Should I Buy Pleated or Flat Front Slacks?

What My Style?

“Should I buy pleated pants or pants with a flat front?”  "Western top pockets or side pockets?"  "Classic fit or slim fit?"  If you have an average build, you’ll look well in all styles and it’s just a matter of preference.  Unfortunately many of us are anything but average.

Here are some guidelines to help you find the best look depending on your body shape:

RECTANGLE SHAPE  If you have broad shoulders, heavy upper legs and a large backside a pleated pant will balance out your frame.  Our pleated slacks also have more fabric in the seat and thighs than our flat front pants, which makes the pleated model roomier and more comfortable. Sansabelt pleated pants have 2-reverse pleats, so the pleats face out to the sides, rather than in towards the zipper, so there is no bulk. Outward-facing-pleats also keep the fabric from bunching up when you sit.

PEAR SHAPE  If you’re narrow in the shoulders and wider below the waist, a flat front is generally a better choice. You don’t want to add size or the illusion of fullness to your lower half with additional fabric.

APPLE SHAPE  If your belly is the biggest part of your body, a flat front is your best friend, especially if the pockets are placed just below the waistband.  You\'ll want to select western pockets or the Bing or Par style under Shop by Style.  This style gives you a slim line up and down with no side pockets to pop out when you stand and no pleats to draw attention to your middle.

LANKY  Flat-front pants are a good choice for men with a lean body and a small rear.  We created two of our fabrics in a slim fit style, called Axle, which is approximately 2 inches slimmer in the seat and thigh so you won’t have the bagginess many men complain about in the seat area.   Unfortunately our Axle model is only available in a limited number of sizes.

And on the subject of Pockets...

There’s no choice of where pockets appear on a pleated pant.  Pockets are always on each side seam in all our Van and Tee models.  With flat front pants, you have the option of pockets at each side seam (Grant) which is the more common style in stores today or the traditional Sansabelt style of 2 top western pockets (Bing and Par) which are pockets that appear just below the waistband at the top of each leg; they are horizontal and you put your hands into them, top down. 

Some customers get upset if their pocket style is out of stock in their size, but often find that when they try a different style, they like it.  If your lower half is the biggest part of your body and flat front slacks are best on you but we are out of the Grant model, consider the Bing style which gives a long unbroken look, especially without a belt.  Many customers prefer the top pocket style because coins and other items don’t fall out and they are easier to get to.  Golfers, on the other hand, need those side pockets to pop a golf ball into.  Again, the same body can look good in more than one style but unless you buy and try, you\'ll never know.

Regular vs. Short vs. Long Rise

If you’ve checked our website, you know we made all our classic fit pants in one rise--the regular rise, because the Jaymar Ruby pattern which we license showed only a 1/2 inch difference in the long and regular rises.  Similarly there was only a half inch difference between the regular and short rises so we went with one rise, the regular, in our initial 50,000 piece production run back in 2012.  We found that regular rise suits 98 percent of our customers, so we continued that way. 

Some men are used to a buying long rise when they buy Sansabelts; typically at my suggestion they try our pants and find that 1/2 inch difference is not a big deal.  Others have a long torso and need every bit of fabric.  Again you don’t know unless you try. I recommend you go for a pleated model since the extra fabric in the seat and thigh areas of our pleated pants will provide a roomier fit.  If you are a man who prefers a short rise and you have a waist size between 30 and 42, consider our slim axle model which is a bit shorter in the rise and less roomy in general than our classic fit pants.

Keep in mind, there are no hard and fast rules.  Consider your body type and go with what makes you feel and look good.  And if you have any questions at all, we\'re here to help.  Please call 844 475-2257 or e-mail and we’ll do our best to get you as close as possible to the fit you want.

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