Garment Doctor: Pocket Flare
March 20th, 2013
Continuing on with our Garment Doctor Series…
The first image here illustrates how a pair of trousers should fit.
Notice how the fabric is draping smoothly, with no breaking, and the lines are clean and streamlined.
A common issue with men’s trousers is pocket flare, which is often accompanied by wrinkles across the front hips.
This can be caused by a number of different factors. Typically, it means the pants are tight across the hips/seat, causing the pockets to pull open. If you don’t have any of the other symptoms shown here, simply letting-out the hips will help the pockets sit flat.
In other cases, the pocket flare (and front wrinkles/crunching) are caused by an athletic seat (high, prominent glutes) and/or a tilted pelvis. For example, all I’m doing differently in this second photo is subtly flexing/pushing up my seat and tilting my hips backward – you can see the dramatic effect on the drape of the pants.
Some guys have naturally strong seats and slightly tilted hips, which makes it difficult to achieve clean-looking pants off-the-rack. If you’re prone to these issues, you would benefit from bespoke trousers. As a cheaper alternative, seek out trousers that have set-forward or western-style pockets: if they’re not constructed on the side seam they will not pull open as easily.
Also, this highlights the importance of trying-on multiple brands before purchasing. Some fits and fabrics will inevitably drape better on your body than others.
Wrinkling under front waistband
Most often, wrinkles under the front waistband are caused by a low stomach bulge, physically pushing down on the front of the waistband. A loose waistband will only accentuate these wrinkles – so have the waist taken-in so your trousers sit snugly in place.
Obviously, a flat stomach helps trousers drape cleanly. If losing a few pounds is not in the cards, I suggest having your tailor trim down the front waistband so the pants sit comfortably under the gut – or go the opposite route and use braces to “float” your natural waist.
Tilted Hip “Crunching”
This pooling of fabric around the upper thighs/crotch is another symptom of a tilted-back pelvis. It’s very difficult to get rid of this, so try avoiding it by finding a trouser that better suits your specific needs.
In one case, I had a client/friend who was tired of this issue and asked his chiropractor about it. Apparently his posture was putting unhealthy pressure on his lower spine. He ended up solving all the issues above with some routine stretches and an exercise plan that focused on straightening and strengthening the lower spine and pelvis. He’s never felt more athletic and energized, and his pants have never looked so good.
Remember, more often than not, the breaking in your clothes is telling you something about your body.
Yours in style,