The [6 fits] of Men's Pants

The [6 fits] of Men's Pants

April 18, 2018

The [6 fits] of men's pants

Before we go into any detail lets start with an infographic. 

If you need nothing but this infographic you'll understand pants fit better than most people on the planet. 

Pant Fit Infographic


Now, lets get into the details:

There are many different fits or cuts of pants. Some brands call a fit something different. Some maybe even have a slightly special fit that is different than these. 

We are going to generalize them all into 6 different fits. 

We're also going to use the term 'pants' to include jeans, chinos, khakis and whatever else. Most of the pictures and examples are of jeans, but this applies to all pants. 

We're also going to use the term 'fit' instead of cut or anything else. 

Mostly because when people google 'tapered cut' or 'straight cut' you get a bunch of hair cuts. 

(D & D hair cuts)

Dumb and dumber hair cut

Generally though, all of them can be summed up to these six.

  1. Skinny
  2. Slim 
  3. Tapered
  4. Regular
  5. Straight
  6. Loose

Those are in order from baggy to tight. As a general rule you should try to stay between regular and slim unless you have a very specific body type.


Skinny fit


A pair of skinny pants will be tight all the way down your leg

If you’re in great shape or on the skinny side they can make you look good.

Anyone else is going to struggle to have the right profile to pull off a pair of skinny jeans.

(Good video describing super skinny, skinny and slim fit jeans)

Be real with yourself, if you don’t have the body don’t wear skinny pants.

 (Skinny jeans)

If you're feeling good about the skinny pants take your fabric into consideration. You're going to want some stretch in your fabric. If you buy denim you'll want a lighter weight and washed denim. 

Trying to rock heavy raw denim in a skinny fit just isn't going to work out.  

The bottom line:

Skinny pants and jeans can look good if you've got the body and the overall look. You've got to put it all together.

They can look real bad real quick if you miss on them. 


Slim or Slim Straight Fit


This is the fit that you’ll see from Washington Alley jeans. It’s our personal favorite. It fits fairly tight but comfortable.

You can shred the dance floor or go to a football game.

A slim or slim straight fit for pants will fit pretty snug at the butt and thigh. Then will taper slightly from the knee to the ankle. 

(5:34 video, on slim vs skinny jeans)

The key to a pair of pants is having them make you look good. A trimmer cut will make you look taller and fitter.


For men who are in good shape will be complemented by a slim fit. 

This fit will work for most body types. You would have to have to be pretty big dude for these to not look good.

(Washington Alley slim straight, Webster Jeans)

WashingtonAlley Websters 

The bottom line:

This is the fit that I would start at. if you're a bigger guy or have big legs then I would move up to a taper cut (described below).

Keep a nice fit at the ankle is biggest trouble area for most guys. 


 Tapered Fit


If a slim fit still seems too tight I would take a look at a tapered.

This means that the jeans will have some width in the thigh and then get smaller as they get closer to the ankle.

The ankle is really the key place to keep an eye out on your fit. If you have a baggy pair of pants at the ankle it’s going to look pretty sloppy.

(1:27 video, he goes over tapered cut early on as well)

That’s what tapered is all about, giving you some room in the thigh and butt, while keep a nice profile at the opening.

(Tapered cut jeans, easy to see the room in the thigh and taper at the ankle) Tapered jeans

The bottom line:

Almost everyone would fit into a pair of taper fit pants. If you love leg day and have huge thighs they are perfect for you. 

If you're just big guy they're a great start to move you toward better fitting clothes. 

A regular fit is next which is probably the last fit I would recommend to anyone.

Only if you're older and aren't comfortable with tighter pants, or a really big dude who also isn't comfortable with tighter pants would I be okay with the regular cut. 


Regular Fit 


This is the first cut of pants where it will be a little baggy at the ankle. It’s probably the most popular and standard type of fit. There really isn’t a body type that this won’t fit comfortably.

The problem is that they can look pretty baggy at the ankles.

(short video, :43, of a dude standing around in regular fit Levi's)

We would only recommend these for bigger guys who have tried a tapered fit but for some reason prefer the regular cut.


In most cases a taper or slim straight will look much better but personal preference can come into play on these.

(Action shot of a regular fit)

Regular cut

The bottom line:

The regular fit pant is the last one that you're allowed to buy. There is no excuse to go any baggier than this.

There is barely an excuse to go past tapered but in some cases we'll allow it. 


Straight fit


This fit is going to be the same width at the thigh as they are at the opening.

This will make them fit slightly better on your upper leg and then get baggy at the ankle.

In almost all cases they will make you look shorter and not very professional.

(Video of relaxed straight fit. :49)

Larger guys could feel more comfortable in them, but for looks, you should stick with a taper cut or regular, well before moving to a straight cut.

(The picture almost makes them okay, they aren't)

Straight cut jeans

 The bottom line:

A relaxed straight fit is going to be really baggy at the ankle. You'll be kicking so much fabric around you could possibly take flight. 

There is no situation that I can think of that anyone should wear these. Maybe some type of survival situation where the extra fabric will be used for shelter, but that's it. 


Loose fit


Loose fit pants are the baggiest of the cuts. They popular in the 90’s; it's not the 90's.

Unless you’re still playing for the band ‘Days of The New’ you can’t justify a loose cut.

They just make men look short and sloppy; which is all bad.

We highly encourage you not to ever put a pair of loose jeans on or let anyone around you do it either.

(These pants will flap like a flag in the wind)

Loose fit jeans

The bottom line:

Don't do it. 

Summary of pant fits

We recommend start with a slim straight then flexing off of that.

If you want to get a little tighter move to a skinny pants, if you want something with more room in the thigh and butt move to a tapered.

Your final last resort should be moving to a regular cut.

Keep a close eye to how your pants fit at the ankle. It's the danger zone. 



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