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Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Issue of the Lower Leg/Ankle Dynamic

Here at FAPPAF we have some very astute readers. The other day there was a dispatch concerning some troubling patterns being offered by JCrew. I commented that the fit was not the problem, but, rather, the ridiculous designs. Well, a reader of this blog called me on that.

Here is a portion of his statement, and I have re-posted the picture for your convenience.

"Am I to understand that the only thing you find objectionable about the pictured pants is their patterning?! Clearly, there is also a huge problem with the overall shape of the pants, particularly the fact that they become ridiculously small by the time they have reached your ankles...you seem to have endorsed "Slim Fit" as a respectable pant choice and indeed, the pants pictured above seem to be cut that way--symptomatic of the so-called "Slim Fit" approach to pant design."

This is an absolutely brilliant commentary. Brilliant. Upon further inspection I decided that indeed, the pants are too narrowed, or 'tapered,' as us professionals say, especially since they are being worn casually with sneakers. One does not want a taper for casual wear.

The commentary above speaks of the pants becoming "ridiculously small by the time they reach your ankles." There are a few approaches to cutting a pair of trousers. You can go with a straight fit, in which the pant is more or less straight as it lowers down to the ankle. You can go with a taper, featured above, in which the pant legs become narrower. Or you can go with bootfit, in which the legs become wider.

This issue is simply one of the most important issues in the world of pants. When it comes to pants for work, one should only consider straight fit or tapered, but only if the taper is very very minimal. You don't want a pant so tapered that it looks like you're wearing pants with elastic bands, such as is found on sweat pants. That would be horrible.

Nice fitting, straight fit pants, with a pleasing leg and good "bunch up" effect at the ankle

The commentary also brings up the Slim Fit Approach to pants. I personally feel that slim fit can be good, depending on the person. Below I display both Slim Fit pants and Regular Fit pants. They are from JCrew, and, as is apparent, the Slim Fit has a very slight taper while the Regular Fit does not.

Slim Fit
Regular

Now, I find both of these pants to be excellent. Nice shape, nice leg, a good "bunch up" at the ankle. From the front they look very similar; however, from the side you can notice the difference. The regular fit are a bit fuller, allowing for a more straight leg. I'm not sure which I like more, probably the Regular Fit, but I also admire the Slim Fit.

The reader seemed rather contemptuous of the Slim Fit Approach. I believe that is unnecessary. Still, I respect a man who has strong feelings about pants. And, of course, Slim Fit does not work for everyone. As I've said before it's very important to find pants that look good for your body type.

To close this posting I will showcase some pants which have very bad lower leg/ankle problems. I would love to read a lovely dialogue about why these pants are no good. I have refrained from revealing who made these pants to save the respective manufacturers from the embarassment.

God have mercy on their souls (I'm speaking about the pants, not the models, who are probably going to Hell for other reasons)