I speak from experience when I say that finding a pair of trousers that fit muscular thighs can be a pain.
Typically, most options are way too tight around the quads.
While some guys enjoy the “skinny” look, it’s definitely not a style that myself and most others are striving to emulate.
Instead, we want a pair of trousers that give us a nice trim, streamlined look; neither too skinny nor too baggy.
In essence, we want a happy medium.
But is that even possible for guys with muscular thighs?
It sure is!
Fortunately, I’ve learned a lot about finding trousers that fit muscular thighs and the following article lays out 3 tips to help you find the perfect fit.
1. Choose “classic cut” trousers instead of “straight” or “slim” fit
When I hear the words “classic cut trousers” my mind typically conjures up images like these:
Frightening, I know.
So then why would I ever recommend “classic cut” trousers? Have I lost my mind?
As counterintuitive as it may sound, it’s been my experience that guys with more muscular thighs are actually better off if they choose “classic cut” trousers.
While for the average man a pair of classic cut trousers is a baggy, ill-fitting nightmare, for men with more muscular thighs they often fit more like a pair of straight or slim fit trousers.
Shocking, but it’s true.
Case in point: take a look at the image below of me wearing a pair of “classic cut” chinos from The Gap (size 32×32):
They look nothing like the images of those baggy monstrosities above, right?
That’s because I’ve got thighs measuring around 25.5 inches at the thickest point and a waist somewhere around 32-33 inches. This means that a pair of “classic cut” chinos fit much better (and more comfortably) around my thighs than they would on the average guy.
Although the chinos I’m wearing above are off the rack (i.e. alteration free), I should mention that in many cases you will still need to have some tailoring done to your classic cut trousers in order to dial in the fit.
The most common issue I’ve noticed with classic cut trousers is that the leg opening is much too large. Fortunately, the solution is a simple one: just have your tailor taper the leg below the knee. It’s a straightforward procedure that shouldn’t cost you more than $15-$20 (or less).
2. Size up in the waist
When it comes to finding clothes that fit the most common piece of advice I offer men is to size down. Even for men with more muscular builds, sizing down is generally a smart move.
However, I believe the opposite is the case when it comes to trousers (at least for muscular men): you will need to size up.
Frankly speaking, most straight and slim fit trousers these days are not made for guys with muscular thighs. While most trousers may fit you around the waist, they are typically way too tight around your glutes and thighs.
Unless you’re going for a “skinny” look this is less than ideal.
So what’s the solution?
A simple trade-off – choose trousers that are a size up in the waist.
While these trousers may not fit around your waist they will at least accommodate your larger thighs, which is usually a much more difficult problem for your tailor to solve than taking in the waist.
Style, it’s all about compromises!
However, I should mention that occasionally going up one size may not solve your fit issues. If you find that you need to go up more than one size in the waist then please be cautious. If there is too much material to take in at the waist this may actually alter the way the back pockets sit on the trousers (or the way any large pattern appears). A good tailor will be able to tell you if he can take in the waist without causing any such issues.
3. Find your brand
My last piece of advice is pretty straightforward: find brands that fit you the best.
This means that you will need to do a bit of research on your part and try a lot of stuff on. It’s only through trial and error that you’ll discover which brands tend to fit you the best.
For example, I have determined that the best pair of chinos for me are either the Classic Khaki (straight fit) chinos from The Gap, or the Emerson Vintage Straight-Fit Chino from Banana Republic. In fact, I can wear either of these two brands of chinos straight off the rack without requiring any alterations.
For jeans, I’ve found that Levi’s 501s (which are straight fit) tend to fit me the best, although I have to size up and have a tailor take in the waist and taper them below the knee. I’ve found that the best pair of Levi’s for me off the rack are actually the 513s, but they usually don’t come in the wash that I prefer.
These are just a couple of examples. I’m not saying that if you have muscular thighs that these styles will work for you (you’ll have to find that out for yourself), but rather I’m trying to illustrate that through a little bit of hard work you can take a lot of the guesswork out of finding trousers that fit. This will save you from a lot frustration during future shopping endeavors, believe me.
Although finding trousers that fit muscular thighs can be a difficult task it’s certainly not impossible.
If you haven’t already noticed, the tips I’ve discussed above all have one thing in common: they require you to go the extra mile. Whether it’s taking a pair of trousers to the tailor in order to dial in the fit, or spending some time finding a brand that works for you, make no mistake: you will need to put in some effort in order to find a pair of trousers that fit you well.
It’s a small price to pay for being in shape.
Here’s to looking sharp!