Pants for Muscular Men (Pants 101 amended)

In relation to my last post I had a friend text me: “…try having fashion applicable to men that have actual muscle mass. Skinny cut pants aren’t possible for real men [whose] thighs are twice as big as their calf”

For starters, I would argue that a real man is not measured in muscles, just as I would argue that a real man is not measured by his penis size or bank account. I would personally measure a man by his decency, support & honesty to others, along with an ability to keep a cool head in any situation and never lose his temper. I may be old-fashioned in this regard. But in the quest to prove oneself as a real man, in my opinion, the constant dedication, discipline & persistence on the given course to get jacked is as close of an indicator of a real man as one can get. Along with one’s zealousness for protein shakes and abhorrence for empty calories in the pursuit of getting shredded, one must know how to wear the right clothes to show off what you got.

One thing is for sure thogh, my friend was right. It is hard for a muscular man to dress properly with a narrow waist & strong thighs. The solution for this is to find a pair of pants in the Relaxed category that fit well in the thigh and on the gluts first, despite the oversized waist and baggy shins. For Jeans you will want them tight on the thigh as they will stretch, and Khakis/Slacks with more of an exact fit. Now, you have to make custom form-fitting pants, so take them to a tailor to get the waist properly fitted along with the legs tapered from the thigh down to the ankle. With Khakis/Slacks you want a Small or No Break on the length because any extra fabric at the bottom makes this body size look more short than muscular. For Jeans you can have them a little longer on the break if you want to roll them up, but I would still just recommend a small break still and a half-inch turn when you want to roll them up.

The idea from my last post stands true, jocks just have to customize their pants to get the waist and taper correct. This can be inexpensive if you get cheaper pants, but you might want to spurge on the tailor & find one who is recommended by other muscular men. My favorite tailor in Pdx is Mike, The Tailor, he works in the back of Collier (615 SW Broadway ave. Suite 103) & even though I don’t know his experience in this area, he can probably take care of you.

For your first couple of trips to the tailor I would recommend getting fully refundable pants or cheap thrift shop pants to make sure the tailor can do the alterations you want for the price you want to pay.

I hope this helps.

For future reference to anyone who has questions/comments/concerns/complaints you can post it here on my blog under the comments section, email me, Tweet or FB me. Others may have the same questions or may have good advice for you too.

BCS

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Pants 101

Gentlemen,

Pants are useful for many reasons, and in Portland, men need them for at least 10 months out of the year. Whether work or play, you are going to want to look good wearing them.

Today, let’s go over some basics on Men’s pants. For the sake of simplicity I’m going to break trousers down into three categories:

1. Slacks – These are your dress pants, suit pants, formal wear, etc.

2. Khakis – These are the less formal khakis, chinos, etc.

3. Jeans – You probably know what these are.

Everything else is specialized. Carharts stay on the job site, pajama pants stay in the home, hiking pants stay on the trail.

Step #1: Choose flat-front pants over pleated.

Pleated-Pants

Never ever, ever wear pleats. Pleats are outdated. The idea behind them is that men need more room and flexibility in their crotch and with the pockets. That was fine when they were popular from the 20s through the 90’s, mainly because fabric was not as flexible then. But now there is no excuse! If you want to wear pants in which you could smuggle drugs or kittens across a border, these are what I would recommend. They come with a giant crotch-void only good for adding 40 lbs to your frame or smuggling. Also the pleats push the fabric out further from the waist, adding weight to the legs all the way down the ankle. The 90’s are alive in Portland but most of us ditched the pleats long ago. You can barely find these in stores anymore, but older more traditional men will swear by pleats. Businessmen are baggier than gangsters these days and that is just weird.

Common pro-pleat myths:

“Pleats help the crease on the legs fall smother” Possibly true, but moot as the crease is a minor worry when you’re adding optical fat to your body.

“Pleats make bigger men look thinner” False, you may be ‘hiding’ fat, i.e. you can’t see what is the fat or just super baggy fabric, but if put in slimmed down flat-fronts the same man would get compliments for looking thinner. The baggier your clothes, the fatter you look.

“Pleats give my penis more room, as I cannot fit them in flat-fronts” (Real argument I’ve heard) False, don’t lie. People usually only try to hide what they don’t have (Push-up bra ring a bell?).

I’m sure someday pleated pants will come back as some ironic fashion statement, but even then I will be grimacing and scoffing in my flat-front pants.

Step #2: Choose your cut.

There are 4 main cuts these days in all three categories of pants:

Relaxed: These are loose, baggy pants. Just don’t do it. You live in Portland, there is literally a 1 in a million chance you are a gangster rapper. Even if you are a fan of gangster rap, dress like A$AP Rocky, not Snoop Dog[Lion]. If there is one thing to take away from this post, it’s to slim up your clothes. My general rule is to not have enough extra fabric on my body to dress a starving African child, because that’s just fucking selfish. So this is a no in all 3 above categories.

Straight(Boot Cut): This cut is the same from the thigh down to the ankle, no taper. Unless you are a stick figure, your ankles are thinner than your thighs. Don’t wear these unless you are wearing boots. Yes only in Jeans, with boots

Slim: This is what you should go for. Anyone can pull this off, it’s just a different name for tapered & because your legs are tapered, this looks good on anyone. Even if you don’t consider yourself slim, try them on, because most brands err on the side of not slim enough. What you really want is anything with “Tailored” in the name of the cut, i.e. Tailored Slim. If they actually fit & look like they were tailored to your body then you win at life. You will look pro without having to pay a tailor to do it! Fully acceptable and highly recommended in all 3 above.

