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Are you looking into pant tailoring and you’re unsure what kind of fit you’re aiming for? Have you settled for an off-the-rack pants fit for so long that you didn’t even know there are guidelines? We’re about to give you the game plan for a winning fit for your suit pants!

Pants tailoring can address much more than just the inseam length. We’re going to discuss alterations from the waist down to coach you on designing a tailored look. Everyone in the office will know that you did not show up to just sit on the sidelines. 

The first goal to score a perfect fit in your suit pants is to understand that it may be necessary to take in the pants waist.

 Your suit pants should sit just above your hip bones but below your naval. The pants should fit snug enough to not pull down while also allowing you to fit two thumbs into the waistband. If they are looser than this, you could experience bunching when you put on your belt, saggy pants, or worse! If your pants are too snug a clothing alteration service like Tad More Tailoring can look at the seams to see if they can be let out enough to achieve a better fit. Many men’s suit pants come with a healthy fabric allowance in the waist and seat just for this purpose.

The second task to tackle for a perfect fit in pant tailoring is the appropriate fit in the seat and front. 

Suit pants do not conform to the silhouette of the seat of the wearer too closely. Of course, being too baggy looks sloppy, but this can be adjusted by taking in the back seam. If pants are too tight, you may notice horizontal or X-shaped wrinkles in the seat or below the zipper. Another indicator of a bad fit is gaping front pockets. If this is the case, sizing up is a better strategy. A skilled tailor may be also able to adjust the rise (distance from the crotch to the waistband) or let out the rear seam.. 

Third, a clothing alteration service can tailor the legs of your pants for a fumble-free fit.

Your pants should have a uniform fit in the legs. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to taper pants so the diameter of the lower pant leg is slightly less than the upper leg. Consider how much tapering is being done to prevent the fabric from looking twisted or off-center. This is especially true if there is a center crease on the pant leg. If there is excessive tapering needed you may need to taper pants on both the inseam and outseam. How tight the leg fits is personal preference- a “classic” fit is generally relaxed and loose, while a “modern” fit will be a straighter, close fitting cut. 

The fourth and final step for a winning fit is to customize the hem of your pants.

The style and length of your pants hem says a lot. How your pants lay where they meet your shoe is called the “break” and it ranges from a full break to a negative break. A full break is long enough to cover most of the laces of your dress shoes, and there is a notable fold in the fabric that breaks the straight line silhouette of the leg. It is important when you take your suit pants to a clothing alteration service that you bring the shoes you will generally wear with the pants. A full break is common with a classic cut and with pleated pants.

If you prefer a slightly trimmer look, there is a medium break that just kisses your shoelaces but still has a decent fold in the fabric. Pants with straight legs or skinny cut usually need a no break or negative break hem length to look proportional. A no break pant hem just touches the top of your shoe, and a negative break is typically hemmed at ankle length.

Now that you know how to utilize a clothing alteration service to make the most of your pants tailoring, it’s time to put yourself in the game! 

Start with one pair of suit pants and try out a new look. If you feel like an all-star when you wear them, that’s your style and you can now replicate it easily. Include some variety in your style, you need more than one play in your playbook for occasions that call for something more conservative or edgy than your everyday style.

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