargo Pants
Men’s Track Pants
Types of Men’s Jean Cuts
Men’s Straight Leg Jeans
Men’s Boot Cut Jeans
Men’s Flare-Cut Jeans
Men’s Wide Leg Jeans
Men’s Relaxed Fit Jeans
Men’s Slim Fit Jeans
Men’s Pants & Body Type Tips:
• Tall, lean men often look best in straight-leg or boot-cut pants
• Slender body types may be negatively accentuated by slim or skinny jeans
• Athletic and muscular body types are often flattered by loose-fitting, wide-leg pants that reveal just enough tone
• Heavier body types may find relaxed or moderately wide leg pants offer the best comfort and looks
Men’s Pants Features
Different pants use different materials to best suit style and function. Jeans are typically made from denim, but 100% denim will fit and feel different than jeans that use other materials in the weave, such as elastic. Polyester dress pants will also vary in material breakdown from colour to colour and cut to cut. Casual pants are often made from cotton or corduroy: both are extremely comfortable and durable.
Pant size refers to waist circumference and inseam length. For example, 31x30 indicates a 31-inch waist and 30-inch inseam. The inseam is the distance between the bottom of the pant crotch and the bottom of the inner ankle. Inseam is used as opposed to outer leg seam because, depending upon the rise and cut of the pant, the outer leg seam (the distance between the pant waist and ankle) can vary significantly, whereas the crotch-to-ankle distance remains relatively fixed. Size is not the only indicator of how a pair of pants will fit; style and cut also matter. For example, loose-fitting jeans sized 31x30 will fit much baggier than slim-fitting slacks in the same size.
Low-rise jeans, also known as hip huggers, sit well below the natural waistline, typically on the hip bones, often revealing the navel area and belly. This style of rise is available in an array of jean cuts, from skinny to flare to relaxed fits. Mid-rise or standard-rise jeans sit at the natural waist line, and like low rise, are available in most cuts. High-rise waists sit above the navel area and are primarily a feature of traditional straight-leg jeans. When shopping for different jean and cuts, remember the rise will also affect both the feel and the finished look.
Stitching affects not only the look and comfort of a pair of pants, but also the durability. Jeans often have double reinforced stitching, further secured by brass rivets down the inseam and outer leg. This makes the seams extremely resistant to splitting. Casual and dress pants typically have only one interior stitch down both the inseam and outer leg seam, making them more prone to splitting at the seams but also more comfortable.
Pleats are folds in the pant from the belt seam to about mid thigh. Most pleated pants are either single or double pleated, though some are triple pleated. Pleats are commonly found on dress pants, suit pants and casual pants such as khakis and chinos. Past trends have seen denim jeans designed with pleats as well.
Cuffs, or rolls, are pre-stitched turned-up folds at the ankle of the pant leg. Cuffs are common on dress pants, suit pants and some casual pants styles, including khakis and chinos. The cuffed look is strictly a style choice, adding heft and substance to anchor an overall look.
Buttons & Zippers +
Most pants have either a button fly or zipper fly. A popped button or broken zipper can ruin an otherwise perfectly great pair of pants, so look for strong materials that are securely fastened. The type of fly should be secondary to a pair of pants fit, feel, material and overall appearance.
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Men’s Pants Care & Cleaning Tips:
• Wash denim jeans inside out in cold water to best retain dye colouring
• Hang dry cotton pants to avoid shrinkage
• Avoid over washing pants to preserve shape and increase lifespan
• Wash like colours together to avoid colour bleed, especially with cotton pants and jeans
• Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for care and cleaning