Skinny: You probably already know if you can pull off this cut. This is not acceptable in Slacks usually, but this is Portland & we’re all already oxymorons in one way or another, so I say go for it! Show those chicks what you’re working with!

Step #3: Put the breaks on your breaks!

PantsFit_Breaks

The break on your pants is how the fabric lands on the top of your shoes. The break depends on the pants you wear, but also the shoes you wear with them.

Full/Large Break: This or any pile of pant leg resting on one’s shoe is your first clue of a cluelessly dressed man. Think of the African children and tighten it up boys. This break is never acceptable in Slacks & to me only acceptable in Khaki or Jeans if rolled up(turning it into No Break).

Half/Medium Break: This is the conservative industry standard. All of Congress & any CEO over the age of 35 is sporting this break. So obviously it’s boring, not recommended unless running for office.

Quarter/Small Break: More stylish & tailored look. Highly recommended if you want to look better than others, with no one able to put their finger on why. Also, this will not cause any ripples with bosses or conservatives.

No Break/Rise: This is the one I go for. It is the most fashion-forward. People will stare, comment, perhaps even make fun if they are intimidated by your prowess. This today is urbane defined, and the only way to wear your pants if you want to make moves outside of walking. Careful on this one, like liquor, a little goes a long way. It’s called a Rise, not highwaters. This shows off the shoes and socks without having to sit down. You must have slim or skinny cuts to pull this off. Ankle is the businessman’s cleavage. Wear it well. Better picture below.

3

Fit comes first

Image

The No.1 ProTip to all clothes is fit. I don’t care who you are, if you go get a suit second-hand and tailor it to your body, you will look better and more professional than 95% of men out there now. The biggest difference between the pages of GQ and real life is that every article of clothing in those pages fit the person wearing them. The 90’s are long gone, most rappers even get the tightest fit possible these days. Baggy jeans are out and will stay out, because you graduated high school long ago.

I think the main problem is  that America is overweight(btw, you probably found that out just by trying on clothes at a store). That fact, paired with corporations trying to make clothes anyone can ‘fit’ makes shopping much more interesting. These days you see ‘slim fit’ everywhere but even most of those are too baggy in my opinion.

You need to make sure everything you wear fits. The average man can drop 40 lbs. to the eye by getting a slimmer fit. Hint: if you need a belt to keep your pants up, they are too big! Pants should fit snugly around your waist with an ability to wear them without a belt and the legs of your pants should conform to the legs of your body. The next time you go shopping try getting pants a couple of sizes smaller than you’re used to and see how they fit, but remember, clothes don’t shrink anymore, they stretch, so don’t worry if they feel a little too snug. Hint: If you are ‘swimming’ in your clothes, they are too big! Hint: If the back of your shirt has a ‘sail'(excess build-up of fabrick) when tucked in, it is too big! If you are slim, you need flexible fabric and a hugging fit. If you are a larger man you need to re-evaluate your diet, get some exercise and wear slightly loose clothing, but don’t go too baggy or will add pounds, not hide them. I will let you know the best way to get the perfect fit:

1. Custom shirts – Brooks Brothers will take all of your measurements and make a dress shirt to fit you exactly, made in America too. The problem with this is it ranges from $160.00-$180.00 to get one. While it is probably worth the price it is not very economical.

2. Tailoring – Tailoring is awesome. Any suit you buy should be tailored. If someone tries to sell you a suit without tailoring, they don’t know what they are doing. Tailoring can be spendy but it is worth it for your finer garments. Also, find a recommended tailor, in Portland the best tailor I have found is Mike in Collier, he knows what he’s doing and has saved people I know from the botched tailoring of others. Regular pants and shirts should not be tailored as it is too easy to find the proper fit these days and tailoring tends to almost double the price for those items.

3. Finding the proper fit – This is easier than it seems. If you are slim the best place for slacks and different colored pants is the GAP, who has a true slim fit pant in lots of colors. Their pants are about $60.00 a pair, but always seem to be on sale. H&M has very slim pants too, but you can not choose the length, only the waist size, so it’s a score if you fit them automatically, but I don’t so I’ve never bought pants there, it’s not worth the tailoring in my opinion. But H&M has great fitting flexible button-up shirts in tons of styles ranging from $15-$35. They are not the highest quality, but do last well and are worth the $. Also, Express Men have great shirts in tons of different fits and colors, but are about $60/shirt and have some sales. For suits I’ll only go to Collier. Banana Republic is better for bigger guys, with shirts and pants, they don’t really have slim down to skinny yet.

The biggest trick is to TRY ON EVERYTHING. Try a size smaller than you think you are. Bring a fashionable friend when you go shopping, show them how it fits, get their opinion. I am also available as a personal stylist for a small fee.

You may not be like me, but I work for my body with diet and exercise, so why would I want clothes that make me look fat? I wouldn’t and neither should you. Also, if you are self-conscious, proper fitting clothes will help you feel better about yourself, but I also recommend a better diet and more exercise.