January 09, 2023 8 min read

Do you have a wedding soon to attend and are desperately looking for dress pants but are struggling to get your fit right?

We want to tell your everything about how dress pants should fit and feel, especially for the more muscular individuals who struggle to find quality items of clothing.

TAILORED ATHLETE creates apparel for bodybuilders and athletes. We’re the brand for you if you have trouble finding garments that are comfortable for you and don't frequently rip at the seams. 

Our clothing is smartly designed with high-quality Performance Fabric with 4-way stretch properties for a comfortable fit and full range of motion. You’ll find the best pants for your body type along with plenty of T-shirts, jeans, and dress shirts to round out your wardrobe.

Your next clothing shopping trip should be a breeze once you understand the proper fit of dress pants. At the end of this article, you’ll be able to tell how pants fit without even trying them on

What this article covers:

Types of Dress Pants Fit

how should pants fit

Before we can get into the nitty-gritty of how dress pants should fit, we need to discuss the different types of dress pants and what each of them offers in style and fit.

Figuring out how your pants should fit, especially dress pants, can be a painful experience, hopping from shop to shop trying to find perfectly fitting pants.

At first, it might seem impossible to find the perfect pair of dress pants. However, with a little bit of information on how dress pants should fit, it’s a lot easy to narrow down your search and locate the perfect pair of pants to accompany your body type.

Having prior information about what to look for in a pair of dress pants can save you from the arduous task of aimlessly walking into a clothing shop and coming out empty-handed.

However, the measurements for waist and length can be applied to each style of dress pants when you are trying to find your perfect size.

The Slim-Fit Dress Pants

Slim-fit dress pants have taken the fashion world by storm and have become the most popular and stylish type of dress pants in this modern era.

The pants themselves give off a very clean-cut smart finish that hugs the frame of your legs with a lot less fabric.

Slim-fit dress pants don’t conform to the more modern skinny styles of pants. Instead, they’re tapered down the legs and have the classic narrow ankle look.

While slim-fit dress pants work well for slender people without much muscle mass, they’re not going to look good if you spend a lot of time at the gym. Because the fabric around the pants is cut so close, they tend to stretch out over the crotch which can lead to an unappealing tenting affect.

You need a pair of pants that’s designed with your body shape in mind. That’s where we come in.

TAILORED ATHLETE has a wide range of True Muscle-Fit dress pants and men’s stretchy dress pants that contour around your calves and thighs, highlighting your best features. 

how should dress pants fit length

Our True Muscle-Fit trousers won’t leave you feeling suffocated and provide you with enough space to feel comfortable and look stylish.

The Classic Dress Pants

Classic fit dress pants are daily straight-cut and aimed to fit the most common body types. This is great if you have an average build, but athletes and bodybuilders won’t get much out of them.

Because classic-fit dress pants are cut straight, there’s little room for definition to show off the calves and thighs you’ve worked so hard for. You need to find pants that will contour around your muscles, and that means going for TAILORED ATHLETE.

How Should Dress Pants Fit — Length


To figure out how dress pants should fit we first need to understand what rise is. Figuring out the rise of pants is critical when determining how dress pants should fit.

The rise is the overall length of fabric between the waistband and crotch seam. The front rise and the back rise are both present in men's dress pants. The rise of dress pants influences how your waist look will look. Getting the correct rise will give you a sleeker silhouette look.

how are dress pants supposed to fit

A comfortable rise for dress pants should have the waistband just below the belly button. The same goes for all three types of dress pants we discussed earlier. The rise should fit at a mid to high hip level but should never fit above the belly button.

Generally, you should be able to wear dress pants without a belt, which means that the rise should fit snugly around the waistline but still leave you with a little bit of breathable space.

A rise that’s miles above the belly button gives you that unflattering wedgie look. On the other hand, if your rise is too long, you get a lot of excess fabric in the crotch area, giving it that unwanted saggy appearance.

Thankfully, at TAILORED ATHLETE you won’t have to worry about your clothes being too tight or baggy since they are made to be the perfect and most comfortable fit depending on your specific body type.

Crotch Fit

After we figure out what rise is best suited for our bodies, we need to then move onto the crotch area. The crotch area can make or break your dress pants, so you need to make sure the crotch area of your pants isn’t too tight or too baggy.

