Manolo for the Men Fashion and Lifestyle Advice for Men

July 2, 2010

Trousers for a serious man

Filed under: Men's Fashion — Mr. Henry @ 3:06 pm

Because right now most men are wearing shorts, the question of trouser length does not loom large. Summer long trousers – stained and frayed – tend to be whatever length they already are. You end up wearing whichever pair happens to fit comfortably round the summer waistline.

Shorts today present a curious paradox. Because disaffected youths elect to wear baggy basketball shorts, theirs extend well below the knee. Old timers wear plaid Bermudas at or above the knee. Consequently, knobbly, swollen, varicose-ridden legs are readily on display. Legs like statues of Greek gods remain hidden.

Once in a great while, however, you must leave irony at the door and strike out into the world attempting to look like a serious man. At these fateful junctures in life’s comedy, trousers that fall at the wrong length will undermine a confidence already crumbling at the edges.

I grow old … I grow old …

I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

How long should a serious man’s trousers be? Specifically, should there be a break in your trouser leg?

Without getting into the ticklish question of cuffs, let me offer one simple rule: the tighter the pant leg, the shorter the trouser.

Trousers should obscure socks or, heaven forfend, naked ankles. Perfect strangers should not have to confront either your veined ankles or your daily choice from the sock drawer.

But neither should trousers drag upon the ground. For a trouser leg of standard width, hem the leg to a length that creates a single break. Any longer simply looks as though your pants have slipped down your behind.

New peg-leg designs like these chinos from J. Crew, however, call for a slightly shorter leg. Instead of breaking on the foot, a narrow leg cut long will bunch and get fouled up in your shoes.

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  1. I just came back from Germany and let me tell you how wonderful it was to see the shape of a man’s backside. No “pants on the ground” No sight of anyone’s plaid underwear and no one having to walk holding their pants up because the crotch was already at their knees. Trousers actually fit without the strangulation so evident in the 70’s and 80’s. Truth be told, I had no idea on length, I was too busy watching the scenery. ;-)

    Comment by Jennie — July 3, 2010 @ 11:46 pm

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