It can literally take years to find just the perfect casual pants. Believe me, I’ve tried. And when you do find that one, perfect pair it’s like the heavens opened up and the angels are singing. The big key is that you have to try them on. You can’t just go by size or by whether they look like pants that you’ve loved before. You have to try them on. And when you do, here are the other factors to look for.
You can get away with a slightly longer pant if you know you’ll always be wearing some sort of heel with them. One of my favorite pairs of business casual pants are slightly too long when I’m barefoot, but when I put my favorite ankle boots on with them, the pants are perfect. Generally, though, if you keep stepping on the hem when you’re barefoot, the pants are too long for you.
The rise is the distance on the pants from the very middle of the crotch seam to the topmost part of the waistband. This distance varies with every factor from size to pant style. The rise of the pants helps to determine where that waistband will sit on your body, whether that’s at your natural waist or slightly above or below. Aside from comfort, one of the best things about rise is that it helps to change how your body looks.
For example, if you wear a lower rise pair of pants, your natural waistline appears lower. This lengthens your torso and shortens your legs, visually speaking. One the other side of the equation, a higher rise sits higher on your torso, shortening it and making your legs appear longer. As long as they’re comfortable when you put them on, the rise is going to help you look how you want to everyone else.
I love how leggings feel, but I’m not so wild about how they look on me. They tend to taper at the ankle, making my legs have an odd shape. So when I look for pants, whether they’re jeans or yoga pants, I look for legs that have a slight flare at the ankle. Sometimes this is called a boot cut. What that does for me is it creates a balance between the bottom of my leg and the top, up near my hips. When I wear pants with this type of leg, I look more balanced overall. Pay attention to which leg styles work for you, and those are the ones to go with in the future.
Now that you know the key features to look for in your casual pants, get out there and try some on.