How It Should Fit
An optimal waist measurement should fit snug enough that the pants don’t slide down, but not so tight that they are uncomfortable.
Evaluating Waist Width
- Be sure the waist is sitting at the desired height on your body. If you want the pants to ride higher, then you may need to make the Waist Width smaller as you simultaneously increase the pant Rise.
- If you plan to tuck your shirts in, be sure to test this to make sure the pants are still comfortable with this added bulk.
- Beware vanity sizing confusion! The “Waist Size” that most people commonly refer to when purchasing pants is generally NOT an accurate measurement of the actual pant waist circumference. For example, at Proper Cloth (as for most brands) if you specify a Waist Size of 32, this will translate to a Waist Width measurement of 17.2″ (for a total around measurement of 34.4”). This is not a mistake and will typically match what you are used to from other brands.
Tips for Adjusting the Waist Width
Remember that Waist Width is a “width,” and adjustments will add or remove double that amount of fabric from around the waist.
Front and Back Rise
The Total Rise (Front Rise + Back Rise), as well as the individual Front Rise and Back Rise dimensions should all be evaluated together.
How It Should Fit
Optimal Total Rise is Based on Comfort/Style Preference
Fundamentally, the Total Rise should not be so small that it’s uncomfortable in the front of crotch, or causing a wedgie in the back, but beyond that, the optimal Total Rise depends on your desired style and comfort.
- Slim Fit customers often want to wear the pants lower on their waist/hips, and have minimal room between the bottom of the crotch and the pants – thus they want a shorter Total Rise.
- Classic Fit customers may want to wear the pants higher on the body, and have more room for comfort between their crotch and the pants – thus they want a larger Total Rise.
Front and Back Rises Have Clear Optimal Points
While the optimal Total Rise is subject to personal taste, the optimal distribution between Front and Back Rise is more objective. Our goal is to distribute the Total Rise between these two in a way that best matches your body, simultaneously minimizing bunching of fabric above or below the butt at the back and at the pelvis in the front. Adjusting this distribution between Front Rise and Back Rise will depend on your Hip Posture, as well as lower abdomen and butt size.
Evaluating Total Rise
To evaluate the Total Rise, look at the bottom of the crotch in the front and the back.
- Confirm the waist can be pulled up and worn comfortably at the height you desire.
- Determine if you have enough room for comfort between the bottom of your crotch and the pants.
- Determine if, stylistically, you are happy with how tall the Front Rise looks on the pants.
Tips for Adjusting the Front and Back Rise
- Once the Total Rise is in a good place, try not to change it too much. Focus on just redistributing the Total Rise between Front Rise and Back Rise. That means, if you decrease the Back Rise, add a similar amount to the Front Rise, or vice-versa.
- If you have bunching of extra fabric at the front of the pants by the pelvis, or an obvious wedgie at the butt:
- Increase Back Rise and decrease Front Rise
- If you have bunching of fabric in the back below or above the butt, or tightness at the crotch:
- Decrease Back Rise and increase Front Rise
How It Should Fit
Finding the optimal Hip Width is about getting the sides of the pant to lay comfortably against the sides of your hips.
Evaluating Hip Width
To evaluate the Hip Width, look at the width of the pants 7″ below the top of the waistband. This ends up being at the bottom of the pockets at the sides and bottom of the fly at the front.
- Signs the Hip Width is too tight:
- The pants feel too tight around the hips or across the center of the butt.
- Excessive pulling lines showing at the sides of the hips.
- Note – just because the pockets stick out slightly, does not mean the Hip Width is too narrow. For some body types this will happen regardless of Hip Width.
- Signs the Hip Width is too loose:
- Extra fabric or fold lines at the side of the hips, around the pockets.
- The sides of the hips are sticking out from your body, making you hips look wider in an unflattering way.
Tips for Adjusting the Hip Width
- Remember that Hip Width is a “width,” and any adjustment will add or remove double that amount of fabric from around the hips.
How It Should Fit
The Thigh Width should not be so small that it is uncomfortable around the upper thigh. Beyond that limit, the optimal Thigh Width depends a lot on your desired style and comfort.
- Slim Fit customers often want the Thigh Width adjusted such that the pant fits close to, or even hugs the upper leg. With this slim of a fit, the pant leg will have more trouble draping cleanly below the butt.
- Classic Fit customers will want a looser fitting thigh, giving them more easy range of motion, and enabling a cleaner drape of the pants at the back from the butt down the back of the leg.
Evaluating Thigh Width
- Focus on the fit of the pants around the upper leg, from just below the crotch to just above the knee.
- Observe how it feels and looks on both the front and back of the leg.
- The thigh will often feel tighter when you sit or squat down. Make sure you’re able to move without discomfort.
