Thursday, May 15, 2008

The right trousers

Having focused on lapel styles and accessories in the last few weeks, I'd like to turn my attention to the most important part of any man's suit: the trouser. The well-fitted trouser is the most essential factor to get right as, no matter what the situation (whether in an informal meeting or just walking home), you may take your jacket off but your trousers are always in evidence. One of the giveaways of a cheaply made suit or one bought of the peg is an ill-fitting trouser. Getting any suit to look its best is to get the length of the trousers just right as any extra fabric round the ankle can spell disaster and a shabby look.

Of course if you are investing in a bespoke suit you won't have to worry about ensuring that your trousers look good, but here's a quick guide to length and style to help you find the right pair of strides to suit you (and your suit) best. As far as length goes, it is commonly acknowledged that the length of your trouser should reach your shoes and incorporate a slight break. This length should cover your socks while you are walking creating a stylish look rather a nod to Michael Jackson!

Any extra length in addition to this tailoring standard looks untidy and scruffy. When buying any men's suit of the peg you can always take the trousers to a tailor for alteration to save embarrassment. Wearing cuffs at the end of your trousers works for taller men and gives extra weight to the fabric, whereas a straight finish helps shorter men to look taller.

In order to ensure your strides fit around the waist, make sure you can comfortably fit two fingers behind the waistband while wearing them. When it comes to the question of which style of trouser to choose, flat-fronted trousers are considered more stylish and modern and most suits for the under forty will naturally be made to this shape unless you state otherwise. Flat-fronted trousers look good no matter what your size, whereas pleats can draw attention to the stomach area and therefore can be difficult to pull off.

If the pleated look is your thing, however, don't choose them if you're especially svelte as a thinner man will look even skinnier when sporting pleats. Make sure your pleats aren't opening while you're wearing them as this creates the impression of extra width in the stomach area. In order to make sure your trousers fit perfectly while wearing pleats, look to see if the front crease sits in the middle of your knee and follows exactly down to the middle of your shoe.


Anonymous said...

I want some advice. I have one shoulder lower than the other due to an injury - about 4cm lower. I have considered a bespoke suit but the cost is prohibitive and I have tried a cheaper tailored suit but they have struggled with the shoulder and the suit hanging properly. As a result, I am considering buying a few extra shoulder pads from a haberdashery and putting them inside an off-the-peg suit I like. Would this approach work or any other suggestions?

wlmb2 said...

Putting in extra shoulder pads could be a good solution for you, but it is likely to look odd in an off-the-peg.

At A Suit That Fits we have tailor made garments for people with a similar build very successfully. You are welcome to give us a try too.

Hope this helps!