Traditional dress pants have standardized measurements when it comes to the area so you don’t have to worry too much about it when purchasing a classic pair of dress pants. However, the problem with the crotch area becomes a huge problem when we talk about slim-fit dress pants.

A slim-fit dress pant doesn’t have a lot of fabric to work with, so adding a tight crotch area to this type of dress pants can be extremely uncomfortable. So, how exactly should it fit?

 how dress pants should fit

Your dress pants should fit snuggly against your crotch. It's too tight if the material starts to pull. If you want to test if the crotch area is too small, take a seat and see if the material pulls in the area. Ultimately, the crotch should fall smoothly and have enough breathable space to move around freely.

The Seat

The seat of your pants significantly influences the fit of your dress pants, especially when you’re sitting. Essentially, the seat should never pull on any of the material when standing and should hug your body slightly when you’re sitting.

The fabric of your dress pants will drag and wrinkle across your bottom if the seat is too small. This is a blatant indication that the pants are too tiny, and you probably need to go up a size.

When this space is too small, you should be able to sense it as well. It's an extremely terrible sign if sitting down is even the slightest bit challenging. There are a few tests you can do to determine whether your dress pants are the wrong fit.

If you struggle to take a seat, zip up your pants, or take long lunges every time you take a step, then you can be sure that your dress pants are too small.

If you want to test if your dress pants are too big then put your hands in the back pockets and pull the fabric away from your butt. If you can pull a lot of material away from your butt, then your dress pants seat area is too big.

Dress Pants Length

how should men's dress pants fit

The length of your dress pants is another important component when determining the fit of your pants. Having a pants length that is too long can look untidy, while a short length makes it seems like you’ve stepped in a puddle.

When we talk about pants length, we need to consider two crucial components – the inseam and the outseam. Both these components will determine the length of your pants and it's something you should keep in mind when trying on any type of dress pants.

The Inseam

The inseam of dress pants, or any pants for that matter, refers to the measurement on the inside of the pants leg. The inseam of the pants runs from the crotch area down to your ankles.

The inseam determines the length of your pants more accurately than the outseam. It’s important to measure your inseam length before purchasing a new pair of dress pants. This ensures that the length is suited for the length of your legs.

The Outseam

Unlike the inseam, the outseam does not have a significant influence on the length of the pants. The outseam measures the outside section of the pants leg.

The outseam is always longer than the inseam because it measures from the waistband to the very bottom of your ankle.

An outseam should end either slightly below the ankle or slightly above. You don’t want to be dragging excess fabric on the floor.

How Pants Should Fit Above Your Ankle

how should dress pants fit when sitting

Lastly, we need to discuss pants breaks. This is the last thing you need to worry about when it comes to the fit of your dress pants. It’s generally a fashion statement rather than how well the pants fit.

The break of pants is where the bottom of the hemline meets your shoe. There are three types of breaks and choosing one depends on your personal preference.

Firstly, there is no break. A no break is where the hemline of the dress pants ends before the ankle and exposes your skin or socks. A no-break is one of the most popular styles of fashion in this modern era of clothing.

Secondly, we have a partial break. This type of break ends at the top of the shoes. This is the most traditional break in dress pants, and it is commonly worn by those who want a slight crease above their shoes.

Lastly, we have the full break. A full break isn’t the most clean-cut style because it leaves a lot of excess fabric hanging over the middle of your shoe where the shoelaces run. The hemline essentially covers the shoe with very little exposure.

The Bottom Line

Dress pants, like any other item of clothing, should fit comfortably and you should feel good while wearing them. It can be frustrating when your pants don’t fit, but now you won’t have to worry about that anymore with this guide.

how should dress pants fit at the ankle

It has become a lot easier to find the right size for you in the modern day because there are plenty of options available nowadays than there were a decade ago.  

If you have your measurements and what you’re looking for you, finding the perfect dress pants will become a lot easier. 

TAILORED ATHLETE has made this easier still by creating garments specifically targeting athletes and bodybuilders.

At the end of the day, you should always fit on the pair of dress pants you’re wanting to purchase even if you have all the measurements to the tee. This is the most accurate way to know whether the pants fit comfortability or if you will be needing another size.

By now you have expert knowledge on how to find dress pants that fit well, so I suggest you get out there and find the perfect pair of pants for your next formal occasion.

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