Men’s Pants: Pleated vs. Flat-Front

There are two types of men’s dress pants: pleated and flat-front. Most men over 30 know the difference between the two, and usually have a preference for one or the other, but for the younger guys in Columbia, MO, the difference may be unfamiliar territory. Therefore, here is everything a man needs to know about flat-front and pleated trousers.

What’s the difference?

Pleated pants have folds or creases along the waist, whereas flat-front pants, as their name suggests, lie flat against the body. Take a look:

pleated vs flat front pants

What’s the story behind these two pant styles?

Pleated pants are created by sewing folds (pleats) into the fabric and then attaching the waistband. Pleated pants are the older of the two styles and the more traditional. Flat-front pants, which have a contouring feature called a dart that allows for the pant fabric to lie flat, rotate in and out of style. In the 1950s and 60s, clean, slim and tailored silhouettes were the prevailing look (think: Mad Men), but then they faded during the 70s and 80s when a looser, roomier fit became more popular (Hammer Pants, anyone?). Then, in the 90s, the flat-front pant staged a comeback. The flat-front pant reigns again today, due largely to the overall skinny trend.

Which style of pant look best?

Your choice of pleated vs. flat-front depends on two things: your body type and comfort level. Let’s consider both options:

Pleated: Pleated pants are roomier and more accommodating to fuller, athletic body types. Flat-front pants are great for accentuating a slim figure, but may be unforgiving on a larger body. Pleated pants are more generous around the middle and can help flatten a larger stomach or backside. They are also great for active lifestyles because they are easier to move in. Lankier men should be cautious when opting for pleated pants and be sure excessive room or fabric is not making his silhouette look sloppy.

Flat-front: Flat-front pants are slimming, snugger and are popular with trendier guys. Since there are no pleats, the silhouette is cleaner, which flatters slimmer figures. On the other hand, if flat-front pants are ill fitting, they can also emphasize a belly or other “not so favorite” area of the body. They are also a little more constricting, and may limit movement.

The best way to decide between pleated and flat-front is to try both styles on, and give them each a good test drive. Sit, stand, walk around, twist, flex—see which you find more comfortable. Also, keep in mind that alterations may have to be made with either style, because as you know, every man is different.

Which style goes best with a suit?

Pleated pants are the most common suit pant. Skinny guys will have an easier time getting away with pleated pants if worn as part of suit because the hem of the jacket will conceal any extra fabric along the waist. On the other hand, flat-front pants are all the rage right now, due to the overall slim, trim “Mad Men” trend, and can make for a really clean-cut, sharp-looking suit.

To see if you prefer pleated or flat-front trousers, come into Binghams today. We will help you sample a variety of cuts and styles, and ensure you get the best possible fit.

Find us here.

Winterize and Accessorize

Attention to detail is what makes a well-dressed man, and sometimes, the small things can make an outfit. This winter, stay warm and stylish with these must-have accessories from Binghams.

Socks

Statement socks are the hottest way to stay warm right now, so pick up a few pairs. We have beauties from RG, Nigel Knox, Pantherella and more.

Pantherella, Egyptian Cotton Turnmill Argyle

Pantherella, Egyptian Cotton Turnmill Argyle

Bow ties

Speaking of hot trends, bow ties are another popular accessory right now, and you can dress them up or down. We have tons of bow ties in the store, so we guarantee you’ll find a few you like. Also, we are happy to show you how to tie a bow tie, if you like.

bowtie

Gloves

You won’t want to bury your hands in your pockets with these driving and dress gloves by Hilts Willard.

Adam-thumbBrock-thumb

Scarves

The skin around the neck is some of the thinnest skin on the body, so keep it warm and toasty with a handsome scarf. We have several in cashmere (the luxury fabric of the winter season) and in chenille (which is made in Maine). Come in to see our selection.

Colorful cashmere scarves

Come into the store and see our selection of cashmere scarves!

Cufflinks

Cufflinks are great way to add subtle sophistication to your suit or tux, and they are great to have during the holiday party season. We especially love these by Trafalgar. (We also carry Trafalgar belts).

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Grooming products

When the temperature drops, it’s tempting to let your facial hair provide you with an extra layer of warmth. Just be sure to keep it under control with these fine grooming products from Moonshine, an exclusive line of men’s cologne, soap and aftershave balm.

Moonshine cologne

Moonshine cologne

Also try St. James of London, the aged, fine wine of men’s grooming products. There are four fragrances, shaving cream, aftershave and luxurious brushes.

collection-of-st.-james-of-london-products

St. James of London products.

For more great winter accessories and styles, come into the store!

Find us here. We look forward to seeing you.

The Columbia Man’s Guide to Formal Wear

With the holiday-party season in full swing, we thought it was fitting to write a post on the ins and outs of men’s formal wear.

