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Hinting Below the Belt

Hinting Below the Belt

Pants are as basic to men’s clothes as lingerie is to women’s. It’s such an essential component of any man’s wardrobe that men will be practically naked without it (as inconceivable as it is, that’s a day women would voluntarily domesticate themselves… or maybe not). Thing is, this piece is something men should keep a handful of, if only to avoid wearing the same old boring pair every single day. Here are some types and styling options to help you smarten up your pants collection.

Timeless Jeans: rugged and street casual, denims/jeans is a day to day pair for the man who works the outdoors. Considerably more durable than its formal counterparts, it’s a tough buy since it is usually RTW and the buyer (must) try anything and everything to find a perfect fit. But with the right fit, everything falls into place especially when paired with crisp plain or patterned shirts or t-shirts, matching belt and patent leather shoes.

Apart from the cut, design, style, and fit, there’s an added decision to make, what with the countless “wash” types to choose from. Character or plain buttons, re-invented belt hoops, and pocket and hem embroideries are common fashion enhancements to individualize a pair of denims and put a little bit of oomph into the wearer’s overall appeal.

Comfort Slacks: a step closer to formal trousers. It has evolved to mean khakis and less formal pants used as casual attire used for blue collar jobs and non-formal social get-togethers. Soft and durable cotton make up 70%-80% of the fabric. Perfect to match with any shirt type and tie pattern as long as the colors don’t clash, with patent leather shoes again for a clean hip finish.

Suit Trousers: paired with men’s suit, these pants are fixed for formal occasions and can be found in wool and polyrayon fabrics. Silk seam-lined trousers are matched with tuxedo suits. Formal pants generally have little or no cotton component in their fabric. Stick to flat fronts or single pleats for a trim fit (and nothing more). Watch out for wrinkled waistbands, bulky crotches and rough seams to avoid discomfort and scratchiness. Also, stay clear of overly baggy or skinny pants. If the hem drops just below your ankle then it’s the right length.

Short Pants: commonly used on Sunday picnics, summer holidays or any leisurely outdoor activity. It goes well with t-shirts, polo shirts, and short sleeve shirts. Fabric can be any of cotton, polyrayon, linen, or denim. (alert! Synthetic fabrics in short pants are out).

Although pants is constantly in a “must-wear” status, the style variations of this piece has been quite limited up until recent decades when men’s fashion started to claim and gain the spotlight. Be wary of out-dated styles. What’s generally out: stone wash and pleated denims, six pocket cargos, excessively baggy and super skinny pants.