4 Basic Alterations
A good pair of trousers is a staple item in any wardrobe and the right fit will flatter your natural body shape. Unless you are one of the lucky few who can wear anything off the rack, investing a bit of alterations on your new trousers will elevate your look instantly.
1. Shorten trousers
The ideal length for a pair of trousers depends on the style you prefer to wear.
Not every person likes the slim tailored look that is popular right now. Many gentlemen prefer the traditional look of a full trousers leg, even Tom Ford is well known for wearing straight to wide leg trousers at full length. Classically cut wide leg trousers should be worn long. The back of the hem sits just above the heel, with a full break in the front.
The break is the small wrinkle in the front where the trousers sits on top of the shoes.
Modern trousers are more narrow and tapered at the hem. They should be slightly shorter than classically cut trousers, with only a half break at the front. The back of the hem sits over the rim of the shoes.
The fashionably brave gentlemen who like to wear very slim trousers, can shorten their trousers so there are no break, and thereby not touching the shoe at all. To pull off this look, make sure the trousers are tailored to the correct proportions. Often, cuffs at the hem adds to the overall aesthetics for this look.
2. Taper the legs
A tapered leg suits most men, as it elongates the body and has a slimming effect, an important consideration if you are short and want to look taller.
Like the length of your trousers, the width you choose will depend upon whether you prefer the classic wide-leg look or a modern tapered style. Often men are reluctant to try tapering, fearing it will end up being too tight and look unprofessional.
For a classic, professional look, taper the trousers from the knee down. The amount of tapering should be in proportion with your body shape, so that your pants are as flattering as possible. This suits all body shapes.
Fashion forward men like to taper the trousers to be figure hugging from the thighs all the way down to the hem. Although this look may look great in instagram photos and when you are standing, it is often not practical for men who sit at a desk all day, and need some room for movement. It is also not suitable for men who have muscular, short legs, no matter what fashion bloggers say.
The classic look of the pleat front trousers are slowly coming back into fashion. They are perfect for guys with a big bum and muscular thighs. Make sure they are tapered towards the hem to still look modern.
3. Waist alterations
To find the correct waist fit, there should be just enough room to fit two fingers in the back of the trousers waist. This allows for comfort when sitting down. If the waist is too big, fabric will bunch up under the belt, and in the back of the seat, this look is extremely untidy.
Trousers waist can be easily taken in or let out up to 5cm.
Low waist trousers may be fashionable, but a higher waist band elongates the leg, is more comfortable to wear, and makes the wearer look taller. The waist band should sit on the natural waist just under the belly button, not under the tummy or on the hips.
4. Install a Saddle
Slimmer trousers also mean more wear and tear on the trousers. We see a lot of men damage their trousers in the crutch area due to rubbing between the legs. Installing a triangular piece of poly or silk fabric in the crutch, a saddle, helps to reduce the rubbing, protect the fabric in the crutch and increase the overall life of the trousers.
More importantly, make sure you are buying the right size trousers for your behind. It is far more complex to alter the crotch than the waist of trousers.
Finding well-fitted trousers can be a problem for men with larger backsides. If this is the case for you, opt for a larger size that follows the shape of your body and have the waist taken in. When the seat is too small, the trousers side pockets will flare, and if it’s too large, the fabric will sag under the crotch as if you are wearing a nappy.
Don’t forget, it’s the cut and fit of a suit that makes you feel like a million bucks when you get ready each morning. That’s because when your clothes are comfortable and tailored to sit perfectly, getting dressed becomes a pleasure, not a chore.