Suit trousers aren't the same as casual pants. Aside from their formal style, they have other characteristics that distinguish them from casual pants. Some suit trousers, for instance, feature tabs on the side. You won't find these side tabs on casual pants. Rather, they are exclusive to suit trousers. What's the purpose of these side tabs exactly?
Overview of Side Tabs
Side tabs are exactly what they sound like: tabs on the side of suit trousers. Also known as side adjusters, they consist of a small band or strip of fabric. Side tabs are designed to make suit trousers fit tighter or looser around the waist, depending on the button with which they are fastened. If your suit trousers are too big in the waist, for instance, you can move the side tabs to the second button so that they fit tighter in the waist.
How Side Tabs Work
You can use side tabs by moving them to an appropriate button. While there are exceptions, most side tabs work in conjunction with a button. They have an opening at the end. To achieve a different fit in the waist, you just need to fasten the end of the side tabs to an appropriate button.
Side tabs come in pairs. Most suit trousers have two side tabs. You can find a side tab on the left side of the waistband, and you can find another side tab on the right side of the waistband. To adjust how the suit trousers fit in the waist, move the side tabs to a different button. You should see buttons along the waistband of the suit trousers. You can move the side tabs to a different button to achieve a tighter or looser fit in the waist. That's all it takes to use side tabs.
While most side tabs do, in fact, work in conjunction with a button, others feature a buckle. Rather than moving them to a different button, you'll need to secure them with a buckle. Buckle-based side tabs aren't as common as button-based side tabs. Nonetheless, some suit trousers have them.
The Benefits of Choosing Suit Trousers With Side Tabs
With side tabs, you won't have to worry about your suit trousers falling from your waist. You can make them fit tighter in the waist by moving the side tabs to a different button.
Side tabs serve as an alternative to a belt. A belt, of course, will hold your suit trousers around your waist as well. But belts can be a nuisance to use. You'll have to choose a belt in the right size, and you'll have to pull it through the belt loops on your suit trousers. Even then, the belt may be too wide to fit, in which case you won't be able to wear it. If you're tired of messing with a belt when wearing a suit, you may want to invest in a pair of suit trousers that feature side tabs.
Side tabs are concealed. The adjacent photos depict a pair of suit trousers with side tabs. You can barely see the side tabs in the respective photos. Furthermore, if you're going to be wearing a complete suit, the side tabs will likely be covered by your suit jacket. The bottom of your suit jacket will fall over the side tabs, thereby concealing them.
Belt vs Side Tabs: Which Is Best?
Belts and side tabs serve the same purpose of making suit trousers fit tighter in the waist. Whether your suit trousers are a half-size or multiple sizes too big in the waist, you may not be able to wear them -- at least not without a belt or side tabs. Which of these options is the best exactly?
A belt will give you more options when tightening your suit trousers. Most belts have around five to 10 loops. Each loop is a different waist size. Side tabs, on the other hand, have fewer size options Rather than loops, side tabs typically feature buttons. Most side tabs have two buttons each. You can make your suit trousers fit tighter or looser in the waist by fastening to them to the appropriate button.
Side tabs are arguably more convenient than a belt. In just seconds, you can fasten them to a different button. Adjusting a belt is relatively easy as well, but it takes a little longer. Furthermore, you can only wear a belt if your suit trousers have belt loops. Not all suit trousers have belt loops. Some of them only have side tabs, in which case you'll have to use the side tabs to make them fit tighter or looser in the waist.
Even if your suit trousers have side tabs, you can still accessorize them with a belt. Some men prefer to wear a belt with their suit trousers. Side tabs won't prevent you from wearing a belt; side tabs simply offer an alternative way to secure your suit trousers around your waist.
Tips on Using Side Tabs
When using side tabs, check to see how your suit trousers fit with each button. Most side tabs come with two buttons. Your suit trousers will fit tighter with one of the buttons, and they'll fit looser with the other button.
If you're unable to fasten the side tabs to a particular button, don't force them. Buttons can tear or otherwise sustain damage. If a button falls off your suit trousers, you won't be able to fasten the side tab to it. To prevent this from happening, be gentle when fastening -- as well as unfastening -- the side tabs to their adjacent buttons.
Keep in mind that you don't have to use the side tabs. If your suit trousers fit perfectly in the waist, you can leave the side tabs unfastening. Side tabs are simply optional. There's no rule stating that you must use them. If you don't want to use the side tabs, simply leave them unfastened. As long as they aren't connected to a button, the side tabs won't affect how your suit trousers fit in the waist.