- Most Casual Pant fabrics have some stretch, so for many people a slim Thigh Width can still be comfortable. Each fabric is different, however, so for very slim thighs, be careful when switching between fabrics.
Tips for Adjusting the Thigh Width
- Remember that Thigh Width is a “width,” and any adjustment will add or remove double that amount of fabric around the leg.
- Note that increasing the Rise such that the crotch point of the pants is lowered will cause the top thigh point to be lower on the leg (and thus feel looser). Try to factor this into any Thigh Width adjustments you are making.
- Remember that the fit of the upper leg between the crotch and knee will be determined by both the Thigh Width and the Knee Width. Mind the Knee Width when making Thigh Width adjustments.
How It Should Fit
The Knee Width should not be so small that it is uncomfortable around the lower thigh, knee, or calf. Beyond that, adjust Knee Width to achieve the desired style.
- Slim Fit customers often want a smaller Knee Width such that the the entire leg is close to, or even slightly hugging the leg.
- Classic Fit customers will want a looser fitting Knee Width, giving them more easy range of motion, and enabling a cleaner drape of the pants at the front and back of the leg past the knee.
Evaluating Knee Width
- Big Picture: Observe the total shape of the leg and silhouette of the pants on your body, making sure the leg shape is flattering and the Knee Width seems correct in relation to the Thigh Width and Leg Opening.
- Up Close: Look at the fit of the pants around the knee, from just above the knee down to the calf.
- The knee will often feel tighter you sit or squat down. Ensure this is tolerable.
Tips for Adjusting the Knee Width
- Remember that Knee Width is a “width,” and any adjustment will add or remove double that amount of fabric around the leg.
- Beware of making the knee too tight as tightness on the calf of the leg can cause the pants to ride up.
Leg Opening Width
How It Should Fit
The Leg Opening Width should not be so small that your foot cannot fit through, or so small that the pant uncomfortably hugs your calf. Beyond this lower limit though, the leg opening can range from very small (~6.3” to very large ~8.5”) depending on the desired style.
- Our Slim and Extra Slim Fits typically have a taper from knee down to Leg Opening, with Leg Opening Width being ~2-2.5” smaller than the Knee Width.
- Our Classic Fit typically has a taper from knee down to Leg Opening, with Leg Opening Width being ~1.5-2” smaller than the Knee Width.
- For a Straight Fit, or Boot Cut, the Leg Opening Width can be larger (8”+), but even then it will still be 1-1.5” smaller than the Knee Width.
Evaluating Leg Opening Width
- Observe the total shape of the leg and silhouette your body, make sure it is flattering and the Leg Opening Width seems correct in relation to the Thigh and Knee.
- Consider what shoes you will wear with these pants, and how the Leg Opening will interact with the shoe. Do you want the pant to cover your laces entirely, or stay tighter around the ankle?
- If adjusting for a very small leg opening, be sure your foot will fit through the leg opening.
Tips for Adjusting the Leg Opening Width
Remember that Leg Opening Width is a “width,” and any adjustment will add or remove double that amount of fabric around the leg.
How It Should Fit
Optimal pant length depends wholly on what sort of “break” you want where the pants meet the shoe. Pant Break options range from Full Break to Half Break, to Zero Break, to Negative Break.
All of these options are acceptable and you should choose the one that best reflects your style. If you’re unsure what style is best, Proper Cloth typically suggests a Half-Break or Zero Break option.
To evaluate the length of the pants, you will be looking at the bottom of the pants where they meet the shoes.
- Be sure you are wearing the style of shoes you plan to wear with the pants.
- Be sure the pants are sitting at the desired height on your waist. If the pants are going to ultimately hang lower or ride up that will impact the required length.
- Understand the difference between Total Length (distance from top of waistband down the side to leg opening) and Inseam Length (distance from bottom of crotch down to leg opening), and how you can use both of these to get the right length.
- Be mindful that changes to the Rise that can cause the crotch point of the pants to move down or up, which can cause the Total Length to change, even when the Inseam Length does not change.
Tips for Adjusting the Inseam Length
- If the pants are sitting at the desired height on the waist, and you’re making changes to the Rise, look to the Total Length as a way to reliably ensure you will end up with the desired length.
- If you want the pants to sit higher or lower on your waist than the pants you have, you will likely be making changes to the Waist Width and/or Total Rise to enable the pants to be pulled up higher, or ride lower on the hips. In this case you should also be mindful of how these changes will impact the optimal length of the pants. The best way to handle this is to hold your pants at the desired height around the waist, and then determine how much longer or shorter the pants need to be from their current setting. Look at the current pant’s Total Length and adjust relative to ensure the optimal Total Length.
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