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How to Choose Dress Trousers

Comfort and casualness are pointed to as the reasons the once rebellious jeans have made such an arrival on the sartorial scene. But there is a more stylish and perhaps just as comfortable alternative to the jeans, the dress trousers. Trousers are the more traditional alternative to jeans when it comes to semi-casual and formal wear.

How to Choose Dress Trousers
How to Choose Dress Trousers

Know your waist measurement. There are two key metrics your should know before choosing dress trousers for yourself. The first is the waist measurement. To determine your waist measurement, pull a measuring tape around your trunk in a horizontal line that crosses your navel.

Choose a button or zipper fly. The choice between a button or zipper fly is a purely aesthetic choice. If you prefer the look and feel of a button fly, choose dress trousers that have a button fly. If, on the other hand, you prefer a zipper, choose dress trousers that have a zipper fly.

Decide if you’d like pleated or plain-front dress trousers. Pleated dress trousers have pressed lines running down the centre of each leg and are more flexible than plain-front pants. Plain-front pants have a smooth uniformity to the fabric across and around the legs.

Decide what type of pockets you want. There are two types of pockets: slash pockets and slit pockets. Slit pockets are vertically-oriented openings that close with buttons. Rear pockets are always slit pockets, though they may or may not have buttons to close them. Front pockets might be slit pockets, but are typically slash pockets – angled openings that descend from the waistline toward the outer leg.

Choose your fit. Dress trousers for men are available in three primary fits. First, there’s the slim fit. These dress trousers have legs that hug the shape of the leg and taper toward the ankle. Next, there’s the wide-leg fit. This type of dress trouser fits loosely in the waist and thigh area. Finally, there’s the straight leg fit. This fit, as its name implies, allows the trouser leg to fall straight down from the waist to the foot.

Choose between lined or unlined pants. Some dress trousers – typically those made from wool – are lined with silk. But if you prefer the feel of wool (or whatever the material the trousers are made of), choose unlined dress trousers.

Decide what material you want. Dress trousers are available in a variety of fabrics. Choosing the right material for you means taking into consideration how much you’re willing to spend and your personal aesthetic preferences.

Pick your color. Dress trousers for men are available in many colors. Gray, navy, and black are the most common colors. Typically, you’ll match the trousers you choose to a suit, shirt, and tie combo. For instance, you might choose navy or gray dress trousers for a navy suit and light blue dress shirt.

Select your break. The break is a measure of how your dress trouser cuff ends. Trousers with a full break will crease quite noticeably at the ankle. Trousers with a half (or medium) break will crease somewhat, but less than those with a full break. Dress trousers with a quarter (or slight) break crease only slightly.

Decide if you wish to cuff your dress trousers. Dress trousers often have a cuff at the ankle. This means that the ankles are rolled up slightly and sewn into a thin strip of fabric. Cuffs can shorten the visual impression of the legs. If you are shorter, therefore, you might wish to avoid wearing cuffed dress trousers.

Decide if you want to wear suspenders or a belt. Some trousers fit better with a belt. Others fit better with suspenders, which makes the trousers fit more loosely. If you know that you will always be wearing trousers with a belt, with suspenders, or with both, ask your tailor to adjust the dress trousers accordingly before (or after) obtaining them.

Determine your budget. Dress trousers are available at a wide range of price points. Some cost $50, some cost $400 or more. Before you start shopping for dress trousers for men, decide how much you’re willing to spend. This will help you limit your attention to only the realistic choices.

Photos: Wix

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