An Ouji Overview: Part 6 Pants

Jan 6, 2015

Pants are the most fundamental part of an ouji outfit. Without them, the outfit is incomplete. I consider them the hardest item to shop for because many different measurements must be accounted for.

Parts of Pants


The waist measurement is the circumference of the waistband. It is measured at the thinnest part of your torso which is often the navel. Measure lower if you intend to wear pants with a lower rise. There should be a spare 2-5 centimeters between your body's and the garment's measurements to allow for breathing and eating room. It's much better to go larger since you can wear a belt rather than squeezing into a waistband that is too small (trust me, not worth it).


Rise is the distance between the top of the waistband to the crotch. This measurement is not often provided, but it is important to take notice of it if you are tall.

High-rise Mid-rise Low-rise
More commonly called high waist.
As the name implies, the rise sits higher, usually by a thicker waistband, is higher and often hits above the navel. The visual length of your legs will be heightened.
This is the standard rise which is meant to be worn at your natural waist. It's a median, so it will be good for both formal and casual coordinates. Also called dropped waist. It is meant to be worn below the natural waist. It's also the least formal and will shorten the visual length of your legs. Most blouses end at the natural waist, so there may be a gap between the blouse and pants.


The inseam is the measurement from the crotch to the bottom of the leg.
An example of pants ending above ankle

For full length pants, it is important to have correct length. If your pants are too long, get them altered. With a pool of fabric bunch around your ankles or having the hem drag on the floor and damaging the pants, it will look extremely sloppy.
Shorter inseams are a more contemporary trend, but if you're going with formality, stick to the traditional at-the-shoe length. The highwater look is harder to pull off since it will bring focus to your legs and shoes, but can give a fresh modern look (see right).

For shorts, this will determine where on your leg they'll hit. For beginners, I recommend aiming for right around knee length since it's the most versatile length to work with different shoe styles. There's no definite rule on how long or short your shorts can be, but I'd say as long as you're not flashing some underwear, you're good. Be warned though, a common beginner mistake is when going with shorts that are too short. Shorter length leans towards the effeminate spectrum which can make or break an ouji outfit if you go too far out. They can also create an awkward gap on your legs if you don't know how to balance it out.

This measurement can be disregarded if the pants are being tucked into boots.


The overall length is the length from the top of the waistband to the bottom of the leg. The length is always given, so it can help determine how long the inseam or rise is.


The hip measurement is measured at the widest part of your bottom. This is an important measurement to note if you have wide hips, especially if you are female.

Leg circumference

This is important to take note of if you have thicker legs. The measurement is not always provided though. Knit material pants will stretch, but non-stretch will need some consideration especially if the pants have cuffs.

Different Types

These are names of some (not all) common types of pants used in ouji. Most brands just call them pants, but knowing the names can help with looking for sewing patterns.

Trousers Breeches Wide Pants
long pants; usually with a straight or slim leg short pants, half pants; usually end at or right below the knee; pumpkin pants are usually breeches with a gathered leg pants where the hem circumference is largest at the bottom
Jodhpurs Sarouel Pants Salopette
flares out from the thighs and tapers into a slim lower leg; helps flare out long jackets loose, dropped crotch pants; visually lengthens the torso; more common in punk and casual boystyle overall-style pants; usually attached to a decorative top, but still requires a blouse
Bondage Pants Leggings
pants with lots of straps and/or chains, sometimes with detachable legs; mainly worn when visual kei was still popular in the old-school and punk days form-fitting, stretch pants; should be thick enough or covered by something long so no one sees what's underneath; not recommended for beginners since it's easy to look too casual


  • Since most formal blouses are designed to end right after the navel, high- or mid-rise is recommended. With low-rise pants, you either need a longer blouse or you can cover the gap with a wide belt or cummerbund. 
  • Fabric thickness and drape are important details. I would call this the #1 mistake made. Most people start out with offbrand pants (which is perfectly fine), but most end up not choosing pants that are thick enough. As a result, thin pants with little drape will show a large amount of wrinkles along the leg (capris are usually the culprit).
  • It's very obvious when bloomers are trying to pass off as pants. Bloomers are underwear. Wearing bloomers as pants is like trying to wear boxers as pants.
  • Technically, you can wear skirt in ouji just as long as there are pants underneath.
  • Suspenders or a belt can be worn to keep loose pants from falling. 
  • Mentioned above already, but take caution! Pants that are too long look sloppy and are a tripping hazard! Plus they will end up being damaged since they are being dragged on the ground. There's a reason why they rarely stick the shorter models in full-length pants (see image below).
  • There's no rule about how much leg you can show, but do remember it should be a modest amount since ouji style is leans towards formal style. There are certain combinations of pants lengths and sock heights that work well together (see below), but go with what you're comfortable with.
Different pants lengths, short to long
  • When starting to build a wardrobe, I recommend starting out with one pair of shorts and one pair of long pants in a neutral color. If you have enough different kinds of tops, nobody will really pay attention to how many times you wear your pants.

Part 5  |  Table of Contents  |  Part 7

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this overview series up to now, it's been educating and fun to read. Your blogs have been very helpful to me, beïng prety fresh in this stylish way of dressing myself. I'm looking forward to blogs 7 to 10.