What I’ve Learned About the Ideal Fit for Pants

It’s not all about skinny cuts.

Trouser fits in menswear have been on the slimmer side for some time now, with super skinny fits having had a heyday a few years ago and the go-to cut for many off the rack brands erring toward narrow tapers. Is this the way to go for everyone, though?

Narrow cuts work for narrow legs.

No doubt, you have seen it everywhere; celebrities, fashion influencers and other public figures wearing rather narrowly tapered trousers and jeans. This can look quite flattering on a specific body type: one with narrow and/or straight legs. However, this is not a lot of us regular men. Choosing a straight or traditional cut of trouser can have two big benefits:

1: Have some Breathing Room

The fashion pendulum is swinging further back to this; a bit of flow in the lower leg, or a ‘dad jean’ cut in denim. There is good reason that this is happening. It is more flattering to many types of legs.

If you have well-muscled legs, a slimmer opening will likely see you with visible pulling on the fabric of your trousers. You may also notice some discomfort when sitting down as your legs change shape to accommodate; your trousers may protest. What if I told you that you could eliminate both the pulling and the discomfort, and still look good?

Note the fit of these pants: they are a slim tapered cut.

Now, see a wider leg:

These are more of a traditionally straight cut. They are not the 1950s-esque wide flowing trouser you might think of when the idea of traditional or straight cuts are mentioned. They give a much nicer proportion to the leg compared to a slimmer taper. My legs have room to breathe when I sit down in these, too.

2: Knock Knees? Knock ’em Out of the Park

Earlier, I mentioned how slim tapers are flattering to those with straight legs. So, what happens to those of us without a razor-sharp straight line to the construction of our legs? In my case, I have a bit of knock knee going on; you would not really think about such a thing until you see me in very slim cut pants like these jeans:

Now I love that outfit, but a discerning eye cannot help picking up the inward slope from my feet up to my knees. That is what is known as a knock knee (regardless of how severe the angle is), and recently a Styleforum member Alan Bee shared about his experience of how a fuller cut trouser helps to avoid showing the knee off. To illustrate, here is a reiteration of the fuller cut trouser I am shown wearing above, as well as another example:

The cut of the trouser on the right is not that much wider than a slim tapered cut, but the difference these fuller legs make to the appearance and proportion of my legs is unmistakably positive. I used to love wearing a skinny or slim tapered cut to show off my leg muscles, now all I want to wear is a trouser like the one on the left. It is much more aesthetically pleasing, and it tells those knock knees to knock off.

What does this mean for you?

Consider a fuller cut on your pants. It does not have to become some big, baggy monstrosity; if anything, it may improve your silhouette as it has improved mine.

That’s all for today!

Thanks for reading. See you next time!

Found this content useful? Please consider making a contribution to the site on Patreon. There are some great exclusive benefits!

Posted by

With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

8 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned About the Ideal Fit for Pants

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.