Those Trousers are Too Tight!


Men, there is nothing fashionable about wearing a trouser that is so tight that you look uncomfortable. PHOTO | COURTESY

Men, there is nothing fashionable about wearing a trouser that is so tight that you look uncomfortable.

How tight should your trousers be? Well, visualise yourself making a presentation in front of a room full of serious people … investors, top executives ... you get the drift.

Then these people look puzzled by something but you are not sure if it is the bright blue suit, green shirt and crimson red tie you are wearing.

If your crotch area seems bulgy, your shirt button looks too strained and your coat is too short to cover even a little bit of your butt area, then your are no longer wearing slim fit clothes, they are just ill-fitting.

Your clothes do not fit right because you either do not know your size, have the wrong tailor and simply keep bad friends who cannot tell you that you look ridiculous in your outfit.

So what is a right fit?

A Formal Suit

A formal suit is one of the most important items in your wardrobe. Whether it is the jacket, trouser or waistcoat, they all should fit right. The key aspects of well fitting clothes are length and tightness.

Sleeves and Trouser Length

Your shirt and jacket sleeves should correspond. The shirt should jut below the jacket sleeve by at least half and inch. Anything more and the jacket is either too short or the shirt sleeves too long.

When selecting a suit off the rack, you will see sizes indicated on the lining or a tag inside the sleeve. It will either be short, regular or long. Your formal trousers should sit on the shoe and not touch the ground. If there are too many gathers it’s too long, if you can see your ankles when standing they are too short. You can easily make minor alterations in trouser waist or length.


Slim fit shirts and jackets are a nice trend but do not go for an exceedingly tight one that does not complement your physique.

If you cannot fasten the shirts first button (at the neck) and second last (at the belly button) it is obviously too small. Always wear clothes that allow you to move freely without any discomfort. You should be able to raise your arms without too much stretch or tightness. If you need to pick something you dropped, this should be possible without tearing or exposing anything nobody needs to see.

Ready-to-wear suits will normally range from size 38, 42, 48, 50, 56 or 60 in some rare cases. Each size will be accompanied by a letter S (Small), R (Regular), or L (Long). Always let you height and waist size guide you. The size of your chest at the 'man boobs' will be the best way to determine the jacket fit.

For example, if your chest is 42 inches under the armpits and your waist is between 34 and 36 inches, you are a size Euro 50 (US 40). Consult your tailor or shop assistant to determine you accurate size and match that with the fit from that specific fashion brand and its source country. American sizes are ten units small than the European sizes.

If you have a unique body shape with either a short neck, longer upper frame or have a little more mass around the belly, you should go to made-to-measure outlets to get a tailored fit. It will cost a little more but you will get better material and be able to customise it to your taste.

Mr Mwai is the director at Luxuria Lifestyle East Africa and a personal brand consultant