Latin vs. Standard Men's Pants

Searched the forum, but have not found answers to...

Finished first bronze comp in non-special dance attire and was advised to get more formal stuff for next one. (Still bronze, where, I would guess, attire is least critical.) I'm a 6' Sr III with a slim build and am looking for conservative, classic attire. Nothing flashy or revealing! Probably just black/black for Latin. White shirt/black vest for std.

Can one wear the same pants for Latin and Standard? (For now, I'd like to have to buy only one.) That is, are there designs that are acceptable (if not optimal) for both?

If so, is there any feature of a pant that would preclude it from being worn on Std or Latin (for example, high waist)?

If these are different animals, what makes them different?

What's the deal with stripes along the side?

I know that advocating specific vendors is not altogether proper here, but if anyone has a favorite mail-order site with a wide selection of general, reasonably priced men's attire, could you send me a PM?



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Heh, heh. My coach not only wears the same pants, he's got this jumpsuit thingy that doubles for full latin outfit or pants and shirt for a tailsuit.


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I'm a girl so I don't have direct experience with this, but I've conversed with guys concerning this. I understand the main difference between men's standard pants and latin pants is that typically standard pants are a lot higher-waisted and looser through the leg (presumably to allow a larger range of movement and motion), while latin pants tend to have a lower waist and are generally more fitted (presumably for more clean lines.) I know some guys who have a hybrid pant that is intermediate between the two that they love, but I cannot remember where they got it from and I think they may have discontinued it.
There's a dance pant maker in the Boston area who puts the stirrups on standard pants as well. For me, the jury is still out on this.
If you compete, you need two pair of pants: one for Standard/Smooth, one for Latin/Rhythm.

Standard and Latin pants are as different as the dances themselves, each with a completely different look and style. One of many examples is the hem. Standard shoes typically have a 1" heel, and Latin a 2". Any "hybrid" pant must be hemmed for Standard (hem them for Latin, and you'll be stepping on your cuffs when dancing Standard). Then, when dancing Latin in them, you end up with dorky-looking "floods" that break an inch too high--never a good look, and particularly bad when you're being judged.

That being said, dance pants can get expensive. If you're on a budget, shop the department stores, and find two pair of black pants--not necessarily the same. Your Standard pant should look good with your tuxedo shirt; your Latin, look good with a tight black long sleeve shirt. Then have one tailored for Standard and one for Latin. If you go this route, don't skimp on the tailoring! Go to someone good, and tell the seamstress that you'll be using them for dancing. Tell them that you need the pockets sewn shut, and bring your Standard and Latin shoes for respective hemming.

With this method you can set yourself up with your Standard and Latin pants for about USD$150.

Then have one tailored for Standard and one for Latin. If you go this route, don't skimp on the tailoring! Go to someone good, and tell the seamstress that you'll be using them for dancing. Tell them that you need the pockets sewn shut, and bring your Standard and Latin shoes for respective hemming.
By "tailoring" I assume you mean only setting the length and sewing the pockets (as opposed to, for example, narrowing the legs).

I've noticed that the problem with non-ballroom slacks is that you hem them long, because they are not flared, they bunch over the shoelaces. For practice, I've put a 2" cut in the outer cuff seam (like pro golfers). They lie better, but probably look weird.
By "tailoring" I mean letting a good tailor do what they do best. Beyond sewing the pockets shut and hemming the pant, an experienced tailor can make you look significantly better for another $20.

I'm not a tailor, but I know that they can pinch here, tweak there, take in the waist a bit, look at it with an experienced eye, and make adjustments that make you look much better. Try and give them a decent pant to work with; something that's finished well on the inside, and they can do a lot more.

A good tailor is worth their weight in gold :D

Now that you mention it, my favorite tailor went back to Argentina. :mad: She was a tango dancer, and lit up like Broadway every time I went in there. She loved to talk about dance.

At the time I was flat broke and gave her a $15 pant from Marshall's to work with, and did a great job.


Active Member
Stirrups are a preference thing and not all Latin pants are made with them. Smooth/Standard pants generally have a thin satin stripe up the outer side of the leg and a 1-1/2" satin waistband. Latin or Rythm do not.
Among many differences, Latin pants have stirrups (elastic loops) in the bottom to hold them straight. Standard pants do not.
I'm bumping this thread for a few additional questions. Looking for smooth/std pants to wear with my vest & white shirt. Found a pair that looks like it would work but it's labeled a "Latin" pant. They are 12" wide at the hem with a side stripe (no satin waist). Shop says lots of men buy them for smooth.

Assuming the waist is of appropriate height, they feel roomy enough around the knees, and they are hemmed to fit my smooth shoes, should these work okay? In particular, any problems with a 12" hem width for smooth/std?

Finally, how high off the floor should one hem smooth pants?


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They should be a hair above the floor without shoes (standing up straight), so when you're in shoes just the heel will be exposed.

I'm assuming that's 12" front-to-back (or side-to-side) and not all the way around!


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DsI makes an awesome off the rack standard/smooth pant. They have belt loops, no satin, rubber on the inside of the waistline and sit at your hips. Tons of room in the leg and thigh as flow nicely on the floor.

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