It might seem silly to have a guide for men’s formal wear, given that dressing up has changed little, and only in subtle ways, over time for men. A black tuxedo paired with a bow tie seems like the simplest ensemble ever, right?

Well…yes and no.

Men’s formal wear is just as easy to get right as it is wrong, because when every guy looks the same, the guy who didn’t do it right stands out like a sore thumb.

So, stand out in the crowd in a good way with these guidelines from us here at Binghams:

1. Buy rather than rent.

A tuxedo or suit that was made just for you, or tailored accordingly, will always look good, even if you only wear it a few times a year. The lines will be clean and the silhouette will be sleek, neither of which you can guarantee with a rental. We firmly believe buying a tux is a worthwhile investment.

2. But…it isn’t all about tuxedos.

“Velvet jackets are very popular right now. They have that smoking jacket, vintage look that is really sophisticated and cool,” says Dave Danuser, co-owner of Binghams. For an example, Danuser references a beautiful velvet dinner jacket from Robert Talbott, shown below, on the right:

Robert Talbott velvet dinner jacket

3. It’s all about the lapels.

Well, maybe it’s not all about the lapels, but acing formal dressing is certainly all about the details. Peak lapels are classic, and look a bit more special. Visually, they broaden your shoulders and draw in your waist because of the dramatic V shape they create. If you prefer a shawl lapel—they are most common nowadays—just make sure the proportions are exact (the guys here at Binghams can help with this).

4. Proper ventilation is key.

Again, details matter here. Ideally, your jacket should not have any vents because it makes the outline of your silhouette cleaner. If, however, you’re attending a gala in the middle of hot Missouri summer, the no-vent policy may become a “guaranteed-to-overheat” policy. In this case, choose side vents. If a gust of wind blows them open, your shirt still won’t be exposed.

5. Know your collars.

When it’s black tie, always wear a shirt with a turn down collar. A wing collar is for white tie. (What’s the difference? It is generally accepted that white tie means “really formal,” and black tie means “formal.” White tie hails from the days when men wore white ties and tails.)

6. Know your way around a bow tie.

When it comes to men’s formal wear, you must know how to wear and tie a bow tie. If you don’t know how to tie this essential accessory, watch our helpful tutorial on it here.

Any questions? Binghams is always here to answer your most burning sartorial inquiries, so just stop by the store. We’d be happy to see you.

Binghams is located here.

Why Allen Edmonds Shoes Are Better Than the Rest

Attention, gentlemen of Columbia, Missouri!

If you are looking for Allen Edmonds shoes, you must come see us here at Binghams. We have great selection of A.E.s, and if we don’t have something in stock, we are more than happy to put in a special order (and the S&H is free).

Allen Edmonds is the standard bearer of classic men’s shoes and we are proud to carry them. They are beloved by presidents, popes and businessmen around the world, and for good reason. Each pair of A.E.s shoes is constructed via a 212-step process, which, if you want to get technical about it, is actually a 424-step process (212 per shoe). That’s a lot of steps.

But it’s fitting, seeing as you’ll take a lot of steps in your Allen Edmond shoes. They are so well made that they wear well for years, and owners typically have their A.E.s repaired rather than replaced. In fact, many A.E.s are deliberately designed to accommodate easy repairs.

Allen Edmonds reputation for wearing well is more important now that winter is fast approaching, and soon your beloved footwear will be exposed to the elements, which unfortunately, is a fate none of us can escape. You can, however, put up a good fight by getting yourself a pair of Allen Edmond shoes.

They use only superior leathers such as calfskin and cordovan, and these materials are combined with cork footbeds to create unmatched comfort. Every shoe remains in the last (a mechanical form that has a shape similar to that of a human foot) for at least 24 hours to ensure that they hold their shape for a lifetime.

Come into Binghams today and try on our wide selection of A.E. shoes. An expert sales associate will assist you and make sure you buy a pair that fits properly and comfortably, and give you tips on how to get the most out of your Allen Edmonds shoes.

Find us here. We can’t wait to see you.

Wear Your Mizzou Pride On Your Sleeve with Custom Gear from Southern Tide

Binghams is a proud University of Missouri fan and carries a ton of Mizzou apparel customized by our friends at Southern Tide. We have t-shirts, hats and more, and we’d love to help you express your Tiger pride by outfitting you in our best Mizzou gear.

We also have sweatshirts and beanies to keep you warm in the stands this season, so stop by and pick some up.

Mizzou gear also makes for great for Christmas gifts for students, alumni and fans (it’s worth noting that 2014 is Mizzou’s 175th anniversary, so that will make your gift even more meaningful).

Here is a sampling of our great Mizzou gear:

mizzou

We have Mizzou belts, hats, polos, button-downs and more.

mizzou 2

Another shot of our Mizzou polos and pants. (We also have women’s Mizzou apparel too).

Come into Binghams today and get yourself some Tiger swag. Find us here.

(And of course: Go, Tigers!)