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Collage of transmasc model in black pants

Feb 21, 2024

Pants for trans men: a guide

Finnegan Shepard

If you’re here, then you know the struggle. You order a pair of pants online. You aren’t sure how they will fit, because the model online is some random 6’2” cis dude, but the pants are a cropped style on him, so you figure the inseam is on the shorter side, and the waistband measurement the site lists has worked for you before. The pants arrive and you are excited to try them on, but then your hope quickly turns to disappointment and frustration. The pants barely fit over your hips. You can technically button them closed, but they pinch your hips uncomfortably, and when you sit down, they are tight/chafe around your thighs and bum. To add insult to injury, despite the pants being a more cropped style, they are still too long on you, and require you to cuff them two or three times.

You fold them back up and email the company, requesting a return label. You still don’t own a pair of pants that fit you the way you want.

If you relate to that story, then you are in the right place. This article is titled as a guide for trans men specifically, but the reality is that the information here equally applies to nonbinary and gender non conforming folk. Basically, anyone who was assigned female at birth and wears masc clothing has had a bad experience with pants. In this article, we are going to explain what the problem with men’s pants is, what insight you can derive from that to make better pant choices in the future, and then offer some of our favorite pant options that will work for you as a trans man.


Why Trans Men Struggle with Cis Men’s Pants

Transmasc person in ill-fitting jeans that don't fit in the waist and won't button up

First off, let’s clear the air. This experience can be extremely demoralizing, and make you feel like something is wrong with you. But nothing is wrong with you. Cis men’s pants simply haven’t been made with your body in mind. What do we mean by that?

Men’s pants are made based on assumptions around ‘average’ cisgender men’s bodies. A lot of this has to do with height. The ‘average’ height for cis men in America is 5’9”. In contrast, the average height for people who were assigned female at birth is 5’4”. That means that there is a five inch difference in length, and that translates over to the inseam. Even if the waistband size of cis men’s pants is smaller (say a 30 or a 32), the inseam is usually a minimum of 30” as well.

For folks who are between 5’0” and 5’8”, an inseam somewhere between 26” to 29” tends to fit more accurately. And this is before we even account for hip, bum, and thigh size, all of which are smaller on cis men, and which mean that pants tend to chafe or be uncomfortably tight in those areas.

All this to say: when we shop for pants as trans men, we are looking for a particular shape, but that shape only works if the proportions and the fit pattern work in tandem with the body shape. Unfortunately, cis men’s pants rarely (if ever) do that.


How to Find Pants that Fit as a Trans Man

If you are thrifting or buying clothing from cis fashion brands, here are a few key takeaways that you can use to filter out the most ill-fitting cis clothing:

  1. First, filter by a waist/hip size that will actually fit you. This is the most important measurement, because if it doesn’t work here, the pants won’t work, period.

  2. Once you have found pants that fit in the waist/hip, the trick is whether you can find any that proportionally aren’t too long, and that fit in the bum and thighs. Finding this ratio is extremely rare.

  3. One solution can be to DIY the length of the pants. You can cut them, cuff them, or bring them to a tailor.

  4. Often, a straight leg or a slightly tapered fit tends to work best at creating a square, masc silhouette.


Pants that are Made Specifically for Trans Men

Behind the scenes photo from a Both& denim jeans test fitting with fashion designer and fitting expert

Another (better) option, is to purchase pants that have been made specifically for trans men and transmasc people. These pants have been designed using the proportions of trans men’s bodies, rather than cis men’s bodies, as the reference point. That means that the ratio of proportions has changed: these pants have a wider waist and hip to inseam ratio. They have more room around the bum and thighs, and are made in materials that are soft and don’t chafe.

We have highlighted three of our favorites below:


The Marlo

The Marlo is the perfect everyday pant. With deep, square pockets in the front and a slightly tapered cut, this pant can be dressed up or down. It is made in 98% cotton, 2% elastane, so there’s just a bit of stretch for comfortability. It also has an ingenuous design detail: pads sewn into the waistband that create a straight shape between high and low hip, which is generally the curviest/most dysphoric area for trans men. The Marlos are comfortable, high quality, and make getting dressed as a trans man easy.

Nonbinary model wearing brown tee and black Marlo pants


The Ezra

If you are looking for a bit of a style statement, these denim cargos are a great choice. Following up from the success of the Jo jeans (an everyday, straight legged jean for trans guys), the Ezra’s are made in the same comfy transmasc fit developed for the Marlos. That is, they fit around the hips and also magically aren’t too long. Wear these skating, hanging out with friends, or around town.

Trans model wearing light blue denim Jo jeans


The Jeremiah

Lux sweats for trans men? Turns out even sweatpants favor cis men’s proportions. These sweatpants are true, high end loungewear: made in a thick, high quality fabric, they are a straight leg, ankle length pant that is equally great to wear around the house as out and about.

Nonbinary model wearing black tee and royal blue Jeremiah sweatpants



Trans men face a number of challenges when trying to find pants that fit well. This isn’t our fault, and nothing is wrong with us, it’s simply that the fashion world relies on ‘average’ proportions of cisgender bodies to define how fit works. To better navigate this space, use the tricks and tips we suggested above, or make your life easy and check out pants that were made with your body in mind here.