January 09, 2023 8 min read

If you want a pair of dress pants that fit perfectly, it’s important to know what you’re looking for.

Dress pants are useful items to have in your closet because they’re suited to most formal occasions and casual enough that you can wear them to the office or on a night out. 

However, men often have issues finding a pair of dress pants that fit them well. This is especially true for more muscular men with bigger quads and calves.

Luckily, there are a few things you can look out for to know whether the pants fit correctly or not. In this article, we cover how dress pants should fit, how to size them, and some common problems when trying to fit dress pants.

What this article covers:

What Are Dress Pants?

how to know if dress pants that fit well

Dress pants are also called slacks. 

They are usually made from wool, which makes them different from chinos, which are typically made from cotton blends. Since dress pants are made from wool, they typically have a bit of a sheen to them. They have a smooth finish and are usually softer than chinos. 

It’s common for dress pants to be paired with a suit coat or jacket, but they’re versatile enough that you can wear them with pretty much anything. 

How Dress Pants Should Fit

Let’s look at how to fit dress pants. If you want to show off the hard work you’ve put into your legs, you need to be able to tell if a pair of dress pants fit correctly or not. Poorly fitting pants could bunch up around your knees and crotch, making you uncomfortable. Conversely, if they’re too baggy, you end up looking shabby and hiding any definition you might have. 

If the pants don't sit tight enough on your hips without a belt, then the waist is too wide. You should still wear a belt with your dress pants even if your pants aren’t so big that they fall off. 

Another thing to look out for is extra fabric bunching up around your hips, thighs, calves, or ankles as this is a sign that your pants are too big. 

Regarding the length, your dress pants are too long if you sit down and can’t see your socks. However, you shouldn’t be able to see your socks when you’re standing.

If your pants are too small, the fabric will pull around the seams instead of bunching. They'll also be uncomfortable and constrict your movement. 

If your pants don’t fit correctly then you have two options. One is to take your pants to a tailor to rectify the problem and the other is to invest in a custom pair of pants that are made to your measurements.

Tailoring is expensive, time consuming, and there’s no guarantee that the finished product will fit you properly, which is why it’s important to get the right cut from the outset. That’s where TAILORED ATHLETE comes in.

How to Size Dress Pants

how to find dress pants that would fit well

When assessing whether your pants fit, make sure to sit, stand, lean over, put on your shoes, and perform any other motions that you usually go through.

The following sizing is important when it comes to finding dress pants that fit well.

The Leg Opening

It’s also important to measure the leg opening. For muscular men with big thighs, this is an important measurement to get right. 

Off-the-rack suit pants might not fit your build. This is why we believe that TAILORED ATHLETE’s True Muscle Fit dress pants is right for you. Because of our premium 4-way stretch fabric, our clothes contour around your muscles without constricting your movement. 

how you can find dress pants that fit well

Well-defined calves and narrow ankles are something generic brands generally don’t cater to, but TAILORED ATHLETE has you covered. You can then can get pants that fit your quads perfectly and taper the lower leg down so you don't have a straight-leg fit with a bunch of excess fabric.

The leg opening measures the distance around your ankle where your pants’ legs end. To measure the leg opening, you can put on a pair of dress pants and wrap a measuring tape around your ankle at the area where your pants legs end.

You’ll want your dress pants to have a leg opening that is not too tight nor too loose. It should be large enough to comfortably fit over your shoes, but not so big that it looks sloppy or baggy.

The Waist

For most men, it’s difficult to find well-fitting dress pants that fit the waist. There are two things you need to consider when it comes to the waist. These are the natural waist measurement and the rise.

Your waist is the thinnest part of your torso and is typically located just above your belly button. To measure your natural waist, you can wrap a measuring tape around your waist at this point. Make sure the measuring tape is level all the way around and that it's not too tight or too loose. You can use your waist measurement to find dress pants with the right rise.

The rise refers to the distance from the crotch seam to the top of the waistband. It's the height that your pants sit on your waist. Many men prefer mid-rise pant, which falls somewhere between 9 and 11 inches. It does however come down to personal preference.

where to find dress pants that fit well

The Crotch

Another important measurement is the crotch. This refers to the distance between your waistband and the inseam. This sizing is important because it determines how comfortable you will find the pants in the crotch area. You don’t want to fabric to be pulling up your crotch or falling too loose in that area either.

