Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tailored Bulge?

Q: I am now a convert to flat front pants, thanks to you. However, I noticed that my front pockets bulge more noticeably vs. when I wore pleated pants. Was this my tailor’s mistake or is this really how flat front pants are?

-- Jacob, Marikina City

A: Flat front pants, if tailored well, should give you a slim silhouette. Yes, they are less forgiving than pleated pants when it comes to hiding bulges. While the tailoring of your pants could be one reason, the more likely cause is that you’re just putting way too many things in your pockets to begin with. If I were to venture a guess, you’re probably stuffing your front pockets with a whole bunch of keys, coins and your cellphone; or worse, your Blackberry. You didn’t notice this when you were wearing pleated pants because pleats expand and cause your pants to balloon to accommodate the extra weight (including your own). But, since the MC Hammer look is so over, your decision to wear unpleated pants need to be coupled with a small change in old habits as well. Pockets are not built-in bags. You only really need to bring maybe 2 keys with you – your car’s and the key to your office or house. The other pocket should just have a hanky and a money clip. As for your your cellphone, well they’re are getting slimmer and slimmer now, so maybe it’s time to harass your carrier to change your handset.

I can’t imagine you would need to put anything more in your pockets. But, if you’re the type that must carry a lot of “essentials then maybe it’s time to think like Batman – ditch the pants and trade it for a kick-ass belt.

Anchors Away!

Q: I need your help. My friends have been telling me that I should make an extra effort to dress up. I’m a t-shirt and jeans kinda guy… only because I don’t know how to pair and match my clothes. Jeans seem to be the safest thing to wear for someone like me. What do I need to know so I can start wearing other things?

-- Andrew, Caloocan

A: I have a lot of friends who are just like you; some of whom have 3 or 4 jeans of exactly the same color and style. The lack of knowledge in pairing or matching clothes is, more often than not, really a deep rooted fear of not knowing how to wear colors outside blue, white and black.

Let me then share with you the concept of “anchoring”. Simply, what this means is that you choose a particular piece of clothing or accessory that will serve as the anchor or base that dictates the color combination of your entire outfit.

Personally, I find that choosing your pants as the anchor is the easiest. Since you’re a slacks neophyte, I would suggest you choose gray pants. For me, gray is the most versatile when it comes to being paired with different colors. It pairs well with white, blue, lavender, green. Most guys think black is the fail safe option. But, what you don’t realize is that black does not really pair well with pastel or light color hues. That limits your options right there.

So remember, when your jeans are making you blue, dress gray.