January 09, 2023 6 min read

Everyone has different opinions about how pants should fit (but some are more valid than others). Depending on what’s in fashion at the time, the rules change and what looked “good” yesterday might not today. 

If you’re looking for a timeless style, it’s important to choose neutral pieces.

Things like pleats and wide waistbands are markers of a more classic style. High rises and slim fits are modern, which means they could fall out of style at any moment. For neutrality, try to find pant fits between these two points.

Whether you’re looking for something neutral and relaxed that you can wear around the office, or something snazzy to make you stand out when you’re on a night out, TAILORED ATHLETE has the right fit for you.

With our moisture-wicking premium 4-way stretch material, we make clothes for muscular men which means you’re bound to find pants that fit well.

What this article covers:

The Parts of Pants

 how should pants fit when sitting

For such a basic clothing item, pants are made up of a variety of parts. Each part plays an important role in how the pants fit and their style. 

There’s also a lot of variation between different kinds of pants. So just because you’ve found dress pants that fit your shape doesn’t necessarily mean that the same will be true of jeans.

With so many parts it can be hard to keep track of which measurements are most important and what they all mean. The measurements you always need to start with are what you’ll find on the label. Pants with a 33 x 32 measurement have a 33-inch waist and a 32-inch inseam.

Sohow are pants supposed to fit? That can be complicated depending on your body shape, personal style, and occasion. Here are the things you need to know before making a purchase.

How Should Pants Fit Around the Waist?

Your pants should sit comfortably just below or on the navel. If they are loose enough to require a belt, they are too big. If they are squeezing you or you have to pull them up high to close them, they are much too small.

Front and Seat

The seat is your backside. If this is too tight, you will feel the material pulling across your rear. 

The material should lie flat against your bottom without too much excess fabric. If it’s too loose, it can look slouchy and messy.

The front is obviously the front of your pants. If this area is too tight, your crotch might feel quite uncomfortable and you may feel a bit exposed. A baggy front section looks unprofessional and sloppy.

how are pants supposed to fit

This is particularly bad for muscular men, since the baggy fabric can pull and stretch, leaving you with unattractive seams and tenting.

If you find yourself wondering why pants don’t fit properly, the front and seat are the most likely causes.


The rise of trousers is the length between the top of the waistband and the crotch. This particular part of the pants is definitely up to personal choice. It completely depends on your own comfort and if you prefer your pants on your waist or hips.

If the rise is too high, you might not have enough space. If it’s too low, your pants may look very baggy. The formula used in tailoring is: (outseam) - (inseam) = (rise). 

When trying on pants, sit them where you will wear them and decide on the rise depending on that.

Inseam and Outseam

The inseam is the measurement we are talking about when we talk about the pant length. This is the distance from the fork in the crotch to the hem.

how should pants fit men

The outseam is the distance from the top of the waistband to the hem. As mentioned above, these are the two measurements you can use to estimate the rise.


An ill-fitting knee can indicate pants that are too tight. If the fabric is tight in the thigh above the knee, but too loose below the knee, you should try a more tapered style.

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying Pants

Shopping for pants can quickly become irritating. By shopping online and doing research, you can avoid trying on hundreds of pants not made for your body. Shopping with us ensures you are buying athletic fit dress pants made with athletic bodies in mind.

TAILORED ATHLETE has an ironclad return and exchange policy, so if you aren’t happy or need to change your size, you have the freedom to decide. If you send your items back within 35 days, we will help you with any changes.

  • Choose your style. There are a variety of dress pants styles such as chino, slim fit, and classic fit. However, for people with muscular physiques, finding the right fit and style can be a challenge. 

We recommend our muscle-fit trousers. With a choice of different cuts like the everyday tech and 365 trousers to suit any occasion.

how should men's pants fit

  • The material of the trousers can have a massive impact on how they fit your body. Historically, heavier fabrics were used for formal trousers as the weight ensured cleaner lines and a proper fit for longer.
  • Quality over quantity. It’s very important to read reviews about the trousers you buy. Find out what other people have to say about the quality of the clothing and the company. Doing this ensures you will find out about any potential issues before investing.
    TAILORED ATHLETE has 4.5 stars on Trust Pilot and 4.8 stars on Our reviews speak to our dedication to high-quality products and customer service. 
  • Consider suspenders over a belt. No matter how well your belt fits, your pants will sag as the day goes by. This can ruin a perfect fit. Wearing suspenders ensures that you maintain that perfect fit throughout the day.

How Should Men's Pants Fit

The fit of your pants can play a huge role in your comfort. If you are going to be wearing these trousers for several hours, it’s essential to be as comfortable as possible. Our four-way stretch fabric with moisture-wicking technology is made for long-wearing.

Dress Pants

Dress pants should fit comfortably on top of your hip bones, below your navel. They should be well-fitted, but still conservative for formal events. Mainly it shouldn’t be too tight on your backside, thighs, or ankles.

how should pants fit around waist

You should try to have some draping material, but your trousers should never be sized up to achieve this comfortable fit. The right fit will sit on your waist properly without a belt. If they cut into your skin, they are definitely too tight.

You also need to consider the length your want your pants to be. This will affect what is known as the break in your pants. This is the fold in the material on your shin where the bottom of the pants meets your shoe. Longer pants will have a more obvious break.

These are similar markers that you should look for in tuxedo pants that fit.


For the perfect fit, you want your jeans to sit on your waist without needing a belt. Where your jeans sit on your waist is up to personal preference. Some prefer a high waist and slim fit while others prefer low-rise jeans with more stretch.

The jeans should sit close to your body, but shouldn’t be skin-tight. It is currently fashionable to have a slight taper on the legs to avoid a bell-bottom look. However, the bell-bottom look used to be popular and trends tend to circle around.

Universal Markers of Well-Fitting Pants

There are a few things to look out for that mean you have chosen correctly. When you tick all these boxes, you can be sure that your pants fit well.

  • When the fabric does not pinch your skin anywhere, they are not too tight. 
  • If there is no pulling or wrinkling of the fabric at any point along the leg, the pants fit well. Pulling can mean that the pants need to be let out more in certain areas.
  • The pleats along the front of the pants should lie flat. There should be a slight opening right below the waistband. However, if they gape open all along the leg, your pants are too tight. 
  • The front seam rests on the knee.

how should slim fit pants fit


Now that we’ve gone through how various cuts of pants that fit, we’re sure you’ll find something in our extensive catalog that fits not just your body, but your style too.

Thanks to our high-quality fabric, you can buy pants that fit without even trying them on. TAILORED ATHLETE is the best place to shop for muscular men who take as much pride in their fit as they do their body.

Once you’re fitted out in a new, stylish pair of pants, you can pair them with our Fitted Polo Shirts to accentuate your look.

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