Reader Question

  • Reader Question: Boo to boot cut?

Reader Question: Boo to boot cut?

26th March 2012
I’ve always bought boot cut khaki pants.  Never clear to me why.  Maybe boot cut pants were in when I was in college buying my own clothes; maybe because I have a badonk and athletic thighs, I thought the slight flare balanced it out.  I dunno.  Is there ever a case for boot cut khakis on a man, or is it straight leg or bust?

Yes, there is a case for boot cut pants. A very specific one. And that is – do you wear boots? The real sh*t kickers worn by the characters of Friday Night Lights (RIP FNL!), or, I don’t know, actual cowboys? If so, keep on keepin’ on in your boot cuts, since you truly need the wider leg opening for which the style was created.

If that’s not you, then…no. You’re not going to find any love for the boot cut look from me.

Of course, you’re not the only guy with a bigger upper leg than lower leg – that’s, umm…all guys. Meaning, plenty of guys with your same body type have already hopped on the straight-leg train, leaving behind the bootcut pant they favored in their college days. If they can do it, so can you.

Because your suspicions are right: for the foreseeable future, a straight leg pant is where it’s at.

(Bonobos Straight Leg Khaki washed chino, $88)

In terms of your desire to “balance” things out, I mean, I get it. I’ve got my own badonk to worry about. But I’m not sure when it was decided that boot cut pants balance anything at all. The clothes that look best on your body are the ones that follow your silhouette most closely. Since your ankles don’t flare out, neither should your pants.

To put it bluntly, the only thing boot cut pants cover up on a guy are the tops of his shoes.

What’s more, straight leg pants are so much more versatile in your wardrobe. You can’t dress up a boot cut pair of pants with a suit jacket (or if you do, you shouldn’t). Straight leg pants go with everything from a t-shirt and sneakers to a sportcoat and loafers.

To me, a guy wearing boot cut pants conjures up – at best – Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused, and – at worst – the frat guy uniform of faded, frayed jeans, school hoodie and a Milwaukee’s Best in one hand. That means, in the absolute best scenario, you remind me of a guy preying on high school girls while sporting a child molester mustache…in 1976.

(Aw’right aw’right aw’right)

And while it should go without saying, I’ll say it anyway – a straight leg pant style is not the same as a skinny one. Donning straight leg pants will not make you look like your parents’ thirteen year old emo neighbor who always looks angry in concert tees for bands whose names you don’t recognize and pants that look painted-on. So long as you buy in your size, you should feel just as comfortable in a straight leg as you do in your current boot cuts.

Now, is your pant leg opening going to make or break your look with a girl? No. But she’ll be more inclined to give you the once over in a pair of straight cut pants rather than a style that hit its popularity peak in the Bush era.

  • Arkhangael

    Hi Megan
    Honestly, I’d not wear those kind of trousers ever – again. They are tempting, maybe, but no, thanks,
    Jeans are enough as far as ‘relaxed’ needs to be stretched. There are enough designs to make a man happy and cool.
    Trousers made of noble material make some statement. No need to made it hard On ourselves by being unsure of how to be dressed properly.
    Awaiting for other views, eagerly.


  • Ryan

    I just had a pair of bootcut Diesel jeans tailored to a straight cut, was going to donate them to the Salvation Army, but thought why not try an alteration and see how it works out.  Glad I did, it worked nicely and Diesel jeans ain’t cheap (at least in Australia, we pay through the nose here).
    If you’re concerned about your bootcuts, give it a go.

    • Style Girlfriend

       Good suggestion Ryan! It’s always easier to tailor pants below the knee than it is above them. If they fit in the hips and thighs, then by all means, get ‘em tapered. Your boot cuts can have a whole new life as straight leg pants.

    • Chris

      I was one day away from donating my only pair of jeans – the rest were donated about a month ago, all bootcut, all a little to baggy – when I read your comment.  The remaining pair are bootcut, but I have held on to them because I love the fit and color.  Going to the tailor.  I hope to have the same success. Thanks for the insight.

  • Charles Burney

    Bootcut jeans don’t go with cowboy boots. The leg should be reasonably tight around the boot and never, ever inside it.

    • Style Girlfriend

       I think we’re saying the same thing? The pants shouldn’t be stuffed *into* the boots…right?

  • Anthony

    Regular pants don’t cover most shoes and the bottoms are way too skinny on most pairs, you end up looking like a child with big clown feet. Boot cut all the way, we don’t need our pants to end at our ankles.

  • timm

    If I wanted to wear tight pants; I”ll borrow my sister’s. Boot cut is far more attractive on a man than the style these days. Hipster’s wearing girl pants make me sick.

  • Waldo

    Thanks for that. I had my eye on some Bonobos khakis and just did not know whether my instincts were right or not.

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