You can tell a lot about a guy from the way he talks about his mother, who his friends are and the way that he drives a car. But nothing says personality more than a man’s pants.

Men usually pride themselves on their ability to be blase about fashion. The ability to look like they don’t care, even if they do spend forty minutes each morning tousling their hair to perfection and crumpling their hopefully vintage-esque Urban Outfitters tees until they wrinkle “just so.” Nonetheless, I must warn all male readers that they ought to care much more about their pants than they currently do.

Pants aren’t only the middle ground between the shirt and the shoes, but they are a screening ground for females that is so subtle, many women may not even realize that there are subconsciously discriminating against potential male suitors solely based on their choice of bottom-wear. That, or I am the only one shallow enough to notice.

But in all honesty, the slight difference between low-rise and high-rise, tapered leg and wide leg, and (God forbid) a carpenter hook are crucial to the overall look and appeal of a male. Brands currently excluded, the cut of a pair of jeans alone is enough for dismissal.

Foremost, although the ultra low-rise jeans trend is trickling away from the women’s runways as fast as Tara Reid’s career, I am a huge proponent of low-rise pants for men. In fact, I think that all guys ought to experiment with dropping their waistlines. I’m not saying the general public needs, or wants, to see where the happy trail ultimately leads, but jeans that just sit on the hips of guys is hot.

You see, it is imperative that the back pockets of guys’ jeans fall past their butts. If done correctly, this can aptly provide the illusion of a low-rise look without actually going down, which some men seem reluctant to do. Be wary of jean pockets that hit too high on the butt. Guys are not immune to the suburban mom “my jean pockets only cover the top 20 percent of my ass” syndrome. In fact, I’ve grown to cut the moms a little slack for their GAP, pancake-butt 80s jeans that they wear every day with pride. Hey, if they can still fit into them, more power! But college guys have no excuse! Unless they have three children secretly hiding in the Berkeley Bagel Room until graduation, I want to see those pockets drop. Drop it like it’s hot.

If you decide to forgo my advice and continue to hike your waists up, be prepared for a jeans personality that screams, “I am overly dependent on my mother, I love Drew Barrymore movies and I really enjoy a hot dog every now and then.”

With so many options in the current jeans market, you have no excuse to fail. Thanks to the low-rise craze, which introduced Earl and hundreds of other $100 plus jeans to the masses, men now have the option to buy their very own pairs of $100 plus jeans. I’m not going to lie. Some girls are a little put off by a guy who has a nicer pair of jeans than themselves. But hey, if the girl can’t keep up with your style, ditch the chick and keep the jeans. It shows off a guy’s sensitive side when he’s not afraid to sport brands commonly associated with women’s wear, like Sevens and Paper Denim and Cloth. Despite your fashion-savviness, it is still crucial to play off any remarks directed toward your designer denim with a nonchalant “Oh, these? My sister picked them out… I don’t know where she got them.” Just remember that for all those money-hungry women out there, the ubiquitous stitching on Seven’s pockets are a dead giveaway to the Hermes wallet that is hopefully lying within.

Of course, not all men dress in denim. We must not forget the corduroy caterers, a select group of males who opt to stray from the constraints of stiff denim for the more “ohh feel how soft” effect of corduroy. Of course, this group of men all too often overlaps with the group of men who like their hair, and sometimes women, a bit on the more dirty side. Nonetheless, props must be given for attempting to go outside the box. There are two different types of corduroy: thin and thick. Thin is good, thick is bad. A guy who sports thin, brown-ish, corduroy pants gives off a sort-of pseudo-chill, “I don’t shop at Urban Outfitters — but I do,” and an “I-use-lots-of-unnecessary-hyphens-in-my-writing” aura. Throw in a pair of damaged Converse kicks, and the look is complete.

Thick corduroy has no redeeming factors. Think old English teacher who tries to touch your thigh. Thick corduroy wearers are the skeevy teachers who try to molest the boys wearing the thin corduroy pants.

Some girls like men who wear whales on their pants. I don’t. I mean, sure whatever floats your boat, but when you start putting the boat on the pants, the line must be drawn. If you want to prep it out, salmon pants are a perfect and not-so subtle way to do it. But if you want to be pretty in pink or sensational in salmon, don’t go to Yale; you know that all the pretty prepsters have just been dying to whip out their spring pastel gear. Just be sure to keep all urchins off.

And finally, there are khakis. More so an American staple than denim itself, this Abercrombie-infused fashion staple is probably one of the most prominent pieces in a college boy’s wardrobe. Just remember that because khakis are casual doesn’t mean they should be baggy. And please remove all cargo pockets. If you don’t, I’ll personally chop them off.

Some final words for the perfect pants:

Animals belong on leashes, not on pants.

Cinched waists = bad.

Try trading in black pants for a pair of slate gray trousers.

Low-rise Levi’s are an easy and simple way to achieve casual cool.

Don’t talk to strangers wearing thick corduroy- ehm, don’t talk to strangers at all.

Dana Schuster likes her men with no pants at all.