To measure your crotch, you can measure a pair of dress pants that fit you well from the top of the waistband to the inseam. The perfect crotch length is dependent on your height and build. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a crotch length that falls somewhere between 7 and 9 inches.

The Inseam/Length

It’s important to take an inseam measurement. The inseam is the distance from the crotch seam to the bottom of the pant leg. To measure the inseam, you can put on a pair of dress pants and measure from the crotch seam down to the end of the pant leg.

When it comes to the length of the dress pants, there are a few things to consider. First, the length of your dress pants should be long enough to reach the top of your shoes. Second, the length will also depend on the style that you want. If you're going to a formal event, you'll want to choose pants with a longer inseam. If you’ve got a casual event on, you should choose a shorter, more tapered inseam.

For casual occasions, other types of pants such as jeans can be well-suited. TAILORED ATHLETE offers jeans for athletic men. These are perfect for more muscular builds as they’re tailored to fit correctly.

dress pants that fit well

If you are looking for jeans, it can also be helpful to know how to know if jeans fit without trying them on.

The Seat

The seat is the area of your pants that covers the backside of your pants. You can get an accurate measurement for the seat by measuring from the waistband in the front, under your crotch, and up to the waistband in the back.

Dress pants should have a seat that is big enough to comfortably cover your entire backside without being too baggy or too tight. A seat should fit comfortably when sitting down. If it’s not comfortable then the size isn’t right for you.

How to Choose Your Dress Pant Breaks

After you’ve made sure that your dress pants fit correctly in all areas, you can now choose your dress pant breaks. Dress pants breaks are a very important aspect of sizing dress pants correctly.

So, what are dress pants breaks? This refers to where your pants legs will fall on your shoes. The three main types of dress pant breaks include no break, half break, and full break.

No break means that your pants legs will sit right on top of your shoes with no break in between. A half break is when your pants legs fall right above the middle of your shoes with a small break in between. A full break is when your pants legs fall well below the middle of your shoes with a large break in between.

The dress pant break can be chosen depending on your personal preference and the style that you prefer. 

These are similar to what you should be looking for in finding tuxedo pants that fit.

how to find dress pants which would fit well

Dress Pants Fit Problems

X-Creases at the Fork

If you see wrinkles in the seating area when standing, then your pants are too tight in the seat. To fix this, you can have the seat seam opened up if you have enough fabric reserve. What do you do when your pants don't fit? You can look into how to find pants that fit your shape.

Too Much Material in the Seat

You won’t notice any issues when you stand, however when you sit, you end up with bunching rolls of fabric in the fly area and lap. So, how should pants fit when sitting? Trousers that fit perfectly can even show some wrinkles when you sit, however, that can’t be avoided. Pleated pants will show more wrinkles than flat-front pants. If there is excess material in this area, you can speak to an alterations tailor. The cause for this issue can be manifold.

Too Much Material Under the Seat

If these wrinkles in the pants are visible, then the wearer most likely has a very upright posture and the pants were not adjusted correctly for him. It may also be noticed that the trousers may cling to the wearer’s legs in the back. The problem here is the angle of the seat. This could make it difficult to fix existing pants. That’s why it’s important to find a pair of pants that fits correctly. Alternatively, you can get it custom-made.

Roping Creases Along the Seat

It might not be immediately noticeable, but the reason for the rope creases is tightness in the seat seam. To fix this, it needs to be let out and reshaped with heavy iron. Another possible reason for this is that your suspenders or braces are pulling too much. You can try to loosen them slightly to see if that rectifies the issue.

dress pants which fit well

Horseshoe Folds

This problem occurs if the underside of the trousers is cut too close to the wearer’s thigh. It’s possible to also see diagonal creases near the inside of your thighs. The pants will probably stick to the calves. It’s common to have this issue if you have an erect posture and strong calves. It can be difficult to fix, but essentially you need more length in the front of the trouser, so the back looks normal.

Folds that Drag from Fork to Knee

If these wrinkles are visible when you are seated, there’s a possibility that the pants will restrict the wearer in the area of the knee when walking. The problem is the proper seat angle, and you will have to see an alterations tailor.

Diagonal and Vertical Creases in the Front

Creases usually start in the crotch area and move vertically left and right of the fly. If you have these folds, then the pants are too big for you. To fix this, you can have it adjusted in the seat, crotch, and side seams.

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