Tailoring 101: Trouser styles

Tailoring 101: Trouser Styles

Most men acknowledge that they can’t wear the same shirt or the same jacket too often, but for some reason, many of them think that wearing the same pair of pants for every occasion is acceptable. Now, it’s true that pants are versatile and can be worn with different outfits and styles. But the same pair every single time you opt not to wear jeans? Come on, you’re not in 4th Grade anymore.

So, we’ve established that you need a range of pants in your wardrobe. Now let’s look at some of the most popular styles and work out which are right for you.

Flat Front

The perfect dress pant for thinner men. It’s a flattering style on men with a lean build, and yes, they were big in the seventies – but they’re back in style and as long as you get a modern pair, you won’t look out of place. Suitable for both casual and formal business settings, this is another of those versatile styles.


Men with a larger build will want to go for pleated pants as the pleats provide more material around the waist and leg area for wider hips or thighs. Anything too tight and a heavier man will look unbalanced and pleated pants give proportion for men with broader shoulders. That said, there’s no reason why men with a slim or medium build can’t choose these to add another dimension to their wardrobe.

Slim Fit

Another one for thin men and particularly suitable for taller gents. Slim-fit pants can be made as a flat front, pleated, or cuffed and when ordering these it’s best to chat to your tailor and get advice on which style to choose.


Cuffed pants are a modern and elegant look. The cuff of dress pants will differ depending on your height; trouser cuffs should be 3cm for a man under 1.6 meters and 4cm if taller. For shorter men, the cuff would be designed by the tailor for the perfect fit.

Dress Pant Fit

Dress pants should fit snugly around the waist without sagging. The reason for a belt with dress pants is to lightly cinch in the waist and to add a splash of color, not to hold them up. If dress pants are too big around the waist, you’ll find the fabric gathers under the belt and the whole drop becomes messy.

If the seat is so tight that moving is difficult or if the pants are baggy, then they don’t fit right and should be tailored or replaced. Similarly, the pants should be snug around the thigh to allow movement without having loose material flapping about

The break, which refers to how the material sits on your shoe when you’re standing, is a personal preference of how the pant leg sits. Some men prefer the trouser to just touch the shoes, others like a little gather and some have their pants finish above the shoe without touching it. All are equally fine, but this requires absolute precision as the merest millimeter can make the pants look too short or too long.